When rain falls on streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks and roofs it picks up chemicals and sediments and becomes polluted runoff. Learn more about polluted runoff and why it is a threat to our streams, rivers, drinking water and the Chesapeake Bay.
The Watershed Restoration and Protection Act was passed in 2012 to create dedicated funding to help counties meet their state-required MS4 discharge permits. These permits allow counties and municipalities to discharge stormwater from street drainage systems into waters of the state. Stormwater fees generate funds for local jurisdictions to address the growing problem of polluted runoff. Counties/Localities are to collect funds according to their own needs and methods, and use the funds to implement mitigation strategies to tackle the problem of polluted runoff. Four repeal bills were proposed in the 2015 legislative session. The session concluded with the bill largely intact, yet counties received the right to repeal their stormwater fees if they could demonstrate financial assurance that they can meet their permit requirements without collecting a fee.
As one approach to caring for and protecting God’s Creation, IPC supports stormwater fees as needed to meet the demands of this growing source of pollution.
Rain falls on forests and fields as well as city streets and church parking lots. Rain cannot be taxed. Pollution is created by humans and at a cost to the Earth and its inhabitants. We are also called to preserve natural resources for those who will come after us. God trusts us with this responsibility, and has given us the space to do what is right. No landowner is exempt from this responsibility.
IPC cannot make judgments for places of worship about what they should be able to afford regarding the fees; however, full exemption from fees implies they have no responsibility, which we disagree with. IPC stands for the obligation of all congregations to be responsible for pollution they generate.
The following Counties are currently entangled in a battle of political will over their stormwater fees. You can make your voice heard by contacting your County Council Representative and expressing your opinions. Click on the links below to email find your County council member's contact information.