Clean Water Program

backyard BMP.jpgIn 2010, the Federal government required states to meet new standards under the Clean Water Act to address stormwater runoff pollution from impervious areas such as rooftops, sidewalks, driveways, roadways, and parking lots.  To meet this mandate, Maryland’s governor signed a law in 2012 requiring nine Maryland counties and the City of Baltimore to collect a fee from property owners to implement a program to help clean up stormwater runoff pollution from impervious areas.

In 2013, in response to this mandate, the Prince George's County Council passed two pieces of legislation. The FIRST BILL is an act that establishes a Clean Water Program, as required by state law; and provides for the setting, collection, and deposit of a Clean Water Act Fee into a local fund. This fund will be used for the following purposes:

---Capital improvements for stormwater management, including stream and wetland restoration projects

---Operation and maintenance of stormwater management systems and facilities

---Public education and outreach relating to stormwater management or stream and wetland restoration

---Stormwater management planning

---Review of stormwater management plans and permit applications for new development

---Grants to nonprofit organizations for up to 100% of a project's costs for watershed restoration and rehabilitation projects

---Reasonable costs necessary to administer the Local Watershed Protection and Restoration Fund

 

The SECOND PIECE OF LEGISLATION establishes a schedule of fees to be collected in order to fund the Clean Water Program. This fee will be paid annually by property owners through their property tax bill.

In addition, Prince George's County has developed regulations that establish procedures for determining the Clean Water Act Fee charge to properties, and the criteria by which certain properties may qualify for financial hardship, fee appeals, fee reduction credits, and alternative compliance. For details, please see the following REGULATIONS.  


Definition of Impervious Area 

DSCN3459.JPGAccording to Prince George’s County Code, "impervious area" means an area that is covered with solid material or is compacted to the point where water cannot infiltrate into underlying soils (e.g., parking lots, roads, houses, patios, swimming pools, compacted gravel areas, and so forth) and where natural hydrologic patterns are altered.


Who Gets Charged

All properties in Prince George’s County, with some exclusions, will be subject to the Clean Water Act Fees on an annual basis as follows:

 
Æ
Unimproved properties are subject to the Administrative Fee per property account
Æ
Improved properties are subject to the Administrative Fee plus the Impervious Area Fee per property account (“improved” means a property with some impervious area as defined above)
 

Who Does Not Get Charged

 

According to the LEGISLATION, the following are exempt from the Clean Water Act Fee:

Æ
Property owned by the State, a unit of State Government, the County, a municipality, or a regularly organized Volunteer Fire Department that is used for public purposes
 

In addition, property located within the municipal limits of the City of Bowie is also not assessed a Clean Water Act Fee since the City of Bowie administers their own stormwater program.


Special Cases

Gravel

Areas that are covered with gravel material to the point where water cannot infiltrate into the underlying soils (e.g., parking lots, roads, railroads, unspecified compacted gravel areas, etc.) and where natural hydrologic patterns are altered will be assessed a fee as follows:

Gravel Parking Lots and Railroad (ballast section)

 
Æ
One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account
Æ
100% Impervious Area Fee, unless a hydrologic disconnection from culverts and tributaries can be demonstrated, in which case the Impervious Area Fee can be reduced up to 50% (see CREDITS PAGE for more information on the Clean Water Act Fee reduction credits application process).
 
 

 Gravel Driveway (applies to agricultural residences only)

Æ
One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account
Æ
100% Impervious Area Fee, unless a hydrologic disconnection from culverts and tributaries can be demonstrated, in which case the Impervious Area Fee can be reduced up to 50% (see CREDITS PAGE for more information on the Clean Water Act Fee reduction credits application process).
 

Farms

A property that has an agricultural use assessment as determined by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation shall be subject to a Clean Water Act Fee, including both the Administrative and Impervious Area Fee, based on the impervious area measurement only for the principal residential structure located on the property. The portion of the land under agricultural use for agricultural purposes will not be charged a Clean Water Act Fee.


 

Clean Water Act Fee Structure

The following is the Clean Water Act Fee Schedule as established by the LEGISLATION. For the purpose of calculating the amount of the Clean Water Act Fee, the following terms shall be used:

Æ
An Equivalent Service Unit is equal to 2,465 square feet of Impervious Area
Æ
The Administrative Fee Rate is $20.58 per tax account per year
Æ
The Impervious Area Fee Rate is $20.90 per Equivalent Service Unit

 

I. All unimproved parcels, regardless of zone, shall be charged the Administrative Fee rate, but shall not be subject to an Impervious Area Fee.

