Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Liquid Inequities

Metro Council just rejected Jason Holleman's amendment to the Mayor's water bill that would have made water fees proportional to the amount of impervious surface (concrete, asphalt, etc.) on properties. That rejection means that those of us with pervious yards, paths, and driveways that soak up more water will be paying the same rate as those car dealers, for instance, that black top the bulk of their properties and generate higher levels of stormwater run-off, putting higher stress on the stormwater system.

The Mayor's Plan then passed second reading without equitable incentives for property owners to manage their stormwater run-off by maintaining as many pervious surfaces as possible. On first blush, this again looks consistent with the Mayor's ambivalence toward yard-laden neighborhoods, which generate a lot less stormwater run-off than do commercial sites. The Mayor's Office, of course, points to the inequities of making larger institutions pay more for creating more stormwater run-off even as it burdens the system more than that the rest of us produce.

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