The towns could create stormwater utilities to fund the improvements. But that could cost the average user more than $216 per year, something the town is unlikely to support, he said.
County Challenges City’s Stormwater Fee
The Board of Commissioners in Jackson County, Michigan, is looking into challenging the legality of the city’s stormwater fee. The Board contends that the fee is actually a tax which, under the state’s constitution, should have been voted on by residents before it was levied.
Until the issue is resolved, the county is refusing to pay the majority of what it has been charged to its properties in the city.
Left unchallenged, the stormwater fees would cost the county almost $32,000 annually, officials said.
If the stormwater fees aren’t paid, the city could put a lien on county property, but county officials said earlier they do not expect that to happen.
Group Sues the EPA
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, a nonprofit group based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, is suing the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that the agency failed to take action against New Jersey for illegal stormwater runoff.
The group is accusing the EPA of shirking its duty under the federal Clean Water Act to address widespread stormwater violations in municipalities across the state.
The suit alleges that local officials were approving development plans that are not in compliance with state stormwater management rules, adding to the environmental damage of waterways in the Delaware River watershed.
Stormwater Management Grant Awarded
The town of Salisbury, Massachusetts, recently received a $40,000 research and planning grant from Coastal Zone M a n a g e - ment’s Mass B a y s P r o - g r a m f o r stormwater management i m p r o v e - ments.
According to officials, a p o r t i o n o f t h e f u n d s will be used to hire a consultant to help bring t h e t o w n into complia n c e w i t h t h e E PA ’ s N a t i o n a l P o l l u t i o n D i s c h a r g e Elimination S y s t e m Phase II Perm i t . T h e c o n s u l t a n t will also help draft regulations with a low-impact development component, which uses the natural environment to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible.
Low-impact development employs principles such as preserving and recreating natural landscape features, and minimizing impervious surfaces to create functional and site drainage that treats stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product.