Property owners need to be responsible for their storm water discharge, not local government ("Senators hear bid to repeal law requiring stormwater fees," March 3).
I think most politicians want to reduce storm water pollution. The issue is how to finance it.
Stormwater remediation needs to happen at the source, otherwise any program is doomed to failure. By far the largest source of runoff is from roads and parking lots.
Zoning changes are needed so any new development has to meet runoff requirements by using technologies such as rain gardens and permeable surfaces. We need a program that requires existing facilities to upgrade to by a certain date.
I like the "flush tax" and similar fees as long as the money raised goes into water restoration and not administrative costs. As government is not capable of running anything effectively, I would rather spend the money on improvements to my property than pay to administer the program.
I have heard that the idea of "stormwater credits" is being proposed. If so, then there will be investment opportunities in clean water just like there are for clean air. This will create a sustainable environment where the finances to drive improvements will come from the people responsible for the runoff, not the taxpayers.
Tom Paxton, Columbia