Release: Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force Issues Final Recommendations and Report

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Bill Henry
Comptroller,
Baltimore City
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-5410

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
(410) 387-5704

geoff.shannon@baltimorecity.gov

 

Baltimore, MD – The Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force (BRWGTF), established under House Bill 843 (HB843), proudly announces the delivery of its findings and recommendations to the Mayor of Baltimore City Brandon M. Scott, the County Executive of Baltimore County John “Johnny O” Olszewski, Jr., Governor Wes Moore, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones. This crucial milestone signifies a pivotal moment in the history of cooperation between the City and the surrounding counties in their efforts to work together on water, wastewater and stormwater issues in the Baltimore region. Both the consultants’ report to the Task Force and the Task Force’s recommendations are now accessible on both the City’s and Baltimore County’s websites.

Task Force  Chair Baltimore City Comptroller Bill Henry expresses gratitude to the consultants from WSP for their research and facilitation; each of the Task Force members for their dedication and diligence; and the Mayor and the County Executive for entrusting him with the leadership of this work. He extends appreciation to all participants who attended the meetings and provided valuable input throughout the process.

Starting in September 2023, the Task Force held a series of public meetings to openly deliberate on alternative governance models. At the final meeting held on January 25, 2024, the Task Force voted on five recommendations. The recommendations include:

  1. Exploration of Standalone Water Departments: The City and the County are encouraged to study the potential of returning or establishing existing Water & Wastewater bureaus/functions as separate, standalone Water (W/WW/SW) Departments.
  2. Creation of a City-County Water Advisory Committee: Proposing the establishment of a professional advisory committee to enhance the current operation, ensuring accountability to all ratepayers of the system.
  3. Threshold Issue Evaluation: Before considering any regional governance structure, the Task Force advises a thorough evaluation of threshold issues by a dedicated, professional work group. This group should recommend the optimal regional governance structure to address each threshold issue and other identified concerns.
  4. Consideration of Alternative Regional Governance Models: Acknowledging that the ideal solution may differ from the regional structure proposed by the Task Force’s consultant under Option E, the report suggests exploring other regional governance models, such as a compact commission.
  5. Legislation for a Professional Working Group: Recommending that the General Assembly pass legislation in the upcoming session to establish a professional working group. This group would be allocated sufficient resources to research and evaluate the threshold issues involved in establishing a regional governance model.

The full report and recommendations can be found on both the City’s and Baltimore County’s websites. 

Read the Recommendations

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