- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
As we found in 2011 during tropical storm Lee, extremely heavy rains lead to polluted water flooding our homes and businesses, causing property damage and health problems.
However, every rain event causes problems by producing polluted runoff from roads, roofs and parking lots, sending unfiltered dirty water directly into our local creeks and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
Polluted runoff causes beach closings, makes fish unsafe to eat and contaminates our drinking water. It is also the one source of water pollution that is on the rise.
The General Assembly took action in 2012 to address this overlooked but growing problem with a bill mandating the establishment of a dedicated fund to create effective solutions and stop rain runoff pollution.
Already money collected from stormwater utility fees has been used to build green spaces to filter out polluted runoff, create litter control programs to keep garbage out of local streams, replace and repair aging stormwater drainage systems and plant more trees along rivers.
These projects are funded locally to benefit communities locally. Our fees are collected and used by our county to benefit us by cleaning up our local waterways. However, just as this initiative is getting started, it is in jeopardy if our state legislature decides to weaken pollution control requirements.
This pollution source will not go away by itself and, if left untreated and unfunded, actually will get much worse. Our state leaders should be supporting our county’s efforts by doing more legislatively, not less.
Meredith Sweet, Waldorf