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City of Portland, Maine Stormwater Service Fees and Credits

May 2015


Like many other municipalities in the US who already assess fees for stormwater services, the City of Portland, Maine will implement a new stormwater service charge to all developed properties in the Portland area starting in January, 2016. This fee affects residential and non-residential (i.e., commercial and industrial) properties including non-profits.

This new stormwater service charge will be based on the amount of impervious area on each property. Impervious areas are hard surfaces like rooftops, sidewalks and parking lots where rainwater and snow melt runoff the property instead of infiltrating into the ground. Stormwater runoff can pick up pollutants -- including oil drips from vehicles and equipment, sand and sediment from parking areas, and lawn fertilizers -- which could harm the streams, brooks and tidal water.

For every 1,200 square feet of impervious area, property owners will be charged $6 per month. As an example, if a property has 20,000 square feet of rooftop and 29,500 square feet of pavement, the fee will be $246 monthly, totaling $2,952 annually (nearly $30,000 over a ten year period). According to the City of Portland, the fees generated will go directly toward the City's stormwater system improvements and maintenance.

Stormwater credits will be available for property owners who effectively maintain approved on-site solutions to treat and/or reduce stormwater runoff. Credits are not automatically applied: property owners must file an application along with reports or plans prepared by a certified professional (i.e. professional engineer). These credits are applied just to the portion of a site's impervious area that is treated. The credits can be significant: the maximum credit is 100% of the stormwater service charge.

St.Germain Collins' engineers have designed and permitted stormwater controls that meet local, state and federal design standards throughout Maine and New England. We can help determine if your property may be eligible for stormwater credits, and what solutions to consider. Contact Scott Collins, P.E., Vice President and Senior Engineer: 207-591-7000 scottc@stgermaincollins.com.

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