The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has approved the five-year Financial Assurance Plan for Frederick County Government’s stormwater compliance program, County Executive Gardner announced at a public information briefing Wednesday afternoon.
In a recent letter to Manager Shannon Moore, Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources, Director Lynn Buhl, MDE Water Management, states, “After reviewing Frederick County’s 2016 Financial Assurance Plan, MDE has determined that the county has demonstrated that is has sufficient funding in its plan for stormwater compliance.” The letter further states that “Frederick County is commended for its effort in developing and implementing this very important environmental program for improving local water resources and restoring the Chesapeake Bay.”
“I am proud that my administration has worked with MDE to end a long-disputed issue with the state over funding for the county’s stormwater program,” said Executive Gardner. “Frederick County is meeting our water quality goals using the most cost-effective practices. We’ve also proposed to MDE an innovative pilot water quality trade with our wastewater treatment plant at Ballenger-McKinney because our operators have been exceeding state water quality standards for plant performance.”
County Council President Bud Otis said, “The County Council voted on August 15th to make a $52 million commitment by fiscal year 2020 to fund restoration efforts through a combination of general funds, bonds, and grants. Our previous permit cost the county about two and a half million dollars per year. We’ve committed to doing our part.”
Frederick County Government submitted its financial assurance plan along with a Watershed Protection and Restoration Plan Annual Report to MDE as required by the Annotated Code of Maryland ENV §4-202.1. Funding for the plan by Fiscal Year 2020 is projected to be $52,384,445. This funding is reflected in the past and current budgets, and is in the programmed Capital Improvement Program. This represents 100 percent of the Maximum Extent Practicable cost to implement the county’s stormwater permit; furthermore, the county has funded its first two years of the Permit at 100 percent, exceeding the 75 percent minimum compliance benchmark set in state law.
For more information, contact Ms. Moore at 301-600-1413 or via e-mail at smoore@FrederickCountyMD.gov.