Federal Stormwater Requirements Will Amp Up Costs for Fairfax County

Source:  Fairfax Times
Feb 3, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation have made some changes to the watershed implementation plan to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, but it still will take a significant county investment to meet the new goals.

If the county implements its existing watershed management plans, it can meet the goals, said Kate Bennett, of the stormwater planning division of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. However, it also means implementing the 30-year plan in about half the time.

Paying for all the needed stormwater projects most likely will require an increase in the county’s stormwater fee — 1.5 cents per $100 of assessed value for homeowners. It could take 4.5 to 5 cents to meet the needs, said Randy Bartlett, deputy director of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

That amounts to about $100 million per year, through 2015, he said, compared to the about $30 million the county now is taking in.

The county is continuing to consider additional strategies that could help keep taxpayer costs manageable as negotiations between the state, localities and the EPA continue
during the next year.