xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Prince George’s County settles with the Maryland Department of the Environment over stormwater violations

After Prince George’s County failed to meet requirements under a municipal stormwater permit, the Maryland Department of the Environment has required it to complete environmental projects that will treat runoff, according to an announcement Tuesday.

In an agreement with the state signed earlier in May, the county will have to pay $475,000 if it does not complete the projects required under the Municipal Separate Sewer System permit, also known as an MS4 permit, that MDE issued the county in 2014. Avoiding paying the penalty is also contingent on the county finding at least one additional project that wasn’t previously required under the permit that would cost a minimum of the penalty amount to complete to treat stormwater runoff. The supplemental project or projects have to be located in a community of the county that is disproportionately burdened by pollution or is historically under resourced.

Advertisement

The projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2024.

An MS4 permit allows governments to discharge stormwater into a body of water.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

“This enforcement action reflects the state’s priority on preventing stormwater pollution and growing green infrastructure for clean water and climate resilience throughout the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles in a statement.

Under the MS4 permit, Prince George’s County was required to implement stormwater treatment practices on 20% of its untreated impervious surface area – totaling 6,105 acres – by the end of the five-year permit term. The county completed restoration on 2,387 acres that was approved by MDE, leaving 3,718 impervious acres that have not been restored as required. according to the consent decree.

MDE is working with the county to identify what the supplemental project will be but the county cannot count the impervious acres treated through supplemental projects toward its permit requirements.

MDE expects to issue another MS4 permit to the county in draft form for public comment before the end of the year.

Advertisement

To help support this statewide work, in 2019, MDE’s Water Quality Finance Administration guaranteed $108.3 million in low-interest loans to counties and local governments for stormwater restoration projects, and another $213.2 million in low-interest loans are pending for planned projects.

The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund awarded an additional $36.5 million in grants to stormwater programs for restoration projects. Maryland continues to push for additional federal funding for local stormwater projects – especially for those that increase climate resiliency in underserved communities and for those that help sustain Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts for decades to come. In addition to providing financial and technical support, MDE has helped to streamline and improve the agency’s permitting process for local stream and wetland restoration projects.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement