The University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center is offering its assistance to local governments to help determine their financing options to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. The Center was featured in Calculating the Cost of Clean Water, on public radio station WAMU – 88.5 FM. For the past two years, local governments have been preparing plans and estimating costs for the large scale effort to meet the requirements set by the federal government by the year 2020. The costs for Anne Arundel County alone are estimated in the $2 billion range.
Many local governments have started what they call Stormwater Utilities, to collect fees for stormwater upgrades. On average, it means households in the D.C. area pay about $50-$75 per year toward the upgrades, but that still doesn’t come close to covering the bill. And if local governments were hoping to get rescued by the federal government, they need to think again.
“The politics of money raining down from on high are very different than they were even a few years ago,” says Dan Nees, a senior research associate at the Center for Environmental Finance. “The global economic situation has changed. Here’s what we do know — we know that there’s gonna be less federal money spent on this issue.”
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