Friday, November 9, 2012

Frederick County Swears Off 'Bay Diet'

When state officials announced the costs to Maryland counties for efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, the Frederick County Board of Commissioners was one of the first governing bodies to raise concerns about the financial burden the efforts would impose on counties. Frederick County was also one of the founding members of the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition, formed partly in response to concerns about the costs of bay cleanup and to give the state’s less populated areas a voice in Annapolis.

Now, the commissioners have voted to help fund another coalition that could mount a legal challenge to how the cleanup costs are implemented.

The estimated cost for Frederick County to meet the requirements for nitrogen and phosphorous runoff from wastewater, stormwater and septic systems is more than $1.8 billion by 2025, according to figures provided by the county...
By 2025, that $1.8 billion might by a cup of coffee.
The Frederick commissioners voted 4-1 at a meeting Thursday to give Dorchester $25,000 in support of the coalition. Commissioner David Gray (R) opposed the proposal.

The coalition aims to make sure efforts to improve the water quality of the bay are pursued “in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner,” according to an Oct. 26 letter sent to the Frederick commissioners and signed by Jay Newcomb, president of the Dorchester council. Organizers hope to get at least seven other counties to join the coalition, the letter said.
Compared to their expected clean up expenses, $25k is not even rounding error in $1.8 billion; it's certainly worth it for them to pursue cheaper alternatives.

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