Prince George's County clean water public meeting

On Tuesday, August 16, 2011, Prince George's County government will hold a public meeting on their plans to meet federal clean water requirements.

August 16, 2011, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Prince George’s County Soil Conservation District
5301 Marlboro Race Track Road, Suite 100
Upper Marlboro, MD

What the heck is a WIP?
To address the pollution of Maryland waters, the Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP) set forth a pathway to reduce the sources of pollution: stormwater, waste water, and agriculture runoff.  The WIP tell us how much pollution must be reduced in order to restore our waters to being swimmable and fishable, per the Clean Water Act, so that they can be used for drinking water, fishing, crabbing and boating.  It is therefore critical that local governments and the State of Maryland establish strong WIPs.

How does the WIP relate to my community?
The only water pollution source in the Chesapeake Bay region that is still increasing is urban stormwater runoff.  Stormwater floods our streets and basements, carries trash and pollution into our streams, erodes our streambanks, and damages infrastructure such as bridges, roads, and parks.  Stormwater runoff is regulated under the Clean Water Act by local permits known as MS4s (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permits, that are held by Prince George's County, Bowie, Washington, DC and other Maryland counties.  MS4 permits are therefore a critical part of implementing the WIP insofar as stormwater pollution is concerned.  Even if the WIPs are strongly written, the MS4 permits are the only way to enforce those requirements.  So WIPs are not enforceable without strong MS4 permits, and MS4 permits are vital tools for revitalizing our urban environments.

What should we ask for in our MS4 permit?
Strong and specific numerical requirements are crucial to making progress under an MS4 permit.  These include specific listing of reduced levels of pollution (Waste Load Allocations) for stormwater and immutable time lines to meet them, specific numeric effluent limits, and restoration and retrofit of hardened surfaces (roads, sidewalks, paving, parking lots, etc.) which lack modern stormwater management.  Stormwater management for these hard surfaces should be accomplished with environmental site design (ESD) practices that use trees and other vegetation, and/or rainwater harvesting and reuse, and that apply a minimum of 1" volume treatment (that capture the first one-inch of rainfall runoff from each storm).

The WIPs and MS4 permits interlock to form a regulatory framework for cleaning up our creeks, rivers,
the Bay and greening our communities!  Ask your local agencies to step up for strong requirements
that will revitalize neighborhoods facing stormwater runoff problems.

 

- REVISED-
PRESS RELEASE


For immediate release:
July 27, 2011

For more information contact:
Linda Lowe
Public Information Specialist
Prince George’s County
Department of Environmental Resources
(301)883-5952

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY TO HOLD PUBLIC FORUMS
ON WATER QUALITY

Sessions will seek public input on County’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation (TDML)

LARGO, MD – Prince George’s County will hold a series of three public forums for input on improving water quality in the County.  The first session will be held on August 16, 2011 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Prince George’s County Soil Conservation District located at 5301 Marlboro Race Track Road, Suite 100 in Upper Marlboro.

The public forums are a joint effort between the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Prince George’s County Soil Conservation District, the Prince George’s County Health Department, the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

Prince George’s County, along with 22 other counties, is mandated by the State of Maryland to prepare a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) by November 1, 2011.  WIP will detail strategies and initiatives that will reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads to improve local streams and meet the Chesapeake Bay TDML.

For more information on the County’s TMDL and the Watershed Implementation Plan, please contact Dr. Mow-Soung Cheng, Special Assistant to the Director, at (301) 883-5836.

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