What are Stormwater Retention Credits?

In order to meet its Clean Water Act obligation, in 2013 Washington, D.C. implemented new regulations requiring major, new construction and renovation projects within D.C. to capture stormwater runoff from their property sites through green infrastructure. To maximize design flexibility for developers, the city has created the Stormwater Retention Credit (SRC) market, a first-of-its-kind trading program that allows developers to meet a portion of their retention requirements by purchasing credits generated by off-site.



Why Should I Buy Credits?



Through the District’s new stormwater retention credit (SRC) trading program, developers can spend less on installing stormwater retention infrastructure by satisfying retention requirements on the open credit market. These credits, which are generated offsite at a fraction of the cost of expensive onsite retention, allow developers to both reduce regulatory costs and maximize onsite development.

Reduce Costs—Onsite stormwater retention (e.g. installation of green roofs, cisterns, and grey water systems) is technically challenging and expensive. The credit market allows developers to avoid these costs by buying credits that will achieving retention requirements offsite where retention is cheaper.

Maximize Property Space—The SRC market creates an opportunity for developers to maximize property space by reducing the amount of required onsite retention. Minimizing onsite retention infrastructure allows for installation of value maximizing amenities (e.g. rooftop/underground parking lots, pools, and bars) that may otherwise have been infeasible.

Less Red Tape—When credits are purchased, the regulatory requirements for the site are immediately met and regulatory liability for the portion of credits bought is shifted away from the site manager to the offsite credit seller. This translates into less regulatory responsibility for the site manager.


How Do I Determine My Credit Needs?

The District’s stormwater credit trading program can be a complex marketplace to navigate. District Stormwater has developed financial modeling tools for developers to help with decision-making. These tools help estimate the cost-savings and amenity opportunities that developers can attain by meeting a portion of the stormwater retention requirements offsite.


Schedule an appointment with one of our financial modeling experts.