Effectively managing stormwater is one of the greatest challenges faced by communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. Like all infrastructure, stormwater management systems, including low impact development practices, require long-term care and maintenance. As communities struggle to best allocate limited resources, stormwater management systems are frequently overlooked until an emergency occurs, costing millions in damages and repairs, or until a mandate forces a community to take action.
The issue of paying for stormwater, incorporating both gray and green infrastructure practices, looms even larger as Chesapeake Bay communities prepare to deal with a set of stringent regulations including Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Phase I and Phase II Permits, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements, and Watershed Implementation Plans. Although often an effective driver, these federal and state mandates are not always accompanied by the type of technical assistance, information, and resources needed to successfully guide the development and implementation of sustainable stormwater management plans.
The Stormwater Financing and Outreach Unit was created to address communities’ stormwater financing questions and help craft a strategy that best meets local needs. The unit provides a host of technical assistance opportunities working one-on-one with communities throughout the region, with a set of regional entities, and/or stormwater stakeholders from state, local, and nongovernmental organizations to provide stormwater management and financing support.
See our current and past projects below for more information on the type of assistance we provide. For more information on the EFC’s Stormwater Financing and Outreach Unit, check out our FAQ
♦ Commentary: Now’s the time to take action against urban-suburban runoff, Maryland Reporter, October 29, 2013
♦ EPA Regional Administrator Tours Stormwater and Land Conservation Projects on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, EPA News Release, July 31, 2013
♦ Getting past the “rain tax” rhetoric, The Baltimore Sun, April 30, 2013
♦ Businesses Fear Huge Bills from Stormwater Fee, Baltimore CBS affiliate, March 26, 2013
Based on the expressed need from many communities in the Chesapeake Bay that are faced with the challenges of limited capacity and resources for meeting their stormwater management obligations, the EFC has partnered with the Low Impact Development Center to establish the Municipal Online Stormwater Training (MOST) Center. The MOST Center will help communities bridge the gap in needed technical and financial resources through a comprehensive training program to help municipalities within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed access and implement innovative stormwater management techniques to improve water quality in the Bay. For more information about the MOST Center, please visit www.mostcenter.org.
The Environmental Finance Center (EFC) works each year with several communities in the region to revitalize their stormwater management and fianancing programs. Below is a list of EFC stormwater projects by state.
| Anne Arundel County Baltimore
Berlin Bowie College Park Calvert County Federalsburg Ocean City Oxford Salisbury
|Lynchburg Shenandoah Valley||Blair County Lancaster County Scranton Warrington Township||Berkeley County|
EFC’s new Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual was inspired by and written for local government leaders. The manual provides background information about a paradigm shift underway in stormwater management and a process model for being effective leaders in creating policies and programs to finance that shift.
The Environmental Finance Center is working with the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office to expand the capacity of communities to advance their Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) through interactive workshops focused on stormwater or agricultural financing. The EFC is working with local and regional planning teams to develop and implement a series of “road shows” throughout the region with a mix of stormwater and agricultural nutrient management and finance content tailored to the needs of the communities involved.
The EFC is working with the City and the Scranton Sewer Authority to assess the City’s current asset management framework in addressing both its combined sewer system and municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). The EFC will recommend ways to integrate and enhance water resource infrastructure investments for the City to adequately meet all stormwater regulations.
In October 2011, the EFC was awarded a grant by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to implement a stormwater financing technical assistance project in three urban communities across the region: Baltimore, Maryland; Anne Arundel County, Maryland; and Lynchburg, Virginia. While the overarching goal of this effort was to expand the ability of local governments to achieve water quality restoration goals through more efficient stormwater financing, the project focused on three primary objectives: