In a nut shell, The Watershed Protection & Restoration Fund was enacted in order to control the amount of pollution from stormwater runoff. The tremendous amount of excess stormwater after a heavy rainfall or snowstorm is not absorbed into the ground or treated at a wastewater treatment plant. This excess water then flows directly into our streams, rivers, reservoirs (hello delicious drinking water) and the Chesapeake Bay.
This fund affects Baltimore City and 9 counties in Maryland and goes into effect on July 1, 2013. If you own property in one of these areas, you will be charged a yearly fee reflective of the amount of impervious area that resides on your property. Impervious areas are structures and areas that do not allow for the absorption of water. An area such as the roof of a house, a patio or a driveway does not absorb the stormwater runoff thereby sending it (and all of the pollutants that it picks up along the way) directly to all of our naturally occurring water systems.
Each county has (or is currently determining) a way to charge this fee. For most counties, the fee will be added to your tax bill just as most sewer and trash collection fees are currently added to tax bills. These fees will create a fund that will be used to create new stormwater management systems.
Here are the links that we have found so far for each affected county. Some counties have already had this fee in place and some are still in the process of determining a fee schedule.
Image taken from the EPA Slideshow - Using Rain Gardens to Reduce Runoff