Carroll County Appeals Stormwater Case to Supreme Court

A Daily Record article (2019-11-13) reported that Carroll County is appealing the Maryland Court of Appeals’ ruling that affirms the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has authority to impose more stringent stormwater pollution-prevention standards than those outlined in the federal Clean Water Act. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Court of Appeals upheld MDE’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for Carroll and Frederick Counties in August of last year. Carroll County is seeking clarification from the Supreme Court regarding MDE’s interpretation of their regulatory scope under the Clean Water Act.

From the article:

In papers filed with the justices last week, Carroll stated the act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System [NPES] permit conditions apply to a county’s control of stormwater runoff from its storm sewer systems and not to runoff from natural, “nonpoint” sources such as parking lots or fields.
Thus, Maryland’s top court wrongly held that the department acted within its statutory authority when it issued an NPDES permit holding Carroll County responsible for stormwater runoff to the Chesapeake Bay not only from its Municipal Storm Sewer Systems – known as MS4s — but from non-point sources, the county stated in its petition for Supreme Court review.

The article noted that Frederick County has faced similar issues to Carroll County, but has declined to appeal to the Supreme Court over costs associated with filing and concerns the court may never examine their case.