/////RiverSmart Permeable Surface Rebate Program

RiverSmart Permeable Surface Rebate Program

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, in partnership with the District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), is offering rebates to qualifying District homeowners, business owners, and houses of worship who remove impervious surfaces and replace the areas with vegetation or permeable pavers. An impervious surface is a ground area where water cannot soak through, such as paved driveways, patios, and parking lots. Permeable pavers are materials constructed and used with the purpose of allowing water to soak into the ground while still being used as driveways, patios, parking lots, etc.

RiverSmart Permeable Paver Program

The Permeable Surface Rebate Program is now open and accepting new applications. The following changes are effective for all applications received on or after 10/1/2020. Any applications received during the program closure starting 8/1/2020 and not accepted, will also be subject to these changes:

  • $4,000 maximum rebate per property for properties located within Wards 7, 8, and/or the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Area
  • No rebate funds are available for properties in the Combined Sewer System (CSS) that are outside of Wards 7 and 8. We are not able to accept or review applications for properties outside of these boundaries.

Please use this map to determine if your property qualifies for the rebate program.

Replacement of impervious surface with vegetation:

Replacement of impervious surface with permeable pavers: 

$5.00 per s.f. of project area minimum project area is 200 s.f.

$10.00 per s.f. of project area minimum project area is 100 s.f.

Why Replace Impervious Surfaces?

Water cannot pass through impervious surfaces and soak into the soil below. When it rains, water flows over these hard surfaces collecting soil, litter, salt, pesticides, oil, fertilizers, and other pollutants, creating stormwater. This stormwater drains into manmade drainage systems consisting of inlets and underground pipes commonly referred to as “storm sewers”. The majority of stormwater entering storm sewers does not receive any treatment before it enters the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Rock Creek, and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

Benefits of Permeable Pavers and Revegetation

Permeable Pavers and Revegetation have many benefits including:

  • Improving drainage in areas prone to flooding
  • Beautifying outdoor spaces
  • Decreasing stormwater runoff and erosion
  • Helping our local waterways, and thus the Chesapeake Bay
  • Enhancing stormwater runoff awareness

Get Started

1. Download and review the applicant guide and application:

Permeable Surface Rebate Program Applicant Guide

Permeable Surface Rebate Program Application

2. Select a contractor

Permeable Surface Rebate Program Contractor List – 9.18.2020

3. Complete your rebate application (see above) and submit with required materials to:

4. Before photos

5. Design sketch (before and after)

6. Maintenance Agreement, hand-signed (p. 4 of application form)  

7. RiverSmart Rewards sign-up sheet (p. 5 of application form)


  • Obtain approval for construction from the Alliance (requires a pre-construction inspection unless property had DOEE Stormwater Audit)
  • Call Ms. Utility to ensure utilities will not be impacted
  • Install project using approved materials and design


Project Installation

Projects submitted retroactively may still be eligible for a RiverSmart Permeable Surface Rebate. Please follow the above rebate process as it pertains to your project. You may choose to remove impervious areas yourself, or hire a contractor not included in the provided contractor list Permeable Surface Rebate Program Contractor List – 9.18.2020. Please note that any contractor is eligible to remove impermeable surface through this program, but only those with the PICP Record of Completion are eligible to install permeable pavers.

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Laura Todd Green Infrastructure Projects Coordinator, DC Office

Laura manages the RiverSmart Permeable Surface Rebate Program in DC and coordinates green infrastructure projects in Maryland.

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