Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross

Speaker | Freestate Farms LLC

Manassas, VA | doug@freestatefarmsva.com

USCC Member

Formerly an attorney in private practice, Douglas Ross is the chief executive and co-owner of Freestate Farms LLC, a company that delivers full-circle sustainable solutions to its local community partners by developing, owning, and operating integrated facilities for advanced composting, renewable energy, and indoor organic food production.
Doug received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and every day since leaving private practice he is very happy to instead be working in the field of organic waste recycling.

Session Name: Public Private Partnerships in South Carolina and Virginia

Session Time: Thursday, January 30, 8:30 to 10:00 AM

Presentation Title: Benefits (and Trade-offs) of a Public-Private Partnership

Presentation Description: This presentation will explore the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for the development and operation of organic waste processing facilities through three different lenses.

First, for general context, this presentation will include a brief discussion of PPPs as one model for facility development and compare that method to purely private and purely public ventures.  This section will cover the commonly understood high-level benefits of the PPP— for example, minimizing taxpayer expense on one side, and providing substantial “anchor” feedstock supply agreements on the other.

Next, this presentation will provide a survey of the range of PPPs regularly seen in the marketplace, with a particular focus on the relative commitment levels that the public and private parties make to each other.  For example, who is responsible for site control and permitting?  is there a guarantee to supply feedstock or purchase product?  (and so forth.)

Last, this presentation will look at Freestate’s PPP with Prince William County (Virginia) as a case study that highlights how this particular arrangement has facilitated certain aspects of project development while at the same time given rise to some complicating factors as well.  For example, the County provided important support with site control and permitting assistance, but a requirement to maintain existing operations alongside ongoing construction work has proven difficult given the limitations of the physical site.  [Note: Freestate’s new advanced aerated static pile compost facility is presently under construction and expected to come online in early 2020.]

In the end, the presenter hopes that the audience gains a comfort level with PPPs as a potentially favorable model for project development, as well as an understanding of some of the basic and more nuanced ways that PPPs can be tailored to fit the needs of the specific parties and overall opportunity.