Following earlier discussions of a substantial change to state-mandated stormwater fee during the state budget conference committee, the joint panel instead has opted to provide a specific avenue for two counties (Carroll and Frederick) to pursue an agreement on alternative financing with the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The budget conferees agreed Thursday to a new provision specifying that only Carroll and Frederick counties may come up with alternative ways of paying to clean up polluted runoff. Those other arrangements must be adopted in local law and approved by the state environment department.
Environmentalists grudgingly accepted the compromise, though still unhappy over how it had occurred so quickly, without public hearings and the normal legislative process.
See Conduit Street‘s previous coverage of the budget conference’s late-session discussions on stormwater issues:
Budget Conferees Unveil Stormwater Amendment