CB-15: A good compromise for clean water?

On June 20, the Prince George's County Council's THE committee approved a set of modest improvements to CB-15, the stormwater management bill.  Don't believe what you are hearing from County Executive Baker and certain council members that this a "good compromise."

Here is a good example of what environmentalists demanded for the sake of clean water and healthy communities, versus what we got:
What we asked for:
As a bare minimum, a 1" redevelopment stormwater standard - the amount science shows is needed to protect water quality.  We also asked to incorporate an eventual increase to 2.7" - the Channel Protection Volume (CPV) - which is the amount of water quantity that must be managed to prevent erosion of our streams and infrastructure likes roads and bridges.  (DC will be at 1.2" and Montgomery County is at 2.6")
What we got:
The minimum redevelopment stormwater standard allowed under state law, 0.5".  In 2016 this number will increase to 0.75".  This is too little, too late.  At least some members of the council recognized the need to get to 1" and the bill was amended to include an increase to 1" in 2019.  That's right, in 8 years the standard will finally be at the number science shows it needs to be at now.

Even modest amendments are being opposed by developers

Not only are developers opposing the addition of 1" to the redevelopment stormwater standard in 2019, but they are opposing the Baker Administration's proposal in the original bill to increase to 0.75" in 2016.  In Montgomery County, these same builders agreed to strong standards - but here in Prince George's developers keep fighting to give us as little as possibleWhy do we let them get away with this?

Please speak up to your council member and oppose any weakening of CB-15 at the hearing on July 19. 

CB-15 is already a weak bill, but we need to protect the following modest changes as the developers stalk Upper Marlboro seeking weakening amendments:

  • Addition of 1" in 2019 to the redevelopment stormwater standard
  • Notice provision, requested by municipalities, that requires developers to inform nearby property owners and municipalities when they file a stormwater concept plan for a new project.  This will promote accountability in the development process.
  • Incentives only kick in when a developer exceeds the standards - in the original bill incentives were available for mere compliance.
  • Technical amendments tightening waiver and implementation provisions to ensure Environmental Site Design (ESD) is properly used.  This will help the county move from gray infrastructure likes pipes and stormwater ponds to green infrastructure like rain gardens, street trees, and pervious pavement.
  • Expiration of grandfathering waivers when there is a substantial change to the proposed development after preliminary project approval.  This is necessary to prevent a bait and switch, and to prevent developers from building projects based on years old approvals.

Consider faxing your note to county council members!
Chair Ingrid Turner, District 4 - (301) 952-4910
THE Committee Chair Eric Olson, District 3 - (301) 952-4904

Plus your member of council:
Mary Lehman, District 1 - (301) 952-4801
Will Campos, District 2 - (301) 952-5554
Andrea Harrison, District 5 - (301) 952-5885
Leslie Johnson, District 6 - (301) 952-4351
Karen Toles, District 7 -
Obie Patterson, District 8 - (301) 952-4821
Mel Franklins, District 9 - (301) 952-5275



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