Watershed Management Strategies Questioned

Posted Date: 
September 14, 2011

Bob Hoyt (right) and Steve Shofar field questions on the new MS4 permit requirements from the Committee.

Infrastructure and Land Use Committee Vice-Chair Gus Bauman, Beveridge & Diamond P.C, and newly named  Co-Chair Chuck Brawley, Skanska, led a lively discussion with Bob Hoyt, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and Steve Shofar, Watershed Management Division Chief.  Bob and Steve presented the County’s implementation strategy for the new MS4 stormwater management permit.

MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems and is an Environmental Protection Agency standard that Montgomery County will be the first jurisdiction in the country to reach.  Requirements of the permit include strengthening stormwater controls, improving water quality, and developing implementation strategies for implementing the new requirements.

As part of the implementation, the project requires 4300 acres of stormwater retrofits, which include commercial and residential properties.  The total cost for implementation of these retrofits is over $300 million through February 2015. As such, the tax rate will increase from $12.75/Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) to $70.50/ERU. Hoyt explained that all property will be charged one ERU equal to 2,406 sq ft. of impervious surface.

Along with the implementation, Hoyt and Shofar discussed how the Department of Environmental Protection will provide incentives to residential, commercial, and nonprofit properties to encourage installation and maintenance of stormwater controls. They will also offer grant opportunities and tax credits.

A copy of Hoyt and Shofar’s presentation can be downloaded here.

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