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Prince George's County, Maryland

Prince George's County Introduces Watershed Protection and Restoration Program

For Immediate Release: 6/18/2013 7:00 PM

Contact: Linda Lowe / (301) 883-5952

New program to bring green jobs, revitalization and clean water to local communities

Today, the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources (DER), introduced legislation establishing a schedule of fees to be collected as part of the County’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP). The funding is expected to generate approximately $1.2 billion over the next 13 years and will provide a strong impact on the County’s economic development by creating 5,000 new jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and providing for the investment and launching of local green businesses.

Required by a Federal mandate under the Clean Water Act, the WPRP directs Maryland’s nine largest counties and the City of Baltimore to form a funding plan to address stormwater runoff pollution from impervious areas such as parking lots, roads and roofs before it enters local waterways. To comply with the law, the County will have to treat 8,000 acres of impervious surfaces and must be completed with the program by 2025.

“We will meet this mandate with maximum positive impact for the County. Our program keeps fees very low while generating an unprecedented amount of jobs and business opportunities,” said DER Acting Director Adam Ortiz. “The result will be new local businesses, beautiful neighborhoods, a mature green economy and clean water in our Prince George’s community.”

The legislation introduces a payment structure that is among the lowest in the region and is to be collected annually through the tax bill from all private property owners based on the amount of impervious surface. For example, the average home will pay a fee of $41.48, compared to an average of $103.80 in other Maryland counties.

A property owner can receive a reduced or modified fee by retrofitting their property with approved runoff treatment devices and practices. The program also provides a provision for financial hardship if the County’s Office of Finance can identify whether the property owner has received a Maryland Homeowners Tax Credit and an Energy Assistance Subsidy. The fee is expected to be collected in the next tax year.

The proposed modest fees are:

• $33.12 for small residential lots (administration fee of $20.58; plus impact fee of $12.54)
• $41.48 for mid-size residential lots (administration fee of $20.58; plus impact fee of $20.90)
• $62.38 for large residential lots (administration fee of $20.58; plus impact fee of $41.80)
• The total annual fee rate and impact fee for each impervious acre for industrial, commercial or instructional properties is $372 per impervious acre; plus an administrative fee of $20.58

Another key component of the program is its commitment to developing public private partnerships and investing in local, small minority business enterprises.

For more information on the WPRP, click here or visit DER’s Web site at http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/environmentalresources/Pages/default.aspx.