Stories of Progress in Achieving Healthy Waters
U.S. EPA Region 3 Water Protection Division
Prince George’s County, Maryland • November 19, 2015
A unique, community-based public-private partnership (CBP3) – fostered by EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Water Protection Division (WPD) – is underway in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to generate “faster, cheaper, greener” controls for stormwater and benefit the local economy and the community.
EPA partnered with the county to provide support for the establishment of the 30-year, $100 million Clean Water Partnership Exit between the county Department of the Environment and Corvias Solutions to retrofit and maintain thousands of acres of public and private land with green infrastructure. A key benefit of the innovative Partnership is the creation of a local “stormwater management industry” spawning a significant number of local jobs and a variety of training opportunities.
Over three years, Corvias is converting an initial 2,000 acres of hard surfaces using green features to soak up or treat the stormwater, with an option to retrofit an additional 2,000 acres if performance goals are met.
The approach is designed to take advantage of the private sector’s ability to use economies of scale and other efficiencies to reduce the cost and time it takes for Prince George’s County to deliver the acres of green retrofits. The Partnership is helping the county meet its MS4 permit requirements, which include addressing local impairments and the Chesapeake Bay TMDL limits. The county is providing financing for the project through stormwater fees, and Corvias will plan, design, execute and maintain the infrastructure. The Partnership also committed to use local small minority- women- and veteran-owned businesses for at least 30-40 percent of the project scope, and provide training and other programs to help them compete.
The performance-, fee-driven contract provides incentives for the company to meet its budget, schedule and local employment targets. The Partnership’s streamlined process will be compared with a parallel effort by the county to retrofit a like amount of acreage using traditional procurement means.
EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Trust provided a Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns (G3) grant to the county to benchmark the public-private effort as a model for other communities, and created a guide for how to create similar partnerships. EPA convened a series of meetings of national green infrastructure and financing experts to arrive at the CBP3 approach for Prince George’s County – customized from a model used to construct military housing. EPA and the Maryland Department of the Environment gave the county the go-ahead to pursue the approach. The project launched in April 2015 and the company’s first efforts are focused on retrofitting churches, schools and county-owned buildings. The county’s ultimate goal is to retrofit 15,000 acres by 2025 that will involve an estimated 46,000 green stormwater devices and practices to slow the rapid runoff from roads, rooftops and other hard surfaces.
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- Green Retrofits to Bring Jobs, Stormwater Controls (PDF)(1 pg, 724 K, 2015-11-19)