Maryland is currently working on
regulations that will determine the quality and quantity of stormwater
management that our urban counties must implement. The draft
regulations presented by the Maryland Department of the Environment are
vague and lack enforceable standards. We now have the chance to improve
these regulations to reduce water pollution in our rivers and streams,
and the Chesapeake Bay.
Tell Governor O'Malley that we want stormwater regulations that meet high standards.
Maryland's Waters Need Strong MS4 Permits
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am very concerned about the state of the rivers and streams in my county. Many of the waterways in my community are polluted. The rest are threatened by sprawl development and weak to non-existent management of polluted stormwater runoff. Unmanaged runoff is also putting my property at increased risk of flooding. I support the stormwater utility fee to fund robust stormwater management. But to trust that my contribution to cleaning up polluted runoff is well spent and effective, I am looking to your leadership to support strong stormwater (MS4) permits for Maryland's cities and counties that will protect local waters and meet legal standards.
We need a robust accountability framework to ensure that funds generated from the fee are spent in the public's best interest. The stormwater permits, if issued in compliance with the Clean Water Act, will provide the public's insurance policy guaranteeing the implementation of sound runoff pollution reduction programs in our most populous cities and counties. To be effective, the state's stormwater permits must meet the following standards: 1) The permits must ensure compliance with water quality standards and total maximum daily loads ("clean water blueprints"); 2) The permits must require the counties to implement Environmental Site Design to the maximum extent practicable, which is a proven and highly effective stormwater management technique; 3) The permits must provide opportunities for public input on permittee-developed pollution reduction plans; and 4) The permits must require the counties to monitor local waters to determine whether the permits' terms are actually being met.
Without these important requirements, the state's stormwater permits will be vague and unenforceable. Vague and unenforceable permits serve no one, and will only move clean, healthy waterways further out of our reach. We appreciate your continued leadership on clean water and look forward to an improved permits that will be effective in reducing flooding and stormwater pollution to our rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]