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On Tuesday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed an agreement that they say will lead to cleaner waters and a stronger economy for the City of Philadelphia. Jackson said the partnership will serve as a model for communities across the nation.

Instead of building more tunnels and pumping stations, the “Green City, Clean Waters” project is turning some of the city’s hardened surfaces — roofs, roads and other paved areas — into “green areas” that absorb water or release it more slowly into storm drains.

The green technologies include planters along curbs and sidewalks; rain gardens and storm water “wetlands”; rain barrels under downspouts; green roofs; and porous paving materials. One project involves “greening” a city school’s playground as part of the student’s science curriculum.

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