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Apply for a Stormwater Treatment Credit

Stormwater management practices capture and treat rain water so that the water does not flow directly into storm drains or streams. They remove pollutants, protect public health and prevent flooding, stream damage and erosion.

WQPC credit is provided to property owners who own and maintain onsite stormwater management practices, and is based on the volume of water captured. The goal of the credit program is to provide incentives to property owners for meeting stormwater standards which best mimic pre-developed conditions and controls and treats stormwater to the maximum extent practicable.

Download the Water Quality Protection Charge Credit Guide (PDF, 772KB)

Download the Stormwater Management Techniques Poster (PDF, 3.26MB)

 

Graphic of a house with several types of stormwater management practices, including a green roof and rain garden.Types of stormwater management practices eligible for a credit include:

There are currently more than 7,000 stormwater facilities in the County.

 

How Do Stormwater Credits Work?

Property owners who own and maintain stormwater management practices on their property are eligible to receive the credit (reduction to the WQPC).

  • The stormwater management practices must be maintained by the property owner and in accordance with the maintenance requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

  • An application form must be filled out and submitted by October 31st, the year before the credit would go into effect.

  • Approved credits are valid for three years.

The amount of the credit is based on the type of stormwater management and the volume of water treated. More intensive practices, such as wet ponds, dry ponds and bioretentions treat a lot of stormwater, and therefore, give property owners a large credit. Less intensive practices, such as rain barrels, cisterns and rain gardens, provide a smaller credit.

The credit program follows the guidelines issued by Chapter 5, Environmental Site Design, of the Maryland Department of Environment’s Stormwater Design Manual (PDF, 4.85MB). The term “Woods in Good Condition” is used in the manual to describe the condition in which the County should strive towards – meaning properties that meet “woods in good condition” characteristics are much better at storing, soaking in, filtering, evaporating, and consuming water. Figure 1.1 demonstrates the surface runoff of a developed and undeveloped site.

Graphic from the Environmental Site Design Manual about the impact of development on stormwater.

 

For Detached and Townhome Properties:

 

Image of a rain garden.
Maintaining a rain garden on your property
is a great way to earn a WQPC credit. 

Multi-family Residential Property Owners:

  • A reduction of up to 50% of the charge will be awarded based on the volume of water treated by a combination of environmental site design and other stormwater management systems; or 60% reduction based on the volume of water treated, if the property is completely treated by environmental site design practices alone.

  • Only one application needs to be completed for the condominium regime (e.g condo association). If the stormwater practice applies to all property owners within the condominium, then a list of tax accounts qualified for the credit must be included.

  • Apply now for the credit. (PDF, 690KB) This application is the same as the Multi-family Residential application 

 

Non-Residential Property Owners:

  • A reduction of up to 50% of the charge will be awarded based on the volume of water treated by a combination of environmental site design and other stormwater management systems; or 60% reduction based on the volume of water treated, if the property is completely treated by environmental site design practices alone.

  • The same property owner with multiple property parcels within the same drainage area may apply to receive treatment credit for all properties in the drainage area.

  • Apply now for the credit. (PDF, 690KB) This application is the same as the Multi-family Residential application 

 

How are Credits Calculated?

 

Do you own a Single-family Residential Property? 

► Do you own a Mult​i-family Residential or Nonresidential Property?

 

Single-family Residential Properties

Single-family residential properties, such as detached homes and townhomes, must use the Residential Credit Calculator to determine the value of their credit.  

The Residential Credit Calculator takes several factors into account:

  • Type of stormwater management practice
  • The size of the stormwater management practice
  • The amount of impervious area treated by the stormwater management practice
  • The size of your property
  • The amount of your WQPC before the credits

 

Download the Residential Credit Calculator (Excel file, 531KB)

Test the Residential Credit Calculator by inputting the different stormwater management practices you are considering for your property. You will see how the credits differ for each one. 

The maximum credit that a single family residential property can receive is 50% based on the volume of water treated. The WQPC Credit for all eligible stormwater management systems cannot exceed 50% percent of the Water Quality Protection Charge.

 

 

Multi-family and Non-Residential Credits

The WQPC credits for multi-family residential and non-residential properties are calculated based on the amount of impervious area treated by each stormwater management practice.

The formula for calculating the credits is:

 

Calculation of the Water Quality Protection Charge credit. The Credit = (Impervious Area Treated / Total Impervious Area) Multiplied by Facility Credit Percentage X WQPC

Calculation of Joanne's Water Quality Protection Charge. (4,812 / 2,406) Multiplied by $88.40.

Calculation of Joanne's Water Quality Protection Charge Credit with a rain garden.  Credit = (1,500 / 4,812) multiplied by 50% multiplied by $176.80. Equals a credit of $27.56

Joanne would receive a tax credit of $27.56.  This equals 15.6% savings and after the credit, Joanne would have a final Water Quality Protection Charge of $149.24.

