: News

Stormwater Runs Up Bills For Prince George's County

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

From the county level to the federal level, governments in this area are turning their attention to urban runoff, also known as storm-water. It can have expensive consequences.

Along the banks of Paint Branch Creek, just off of Rt.1 in College Park, Maryland, bright yellow cliff faces made of raw dirt stand out precariously from the landscape. Every so often, a little more crumbles into the water, and businesses here have had to spend millions to build retaining walls.

"It's the result of the fact that we've paved over a huge amount of our urban land and suburban land, or we created turf grass lawns, where there used to be woods," says Diane Cameron, Conservation Director for the Audubon Naturalist Society.

She says all that paving, 50 percent of the watershed in some areas, prevents rainwater from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, it's like a funnel that collects vast quantities of rain and sends it raging through streams, causing erosion and, she says, creating a very large bill.

"We have almost a billion dollars in unmet public damage repair here in P.G. County just in terms of gouged out stream channels," she says.

The county is developing what's known as an MS4 permit to regulate runoff, environmental groups are pushing for more rules on development to require what's known as environmental site design; rain gardens and buffers to let water soak into the ground rather than gush through streams and water ways.

NPR

Aviator Beryl Markham Soars Again In 'Paris Wife' Author's New Book

"It is my fate to illuminate the lives of these one-of-a-kind notable women that have been somehow forgotten by history," says Paula McClain. She shines her spotlight on Markham in Circling the Sun.
NPR

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.
NPR

SuperPACs Report Their Funds — And The Numbers Are Staggering

SuperPACs released their latest funding numbers Friday, and already it's clear that the committees' roles in 2016 will be gargantuan.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

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