ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — To save the bay, pay a fee. Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that lets local governments collect a fee to improve drainage systems.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains there are other clean water proposals in the mix.

Troubled waters. The health of the Chesapeake Bay and the assurance of clean drinking water took center stage in Annapolis Wednesday. About 100 people held a colorful, yet pointed, rally in favor of flush taxes, storm water drainage fees and septic controls, all in play in the General Assembly this session.

“I have two grandchildren and I want them to grow up and be able to swim and fish and just enjoy clean water,” said Heather Tuckfield, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

“It’s in my blood. It’s in my veins,” said Tom Lee.

A modified version of the governor’s septic bill passed the Senate and is now in the House.

“The septic bill is some evidence of the growing and deepening consciousness in our state and therefore among the members of the General Assembly. Two years ago, not many people would have given that a shot at passage,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

A House bill to help clean out the bay by raising the flush tax is out of the House and in the Senate. A bill requiring local governments to collect a fee to treat storm water runoff has passed from the House to the Senate.

“The cost is in not preserving and protecting the land,” said Mike Miller, Senate President.

Clean water and a healthy bay may come at a price but supporters say what better thing can you put your money into?

Some lawmakers question whether this is the right time to raise additional fees since the General Assembly is already considering an income tax and gas tax increase.

Comments (4)
  1. Dan says:

    Nearly all of the toxic pollutants in Maryland’s waterways come from the watershed that enters the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental watchdog group.

    The Gunpowder-Patapsco Watershed, which stretches above the Maryland-Pennsylvania border and as far west as Mount Airy, had more than 1.3 million pounds of toxins dumped into it during 2010, the nonprofit group Environment Maryland concluded.

    That’s 98 percent of the chemicals released into the state’s waterways that year, the report said. The watershed is the 43rd most polluted in the country.

  2. cms827 says:

    I cannot afford anymore, my water bill in Anne Arundel County now is ridiculous. I need to move out of this state they are sucking me dry.

  3. oscar says:

    Dan, you are wrong. Biggest polluters are the carbon monoxide emissions from cars then follwed by all the trash in the storm drains tossed by all the N****R’S & Mexicans.

  4. JC says:

    How about the Patapsaco waste water treatment plant that dumped 4 million gallons into the watershed. That was not done by septic systems, it was done by a state run facility. O’Malley keeps saying the leading culprit is rural development systems and yet their government run systems that he is pushing for are far worse.

    Additionally, stand next to the Marriott in the Baltimore Harbor after a storm and watch all of Baltimore City’s trash wash into the bay, or stop at a stop light anywhere in the city and look at all the trash. I find it most interesting that the blame is always on farmers and rural development than towards the City.

    Here’s some information you may not know. If you own property on the bay, you are only entitled to two crab pots or face NRP coming after to fine you. However if you have a commercial license you are allowed to harvest as much as you want. No limit at all. Now ask yourself if that makes sense. – Point being – Crabs are natural filters for the bay, just like oysters.

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