In mid-July the Water Environment Federation (WEF) opened the call for applications for its National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards program. Hosted through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the program was established this year to recognize high-performing, regulated Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System programs (MS4s). The objective of the program is to inspire MS4 program leaders to seek innovative ways to meet and exceed regulatory requirements through approaches that are both technically effective and financially efficient.

“Many of WEF’s utility members, along with a cadre of stormwater professionals nationwide, are leading the way in effectively addressing stormwater and wet weather issues,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “To remain on top of this challenge, they need opportunities to exchange best practices and learn about cutting-edge approaches for treatment, management, and financing. With EPA’s support, WEF is able to provide such an opportunity that not only recognizes the success of stormwater professionals but encourages the new ideas, programs, and leadership that is needed for tackling the growing demands that stormwater is placing on our communities.”

Applications for Phase II communities are due August 19 while the Phase I application period closes August 26. Three winners will be selected from both MS4 Phase I and Phase II applicants, including the submission with the highest overall score as well as those selected based on program management and innovation. All participants will receive a certificate in either gold, silver, or bronze levels.

A WEF steering committee will review submissions, and award winners will be announced and celebrated at the 2015 WEFTEC Stormwater Congress, which will take place September 26 through 30 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The diverse steering committee includes members and volunteers from WEF’s national stormwater and watershed committees, as well as representatives from each of the following organizations: the Association of Clean Water Administrators, American Rivers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Landscape Architects, EPA, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies, and the Water Environment Research Foundation.