March 2016, Vol. 71, No. 3


DC Water, WEF Launch Green Infrastructure Certification Program

DC Water and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) signed an agreement to collaborate in the development of a National Green Infrastructure Certification Program aimed at promoting skilled individuals who will install, inspect and maintain green infrastructure (GI) systems. In addition, the program will help support community-based job creation in U.S. cities and establish national standards for professionals seeking to work on GI projects.

The joint effort will support DC Water’s legal agreement to construct large-scale GI in an effort to help control combined sewer overflows in the District of Columbia. The agreement was an amendment to a 2005 Consent Decree between DC Water and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Justice, and is the basis for DC Water’s $2.6 billion DC Clean Rivers Project. The Clean Rivers Project will decrease the city’s CSO volume by 96 percent to the area’s primary waterways.

In addition to helping reduction of CSOs, GI practices can provide triple-bottom-line – environmental, social and economic – benefits to Washington, D.C. and other cities across the nation. DC Water remains committed to developing a local job creation program that includes GI training and certification opportunities.

“Establishing a national certification program will ensure DC residents are prepared to work not only on DC water projects, but it also positions them to benefit from the greater GI industry that is growing nationally,” said George S. Hawkins, DC Water CEO and General Manager.

WEF is helping to support and elevate DC Water’s efforts by collaborating in the development of a national certification program that will meet international best practice standards. The certification will be held within the WEF Stormwater Institute, and will verify individuals performing the installation, inspection and maintenance of GI have the required knowledge and skillset to support long-term performance and sustainability of these systems.

The program components, including a requirement for regular recertification, will be developed on an expedited schedule, with the first certifications being issued in early 2017. WEF is seeking partners to join a coalition of stormwater leaders across the country, in an effort to provide a national perspective on stormwater management needs and green workforce goals.,

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