"An O'Malley administration proposal to ease Maryland's stringent new storm-water pollution rules won legislative approval last night, capping a fierce debate over whether the Chesapeake Bay would suffer from giving developers more time and leeway in having to clamp down on rainfall washing off their building projects.
After a three-hour hearing, the House-Senate Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review overwhelmingly endorsed emergency changes to state storm-water pollution regulations that are scheduled to take effect in a month. The revisions were proposed by the Maryland Department of the Environment after an outcry from developers and local officials had prompted lawmakers to move to roll back the regulations by legislation.
At stake were requirements that developers stop building ponds to collect rainfall from their parking lots and lawns and instead redesign their projects so that the water could soak into the ground naturally. Such runoff is a significant and growing source of pollution and mud fouling local streams and the bay."