Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware lawmakers want to establish a state trust fund to coordinate and manage financial resources for clean water initiatives.

Democratic Gov. John Carney signaled his support Tuesday by announcing that he would propose $50 million in next year's capital budget for wastewater, stormwater, drainage and drinking water infrastructure.

Officials say the $50 million is in addition to $20 million for clean water programs in the current year's budget, and can be used to leverage federal funds.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials are asking the Delaware Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling that invalidated sediment and stormwater regulations adopted over the past two years.

The judge ruled last year that the regulations were invalid because they required adherence to technical documents that were not subject to public hearings or comment under the state Administrative Procedures Act.

Don Rush (file photo)

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware environmental officials have adopted emergency sediment and stormwater regulations as they appeal and seek to delay implementation of a court ruling overturning regulations adopted over the past two years.

A judge ruled last week that the previous regulations were invalid because they required adherence to technical documents that were not subject to public hearings or comment under the Administrative Procedures Act.

Chesapeake Bay Trust

Green infrastructure in 15 communities is receiving new funding, as announced Tuesday in Baltimore. The Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grants fund projects that create local jobs and improve stormwater runoff. Maryland News Connection reporter Deborah Smith prepared this report.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is nearing a vote on ending state-mandated stormwater management fees.

A vote could come Friday on the bill, which is sponsored by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.

Currently nine counties and the city of Baltimore pay the fees, which critics call the "rain tax."

The bill would not require counties to charge a fee to meet federal stormwater requirements to clean up pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. However, they would have to show they can meet the requirements.

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert Summers is taking Frederick County to task for setting a token fee of 1 cent per residential or business property to help fight storm-water pollution.

The Frederick News-Post reported Monday that Summers told the county in a letter the fee isn't enough to cover cleanup efforts required by a state-enforced permit.

The fee would raise $487 annually. A draft of the county's next storm-water permit lists expenditures averaging $22 million annually over for the next five years.

Don Rush

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The city of Hagerstown will not charge property owners a fee to help pay for a state-mandated stormwater remediation effort, but it is unclear how the city will contribute to the effort.

The Herald-Mail reports that members of the city council on Tuesday quickly shot down city employees' proposal to generate revenue by charging a stormwater fee to residential and nonresidential city properties. Mayor David Gysberts was the lone voice supporting a fee. 

Don Rush

A new study calls creating a utility to raise more than $25 million over a ten year period to pay for maintaining and upgrading the stormwater drainage system in Salisbury.

The city council is set to hear a presentation by University of Maryland researchers.

Instead of property owners footing the bill the proposal would provide for a dedicated funding source to ensure that badly needed projects no longer experience delays in getting financing.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — State officials say they are seeking proposals for Maryland's Stream Restoration Challenge.

The program started last summer seeks to establish 1,000 acres of forested stream buffers by 2015. The buffers help keep stormwater runoff and sediment from entering waterways and eventually the Chesapeake Bay, where they can cause oxygen-robbing algae blooms and harm plant life and other bay species.

The Berlin Town Council has voted unanimously to begin billing residents and businesses later this year for the establishment of a stormwater utility.

That decision comes in the face of a standing-room only crowd this past Monday by local citizens who sharply criticized the plan.

Under attack was a University of Maryland report that proposed a stormwater utility with an implementation fee as the best way to raise the $8.3 million needed to fix the town’s flooding problems.