Today, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) is releasing an assessment of the plans and progress of Baltimore City and the nine largest counties in Maryland to comply with their federal stormwater permits, a key component of the ongoing effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and restore it to health. The analysis looks carefully at the jurisdictions' past efforts and future plans, revealing a wide range in the apparent commitment and level of restoration activity as they work to restore their urban and suburban environments and address polluted runoff from impervious surfaces like roads and parking lots.
Several jurisdictions like Montgomery and Prince George's counties have a long history of innovative stormwater management work and submitted relatively strong plans. Other jurisdictions, however, did not produce plans that meet their legal obligations to identify enough stormwater projects to satisfy their permits. Some jurisdictions, like Frederick and Harford counties, even took the opportunity to object to the longstanding requirements of their permits, which are designed to restore local water quality and protect communities from the impact of polluted urban runoff.
Before reading through the assessment's fact sheets, it may be helpful to first understand why these 10 jurisdictions were recently required to submit plans on their efforts to address stormwater and what makes this effort in Maryland unique.
What Is Stormwater and How Is It Different from other Water Pollution?
Stormwater occupies a unique space in the context of ...