Stormwater Retention Credit Trading Program

by | Oct 3, 2014 | Uncategorized

I came across this interesting development to turn green stormwater management into cash. AutoCASE calculates the cash and non-cash value of green stormwater management. We do this because the value is there and it accrues in some form to someone. There is always the possibility of converting it to cash or transferring it to another party.

The District Department of the Environment has a program for properties generate Stormwater Retention Credits (SRCs) for green infrastructure that reduces stormwater runoff. Owners can trade their SRCs in an open market to others who use them to meet regulatory requirements for retaining stormwater. Revenue creates incentives to install green infrastructure that protects rivers and provides other benefits (see below for AutoCASE for a list of other benefits or the Stormwater BCE ).

Washington, D.C. – September 19, 2014 – The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) has approved a trade of 11,013 Stormwater Retention Credits (SRCs). This trade, valued at $25,000, is the first in the nascent SRC trading program, which is the first of its kind in the nation. The trade demonstrates how the SRC market can provide meaningful financial returns for voluntary installations of green infrastructure that reduce harmful stormwater runoff.

Under the District’s current stormwater management regulations, development projects permitted after January 2014 must meet river-protecting stormwater retention standards and can meet a portion of this requirement by using SRCs. Projects using SRCs must own them by the end of construction, which typically takes a year or longer.

According to DDOE Director Keith A. Anderson, the SRC market is expected to grow as additional regulated projects are completed. “Trades provide a strong incentive for voluntary installations of green infrastructure,” says Director Anderson. “In turn, market participants are helping to ensure a more Sustainable DC.”

Ann Benefield, seller of the SRCs, added, “Revenue from this trade will help cover the costs of designing, installing, and maintaining the rain gardens that generated the SRCs. Now we’re looking at other ways to install practices on our property to generate additional SRCs.”

In addition to providing compliance flexibility for regulated development, SRC trading can increase the total volume of stormwater runoff being kept out of District waterbodies and provide other sustainability benefits, such as reducing the urban heat island effect and providing green jobs.

For more information, visit ddoe.dc.gov/src. For information about the regulatory requirements for retaining stormwater, triggered by certain types of construction projects, see ddoe.dc.gov/swregs.

FYI, AutoCASE currently calculates the value of these benefits (while accounting for capital and operating costs):

  • Shadow wage (jobs benefit)
  • Air pollution reduction
  • Recreational value
  • Wetlands value
  • Flood risk mitigation
  • Residential property value uplift
  • Water quality improvements
  • Heat island reduction
  • Carbon emissions reductions
  • Other benefits such as reduced energy costs, increased subsidies, revenues (from SRC sales for example)

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