The board increased its target level for supporting economically disadvantaged businesses to 30%
The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (S&WB) has renewed its partnership with Veolia to continue operating, maintaining and managing the city's two wastewater treatment plants. The 10-year agreement is valued at $122 million over the contract term and covers a combined treatment capacity of nearly 150 million gallons per day (mgd), in addition to support for capital improvements, hurricane recovery, septage receiving and biosolids disposal.
Veolia North America has provided services to the S&WB since 1992, and the public-private partnership remains one of the largest in the U.S. The S&WB and Veolia have been consistently recognized for their outstanding compliance record with state and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations and recently won a gold award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies for perfect environmental compliance. Veolia has worked with the S&WB to generate more than $35 million in overall savings for residents.
As part of a competitive renewal process, the S&WB increased its target level for supporting economically disadvantaged businesses from 20% to 30%. In the renewed partnership, 30% of revenues through the partnership will be conducted by Veolia's local economically disadvantaged business partners. Veolia has successfully exceeded the agency's past requirements. In meeting the new requirements, Veolia has committed to support from more than 10 qualified companies. Organized through the New Orleans Office of Supplier Diversity, this gender- and race-neutral program was created to mitigate the effects of social and economic disadvantage and discrimination.
"Our relationship has produced a stellar record for clean water quality while saving tens of millions of dollars for ratepayers," said Executive Director Cedric S. Grant. "Veolia has done much to make the Sewerage and Water Board a strong environmental partner to the residents of New Orleans and produce meaningful results for our community. We look forward to building on our record of success while working together to provide additional opportunities to the region's economically disadvantaged communities."
"We see the board's new goals as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our client and continue to make significant impact within the New Orleans community," said William J. DiCroce, president and COO of Veolia North America's Municipal & Commercial Business. "Forward-thinking agreements such as this one have the ability to set and achieve economic, social and environmental goals that go beyond the technical aspects of effectively managing public assets. We're excited to be entrusted with continuing to serve this great city."
The S&WB and Veolia have recently undertaken several environmental projects to build on their business relationship. Most recently, a wetlands assimilation project, developed in conjunction with Tulane University, is restoring urban, degraded wetlands into a lavish cypress forest. In another project, ash from incineration will be used to help improve the natural landscape of New Orleans while eliminating the amount of ash sent to landfill.
Veolia was selected following a competitive procurement process. The 10-year agreement includes the option for 10 one-year renewal opportunities.