The Prince George’s County and Corvias Solutions Public-Private Partnership (P3), also called the Clean Water Partnership, is an agreement between County government and the private sector to retrofit up to 4,000 acres of impervious surfaces using green infrastructure.
This pioneering P3 approach will leverage private sector best practices and efficiencies to deliver functional and sustainable stormwater infrastructure with accelerated project timelines and reduced costs.
The Partnership is also specifically tasked with driving local economic development by using local, small and minority businesses for at least 30 – 40 percent of the total project scope.
The Clean Water Partnership between Prince George’s County and Corvias is the first public-private partnership of its kind to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain urban stormwater infrastructure in order to meet a municipality’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit compliance requirements. It’s the first-ever P3 model to address stormwater at this scale.
The 30-year partnership is committed to ensuring regulatory urban stormwater compliance for the design, retrofit and maintenance of up to 4,000 impervious acres. The private partner will be responsible for both the initial development and the long-term maintenance, which ensures an integrated approach that will maximize the efficiencies and savings for the entire life cycle of the green infrastructure assets. Additionally, both the short- and long-term risks associated with construction and maintenance are effectively transferred from the County to Corvias.
This partnership is also unique in how it will drive local economic development by using local and County-based small and minority-owned businesses for 30 to 40 percent of the total project scope. The partnership has also been set up with a robust community outreach and socio-economic development program with specific performance goals.
The Prince George’s County Council approved the partnership in November. The contract was formally signed March 2015.
The goals of the Clean Water Partnership are to reduce the cost and timelines traditionally associated with achieving regulatory compliance, while also enhancing the long-term sustainability of the program through effective project management.
The partnership will complete retrofits utilizing green infrastructure (GI) and low-impact development (LID) practices as approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.
As part of the program, the partnership will also recruit local disadvantaged businesses and connect them with training and work experience that can assist them in building a viable business and workforce in green infrastructure and related fields. This is one of the unique facets of this Partnership, whereby the County is turning a regulatory requirement into an opportunity to spur local jobs and economic development.
Under the terms of the agreement, the County has committed to investing $100 million during the next 3 years to retrofit 2,000 acres. The initial funding includes the planning, design and construction of green infrastructure retrofits to 2,000 acres of impervious surfaces over those 3 years. There is an option for an additional 2,000 acres after this initial 3 year term if the County is satisfied with the progress of the arrangement with Corvias.
- Corvias will manage the design, construction and long-term maintenance of stormwater best practices in the 2,000 acres (or up to 4,000) covered by the program.
- Corvias has 15 years of experience in stormwater development and management for both new construction and retrofitted communities across the country.
- As part of their military housing portfolio, the company manages 15 stormwater management pollution prevention programs on more than 12,000 acres across 13 states.
- Corvias has worked directly with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for the past 10 years on more than 1,200 of those acres currently in critical watersheds within Maryland.
The signed agreement represents the official start of partnership activities. The list of projects for 2016 is being finalized and will include projects across the County. As a first step, and as dictated by the Contract, the County must approve of Corvias’ work plan, which will spell out where these projects are located.
It is anticipated that while some projects may be contiguous, there will be a number of projects that are prioritized based on the County’s strategic plans, including those in Transforming Neighborhood Initiative areas.
The County will utilize its traditional procurement process to address impervious acres while Corvias will follow the streamlined process outlined in the Partnership agreement to treat its 2,000 acres. The purpose of this model is to create a benchmark to determine the extent to which the P3 arrangement is in fact delivering increased speed and decreased costs as compared to the County’s traditional processes.
We anticipate the Partnership will significantly accelerate the County’s pace towards compliance and reduce their overall cost of achieving compliance with urban stormwater retrofits within their MS4 permit.
The majority of the initial projects will be on public land, but in some cases the Partnership will work with private property owners to address stormwater challenges.
The Construction efforts of the Program are executed and performed by three General Contractors—Essex, Nardi, and D&F Construction. As members of the implementation team they will facilitate and manage the application of all work that has been designed. There is a tremendous opportunity for contractors that exhibit the necessary skills and capabilities in the following areas of need:
- Landscaping: General services including installation of selected landscaping materials.
- Concrete Flatwork: Removal and replacement of pavement and asphalt, curb, gutter and sidewalks replacement with porous concrete, pavers, grass and plantings
- Installation of Precast Structure: Catch basin, manholes, precast concrete boxes and tree boxes.
- Sitework: Rough initial and final grading, excavation, backfill, underdrain installation, wet utility, infrastructure activities, and preparation of work for permit approval.
- Suppliers: Stone, pavers, porous concrete, soil, rain barrels, mulch, plant materials, trucking and hauling companies, maintenance sales and rental of equipment relating to landscaping.
One of the goals set up by the Clean Water Partnership is to utilize the County’s small, minority and women-owned businesses for 30 – 40 percent of the total project scope. The contract includes incentive payments tied to the number of local and minority firms that are utilized in the delivery of services, providing an economic incentive to Corvias for the use of these firms.
We are committed to removing barriers to entry for small businesses and actively helping them develop the necessary Green Infrastructure skills to compete for this work through training, internships and other programs. This includes developing a curriculum with Prince George’s County Community College and other local agencies as well as training programs that enable local business to gain skills in green infrastructure practices.
Regardless of the status of the stormwater fee, the County is federally mandated to complete the retrofit of 8,000 acres by 2017.
You may reach out to Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Prince George’s County’s Supplier Development and Diversity Division (SDDD), or Corvias at the following numbers:
Corvias Solutions: Tasha Brokenberry (301) 291-2254
SDDD: Denise Roberts (301) 883-6488