A. Introduction; Statement of Purpose
The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD or the Department) is seeking proposals from qualified applicants to engage customers and community leaders on numerous topics relating to stormwater management in Philadelphia. As mandated by the City’s Consent Order and Agreement and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits, PWD maintains a proactive public engagement program creating opportunities for the public to participate in the development of stormwater infrastructure in their communities and throughout the city.
B. Department Overview
The Philadelphia Water Department serves the Greater Philadelphia region by providing integrated water, wastewater, and stormwater services. Building on a tradition of service dating back to 1801, the Department's commitment for the future includes an active role in creating a legacy of environmental stewardship. The Department is responsible for implementing the 25 year, Green City, Clean Waters program to reduce combined sewer overflows caused by stormwater runoff.
The Public Affairs Division will manage work performed under the awarded contract.
As a division of Philadelphia Water, Public Affairs aims to act as a department wide facilitator to bringing together various PWD units, city agencies and community partners to address issues, policies and programs that impact our customers. In this role, Public Affairs endeavors to put forward programs and policies informed by all perspectives that meet the Department’s mission and improve the lives of our customers.
C. Project Background
Stormwater is one of the leading sources of surface-water pollution in the United States, particularly in urban areas. Urban stormwater pollutants are either washed off the land or dumped directly into sewer inlets where they are carried directly to surface waters in separated storm sewers or in combined sewers where they discharged during overflow events. Locally, this pollution impacts the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, the sources of our drinking water.
In June, 2011, the Department executed a Consent Order and Agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to implement the newest iteration of the City’s Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan. Better known as Green City, Clean Waters, the plan is a 25 year strategy to prevent combined sewer overflows using green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). Through the use of green infrastructure, the Department is working to reduce stormwater discharges by 85% by 2026. Utilizing this green approach to stormwater management allows PWD to invest more directly into Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. In addition to reductions in stormwater, GSI systems adding green landscape and removing more impermeable surfaces from our dense urban envrionment. Additionally, these targed investments create opportunities for the Department to work directly with city residents, allowing deeper community planning efforts, volunteerism and the leveraging of resources to achieve larger projects.
Revised: August 2014
At the core of the Green City, Clean Waters program is a vision to unite the City of Philadelphia with its water environment. To be successful, Green City, Clean Waters needs to change the mindset of residents to look beyond their block, neighborhood or community and recognize stormwater management as a citywide issue. To achieve this goal, the Department is seeking to create a new engagement program that will strengthen local capacity to participate in the implementation of the City’s stormwater management program.
This engagement program has three broad objectives: first, to educate Philadelphians on the city’s stormwater challenges, as well as, the groundbreaking stormwater management program currently being implemented by the Department. Second, provide residents, civic leaders and interested stakeholders with the resources necessary to implement sustainable watershed stewardship and stormwater management solutions in their own communities. Third, facilitate regular opportunities for public comment and engagement on the implantation of Green City, Clean Waters.
D. Request for Proposals
The Department desires to receive proposals from a regionally based entity with demonstrated experience in facilitating community organizing, public education and environmental advocacy. Respondents should also have prior experience in communicating the challenges and available options surrounding municipal stormwater management plans. Particular emphasis will be placed on prior work experience in an urban environment. A successful applicant should also have a strong background in developing community engagement programming, workshops, conferences, etc. geared towards very specific audiences. The dollar amount of the contract will be at the sole discretion of the Department