(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued this statement in response to the Maryland Department of the Environment's (MDE) approval of the stormwater management plans for the state's largest jurisdictions.
Legislation passed in 2015 repealed the requirement for these jurisdictions to impose a stormwater fee. Instead, they were required to submit financial assurance plans to MDE that show how the required improvements will be paid for.
The jurisdictions covered are Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties.
"Polluted runoff from streets, parking lots, and other hard surfaces is the only source of pollution that is continuing to grow. This legislation was designed to require these jurisdictions to articulate clear plans detailing how they would reduce the pollution. And many of those plans are fundamentally flawed. Six of the county plans only commit to doing half the work that their stormwater permit requires.
"Urban and suburban polluted runoff have severely degraded local rivers and streams, damaging fish and wildlife and creating human health risks. Without clear and transparent plans to reduce that pollution it will be difficult to restore water quality.
"MDE must be held accountable for approving these flawed plans."