House Bill 987
In April 2012, the State of Maryland passed House Bill 987, a state law requiring Prince George’s
County and nine other jurisdictions to adopt and implement laws or ordinances to establish a local
Watershed Protection and Restoration Program on or before July 1, 2013. By law, Prince George’s
County will assess a Clean Water Act (CWA) fee on all improved properties in the County, with the
exception of land owned by the State or Federal government, county and municipal buildings,
volunteer fire departments, and agricultural farm land. The purpose of the CWA fee is to fund
programs and projects to meet the stormwater pollutant load reductions mandated under Federal
and State law, and to improve the water quality of local streams and the Chesapeake Bay. The Prince
George’s County Council will adopt the CWA fee system to fund a local Watershed Protection and
Commercial and Industrial Properties
The Clean Water Act fee system for commercial and industrial property will include (1) a flat fee charge to fund stormwater
operations and maintenance, and (2) an impervious surface charge to fund watershed restoration. The impervious acreage
charge will be based on the actual square feet of property covered by impervious surfaces such as building rooftops,
sidewalks, driveways, parking, and accessory structures for each property. The County will measure the square feet of
impervious coverage for each commercial – industrial property using the County’s geographic information system (GIS).
To address impervious surfaces in residential properties, a CWA fee for single family residential property will be assessed using a three tier structure. Tier 1 includes townhome, duplex and triplex residential properties. Tier 2 includes single family homes on lots up to one acre in size. Tier 3 includes single family homes on lots greater than one acre. Property with an agricultural use assessment, as determined by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, will be assessed a CWA fee for the impervious surface coverage for principal residential structure only. Residential property owners who meet certain criteria may be eligible for a Financial Hardship Fee Exemption Program.
Opportunities for Fee Reduction
Property owners may reduce a CWA fee assessment by installing onsite best management practices (BMPs) that treat stormwater runoff and improve water quality. These bmps will need to be maintained in good condition by the property owner in order to continue to receive the CWA fee reduction annually. Properties receiving a reduction will be subject to County inspection to verify maintenance. The Department of Environmental Resources will also administer a Grant Program to fund the installation of water quality BMPs.
Prince George’s County is in the process of finalizing the details of this new State mandated Clean Water Act fee and local Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. Check the Department of Environmental Resources web site for additional information as it becomes available.