Thursday, June 28, 2012

Frederick Co. Bay Diet Cost Half; Still "Astronomical"

Frederick County might be on the hook for $1.5 billion for its share in reducing stormwater pollutants as part of the state’s plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

That number is well above the $200 million the state estimated it would cost, but under the $2.3 billion the county initially projected. The new estimate is based on numbers and scenarios from the Maryland Department of the Environment, said Shannon Moore, the county’s manager of sustainability and environmental resources.
What?  They were almost a factor of ten different in their estimates of cost?  Does anyone here know how to estimate them?  (Don't ask me, I'm a Ph.D.; we're notoriously awful about estimating how much something is going to cost).  Still, it looks like the country knows better about their costs than the state did.
Moore and staff recalculated the cost to the county using best management practices developed for the county by MDE, cost estimates prepared by MDE analyst Dennis King, and a scenario assessment developed by MDE. The $1.5 billion cost includes all stormwater retrofits within Frederick County, including municipal, state, federal, county-owned and unregulated urban land. The estimated cost to Frederick County government, based on the pollution reduction target for the county’s stormwater permits, is 43 percent, or $644 million. Municipalities have their own permits, but are not required to submit WIP plans. MDE has stated in its Draft Phase II WIP that the permit renewals are expected to have a goal to reduce 20 percent of their untreated urban impervious areas built prior to 2002, and that these permit renewals will take place in December.

The reduction goals will be written into upcoming stormwater permits as conditions of the permits.

“At the end of the day, these are [MDE’s] numbers,” Moore said.
It's still $1.5 billion for about 233,000 people, about $6,500 per person.  That's not chump change.

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