It's a Team Effort
Managing stormwater runoff is not unique to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Across the nation, states, counties, cities and towns are implementing stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in order to reduce polluted runoff and keep waterways clean.
In an effort to improve local water quality, the US Clean Water Act (administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency) mandates the issuance of Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) permits across the country to all communities with a population greater than 50,000 (Phase 2 permit)—or population greater than 100,000 (Phase 1 permit). The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issues and enforces the MS4 permits, which mandate a variety of programs to mitigate the impacts of polluted stormwater runoff across Maryland. All MS4 permitees (Phases 1 and 2) are required to manage water pollution that occurs when rainfall carries sediment, fertilizer, pet waste, and toxic chemicals from rooftops, roads, and lawns into storm drains, streams, rivers, drinking water reservoirs, and bays.
Howard County and nine other Maryland jurisdictions are MS4 Phase 1 permitees within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. In 2012, The Maryland State Legislature passed The Watershed Protection and Restoration Act, which requires all 10 Phase 1 MS4 jurisdictions to develop a dedicated funding system to pay for the expanding stormwater improvements required under the MS4 permits. Through the use of these funds, we're dedicated to protecting our local streams and rivers, as well as the Chesapeake Bay. But we need your help and the help of all of our neighboring jurisdictions within the bay watershed. We're all responsible for the health of the watershed and we can have a major impact by adopting practices that reduce both the amount of runoff and the amount of pollutants carried in the runoff.
There isn't a single source of stormwater runoff pollution that, if eliminated, could solve the water quality problem. Likewise, there isn't a single jurisdiction that is responsible for the problem or that can clean up the watershed alone. We must all work within our own communities and together with other jurisdictions to reduce runoff and clean up our waterways.
How Are Other Maryland Counties Implementing the Fee?
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) allowed each municipality to decide how the fee would be determined as well as other details, such as credits and reimbursements. Learn about the stormwater management fee for each of these 10 Maryland jurisdictions:
- Anne Arundel County
- Baltimore City
- Baltimore County
- Carroll County
- Charles County
- Frederick County
- Harford County
- Howard County (That's us! Click to view the specifics of our program)
- Montgomery County
- Prince George’s County
In addition, MDE provides information and updates on the MS4 permit status for various counties, including upcoming public hearings.
Stormwater Management Information In Other States, Counties, & Cities
- North Carolina
- Philadelphia, PA
- Charlottesville, VA
- Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Madison, WI
- District of Columbia
- City of Annapolis
Remember, we all play a role in protecting our local streams, rivers, and bays—and their water quality.