Emergency Stormwater Regulations – Hearing Today

The Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review is hearing the proposed Emergency Stormwater Management Regulations today at 4:00 pm in the Joint Hearing Room of the Legislative Services Building. MACo supports the proposed regulations as they address concerns created by the adoption of the 2009 regulations through a consensus agreement reached by various key stakeholders.

Excerpts from MACo testimony:

The proposed regulations would not weaken or repeal the basic principles upon which the 2009 regulations were based – the use of environmental site design where practicable. Rather, the proposal addresses two primary issues: (1) grandfathering; and (2) redevelopment.

The proposed regulations would not alter the requirement that environmental site design must be implemented to the maximum extent practicable or the existing requirements for redevelopment projects. The emergency regulations would create a waiver process that authorizes counties to grandfather in development projects that meet specific criteria by identified dates. Unlike the current 2009 regulations, grandfathering would expire for all projects, subject to certain narrow exceptions, by 2017.

Local governments already have the authority to allow use of alternative measures or grant partial waivers under existing regulations. The proposed regulations would clarify when a local government may do so. Further, the proposed regulations better define how existing stormwater regulations would apply to long-term phased development projects.

Each local government would decide whether to allow grandfathering or the use of alternative measures and waivers. MDE must still approve their stormwater management ordinances.

Associate Director Les Knapp and other county and municipal officials will be testifying today. Information from this afternoon’s proceedings will be posted later this evening.

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