John Maleri - Department of Energy and Environment, Government of the District of Columbia
The District of Columbia (DC) and its partners are taking steps to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution to levels that meet the water quality goals established in the 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. DC is unique among states within the Chesapeake Bay watershed in that it is ultra-urban; the majority of pollution comes from wastewater and urban stormwater runoff. Additionally, almost 30% of the land in the District is owned by federal agencies, leaving DC regulators with limited amounts of land to work with. These distinct challenges require innovative regulatory, incentive-based and stewardship programs to reduce pollution entering DC waterways and the Bay. RiverSmart Homes engages residents in lot-level green infrastructure installation. The program aims to reduce non-point source pollution caused by stormwater runoff on private property by subsidizing the cost and installation of rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavers, and more. Many municipal programs offer components similar to the RiverSmart Homes program, but fail to ensure proper installation, maintenance, monitoring, and ongoing education about the environmental impacts of stormwater pollution.