Click to Home

Go To Search
FacebookTwitterFind & Follow
Stormwater Utility Fee
Stormwater Utility Fee
For a copy of the stormwater utility fee ordinance click here. For a fact sheet on the fee, click here. For a copy of the compliance report from July 1, 2014, click here.

The Board of County Commissioners voted on May 30, 2013 to adopt a one cent ($0.01) per year stormwater utility fee on all eligible properties to comply with HB987. 

Effective July 2012, the Maryland State Legislature passed the “Stormwater Management - Watershed Protection and Restoration Program”, also known as House Bill 987. The text of HB987 can be found here. The law requires nine counties (including Frederick County) and the City of Baltimore to establish a stormwater utility fee on or before July 1, 2013.

Local and state government properties as well as volunteer fire company properties are exempt under the law. The county is electing not to charge properties in municipalities, as many have their own stormwater permit requirements. The County does not wish to duplicate costs on these citizens. Agricultural and not-for-profit properties are not exempt from the fee.

The County is required to comply with a federal Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The County’s NPDES MS4 permit has substantial requirements for monitoring, mapping, inspections, maintenance, special studies, and other tasks. The most expensive requirement is to retrofit surfaces in urban areas with stormwater management facilities. The state requires retrofits because these areas do not allow water to filter and percolate. The County predicts that its next National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, currently in draft, would cost the county over $112 Million to comply, including $96 Million for stormwater retrofits.

The County also has Industrial Discharge Permits for Stormwater for a number of its facilities. These permits require quarterly and yearly inspections, trainings, good housekeeping, and other actions to control stormwater discharges.

HB987 does not affect compliance goals.

Approximately $487.81 is expected to be collected in year one of the fee on July 1, 2013, based on collecting one cent from each of an estimated 48,781 eligible properties. Funds collected through the fee will be set aside to pay for stormwater- related activities as required by the law. The county spent an average of $2.5M per year on stormwater permit compliance through the general fund from taxes through Fiscal Year 2013. It plans to continue funding through the general fund. The county  has increased its budget in Fiscal Year 2014 to $3.56M with the FY’15 request at $5.35M

A property owner may appeal a stormwater remediation fee assessment as required by HB987.  An appeal shall be submitted to the Director of the Treasury on or before September 30 to receive a correction of the fee.  The property owner shall include a detailed statement of the grounds of the appeal and supporting information on the grounds for the appeal.  The Community Development Division will issue a determination on the appeal on behalf of the Director.  Grounds for appeal include:
  1. Mathematical errors in calculating the fee;
  2. The real property is not subject to the fee under § 1-15.2-11.5 of the ordinance;
  3. The property owner is exempt from the fee under § 1-15.2-11.6 of the ordinance;
  4. Errors in the identification of the property owner or real property subject to the fee. 

There is a financial hardship program required by HB987.  To qualify for a substantial financial hardship exemption the property must already have an exemption for the County's Bay Restoration Fund Fee.  Properties with this exemption will automatically be exempt under the stormwater utility fee.

A credit program is required by HB987 and will be adopted in the future through the direction of the Director of the Community Development Division.