Lancaster residents could pay fees help protect Chesapeake Bay

Written by Megan Lello | Apr 29, 2013 4:01 AM

(Lancaster) -- A new plan to help cut down on stormwater in the Chesapeake Bay could mean some folks in one midstate city would have to pay up to help.

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Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray, along with the city's public works department, has proposed charging residents, as well as commercial and industrial businessowners who don't have porous pavement. This particular type of pavement can absorb stormwater and prevent it from flowing to the Bay, which the federal Environmental Protection Agency is looking to protect.

Gray says fees would vary, depending on how much impervious pavement a home or business has on its property.

He says acting now would save the city money later. "Rather than hold the stormwater when there's a heavy rain and then treat it at a later time, the treatment at a later time would cost us between $750,000 and $1 million a year to treat. [It's] water that we've polluted. We've combined the stormwater and wastewater ourselves."

Gray says the fees are part of a 25-year plan to help make Lancaster more sustainable, which would include planting more trees and installing "green" roofs.

He says city council is aware of the plan, but doesn't know when it would come to a formal vote.

Published in Lancaster, News

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