Alex Butler, MACo Policy Associate, testified on January 29, 2020 before the House and Senate to support HB 78 (cross-filed with SB 172) Bay Restoration Fund – Authorized Uses. The bill would allow Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) resources to be used for quality control or volume stormwater control measures, which fits with the evolving needs of protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
From the MACo Testimony:
The bill requires that the Maryland Department of the Environment consider climate resiliency and flood control when determining the priority of funding for allocations made from the BRF to jurisdictions that have implemented a system of charges to fully fund their stormwater management program. As publicly owned Wastewater Treatment Plants are fully upgraded, the scope of the BRF should be adjusted appropriately to include other projects and efforts necessary to protecting the watershed.
It is increasingly clear that amidst sea level rise, climate effects, and interstate spillover pollution, the challenges to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed will require multi-faceted solutions. MACo supports HB 78 because it would provide counties with another way to direct money from the BRF for necessary volume and quality control measures.
HB 78 would sensibly expand the scope of projects able to leverage BRF money, thus giving counties more flexibility and resources where there is a demand.
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.