At an event in Washington, DC today, DC Water announced its new agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to modify its long term control plan for green infrastructure to meet obligations under its wet weather consent decree. In addition to the multiple benefits that green infrastructure – mixed with traditional grey infrastructure techniques – provides (water capture, air quality, aesthetic improvement, climate mitigation, etc.) – the focus was on the role of green infrastructure to generate local jobs.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Water General Manager, George Hawkins, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the ceremony that ensures that approximately 50 percent of the jobs created with the green infrastructure investment would be local.
EPA's Region 3 Administrator, Shawn M. Garvin, John C. Cruden, the head of DOJ's environment and natural resources division, as well as a representative of the Washington Interfaith Network, were on hand to applaud the changes to the plan as well as the MOA.
NACWA applauds DC Water on its achievement and believes this successful initiative exemplifies what can be accomplished by advancing integrated planning, getting local buy-in via local hiring, and improving the quality of life through the use of collaborative green infrastructure initiatives. In short, this is a strong example of how utilities across the country are taking key steps toward becoming Utilities of the Future!