Stormwater Inspection Staff To Quarduple

SWM pondshutterstock_147631484In 2001, the Anne Arundel County (MD) stormwater inspection staff was inexplicably reduced from seven to one.  As a result of a dramatic decline in inspections and maintenance, half of the County’s 11,000+ stormwater ponds and other Best Management Practices failed over the next decade.  This was the finding from a 2011 Watershed Audit of the Severn River system by CEDS.   In 2012, a coalition of watershed groups began urging the County Executive and Council to restore inspection staffing.  Recently we learned that the County plans to increase staff from first one to four inspectors and eventually as many as seven.  Of all the ways that tax dollars might be used to improve water quality, inspections are the most cost-effective.  For every $20 spent on inspections nutrient loads are reduced by a pound per year.  Most other approaches, like building new BMPs or stream restoration, require $200 to $600 to achieve the same result.  Many thanks to County Executive Laura A. Neuman and County Council members: Jamie Benoit, Derek Fink, John Grasso, Dick Ladd, Peter Smith, Chris Trumbauer and Jerry Walker.

About Richard Klein

President of Community & Environmental Defense Services (
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