Harford County Executive Questions Stormwater Approach of Bay TMDL

Harford County Executive David Craig criticizes Maryland’s approach to the federally mandated Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and the Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) in a September 21 Gazette.net opinion column.  Specifically, the County Executive argues that the benefits of managing stormwater runoff into the Bay may be outweighed by its significant cost.

Recognizing that [stormwater runoff] is a source of pollution that can be addressed through better engineering, the Environmental Protection Agency established stringent requirements under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, in keeping with the EPA’s recent Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan mandate.  …

Applying this new, mandated expense to our tax base, it threatens to become an estimated 14 percent across-the-board increase on our property tax rates — one of the largest tax increases in recent history. Now consider that stormwater and urban runoff from Maryland are the source of around 5 percent of the sediment and 2 percent of the nitrogen and phosphorus flowing into the Bay. Are the benefits to the Bay worth the strain that the implementation of these improvements will cause for our working families and the young adults trying to buy their first homes?

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