Montgomery County Council votes to increase stormwater fines
Council calls for stricter adherence to construction rules
Developers in Montgomery County face twice the penalty for spilling mud or allowing stormwater to run off their construction sites as the county council voted unanimously today to increase fines for violators of its sediment control policy.
County Executive Isiah Leggett is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as he receives it, said spokesman Patrick K. Lacefield.
Marc Elrich (D-At large) of Takoma Park, who proposed the bill, said he wanted to increase the fine to emphasize the importance of following sediment control practices, which are designed to keep unearthed dirt and mud at construction sites from being carried into waterways by stormwater.
The fine, originally set at $500 for an initial offense and $750 for a subsequent offense, is now set at $1,000; the highest allowed by county law.
"The purpose of the fine is to get away from the attitude of the fine as being just the cost of doing business," he said.
Elrich's proposal has seen unanimous support from the council since it was introduced. Council President Valerie Ervin put her support behind the bill, signing as a co-sponsor with Elrich after it was introduce Dec. 15.
Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Potomac said today he hoped the large fines would influence the builders to take the county's sediment control policy seriously.
"We don't want to punish the development community, but to influence them not to pay the fine," he said.