Senate File 455, a bill that would prevent cities and counties from adopting stormwater mitigation and topsoil protection ordinances, has been revived in the House. This legislation would restrict city and county government ability to protect local waterways from degradation due to development pressures. The bill was stalled due to bipartisan opposition, but it will be reconsidered on Monday, May 1st with new amendment language that does not adequately address the issues with the bill language.
Instead of restoring the ability for cities and counties to protect streams from degradation, the latest amendments (H-1304 and H-1306) for SF455 would make cities and counties cover the majority of the costs of stormwater management on development sites and pay a developer for the land required to locate the practices. The amendments create additional conflicts for an already flawed bill. With the legislature expected to adjourn next week, there is not enough time to properly consider the implications of the amendment language and formulate better solutions.
Local government action is crucial for communities facing intense development. Development increases runoff to city storm drains and local streams. Without local control and requirements for developers, the burden of addressing stormwater and local flooding issues will fall to taxpayers.
This bill is being reconsidered by the House on Monday, May 1st. Contact your Representative in the House and ask them to oppose this bill.
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