Calvert County Considers Annual Stormwater Fee

An April 22 SoMdNews article reported that the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners is considering a proposal to implement an annual $25 fee on property owners to assist the County in meeting its stormwater pollution reduction goals that are mandated under the federal Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Maryland’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).  The proposed fee would generate approximately $750,000 a year.

While much recent news has focused on the “repeal” of the State-mandated stormwater remediation fee for large urban counties subject to a Phase I municipal separate storm sewer system permit, many counties must also confront significant stormwater runoff targets under the Bay TMDL and the WIP.  From the article:

Danielle Conrow, project engineer in the county Department of Public Works, presented to the commissioners April 14 the idea to implement a $25-per-year property owner fee that would begin to fund the county’s stormwater management plan.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure this program is in place,” said Rai Sharma, director of the Department of Public Works. …

Commissioners’ Vice President Evan Slaughenhoupt (R) asked if the county needs state approval to implement such a fee. If it is a regulatory fee imposed on all property owners, the county has the authority, said county attorney John Norris.

“It is not a rain tax,” Sharma said. …

Commissioner Tom Hejl (R) said he would rather spend some money now than get fined later for not meeting WIP goals.

“When the federal government fines, it’s no joke,” Hejl said.

The article noted that the commissioners have not yet made any decision regarding the fee.