Green Compass Projects Aim to Better Manage DC Stormwater

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DC Green Bank has closed on a $650,000 loan facility to finance the construction of a five-project portfolio of environmentally friendly infrastructure to better manage and clean stormwater runoff in Wards 5, 7, and 8 in Washington, D.C. 

The loan will enable Green Compass, a sustainable development company, to design, build, and operate five stormwater management and green infrastructure projects over the next year and a half. 

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The 10,000 square feet of infrastructure will mainly involve de-paving surfaces and replacing with spaces that manage stormwater, reduce runoff and pollution, and improve local air and water quality. The projects are projected to divert up to 250,000 gallons of stormwater runoff that would otherwise enter the sewer system every storm. 

“DC Green Bank is excited to partner with Green Compass for our first investment in green infrastructure and stormwater management,” Eli Hopson, DC Green Bank’s CEO, said in a release. “These projects will deliver tangible benefits for the health and wellbeing of the citizens of D.C., as well as for our environment.” 

In total, the portfolio will cost around $1.5 million and deliver 147 new trees, as well as other plants and grasses, and preserve 52 existing trees. These additional trees and green spaces allow the ground to absorb more water after a rainstorm, resulting in less runoff entering D.C.’s sewers and waterways.

According to Hopson, when rainwater enters the sewer system, it becomes a costly waste product that flows directly into the Anacostia River, Rock Creek, and the Potomac River without treatment.

“The investment will help communities that have historically not seen an equitable level of public investment and are likely to face increasing flood risks in the coming years due to climate change,” Hopson said. “In addition to providing cleaner water, cleaner air, and increasing resilience to flooding for communities in the District, these projects will also support the clean economy by delivering dozens of green jobs, including in construction, landscaping, groundskeeping, urban forestry, and engineering.”

Construction of the first project is already underway in Ward 8. It is estimated that it will capture and filter more than 65,000 gallons of polluted runoff per storm as well as save more than $42,000 in costs for the site over 12 years. 

Keith Loria can be reached at kloria@commercialobserver.com.