Maryland Stormwater Pollution Mandate
In a move aimed at helping Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, the Maryland General Assembly adopted a bill late Saturday (4/9) night mandating that Maryland’s largest localities, including Baltimore city and its suburbs, levy fees on their residents to pay for controlling polluted runoff from streets, parking lots and buildings.
HB987 cleared the Senate after a protracted debate and repeated efforts by opponents to limit the requirement. All failed, though senators did exempt state, county and municipal governments and volunteer fire companies from having to pay any fees.
Sen. Paul G. Pinsky, D-Prince George’s, says that the bill is needed because local governments have lacked the political will to to raise funds to pay for tree-planting, storm-drain retrofits and other pollution control measures needed to restore the bay. Storm-water pollution from urban and suburban communities is the source of roughly one-fifth of the nitrogen and phosphorus fouling the bay, he noted.
Besides the city, the bill would require fees be imposed in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Harford, Howard, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Montgomery already levies such a fee.
Here at Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper we hope that Maryland’s action is an example other states – particularly Pennsylvania – will choose to replicate. Wondering what stormwater’s connection to the Bay means? Click here to read more about stormwater pollution and the Chesapeake Bay’s health.