: News

Eroding Stormwater Regulations

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Developers and environmental groups in Maryland have been at loggerheads over new stormwater runoff regulations scheduled to go into effect May fourth, and a compromise has left neither side particularly satisfied.

Stormwater runoff from paved surfaces carrying trash and pollutants into rivers and the Chesapeake Bay is a recurring issue in the region. Maryland recently tried to deal with the problem by requiring developers to build in ways to slow down and filter rainwater in any new construction. Some developers bristled.

"Putting this burden on the back of new development--all it's going to do is increase the cost of housing way up beyond what anyone can afford and it won't get the job done," says Tom Farasy, president of the Maryland State Builders' Association.

During a down economy, he says, developers wouldn't be able to meet the rules. The state of Maryland relented, giving developers three more years to comply with the regulations and allowing more flexibility in how to meet the new standards. The grandfathering would apply only to developers who have received preliminary approval for their projects by May 4th, 2010. Developers whose projects haven't been approved by then will have to comply with the new regulations.

"We are disappointed that a significant number of projects will get extra time because that means that's pollution running off into creeks and rivers and into the bay that otherwise would've been slowed down and filtered," says Tom Zolper, with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Ultimately, though, the standards remain intact. Developers have until 2013 to meet them.


'Not Without My Daughter' Subject Grows Up, Tells Her Own Story

"Not Without My Daughter" told the story of an American mother and daughter fleeing Iran. Now that young girl is telling her own story in her memoir, "My Name is Mahtob."

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.

Proposed Climate Change Rules At Odds With U.S. Opponents

President Obama says the U.S. must lead the charge to reduce burning of fossil fuels. But American lawmakers are divided on limiting carbon emissions and opponents say they'll challenge any new rules.

What Is Li-Fi And When Will You Use It To Download Everything Faster?

Li-Fi is a lot like Wi-Fi, but it uses light to transmit data. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to the man who invented the faster alternative: Harald Haas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.