The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has proposed a series of changes to the municipal separated stormwater sewer system (MS4) permits that dictate how much stormwater pollution local jurisdictions can allow, and what they are required to do to offset it. Urban and suburban stormwater runoff is untreated – it kills fish, pollutes swimming areas, erodes streams, floods homes, and causes many other problems. The five-year permits are issued under the federal Clean Water Act.
The proposed permits use ineffective solutions and give a pass to polluters.
One of the biggest problems with these permits is that they heavily rely on street sweeping as an “alternative” restoration practice, rather than green solutions that could benefit waterways and communities. But street sweeping does nothing to reduce the volume of rainwater that floods our streets and causes catastrophic sewage backups into our homes. The permits don’t adequately account for climate change, which means these problems will likely get worse before they get better. We legally challenged these weak permits 6 years ago, and now we need your help to convince the regulators to create stronger permits that will protect our local waterways.
Write testimony for the MDE public meeting to have your voice heard! If you have experienced streets or homes flooding with rainwater during storms, or had a sewage backup in your home during rainy weather, we need your voice. You can respond to this email with your story, or email [email protected].
Tune in to the hearing in your jurisdiction next week to better understand this wonky but critical issue.
- Baltimore County: Thursday, November 19th 4:00-6:00 PM Register here.
- Baltimore City: Friday, November 20th 4:00-6:00 PM Register here.
Finally, please share this with others! We need every voice united to protect our water. Thank you for standing with us.