Hyattsville Faces Stormwater Tax

County to city: go along with our tax or impose your own

A letter from the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources gives Hyattsville city officials two options: go along with a county imposed "stormwater remediation" tax, or develop its own tax able to meet the provisions of a new Maryland law designed to raise funds and build infrastructure to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

The bill in question, Maryland House Bill 987, requires county and local governments across the state to create watershed restoration programs by July 2013. 

"Your municipality must decide whether they will choose to implement their own [stormwater restoration program], or join in the implementation of an overall plan with the county," reads the letter from the office of the director of the county environmental regulatory agency. 

County officials want an answer from city officials by Oct. 22.

The city council will be discussing this issue at its meeting tonight at 8 p.m. at the Hyattsville Municipal Building on Gallatin Street. Officials from the county Department of Environmental Resources will also be on hand for a presentation at the beginning of the meeting. 

The stormwater remediation tax has proven controversial in other parts of the state. After it was passed by the state legislature in May of this year, Elected leaders in Frederick County considered going to court to avoid having to comply with the law

Scurvy October 01, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Sad truth is most of the polluters are us, the residents of Hyattsville. Our lawn chemicals and releases from our cars are what flows into the lakes and into the Bay. It is not industry but people who litter in the parking lots, dump oil in the drain, and pour lots of pesticides and fertilizers on our lawns.
HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter October 02, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Oh no no, industrial factories, bio labs, hospitals, office parks, out of state drivers, large scale construction, chicken farms, farms, military ships, boaters, ship yards and fisheries generate the better part of pollutants found in the bay. Tax the cars and lawn chemicals if you want to, tax DC and Virginia and most importantly the coal miners in West Virginia too. My house is surrounded by a bio retention garden with rain catchers, so I deserve a break. And tax the strip malls and gas stations and the MTA for building too many worthless highways with traffic lights. I'm all for the environment and totally against humans, but when I got here, the bay was already nasty, they should have been dealing with this from the beginning. Not waking up one day and overtaxing the people who have no control over the past 300 years of negligence by numerous large industrial establishments. We're already drowning in taxes and fees and the bay is way down stream as far as I'm concerned. Just don't make this a property tax.
Michael Theis October 02, 2012 at 04:05 AM
As an aside, I should note that West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania municipalities and local governments which are within the Chesapeake Bay watershed are also being required to upgrade their water treatment facilities to meet EPA standards to clean up the bay. I should know, I spent the better part of a year and a half in Shepherdstown, West Virginia reporting on that small town's efforts to plan for a multi-million wastewater treatment facility to meet Chesapeake Bay standards, among other government topics.
HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter October 02, 2012 at 12:55 PM
It's good that Maryland is not being held solely responsible for the pollution in the Chesapeake Bay but what are my $250 every 3 months payments to WSSC being used for? Here's a link to their website, they have plenty of rhetoric about wastewater management. http://www.wsscwater.com/home/jsp/content/ww-overview.faces Honestly, I think the environment is important, but what is the point of the current fees and taxes being imposed if not to manage this sort of thing? How is this not WSSC's responsibility? Hyattsville already has ordinances restricting the percentage of a property that can be covered by concrete allowing for storm water to be retained. How is that being taken into account? It will be interesting to see how Hyattsville handles this responsibility.
Edward October 02, 2012 at 01:45 PM
You may or may not be aware that the Chesapeake bay is a huge driver of the Maryland economy, and it's health effects everyone in the region directly or indirectly, but you should be.


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