|Red shaded areas represent biologically degraded streams in Prince George's County|
MDE has elected to create just one "template" permit for all of the expired jurisdictions, and the first of these new permits was just issued for the city of Baltimore. Community advocates have taken issue with aspects of the permit and groups from around Maryland are pushing back because of the bad precedent the Baltimore permit could set for the rest of the state. Healthy Prince George's members are working with groups like Blue Water Baltimore, who issued a statement indicating the following flaws in the permit:
- Fails to require that pollution discharges adhere to already-established limits for such things as bacteria, nutrients and metals, making it harder to achieve water-quality goals.
- Does not require Baltimore City to use updated best practices to control storm water pollution. This will allow the city to continue to rely on outdated practices that are ineffective and expensive to maintain, such as the use of storm water retention ponds.
- Would require significantly less monitoring of pollution in streams throughout Baltimore than needed to determine compliance. The draft permit would require in-stream pollution testing in only one stream.
- Lacks specific and enforceable goals for reducing the amount of pollution being discharged.
There is a hearing on the Baltimore permit August 7, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21230. Members of Healthy Prince George's will be speaking out and we hope you will join us! And as always, stay tuned here for updates.
Click for more Maps of Impaired Waterways in Prince George's County