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Funkstown officials discuss watershed plan

June 11, 2012

Funkstown officials agreed Monday night to do what the town can afford to do to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous discharges into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Municipalities and counties in the state are being asked to decide by June 30 whether they will do what they can afford to help the bay; won’t do anything; or will adopt a plan that states the local government will spend its estimated target amount in the next 13 years to reduce nutrient discharge.

For Funkstown, that amount is $4.1 million for stormwater runoff projects. That’s a figure the town cannot afford, town officials have said.

In making a motion during Monday’s Town Council meeting, Councilman Richard Gaver adjusted the recommendation to say town officials don’t recognize there is a problem, meaning they don’t recognize that discharges of nitrogen and phosphorous from Funkstown are affecting the bay because no one has presented them with proof that Funkstown is affecting the bay, he said.

Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said the council voted 5-0 on the watershed motion. The town’s plan must be submitted to the Maryland Department of the Environment by June 30.

Councilman John Phillips III was absent from Monday night’s meeting.

Funkstown resident Barry Warrenfeltz said he wanted to know how much the state was going to pay toward the town’s $4.1 million target, since much of the stormwater runoff in town comes from the state-owned highway through town.

The need for a Watershed Implementation Plan stems from lawsuits filed by environmental groups that claimed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wasn’t following through on part of the Clean Water Act in developing, or requiring states to develop, a plan to reduce those nutrients.

— Julie E. Greene

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