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Meeting Mandated Investments and Challenging Funding Requirements

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Abstract:

This article describes an innovative approach to the use of impervious area as a surrogate methodology for the allocation of costs for a federally mandated program- Combined Sewer Overflows. In May 2009, DC Water began billing an alternative rate method based upon the amount of impervious area surface located on the property of each customer for use in allocating the costs of a federally mandated, 2.6 billion Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan (CSO LTCP) to each customer. The new fee, (labeled the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge or Clean Rivers IAC), provides visibility to the costs of implementing this mega-capital project, ensures a stream of funding for the implementation and operation of the long term solution, educates the public on the importance of cleaning the waterways, and allocates the costs to those who contribute most to the problem. This new sewer fee is anticipated to generate well over 100 million by fiscal year 2018 and will continue to grow through fiscal year 2025 when the program is required to be completed. The project provided an alternative billing method to reallocate costs and the careful design and focus on data quality allowed the fee to be well-accepted into the community and withstand a federal challenge.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864711802793597

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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