**SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE** Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary highlights Prince George’s County’s Rain Check Rebate Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

**SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE** Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary highlights Prince George’s County’s Rain Check Rebate Program

HYATTSVILLE, MD (December 11, 2013) – Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Robert M. Summers today highlighted Rain Check Rebate funds as a way for private citizens in Prince George’s County to reduce stormwater pollution on their properties. The homeowner highlighted at today’s event is one of the first Prince George’s County citizens to take advantage of the rebate program by installing permeable pavement in the driveway next to her home. In addition to receiving funds to pay for the project, the homeowner will also receive a discount on her stormwater fee.

Hyattsville is the third stop on MDE’s Stormwater Innovations Tour, a campaign bringing awareness to the stormwater remediation efforts of government, communities and citizens around the State. The tour will conclude with the Smart, Green & Growing Clean Water Trade Show on January 7, 2014. For more information on stormwater, visit MDE’s stormwater 101 webpage.

MORE INFORMATION:
The Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program allows property owners to receive rebates for installing Rain Check-approved stormwater management practices. Homeowners, businesses and nonprofit entities, including housing cooperatives and churches, can recoup some of the costs of installing best stormwater management practices covered by the program.

As a part of the project, contractors removed the existing concrete driveway and excavated approximately 12 inches of earth.  The contractors then installed geo-textile permeable fabric, eight inches of clean stone, two inches of crushed stone and finally, the Eco-Brick permeable pavement.  Overall, 921 square feet of impervious area was treated.

The total cost of the existing pavement removal and installation of the permeable pavement project was $15,900. The Rain Check rebate amount issued to the property owner was $2,000. In addition, the property owner will receive a discount on her stormwater fee. The contractor for this project was Mr. Abel Rivas, Owner of Best Landscape & Construction.

CORE FACTS:

  • Through the monitoring and accountability efforts implemented under Baystat, Maryland has led the Chesapeake Bay watershed states by meeting 100 percent of the two-year milestones set for 2010-2011 and 2012-2013.
  • Urban and suburban stormwater pollution accounts for 18 percent of the pollution into our rivers, streams, lakes and drinking water reservoirs
  • Under the federal Clean Water Act, the State and federal governments work together with local jurisdictions to curb this large polluting sector by setting targets for stormwater pollution reduction that the jurisdictions must reach.
  • Because every jurisdiction is different, the local government drafts its own plan for how it will reach its stormwater pollution reduction goals.
  • The local jurisdiction writes the plan, picks the projects that will be implemented under the plan and is responsible to the federal and State governments for how the goal will be met.
  • During the 2012 Maryland General Assembly session, lawmakers passed House Bill 987 to give local jurisdictions the flexibility needed to set fees that would work for each jurisdiction and a way to fund the pollution reduction projects needed to meet the goals set under the Clean Water Act.
  • Maryland is 75 percent of the way toward meeting its 2025 federal pollution diet goal.
  • Several jurisdictions have discounts and rebates available for those businesses and residents that have taken steps to reduce stormwater runoff on their properties.

QUOTES:

“The Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources has quickly become a model of sustainable innovation in managing stormwater runoff throughout the state and region.  Our partnership and collaboration with the Maryland Department of the Environment through initiatives like the Stormwater Innovations Tour and the Rain Check Rebate Program have enabled us to address key environmental challenges and improve the quality of life for the people of Prince George’s County and the state.”

      –      Rushern L. Baker, III, County Executive, Prince George’s County Government
 

“Stormwater management programs like the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate are a great example of how collaboration among government, non-profits and communities can improve water quality, making our waterways swimmable, fishable and livable for future generations of Marylanders.”

      –     Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

“Our challenges are too great for the government to solve on its own.  This project is a great example of a new school approach toward environmental protection – that government also provides support to empower people to help clean our environment while creating jobs here in our community.  We appreciate the Reynolds family and Best Landscape & Construction for stepping up to make a difference.”

     –       Adam Ortiz, Director, Prince Georges’ County Department of Environmental Resources

“With so much land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed privately owned, there is an opportunity for everyone to play a part in stormwater management to help reduce pollution and runoff,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “At the government level, the Maryland Department of the Environment and Prince George’s County are working tirelessly to improve local water quality, but every homeowner can consider what steps he or she can take personally to minimize impact on our waterways.”

     –      Jana Davis, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust

“Polluted runoff is the number one source of pollution to the Anacostia River, so we appreciate the General Assembly’s leadership in tackling this problem. The Prince George’s County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program is a model for what all of the developed jurisdictions in the state should be doing to reduce polluted runoff.

     –       Jim Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society

MDE MISSION:
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland’s air, water and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.

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