Radio blitz backs storm-water fees

Environmental groups have come out singing with a musical radio ad blitz against efforts in Annapolis to repeal or weaken the 2012 law requiring storm-water fees in Baltimore city and Maryland's largest counties.

The Clean Water, Healthy Families coalition, including more than a dozen different green groups and the National Aquarium, began running 60-second radio ads Wednesday defending the fees on four stations in Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington.

The ads begin with a man singing, "Keep the weed killer out of my crab cakes," asserting that storm water washing off pavement and rooftops carries pollution that can taint Chesapeake Bay fish and shellfish.  The singer calls on lawmakers not to gut what it calls the "polluted runoff law," arguing that it is taking "proven and measurable steps to keep waters and our seafood healthier." To hear the ad, click here.

Activists launched the two-week blitz to counter criticism of the fees, which Republicans and other opponents have attacked as a burdensome and unfair tax on rain. Bills have been introduced in Annapolis to repeal the law, delay its enforcement or exempt certain localities. Legislative leaders have ruled out repeal, but modifying the law remains a possibility.

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