White House, EPA Recognize Storm Water Retrofit P3

April 6, 2015
The Clean Water Partnership is the nation's first storm water infrastructure management P3

Prince George’s County, Md., and Corvias Solutions announced the launch of the nation’s first collaboration for a storm water infrastructure management public-private partnership (P3) initiative, called the Clean Water Partnership (CWP).

“In order to comply with the federal Clean Water Act to reduce storm water runoff pollution, Prince George’s County implemented an innovative public-private partnership that will improve our environment and our quality of life, as well as create jobs and a new industry for our small and minority business community,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. 

The White House recognized the P3 as a best practice for other communities to follow.

“With this first-of-its-kind public-private partnership for green storm water infrastructure, Prince George’s County is leading the way for communities across the country. The new Clean Water Partnership supports the goals of the president’s Build America Investment Initiative by uniting the public and private sectors to invest in a 21st century American infrastructure,” said Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “This innovative approach to managing storm water has potential to revitalize communities, develop small business and create jobs.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has recognized the county’s approach of leveraging a dedicated funding stream for green infrastructure storm water runoff projects to meet its obligations under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a comprehensive “pollution diet” that requires significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. According to the EPA, approximately $635 billion is required to finance improvements for aging water-related infrastructure needs throughout the nation. These funds have traditionally been provided by local government funds or storm water utilities often included on tax bills and the EPA through its various loan sources.

“The Prince George’s County public-private partnership is a great example of the type of activity that EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center hopes to encourage,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “By providing innovative financing support for sustainable and resilient water infrastructure, this collaboration will help the community improve their drinking water, wastewater and storm water systems.” The Water Finance Center is part of the Build America Investment Initiative.

Through the CWP, the county and Corvias will work jointly to install rain gardens and other storm water filter devices such as bioswales, green roofs, rain barrels and permeable pavement to treat 15,000 acres of existing impervious surfaces over the course of the next decade. The county is committed to completing its green infrastructure projects by 2025, as required by the EPA TMDL. During the first phase of the CWP, the county will invest $100 million in the initial retrofit phase of 2,000 acres with Corvias to manage the design, construction and long-term maintenance of county property.

The educational component of the CWP includes the Urban Watershed Restoration Contractor Training Course, which is offered at Prince George’s County Community College and taught by instructors from the Low Impact Development Center. The course provides instruction on the construction, operation and maintenance of storm water management practices, and will assist in developing a robust workforce to advance the county’s storm water infrastructure.

The county's Department of the Environment is the lead agency charged with managing the county’s CWP projects and ensuring that the program goals are accomplished in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Source: Prince George's County Department of the Environment

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