Bay Journal

D.C. simplifies stormwater fee discount for green infrastructure

  • By Whitney Pipkin on August 08, 2014
  • Comments are closed for this article.
Colorful sedums surround exhaust pipes on the front portion a green roof in DC. Green roofs are one of the measures residents can take to get discounts and rebates from DC government programs. (Russell Clark)

The District Department of the Environment is working to simplify its process for providing discounts on stormwater fees to smaller property owners who are implementing green infrastructure. Projects that manage less than 2,000 square feet of impervious area with green infrastructure to help absorb stormwater runoff are eligible to receive the discount through the new Simple Application. 

DDOE says the Simple Application is easier to use than the Standard Application because it does not require specific technical design and site information. The District finalized its latest stormwater regulations last summer, complete with a first-of-its-kind stormwater credit trading program that allows those who voluntarily implement stormwater reductions to sell their credits to other properties or developments in need of off-site solutions.

Properties that are managing 2,000 square feet or less of impervious area in the city are encouraged by this and other programs, like the city's RiverSmart Homes program, to implement green infrastructure to reduce their stormwater footprint — and fees. 

“Our RiverSmart Rewards program incentivizes the installation and maintenance of green infrastructure practices on properties and is critical to moving us closer to a swimmable and fishable Anacostia River, which is an ambitious, though achievable, goal of our Sustainable DC plan," DDOE Director Keith Anderson said in a press release.

RiverSmart Rewards provides up to a 55-percent discount off the city's stormwater fee to those who install green infrastructure practices that retain stormwater, such as green roofs, rain gardens, rain barrels or permeable pavement. Properties currently are charged the fee on their DC Water bill.

Information on other DDOE’s stormwater incentive programs is available at

About Whitney Pipkin
Whitney Pipkin writes at the intersection of food, agriculture and the environment from her home base in Northern Virginia. Her work for the Bay Journal often focuses on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, and she is a fellow of the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Read more articles by Whitney Pipkin


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