On Sept. 28, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) announced the first winners of a new national municipal stormwater and green infrastructure awards program. Developed through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the program recognizes high-performing regulated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities and inspires them to exceed requirements through innovative and cost-effective approaches.

“Housed within the new WEF Stormwater Institute, the awards were developed to inspire MS4 program leaders toward innovation that is both technically effective and financially efficient,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “The success of this first year shows great promise for the program as a means to continually support, encourage, and recognize this important and growing segment of the water sector.”

The winners were recognized Sept. 28 in Chicago during the WEFTEC 2015 Stormwater Congress. All participants received a certificate in gold, silver, or bronze levels with three winners from each category selected for program management, innovation, and overall winner with the highest score.

Overall Highest Scores

Phase I – Charlotte Stormwater Services, Charlotte, N.C.

Phase II – City of Fairbanks, Alaska


Phase I – City of Santa Monica, Calif. and City of Tacoma, Wash.

Phase II – City of Alexandria, Va. 

Program Management 

Phase I – Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Md.

Phase II – Lafayette Consolidated Government, Lafayette, La.

Announced in July, the program recognizes Phase II communities, including small MS4s in urbanized areas as well as those outside urbanized areas that are designated by a local permitting authority. The program also recognizes Phase I communities, including medium and large cities or certain counties with populations of 100,000 or more that obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit coverage for their stormwater discharges.

Applications were reviewed and winners selected by a diverse steering committee that included members and volunteers from WEF’s stormwater and watershed national 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, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies, and the Water Environment Research Foundation.