Example 2:

If Joanne also had a sand filter on her property, her W​QPC Credit would increase. Joanne is treating 50% of her property (2,500 square feet) with a sand filter. Sandfilters have a Facility Credit Percentage of 50%.

 

 

  Calculation of Joanne's Credit with a rain garden and rain barrel. Credit equals ((1,500/4,812 multiplied by 50%) plus (2,500 / 4,812 multiplied by 50%)) multiplied by $176.80. Credit equals $73.48

 

If Joanne had a rain garden and a sandfilter her WQPC Credit would be $73.48, which is a 41.5% savings. Joanne's WQPC Charge after credits is $103.32.

 

Apply for a Credit

 

► Residential Credit Calculator and Application for Single-Family Residential Properties (Excel, 531KB)

Read the "How is My Credit Calculated?" Guide for More Details (PDF, 1.39MB)

Read the Brief Guide for Submitting Pictures and Documentation to DEP (PDF, 436KB)

► Application for Multi-family Residential Properties and Non-Residential Properties (PDF, 690KB)

 

Appeals

First Appeal: If an application for credit is denied, the property owner may appeal the decision by submitting a written request for reconsideration with supporting reasons to the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection within 10 days after the date of the Director's written decision.  

Second Appeal:  If the Director does not approve the request for reconsideration, the property owner may appeal the Director's final decision within 10 days it is issued, as provided in Chapter 2A, Article I, of the County Code. 

 

Deadlines

Credit applications must be submitted by the following dates:

  • 10/31/14 to receive reduction for the 2015 Tax Year
  • 10/31/15 to receive reduction for the 2016 Tax Year

Remember: Applications are good for three years!

 

What Do I Need to Fill Out a Credit Application?

Account Information (all information is required)

  • Account ID as it appears on the property tax bill (8 digit number)
  • Check if this is a “new” or a “renewal” application.
  • Important: County regulations require property owners to renew the WQPC credit every three (3) years. To receive credit, the application form must be submitted to DEP no later than October 31 of the year before payment of Charge is due. For example, for property tax bill for levy year 2015, in order to receive a credit for the Charge, the application must be submitted to DEP no later than October 31, 2014.
  • Owner Name as it appears on your property tax bill.
  • Property Address, City, State, and Zip Code of the physical location of the property with an on-site Stormwater Management System.
  • Mailing Address, City, State, and Zip Code if different than site address. This is needed to send correspondence regarding credit application.
  • Telephone Number to contact property owner regarding credit application and coordination of site visit.
  • E-mail address to provide to contact property owner regarding credit application (include renewal reminder) and coordination of site visit. 

 

Treatment Information

Single Family Residential Property Owners: 

  • Provide photos illustrating impervious area and each stormwater management practice. If engineering drawings are available, these can be provided as an attachment. Photos must include the entire site, the Stormwater Management System(s) and the impervious area(s) treated.
  • Attachment documentation including engineering drawings, photographs, etc. 
  • Residential Credit Calculator (Excel, 531KB)
  • Need help with the photos and documentation of your property? (PDF, 436KB) Download our resource document with guidelines of how to photograph your stormwater management practices and your property. 

 

Multi-Family and Nonresidential Property Owners:

If a multi-family residential or non-residential property would like the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to perform the research and calculations necessary to receive a credit, DEP will complete the application on their behalf for 50% of the final value of the credit. For more information on DEP preparing credit applications, contact WQPC.Credits@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Otherwise, engineer certified plans to include are:

  • Total Impervious Area (square). This includes buildings, parking lots, walkways, driveways, sheds. Section 19-21 of the County Code defines Impervious Area as “[a]ny surface that prevents or significantly impedes the infiltration of water into the underlying soil, including any structure, building, patio, sidewalk, compacted gravel, pavement, asphalt, concrete, stone, brick, tile, swimming pool, or artificial turf.”
  • Year of Installation (required for determining Facility Credit Percentage).
  • Facility Size and Units (required by DEP to evaluate facility and treatment of impervious area). For example, rain garden size may be listed as number of square feet.
  • Impervious Area Treated by Stormwater Management System (required for calculating the credit). Include photograph of Stormwater Management System (required by DEP to evaluate practices and treatment of impervious area). 

 

Important Information:

  • If a credit application is denied, the property owner can appeal the decision within 10 days of the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection's written decision.  The Director will give a final decision and send it to the property owner.  If necessary, the property owner can then file an appeal of the Director's final decision.  Learn more about appeals. 
  • Approved credits are valid for three years. After three years, the property owner must reapply by October 31 of the year before the payment is due.
  • Non-profit organizations can apply for credits based on the type of property they own. If a non-profit owns a single-family house, then their credit would be based on the single-family residential credit calculator.  If a non-profit owns a condominium, then their credit would be based on the multi-family residential credits.