Hucker to Testify Against Bill to Repeal State’s Stormwater Management Protection
Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker, who is a member of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee is expected to testify before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in the Maryland General Assembly today against a bill that would repeal the State’s Stormwater Management—Watershed Protection and Restoration Program.
Hucker was the lead sponsor of that stormwater management legislation in 2012 when he served in the House of Delegates.
Among those who are expected to join Hucker in opposing the bill are members of the League of Conservation Voters and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
The Stormwater Management Program requires a government jurisdiction that is subject to a specified federal permit to adopt and implement local laws or ordinances that establish an annual stormwater remediation fee and a local watershed protection and restoration fund. Currently in Maryland, the law applies to Montgomery County, the eight other largest counties in the State and Baltimore City. The legislation took effect on July 1, 2013.
Fee revenues from each jurisdiction must be deposited into the local watershed protection and restoration fund and may not be transferred to a local general fund. Funds collected are to be use for:
• Capital improvements for stormwater management, including stream and wetland restoration projects.
• Operation and maintenance of stormwater management systems and facilities.
• Public education and outreach relating to stormwater management or stream and wetland restoration.
• Stormwater management planning, including mapping and assessment of impervious surfaces.
• Stormwater management monitoring, inspection and enforcement activities to carry out the purposes of the watershed protection and restoration fund.
“Inadequate control of stormwater runoff has exacerbated the damage over the years, especially as we have continued to develop lands in the Bay watershed,” Hucker said in a press release. “Our law ensures that local governments have the resources they need to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and implement our federally-mandated clean water plans with proven, effective and job-creating actions.”
Hucker said leaving the Stormwater Management Program in place will continue to help make inroads toward addressing the pollution problem.
“This bill has allowed us to invest in critical stormwater management programs that will create thousands of local green jobs,” he said. “The Governor’s repeal is a giant step in the wrong direction and will not make the stormwater problem go away.”
You can find more information on HB481 here.