Kudos to Washington DC’s Department of the Environment for Accelerating Environmental Restoration

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-stream-beautiful-park-image9998159For those interested in and following emerging market-based solutions to environmental protection and restoration, I offer another exciting data point this morning.  This week, Ben Grumbles of the U.S. Water Alliance and the National Water Quality Trading Alliance hosted a breakfast forum here in DC and invited in Jeff Seltzer and Brian Van Wye from Washington DC’s Department of the Environment (DDOE) to talk about their recently adopted stormwater trading rule.  Most people are unfamiliar with this effort, but hopefully it will quickly gain acclaim.   Very slick program that uses market-incentives to encourage developers to install stormwater retention facilities that reduce harmful stormwater runoff from the 47% impervious landmass in DC.  Just think, 200 years ago, before this concrete jungle existed, most of the rainwater would naturally percolate into the soils and recharge groundwater.  Now, most of the rainwater that falls on DC is quickly main-lined into storm sewers, resulting in enormous stresses and destruction of streams and aquatic ecosystems.  Check out this slide presentation which lays out a compelling economic, environmental, and social case for DC’s stormwater trading approach.