The Baltimore County Council is currently considering legislation that would phase out the county’s stormwater utility fee.
The Importance of the Fee
This fee pays for projects and programs designed to improve water quality in the county’s streams and rivers, reduce neighborhood flooding, and increase tree planting in communities.
The County Council says that the county has the money to continue to fund these programs through 2020. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, however says the county does not have the money to continue to fund these programs, and the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection has already cancelled several tree plantings and scaled back on stream restoration projects as a result.
Who is caught in the middle of this back-and-forth? You and other Baltimore County residents.
Achieving Pollution Reductions
Baltimore County is obligated by federal law to achieve pollution reductions, regardless of where the money to pay for them comes from.
The projects and programs to meet these obligations keep your neighborhood clean and green, keeps water out of your basement, and keeps county waterways safe for recreation.
There is currently no agreement on how to fund these things and it will be Baltimore County residents that will suffer as a result. Besides a reduction in green space and flooding protections, if no agreement is worked out, resources could be diverted from other places like education, public safety, and transportation.
The County Council and the County Executive have to work together to reduce polluted runoff in Baltimore County and they must come to an agreement on how much money is available for the County’s stormwater program and where it is coming from. They won’t do either of these, though, unless they hear from you.
Three Things You Can Do Today
1) Call County Executive Kevin Kamenetz
Tell him that he MUST work with the County Council to come to an agreement on how much funding for the county stormwater program is available and where it is coming from.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz: 410.887.2450
2) Call your County Council Member
Tell your County Council member that the stormwater fee repeal bill is PREMATURE and should be held until the Council and the County Executive come up with a public plan for financing the County’s stormwater obligations.
District 1 Tom Quirk: 410.887.3386
District 2 Vicki Almond: 410.887.3385
District 3 Wade Kach: 410-887-3387
District 4 Julian Jones, Jr: 410.887.3389
District 5 David Marks: 410.887.3384
District 6 Cathy Bevins: 410.887.3388
District 7 Todd Crandell: 410.887.3383
3) Register to Attend a Public Rally
Attend a public rally at 5:30 pm on Monday, November 16, to tell the County Council protect clean water in Baltimore County by holding the bill and keep the stormwater fee in place as is until a public plan becomes available.
The event will be held at Patriot Plaza in front of the Old Courthouse in Towson (400 Washington Ave, Towson, MD 21204).