The Clean Water Partnership
In March 2015, Prince George’s County, MD, and CIS entered into a “first of its kind” innovative 33-year community-based partnership (CBP), the Clean Water Partnership (CWP). The partnership is the first and largest CBP addressing stormwater management with a portfolio of hundreds of unique sites and projects located throughout the County.
Total Development Costs
Total Number of Projects
Total Local Impact
The CBP includes county-wide planning, community engagement, green stormwater infrastructure implementation, and stream restoration to treat the runoff from nearly 6,000 acres. The CWP benefits from CIS’s alternative delivery model that combines programmatic management and contractor development to solve its infrastructure needs. This approach allows for the majority of the program’s funds to be used to contract with local, women and minority owned business entities (WMBE), enabling them to participate in projects by removing financial barriers that small businesses typically face. To date, 79% of all funds have been awarded to benefit local and WMBE. Fifty-four percent of the total hours worked have been by county residents, or nearly 40,000 hours total.
CIS’s compensation is tied to the achievement of performance metrics related to the environmental, socioeconomic, and technical specifications. Metrics include reduction of phosphorous, nitrogen, and sediment, target-class business participation, local resident utilization, annual Mentor Protégé Program graduates, fixed price, and schedule guarantee.
In 2012, Prince George’s County faced regulatory non-compliance of the Clean Water Act and needed a cost-effective and immediate solution to treat and manage stormwater runoff. The three major contributors to the poor health of Prince George’s waterways (the Anacostia River, Potomac River, Patuxent River, Piscataway Creek, and the Chesapeake Bay) are nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. Green stormwater infrastructure provides a nature-based solution to remove the pollutants from stormwater. To date, CIS has constructed green infrastructure that removes more than 57,800 lbs. of nitrogen, 8,100 lbs. of phosphorus, and 5.6 million lbs. of suspended solids annually.
When the CWP began, there was not an existing contractor base that could implement large-scale infrastructure programs. To address this gap and to help ensure a significant community impact, CIS created a Mentor Protégé Program that has provided training and resources to more than three dozen firms with a focus on local and WMBE. To date, the program has completed its sixth cohort and has 45 graduating companies. Each of these firms has opportunities to work within the CWP with access to mentoring companies and partnering opportunities with other graduates. Approximately 60 percent of these firms have pursued contracting opportunities with the CWP and received awards greater than $37 million. One of the initial challenges identified by small businesses was the lengthy payment schedule when working with local government, which created a financial burden that restricted their growth potential. To solve this, CIS created a working capital payment program where CIS pays all subcontractors promptly, ahead of County reimbursement, which is critical for maximizing local participation and allowing small businesses to access larger projects they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
To create another layer of positive community impact, the CWP engages with each neighborhood to understand their needs and wants. To date, there have been more than 300 community listening events (30-40 per year). Some of the co-benefit opportunities that have been uncovered include creating outdoor classrooms on school and recreational properties, a Teaching and Treating program which has educated more than 10,000 students, beautification and expansion of green space, and enhancing the natural environment.
Mentor Protégé Program
To help ensure a significant community impact, CIS created a Mentor Protégé Program that has provided training and resources to more than three dozen firms with a focus on local WMBE.
Prince George’s County
2015 – 2048
Source of Funding/Financing
Clean Water State Revolving Fund