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Under a new law co-sponsored by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and approved unanimously in the Senate and House, the federal government is now required to pay storm water management fees as “reasonable service charges” to state and local governments for curbing pollution from storm water runoff from impervious surfaces.
Government agencies resisted these fees, which were already being paid by private businesses.
Fees should soon start to be collected from an assortment of federal government facilities like military bases, prisons and other properties.
Washington, D.C., where federal facilities occupy more space than many other places, is expected to gain an additional $2.6 million annually in storm water management revenue.
Under the legislation, non profits and churches are also expected to pay their share. That is likely to generate a public debate, because the fees can reach thousands of dollars per year for a large church.
Congress passed the law in December in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) letter that denied federal government payment to the District of Columbia for impervious surface area charges.
The GAO contended that the charges were akin to an impermissible tax on the federal government. However — as noted by Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality — with more than two million employees, 500,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles nationwide, the federal government has a large footprint on the environment.
“Storm Water Permitting: A Guide for Builders and Developers,” available through BuilderBooks.com, provides a starting point for builders and developers to use in locating and understanding storm water permitting requirements.
The publication has been prepared to help builders comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's stormwater requirements, and includes information on state permitting programs and more than 50 of the most commonly used Best Management Practices.
Also included are tips on compliance, including how to handle visits from inspectors.
To view or purchase this guide online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.