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Before and after photos of green infrastructure installations at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, DC.
This SRC-generating project captures and cleans over 144,000 gallons of stormwater!

Over many years and decades, ineffective stormwater management has become a leading cause of the degradation of District waterways like the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, and smaller tributaries such as Rock Creek, Watts Branch, and Oxen Run. In an effort to clean up the District’s waterbodies and engage local communities in the process, DOEE has launched several innovative green infrastructure initiatives including the Stormwater Retention Credit (SRC) Trading Program and RiverSmart programs. In this effort, The District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has become a leader in green infrastructure initiatives amongst major US cities. Not only do these programs serve a greater environmental purpose, but they also provide financial incentives for District property owners to help solve stormwater problems and reap the benefits of green infrastructure.

The SRC Program

The Stormwater Retention Credit (SRC) Trading Program was established in 2013 when new stormwater regulations were passed, requiring developers to more effectively manage stormwater and help remedy the negative impacts of large-scale development on District waterbodies. Developers have the option to meet a portion of their stormwater retention requirement by purchasing SRCs, or stormwater retention credits. SRCs are generated from off-site, green infrastructure installations or the removal of impervious surfaces throughout District communities. The first program of its kind, buying and selling credits to manage stormwater is certainly an innovative approach, but what does it mean for DC property owners?

There are essentially two ways that you can take advantage of the SRC Program:

  1. Generate SRCs by installing green infrastructure on your property that meets DOEE’s SRC eligibility and certification process. which can be sold on an open market or, if eligible, to DOEE at a fixed rate through the SRC Price Lock Program.
  2. Partner with an SRC Aggregator to build green infrastructure on your property. SRC-aggregating businesses can install and maintain green infrastructure on your property, often at no cost to you. Typically, these services are in exchange for the right to some or all the SRCs generated by the project.

Beyond the SRC Program

DOEE recognizes that small, single-family homes may not have the capacity to install SRC-generating green infrastructure, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t take advantage of other opportunities and weigh-in on local projects. For example, DOEE’s RiverSmart Homes program can help install green infrastructure features on your property such as rain barrels and rain gardens at reduced rates. Even renters are able to sign up for RiverSmart Homes with the consent of the property owner! Other RiverSmart programs, such as the RiverSmart Rewards program, can provide a discount of up to 55% off DOEE’s Stormwater Fee and up to 20% off DC Water’s Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge.

There is also an opportunity to weigh in on green infrastructure projects installed in your DC neighborhood. Whether you are a proud property owner, engaged resident, or passionate supporter of green initiatives, we all deserve the multitude of benefits that green infrastructure can provide. By participating in this brief survey, you can help us gather valuable feedback and insights about green infrastructure to clean up our waterways and create more resilient communities.

Want to Learn More About Green Infrastructure or the SRC Program?

Contact Clean Water Action: Nathan Peebles, DC Program Coordinator

Contact DOEE:  Beatrice Ohene-Okae, Environmental Protection Specialist

DOEE Website: SRC Frequently Asked Questions