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Posted at 07:35 AM ET, 10/27/2011

‘Flush fee’ in Maryland could increase

A state task force is considering increasing the state’s flush fee, which pays for sewage treatment plant and septic system upgrades, and cover crops to keep pollutants from running off into waterways. (Sarah L. Voisin - THE WASHINGTON POST)
In an effort to pay for upgrades that would cut pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, a state task force is recommending doubling or even tripling Maryland’s “flush fee.”

The flush fee, which generates money for the Bay Restoration Fund, is currently $30 a year for homeowners.

According to Hometown Annapolis, the fee could increase to $60 in 2013 and $90 in 2015.

The task force, which was set up by Gov. Martin O’Malley earlier this year, is comprised of politicians, environmentalists, farmers and others.

The group is charged with figuring out how to comply with — and pay for — federal requirements to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, with a focus on “modernizing sewage plants, upgrading septic systems and fixing stormwater problems,” according to Hometown Annapolis.

The total cost of these upgrades has not been specified.

The task force is expected to make recommendations by the end of this year, presumably in time for the 2012 General Assembly session.

By  |  07:35 AM ET, 10/27/2011

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