MS4 Public Comment Letter
Names submitted to our online public comment form will be added to the following letter and sent to the Maryland Department of the Environment on September 21.
September 21, 2012
Via First Class and Electronic Mail
Dr. Robert Summers, Secretary
Mr. Jay Sakai, Director, Water Management Administration
Mr. Brian Clevenger, Manager, Sediment, Stormwater & Dam Safety Program
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Dear Maryland Department of the Environment (“MDE”):
The people of Baltimore deserve fishable and swimmable waterways, as required under the Clean Water Act, and MDE should stand up for our right to a clean and safe environment. The undersigned individuals are all citizens concerned about the health of Maryland waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, and are supporting members or friends of the organization Blue Water Baltimore, Inc.
We believe that, if issued as written, the proposed Baltimore City Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (“MS4” or “Stormwater”) Permit will fail to adequately reduce the severe pollution that continues to degrade the Baltimore Harbor, greater Patapsco River, and Back River watersheds, and the Chesapeake Bay.
The ability to use and enjoy local waterways is imperative to residents of Maryland and the broader Chesapeake Bay watershed. We are saddened by the dire state of Baltimore’s rivers, streams and Harbor and find it unacceptable that we and our children cannot safely recreate in these waterways without risking bacterial infections or worse. The key to restoring the quality of Baltimore’s waters is in your hands, and we ask that you, as the agency representing our health and our environment, strengthen this permit so that it will ensure cleaner water.
Specifically, we ask MDE to revise this permit to include enforceable limits that prevent continued pollution from sewage discharges and stormwater runoff. This permit must also include specific deadlines and requirements if Baltimore and, indeed, the state of Maryland, have any hope for meeting critically important goals for reducing pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
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