Billed as a way to “promote a skilled green infrastructure workforce and help support community-based job creation in U.S. cities,” DC Water and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) signed an agreement last fall to develop a National Green Infrastructure Certification Program for individuals that install, inspect and maintain green infrastructure (GI) systems. The program will establish national standards for professionals seeking to work on GI projects.
DC Water’s plans to construct large-scale GI to help control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the District of Columbia. DC Water’s $2.6 billion DC Clean Rivers Project will decrease the city’s CSO volume by 96% to the area’s primary waterways.
DC Water has established a goal to have 51% of new jobs created by the GI project filled by District residents and will also engage professional service firms and contractors based in the District for associated projects.
“Establishing a national certification program will ensure DC residents are prepared to work not only on DC Water projects, but it also positions them to benefit from the greater GI industry that is growing nationally,” said DC Water CEO and General Manager George S. Hawkins.
WEF is helping to support and elevate this effort by developing a national certification program with DC Water that will meet international best practice standards. Housed within the WEF Stormwater Institute, the certification will verify that individuals performing the installation, inspection and maintenance of GI have the required knowledge, skills and abilities to support long-term performance and sustainability of these systems.
The program components—including a requirement for regular re-certification—will be developed on an expedited schedule, with the first certifications being granted in early 2017.
NewTerrain February 15, 2016