Clean Water Partnership
In order to make necessary upgrades to its stormwater infrastructure and meet federal regulations, Prince George’s County in Maryland plans to retrofit up to 15,000 acres of impervious area with green stormwater by 2025—an ambitious goal to address stormwater challenges that are costly to the community and affect quality of life. To meet these goals, the Department of the Environment has entered into a community-based public-private partnership with Corvias Solutions to launch the Clean Water Partnership (CWP). It serves as a model that redefines how a local government can meet federal clean water quality compliance and provide the greatest return to the community. The Prince George’s County leadership created the Clean Water Partnership to transform a regulatory mandate from a liability into an opportunity that achieves compliance while creating sustainable economic and community impact.
Under the partnership, Corvias Solutions and Prince George’s County have committed to creating benefits for the local economy through a range of performance requirements including subcontractor utilization, local subcontractor development and mentorship, workforce utilization and development, and community outreach. As opposed to a traditional procurement model, the public-private partnership shifts many of the program’s risks to the private sector, while the county retains ownership over the program and ensures accountability to community interests. This allows Prince George’s County to access private sector efficiencies and expertise, while providing county residents with higher quality stormwater services at minimal tax-dollar investment and enhancing local business participation in the county’s infrastructure projects.
One of the performance requirements established by the CWP is to utilize county-based minority- and women-owned businesses for 30 to 40 percent of the total project scope, with 50 percent of that participation being county-based small businesses. Creating a greater volume of contracting opportunities for local small and disadvantaged businesses throughout the program creates a more competitive environment for these businesses. The contract includes economic incentives for Corvias to remove barriers to entry for small businesses, offer skills training, and use these firms on subcontracts. In the first option phase of the agreement, CWP is exceeding these social economic performance metrics, with 77 percent participation coming from county-based businesses, small businesses, and minority-owned businesses, and 95 percent of that participation from county-based small businesses.