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03.2012 www.greenbuildermag.com


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been regulated under the Clean Water Act since the 1990s, but implementation and enforcement has been uneven across the country. The recent development of an ef- fl uent limitation guideline (ELG), including an effl uent sampling requirement and a turbidity limitation (currently stayed) are indications that construction site sediment controls are on the way. These may require ongoing monitoring and maintenance. You can fi nd pdf fi les of some good guide books on LID online, most of them published by the EPA. Although they tend to be a few years old, they provide a good


basic primer on the most common LID techniques. Eco-sensitive landscape design isn’t just a fad. Increasingly, it’s becoming the norm. And applying the widely tested and simple techniques of LID are one way to stay ahead of regulators, at the same time protecting local rivers, aquifers and ponds. GB


Eileen Straughan is president of


Straughan Environmental, a fi rm that pro- vides high-quality & sustainable environ- mental planning, permitting and design ser- vices (www.straughanenvironmental.com).


ECO-FRIENDLY AFTERLIFE?


HOW MANY cemeteries are taking up millions of acres of often healthy and fertile landscape, potentially impacting aquifers and other water resources? Why not bury our dead the way nature intended, and let nature sort them out?


business, and include “green” burial places for would-be residents. The idea of a natural “return to nature” is sure to appeal to a certain type of sustainability-minded client. Visit greenburials. org for a list of green cemeteries.


I


t may sound a bit morbid, but with about 109,000 cemeteries in the U.S., millions of acres of land contain toxic materials—embalming fluid and the like—that in some cases could end up in aquifers or streams. Perhaps the time is right for developers to get in the cemetery


In the UK, “natural” burial is apparently much more common than in the U.S. Some states do not regulate green burial closely. It represents a potential new amenity for sustainable developers. People pay thousands of dollars for small burial plots in non-sustainable cemeteries. For a fraction of that cost, they can rejoin the natural cycle of soils and hydrology.


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