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Posted at 3:19 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Government can pay storm water fees

By Associated Press
Where D.C. rain drains: A combined sewer overflow outfall. (Max Nepstad)

The federal government can now pay local storm water fees that will help Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

Sen. Ben Cardin plans to hold a round-table discussion with state and federal officials in College Park on Thursday to discuss the bill signed into law last week by President  Obama that enables federal agencies to pay the fees.

Cardin says the law affects jurisdictions nationwide, particularly the District, which is owed $2.4 million.

Federal officials told the District last year that the Constitution prohibits the federal government from paying taxes levied by state and local governments. Storm water runoff is the fastest-growing source of pollution in the Chesapeake watershed, and the federal government is a major landowner in the region.

By Associated Press  | January 12, 2011; 3:19 PM ET
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I'm still not sure how this stormwater charge can be considered a tax, as opposed to a fee. It may not seem like a service is being directly provided, but if the sewage lines were taken away from the streets adjacent to government buildings, I'm sure that the services provided would be recognized. Regardless, I'm glad that there will now be more of an incentive for government facilities to mitigate their stormwater.

The Philadelphia Water Department has done a lot to lead the way in promoting green infrastructure as a way to control stormwater runoff and prevent CSOs, which will be much more cost effective than grey infrastructure solutions.

Posted by: RSGillard | January 13, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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