January 30, 2018

Water Environment Federation and DC Water's pilot National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) completes its first year of the program. The NGICP was created under the leadership of the WEF and DC Water, along with several partner utilities, organizations & municipalities from various regions across the U.S. in January 2017.

The NGICP was created to promote skilled individuals who will install, inspect, and maintain green infrastructure (GI) systems and also support community-based job creation, and establish national standards for individuals seeking to work on GI projects. The driver for this joint effort was DC Water’s amended federal consent decree (2005 consent decree, amended in 2016) to construct large-scale GI to manage combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the District of Columbia, and the Green Jobs Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DC Water and the District of Columbia.

The consent decree is a legal agreement between DC Water, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Additionally, demand grew for a national program to provide credentialed green infrastructure construction and maintenance professionals.

The NGICP will set the national certification standards for green infrastructure construction, inspection, and maintenance professionals. Designed to meet international best practice standards, the certification advances the establishment of sustainable communities by promoting GI as an environmentally and economically beneficial stormwater management option, supporting the development of proficient green workforces, and establishing a career path for skilled GI workers.

The NGICP covers the following GI areas:

  • Bioretention (includes rain gardens, curb cuts/curb extension, stormwater planters/tree boxes, tree trenches, and bioswales/vegetated swales)
  • Permeable pavements (porous asphalt, pervious concrete, pervious pavers)
  • Rainwater harvesting (rain barrels and cisterns)
  • Rooftop detention practices (green roofs and blue roofs)
  • Dry wells
  • Stormwater wetlands
     

The NGICP certification exam is designed to validate a professional has the foundational knowledge needed to properly perform tasks in constructing, inspecting, and maintaining GI. A certified person has an understanding of the objectives of green infrastructure, the way that different GI practices should function, and the critical tasks involved in constructing, inspecting, and maintaining these practices.

Since the launch of the program, more than 200 professionals have earned NGICP certifications. Cities adding to their GI certified workforce this round include Baltimore, Md., Cincinnati, Oh., Fairfax, Va., Harrisburg, Pa., Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Wis., Montgomery County, Md., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Washington, DC.

Current NGICP partner organizations include the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (Mass.), Capital Region Water (Pa.), City of Baltimore Department of Public Works (Md.), Fairfax County (Va.), Kansas City Water Services Department (Mo.), Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (Ky.), Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (Ohio), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Ill.), Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (Wis.), Montgomery County (Md.), New Orleans Delegation (La.), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (Pa.), and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Calif.).

For more information, please visit www.ngicp.org or send an email to ngicp@wef.org.