1:30 PM EDT, April 1, 2013
The stormwater regulation fee is a difficult pill to swallow, but the medicine is needed to make up for decades of problems and to ensure the future of the Chesapeake Bay.
We all own the problem, and we will all pay for the solution. It is a multi-million dollar problem. Stormwater has ravaged our streams and rushed sediment into the bay. The water is dirty and cloudy. Stormwater runoff is washing fertilizer and animal feces into the water. The algal blooms, fertilized by runoff, keep sunlight from the underwater grasses and, as the algae die and decompose, they soak up the available oxygen. The result is a dying bay.
We've been stalling for decades on any meaningful treatment and now we have a mandate that comes with a big bill.
The bright side is we can achieve a clean Chesapeake Bay if we persevere. The bay will support watermen, recreation and tourism and be the beautiful living asset we all want to live near.
The effort will generate jobs as we repair stormwater damage and install and maintain new stormwater management systems.
The important thing is to have a fund large and stable enough to get the job started and continue it properly. Urge your councilman not to pass amendments that make your sacrifice less effective because of unreasonable caps, phasing in for certain properties, and other weakening measures that will have us all paying more in the end.
Susan W. Cochran
The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County.
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