Cleaning Up Our Act

June 2014 / Abell Reports / Environment
image of the Chesapeake bay and a boat
A 2014 Abell Report on the necessity of the stormwater fee and the importance of transparency in how the fee is spent.

The Abell report, “Cleaning Up Our Act”: Baltimore’s New Stormwater Fee,” is intended to do two things:

  1. Demonstrate to ratepayers why Baltimore City’s new stormwater remediation fee is necessary for the health of our streams, the Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay; and
  2. Encourage the City of Baltimore to work with ratepayers to ensure that the revenue from the fee is spent in as transparent and effective a manner as possible.

The report’s author, Bill Stack of the Center for Watershed Protection, describes stormwater pollution and its contribution to the declining health of the Chesapeake Bay, explains the regulatory origins of the stormwater fee dating back to the Clean Water Act of 1972, and outlines the City’s plans for spending the revenue generated by the fee. The report makes the case that the health of the Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay are a collective responsibility and that truly “cleaning up our act” will require the public and private sectors to work together. To that end, the report concludes with recommendations for specific ways that Baltimore residents, businesses, and city government officials can work together in order to maximize the success of our water pollution reduction efforts.