Maryland Court Rules in Favor of Local Riverkeepers and Rejects Weak Montgomery County Stormwater Permit

On April 2, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled against the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) and sent the flawed stormwater permit for Montgomery County back to the state’s environmental regulators, citing a laundry list of legal and factual shortcomings that violated state and federal law. The court’s April 2 order upholds a 2013 lower court ruling that agreed with Potomac, Anacostia and Patuxent Riverkeepers and other environmental petitioners, finding that the 2010 permit failed to set clear benchmarks for reducing urban stormwater pollution and failed to provide meaningful public participation as the permit was developed. Instead of revising the permit, MDE appealed the court’s ruling, leading to the April 2 decision. The environmental petitioners include Friends of the Earth and Waterkeeper Alliance, who are both represented by Earthjustice in this case.