The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) raised serious concerns about municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issued today for Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Prince George’s, and Montgomery Counties.
While CBF is currently reviewing the individual permits, Maryland Senior Scientist, Doug Myers, issued this statement.
“Overall, while MDE talks frequently about the need to combat climate change, the permits do not sufficiently address the more severe weather events we are already seeing. Those storms create flooding as well as additional pollution from hardened surfaces that the new permits fall short of controlling. One of the most effective ways to reduce urban/suburban runoff pollution is to convert concrete to more natural surfaces that allow rainfall to infiltrate, not run off. CBF is concerned that MDE’s new requirements for conversion are even less stringent than they were.
“We are also concerned that these new permits fall short in requiring specific, numerical reductions in pollution and the monitoring necessary to ensure that the requirements are achieved. Also lacking are requirements for specific reductions in pollution from PCBs, bacteria, and trash, that are important environmental justice and human health issues.”
# # #