Polluted Stormwater Runoff

Our urban and suburban streams and rivers are plagued by polluted runoff every time it rains. Stormwater transports trash, oil, and toxic chemicals into our waterways. And when sewers overflow, raw sewage flows into our rivers. The impacted communities are often the most disadvantaged. Our Waterkeepers are using several strategies to reduce polluted stormwater runoff, ensuring that our neighborhood streams, rivers and bays become fishable and swimmable once again.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake and several Riverkeepers have been fighting to get the states to issue permits that adequately control polluted runoff. We have been in the courts for several years arguing for:

  • enforceable limits in the permits
  • public participation processes when agencies set deadlines and limits
  • adequate monitoring and compliance timetables
  • requirements for the elimination of non-stormwater pollution discharges

You can make a difference!

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Take a pledge to reduce pollution => Clear Choices Clean Water Campaign!

Latest Posts

Press Release: Gunpowder Riverkeeper Launches Clear Choices Clean Water Campaign

Campaign will drive citizen action in Harford County to improve local water quality through online pledges (Monkton, MD) – Gunpowder Riverkeeper has launched the Clear Choices Clean Water campaign in partnership with Waterkeepers Chesapeake to increase awareness about how choices residents make impact local rivers and streams – and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The campaign … Read more

We all have a role in keeping the Chesapeake clean

By Betsy Nicholas, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper Angela Haren, Baltimore Sun Op Ed, July 4, 2019 There’s a big problem right under our feet. Last year, sewer line breaks and leaks caused hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage water to spill into local waterways, putting both human health and aquatic life at … Read more

Local Chesapeake Waterkeepers Launch New Campaign to Reduce Polluted Stormwater Runoff

Campaign will drive citizen action to improve local water quality through online pledges (Baltimore, MD) – Waterkeepers Chesapeake has launched the new Clear Choices Clean Water Chesapeake Bay campaign to increase awareness about choices residents make and their impact on our rivers and streams – and ultimately the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays. The campaign inspires people … Read more

A Big Year for Clean Water Legislation in Maryland and Virginia!

We had some important legislative wins for clean water in Maryland. But first let’s give a big shout out to the amazing win in Virginia on cleaning up a legacy of toxic coal ash stored on our river banks! Virginia Safe Disposal of Coal Ash – Great news in Virginia! On March 20, Governor Northam signed into … Read more

Urge Maryland to Enforce Laws to Stop Polluted Runoff!

Good news! The Sediment and Erosion Reporting Act (House Bill 703)​ has passed the House and Senate. We now need Governor Hogan to sign it. Send an email urging him to sign this important bill that will allow for better annual reporting and, ultimately, enforcement on stormwater pollution related to construction activities.​ Stormwater runoff remains … Read more

WKC Sept 2016 Enews: Challenges of Keeping Our Water Clean

Dominion Energy’s Coal Ash Pond Pollution In Virginia, both the James and Potomac Rivers are being severely impacted by coal ash pollution. Earlier this summer, the James River Association (JRA) objected to Dominion Energy’s draft permit to dewater coal ash ponds at Dominion’s Chesterfield Power Station on the Lower James River. Lower James Riverkeeper Jamie … Read more

David Flores

Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper: Stop Sewage Overflows in Baltimore!

by David Flores, Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper ACT NOW: Last Chance to Keep Sewage out of Baltimore’s Homes, Parks and Waterways Before 2033! Since 2011, more than 100 million gallons of sewage have entered streets, homes, parks and waterways in Baltimore. After failing to meet the 2016 deadline, a proposed legal agreement with Baltimore City pushes repairs to … Read more

Weak MS4 permitting in Baltimore City will allow for continued illicit runoff.

Maryland Court of Appeals Decision Doesn’t Alter Facts of Case

In its opinion in three cases involving MS4 permits, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) is complying with the bare minimum legal requirements for municipal storm sewer system regulations. “That may be good enough for the court and for MDE, but meeting the bare minimum requirement is not … Read more

Waterkeepers Chesapeake: Maryland stormwater permits upheld, rejecting complaints they’re not tough enough

In a unanimous 100-page opinion, the Court of Appeals on Friday dismissed complaints by several environmental groups that stormwater pollution discharge permits issued by the state were not sufficiently stringent and had been drafted without adequate public input. The groups — including Waterkeepers Chesapeake and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation — had gone to court to challenge stormwater permits given by the Maryland … Read more

MD court to hear appeals over stormwater permits for Baltimore, 4 counties

The Maryland Court of Appeals was to hear oral arguments in early November in three separate cases involving permits issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment that will govern how stormwater is handled within four of Maryland’s largest counties and Baltimore City. At issue is whether the permits that the MDE issued were strong enough … Read more