Suzanne Dorsey, Executive Director of the University of Maryland Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology facilitated a discussion of county elected officials at the 2016 MACo Winter Conference on December 7.
The conversation, Bay Watershed Cleanup: What’s Happening? What’s Ahead?, focused on county environmental goals and requirements –including the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Environmental Protection Agency stormwater mandates.
2017 not only marks the Bay TMDL midpoint assessment, but also ushers in a new U.S. President in an area driven largely by federal regulation.
County elected officials shared comments and questions on environmental mandates, including:
- The need for a scientific basis for stormwater and other mandates.
- The necessity of considering economics in making environmental mandates.
- Whether one can determine that improvements in the health of the Bay result from environmental reforms.
- Whether stormwater remediation experts are asked for input into the making of stormwater management policy.
Some also shared advice, such as,
“Speaking as a Phase I jurisdiction, if you are about to become a Phase II jurisdiction, you have no idea what you are in for.” – Phase I jurisdiction representative.
The conversation was cut short by time restraints, but MACo looks forward to providing more opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange at future conferences.