II. Table 1: Residential, Single-Family (based on parcel zoning)

 

​Lot Size

Tier/Zoning​

​Administrative Fee Basis

​Impervious Area Fee Basis

​Total Clean Water Act Fee*

Small​

Tier One: RT, R20, R35, RU​

One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account​

0.6 Equivalent Service Unit​

$33.12​

Medium​

Tier Two: R55, RS,R80, RR, RM​

One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account​

1.0 Equivalent Service Unit

$41.48​

Large​

Tier Three: RE, ROS, RA, RL​

One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account​

2.0 Equivalent Service Unit

$62.38​

   

Includes the Administrative Fee of $20.58

How to Calculate Fee:

Step 1: Determine which zoning category your property is assigned to

Step 2: Use Table 1 above to match the zoning category to one of the tiers (Tier One, Tier Two, or Tier Three)

Step 3: Select the Clean Water Act Fee that corresponds to the Tier in Table 1

EXAMPLE: 

My property is zoned R80

From Table 1, this zoning category corresponds to a medium lot size, Tier Two

Total Clean Water Act Fee = $41.48 

III. Table 2: Other Land Uses (based on zoning)

Zoning

Administrative Fee Basis

​Impervious Area Fee Basis

Industrial: I1, I2, I3, I4, ULI​

One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account​

Impervious area on the parcel is divided by the Equivalent Service Unit unit area (=2,465 square feet). The resulting number of Equivalent Service Units is multiplied by the Impervious Area Fee Rate.​

Commercial: MXC, ​MXT, MUTC, MUI, RPC, RMH, UCI, UC2, UC3, UC4, LAC, MAC, EIA, VL, VM

Institutional/Other: TDO, DDO, CBCO, CM, No Zone​

Multi-Family: R30, R18, R10A, R10, RH​

Condominium: R30C, R18C​

One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account​​

Total impervious area on the combined parcels (dwelling units and common areas) for the condominium development is divided by the Equivalent Service Unit unit area (=2,465 square feet). The resulting number of Equivalent Service Units is multiplied by the Impervious Area Fee Rate for the condominium development. That total Impervious Area Fee is divided by the number of dwelling units, and that amount is charged to each dwelling.   ​

 

How to Calculate Fee:

Step 1: Determine which zoning category your property is assigned to.

Step 2: Use Table 2 above to match the zoning category.

Step 3: Determine the total site impervious area for the property tax account

Step 4: Determine the number of Equivalent Service Units by dividing the impervious area by the Equivalent Service Unit value (= 2,465 square feet)

Step 5: Multiply the number of Equivalent Service Units by the impervious area fee rate of $20.90

Step 6: Compute the total Clean Water Act Fee as Administrative Fee + Impervious Area Fee

EXAMPLE 1: Per Account 

My property is zoned I4

From Table 2, that zoning category is industrial

Using my site plan, the measured impervious area is 10,000 square feet

10,000 square feet / 2,465 square feet = 4.1 Equivalent Service Units

Impervious Area Fee = 4.1 Equivalent Service Units x $20.90 = $85.69

Administrative Fee = $20.58 per account

Total Clean Water Act Fee = Impervious Area Fee + Administrative Fee = $85.69 + $20.58 = $106.27 per account per year

EXAMPLE 2: Per Dwelling Unit 

My property is zoned R30C

From Table 2, that zoning category is condominium

There are 30 individual building/dwelling units that are part of my condominium complex

Using my site plan, the measured impervious area is 20,000 square feet for all dwelling units and common areas combined

20,000 square feet / 2,465 square feet = 8.1 Equivalent Service Units

Total Impervious Area Fee = 8.1 Equivalent Service Units x $20.90 = $169.29 for all dwelling units

Impervious Area Fee per Dwelling Unit = $169.29 / 30 dwelling units = $5.64 per dwelling unit

Administrative Fee = $20.58 per dwelling unit

Total Clean Water Act Fee = Impervious Area Fee + Administrative Fee = $5.64 + $20.58 = $26.22 per dwelling unit

IV. Table 3: All Property Zoned OS

 

Zoning

Flat Fee Basis

Impervious Area Fee Basis ​ ​

OS

One (1) Administrative Fee per tax account

Impervious area on the parcel is divided by the Equivalent Service Unit unit area (=2,465 square feet). The resulting number of Equivalent Service Units, not to exceed 2.0 for residential properties (including agricultural residential), is multiplied by the Impervious Area Fee Rate.

 

How to Calculate Fee:

Step 1: Determine which zoning category your property is assigned to and the primary land use (residential or non-residential).

Step 2: Determine the total site impervious area for the property tax account

Step 3: Determine the number of Equivalent Service Units by dividing the impervious area by the Equivalent Service Unit value (= 2,465 square feet). If the property is residential, the number of Equivalent Service Unit is capped at 2.0

Step 4: Multiply the number of Equivalent Service Units by the impervious area fee rate of $20.90

Step 5: Compute the total Clean Water Act Fee as Administrative Fee + Impervious Area Fee

EXAMPLE: 

My property is zoned OS (open space) and primary land use is residential

Using my site plan, the measured impervious area is 6,000 square feet

6,000 square feet / 2,465 square feet = 2.4 Equivalent Service Units

Since the land use is residential and 2.4 exceeds 2.0 Equivalent Service Units, cap the impervious area at 2.0 Equivalent Service Units

Impervious Area Fee = 2.0 Equivalent Service Units x $20.90 = $41.80

Administrative Fee = $20.58 per account

Total Clean Water Act Fee = Impervious Area Fee + Administrative Fee = $41.80 + $20.58 = $62.38

 
 
 
 

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