How to Take Advantage of Houston’s New Green Stormwater Incentive Program - TRUEGRID Pavers

How to Take Advantage of Houston’s New Green Stormwater Incentive Program

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Flooding has become a major problem in many coastal areas of the United States, particularly in the Southern states. Houston is one example of a major city that has seen unimaginable destruction and devastation in their city as a result of flooding.

Being situated just barely above sea level, Houston is forced to take the brunt of many hurricanes and gulf storms, some of which overload the city’s stormwater management systems and cause widespread flooding. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to address the flooding problem that Houston faces. One of these is the new Green Stormwater Incentive program, otherwise known as the GSI.

The GSI is a program set up to incentivize the use of green stormwater management infrastructure during new developments. By embracing the program and its incentives, developers can reap incredible tax benefits while gradually turning Houston into much less of a disaster area when big floods hit.

In case you’re wondering how this works, let’s take an in-depth look at just how the GSI program works and how you can get the most out of it while fortifying your property from flood damage in the process.

Breaking Down the GSI Program in Houston

The GSI program is designed to increase usage and implementation of green stormwater infrastructure that promotes more effective stormwater management. This includes products and materials that will minimize the downstream effects of development, while also providing benefits or services to the local ecosystem, society, and/or environment.

Materials and infrastructure that help to reduce the heat island effect, mitigate the risk of flooding, encourage water conservation, create economic growth, restore native ecosystems, or address changes in quality of life are all incentivized under this program.

In order to qualify for a tax abatement under the GSI program, a new development has to meet a number of requirements. These requirements are in place to help keep the incentives location-specific to problem areas in and around Houston, and are mostly aimed at huge development projects.

For example, a new development must start out with at least a $3,000,000 investment and have at least $200,000 dedicated to new green stormwater infrastructure. If these criteria are met, a developer could have up to 100% of their investment in green stormwater infrastructure abated over 10 years.

There are multiple criteria to determine how much of a tax abatement will be given, such as the total proportion of project dollars dedicated to green stormwater infrastructure and the environmental impact of the design. This program is designed to incentivize investment in the highest standard of green stormwater infrastructure.

For instance, the above-mentioned 100% abatement over ten years would only apply to a development that invested in the highest standard of infrastructure and implemented an effective design as well. The city hopes that by implementing such a drastic tax abatement program for new green stormwater infrastructure, they’ll eventually be able to fortify the urban areas of Houston and make the city much more resilient when it comes to flooding.

With enough interested parties aiming to meet the requirements of the GSI program, Houston hopes to minimize its flooding issues while generally raising the property value of new developments over the long-term.


How to Make the Most of Houston’s New GSI Program

The potential for tax abatement under the GSI program hinges on the quality and environmental impact of your proposed green infrastructure. Assuming you meet the investment threshold and ratio of green infrastructure spending, there are many different options for implementing eco-friendly stormwater management. Some of these include conservation ponds as well as permeable pavement.

Permeable pavement is one of the most effective ways to help qualify a project for the GSI program. The permeable plastic pavers made by TRUEGRID, for instance, are incredibly effective at managing stormwater and reducing the strain on local sewer systems. They are able to drain water into the soil at an incredible rate. TRUEGRID pavers are made from 100%-recycled plastic and require almost no maintenance once installed.

They work by draining stormwater into a sub-base filled with gravel, where it is naturally filtered back into the water table at a healthy rate. This is essential for mitigating the effects of flooding like the kind commonly seen in Houston. These pavers can be used to build grass parking lanes and walkways, as well as industrial-strength parking lots meant to handle the heaviest vehicles.

The reduced burden on local storm systems and efficient diversion of stormwater away from vulnerable areas makes permeable pavement like TRUEGRID one of the smartest materials to include in any development looking to qualify for the new GSI program in Houston.

Save Money and Help Houston Prevent Flooding with the Green Stormwater Incentive Program

Flooding is one of Houston’s biggest problems right now, but you can help minimize the damage by qualifying your next development project for the new GSI program. By designing a project to meet the qualifications laid out in the new GSI, you can receive up to a 100% return on your investment while also helping Houston prevent the myriad of issues that recurring flooding has presented them with.

If you’re interested in implementing permeable pavement into your next development, contact TRUEGRID today for a quote.

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