Prince George's County, Maryland

Maryland Department of the Environment Stormwater Innovations Tour Rolls into Prince George's County

For Immediate Release: 12/11/2013 12:00 AM

Contact: Linda Lowe, Public Information Specialist, Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources/(301) 883-5952

Residents Receive $2,000 Check from County’s Rain Check Rebate Program

LARGO, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources (DER) and the Maryland Department of the Environment today hosted a Stormwater Innovations Tour highlighting a pavement removal and permeable pavement improvement project at a Hyattsville residence and the County’s highly-touted Rain Check Rebate Program.  Prince George’s County is the third stop on MDE’s tour focusing on innovative stormwater retrofit projects occurring throughout the State. 

“The Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources has quickly become a model of sustainable innovation in managing stormwater runoff throughout the State and region,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “Our partnership and collaboration with the Maryland Department of the Environment through initiatives like the Stormwater Innovations Tour and the Rain Check Rebate Program have enabled us to address key environmental challenges and improve the quality of life for the people of Prince George’s County and the State.”

The Hyattsville project qualified for a cash rebate through the County’s new Rain Check Rebate Program that was enacted through County Bill 40-2012 and is administered by DER.  The program is part of the County’s Clean Water Program that promises to be an economic driver in improving the County’s stormwater management practices with the creation of 5,000 new green jobs, local business development, Alternative Compliance Program for religious entities and nonprofit groups, unique public-private partnerships (P3) and modest property owners fees. The program is expected to generate approximately $1.2 billion over the next 13 years. 

“Stormwater management programs like the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate are a great example of how collaboration among government, non-profits and communities can improve water quality,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers. “Projects such as these make our waterways swimmable, fishable and livable for future generations of Marylanders.”

“Our challenges are too great for the government to solve by itself.  This project is a great example of a new school approach toward environmental protection - that government also provides support to empower people to help clean our environment while creating jobs here in our community,” said DER Director Adam Ortiz.  “We appreciate the Reynolds family and Best Landscape & Construction for stepping up to make a difference in our community.”

“My bill that created the Rain Check Program began with the idea that established communities needed stormwater management. Many of our older neighborhoods have little or no infrastructure to manage runoff,” said Councilwoman Mary A. Lehman, District 1. “This Program addresses the needs of homeowners, government and our watersheds. But perhaps more importantly, it creates pockets of green, attractive landscapes and hardscapes that make our neighborhoods and businesses more pleasant and desirable.”

The Rain Check Rebate Program allows property owners to receive rebates for installing stormwater management practices to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff.  Homeowners, businesses and non-profit entities (including household cooperatives) can recoup some of the cost for installing practices covered by the program that consists of seven best management practices that include an urban tree canopy, rain barrels, cisterns, rain gardens, permeable pavement, pavement removal and green roofs, all of which are eligible for a rebate. 

To qualify for a rebate, the project must be implemented on property located within Prince George’s County.  All practices, except for rain barrels must be approved by the County prior to installation and must follow County installation and design guidelines.  The rebate amounts are determined by the Rebate-Eligible practices used and cannot exceed the total cost of the project.  Rebate ceilings are set at $2,000 for residential properties and $20,000 for commercial, multi-family dwellings, nonprofit entities and not-for profit organizations.

The homeowner, Ms. Donna Reynolds, decided to take advantage of the County’s Rain Check Rebate Program when she realized the home improvement project she was undertaking would qualify for a rebate.  Her project earned her a cash rebate of $2,000 and qualifies her to receive a 60 percent reduction off her Clean Water Act Fee. 

“It just seemed to be the perfect time for me to have my pavement removed and replaced with a permeable pavement that would not only help the environment, but provide me with cash back,” said Ms. Reynolds.

The work was completed by Hyattsville-based local contractor Abel Rivas, owner of Best Landscape & Construction.  Rivas installed a permeable paver called Eco-Brick that uses durable permeable components that allow water to flow through, retaining the water runoff and directing it through a series of natural filtration systems before it enters nearby streams or rivers. 

  For more information on the Rain Check Rebate Program, DER and its programs and services, visit http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/environmentalresources/Pages/default.aspx, contact CountyClick 3-1-1 or click here.