Media Contact: Kelly Douglas
Chester, Pennsylvania (June 6, 2017) – Today Corvias launched a Community-Based Public Private Partnership (CBP3) with the City of Chester and its new Stormwater Authority. They were joined by the US Environmental Protection Agency, PENNVEST, and the Chester Water Authority, three significant supporters of this new high performance Public Private Partnership—one of perhaps only a few that exist nationally. The goal is to create a transparent framework that aligns the needs of public, private and community stakeholders and to form a long term relationship that stimulates the economy through utilization of local disadvantaged business while achieving regulatory goals.
The CBP3 approach was specifically developed to better accommodate affordable, large-scale, multi-beneficial Green Infrastructure (GI) implementation and operation and maintenance. The CBP3 includes some features of the traditional P3 model, but has significant modifications that not only meet the unique requirements of stormwater management systems, but specifically focus on proactive planning around GI investments that provide for local economic growth and improved quality of life in urban and underserved communities.
“When we are able to approach problem solving proactively through partnership, rather than reactively, we can unlock greater value for communities like the City of Chester at a critical juncture in their history,” according to John Picerne, Corvias Founder. “This Partnership brings together the right tactical elements with innovative perspectives and scalable resources that will transform Chester’s most pressing challenges into long-term revitalization. Chester will be able to realize greater potential from what had been looked at as a singular water quality challenge and will ultimately benefit every facet of the Chester community through socioeconomic development, workforce creation and mentorships, public health and safety improvements and immediate capital enhancement efforts.”
The recently formed Chester Stormwater Authority’s vision, along with that of its partner, the Chester Water Authority, is to develop this CBP3 program partnered with Corvias to plan, implement and manage a 350-acre integrated Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) urban retrofit program within the City of Chester with $50 million investment, including a long-term (20 - 30 year) operation and maintenance program. The effort will support greater greening efforts in the region, generating hundreds of jobs and significant small business growth for this historically impoverished, overly burdened, urbanized community in the Delaware River watershed.
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, City of Chester, believes that “by garnering the support of local, county, state and federal dignitaries, and other key stakeholders, we can move the City of Chester, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America into a new direction – one that will focus on sustainability efforts to improve water quality and the quality of life for all people.”
The CBP3 model has proven its viability through its first prototype application, the Prince George’s County Clean Water Partnership (CWP), initiated as a demonstration pilot by Prince George’s County, MD, Maryland Department of Environment and US Environmental Protection Agency. The CWP was developed with Corvias in 2014 to address the threat of pollution at an affordable cost. Since then, the Clean Water Partnership was able to reduce costs by 30% - 50% compared to traditional GI approaches, complete projects 40% quicker with a goal to retrofit 2,000 acres in only three years, ultimately towards the creation of a robust green economy with experienced local subcontractor base and local jobs. The partnership took advantage of each party’s individual strengths to become something greater. In so doing, they not only solved their regulatory issues but they were also able to educate the community, mentor and grow small businesses, and create new jobs.
As with any partnership, CBP3s take a lot of work and planning and require agreement on many fronts including the problem(s) being addressed, the scope, the desired outcome, the term, the composition, and governance. The City of Chester and Corvias are creating a partnership based on trust, accountability, and commitment to ensuring the City truly reaches the goals it has set. The City of Chester is taking a proactive step to ensure proper planning and leadership, to benefit the entire community all while meeting local infrastructure needs and EPA-mandated regulations.
As a privately-owned company headquartered in East Greenwich, RI, Corvias partners with higher education and government institutions nationwide to solve their most essential systemic problems and create long-term, sustainable value through our unique approach to partnership. Corvias pursues the kinds of partnerships that materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for the people who call our communities home, purposefully choosing to partner with organizations who share our values and whose mission is to serve as the foundational blocks, or pillars, of our nation. To learn more, please visit: www.corvias.com