County Announces Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force

The Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force was established under state law to make recommendations to modernize the governance of the Baltimore region’s water and wastewater utilities to help ensure residents efficiently, equitably and sustainably receive high-quality services.

Currently, residents of both Baltimore City and Baltimore County jurisdictions are served by water and wastewater systems under an agreement that dates back to 1972. Today, the regional drinking water and wastewater systems, owned and operated primarily by Baltimore City, now serve as many as 1.8 million residents across Baltimore City, Baltimore County and other surrounding jurisdictions.

Due to this regional population growth and the growing complexity of the utilities, City and County officials jointly-released a comprehensive review of the shared water and wastewater systems in 2021.

The Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force will:

  • Review the findings of two specified tasks of the Water/Sewer Services Comprehensive Business Process Review for Baltimore City and Baltimore County as finalized in July 2021, and other existing regional water and wastewater governance models.
  • Assess alternative governance structures for the Baltimore region’s water and wastewater utility.
  • Analyze the fiscal implications and efficiencies of each alternative governance structure, including estimated short- and long-term costs, 10-year historical costs that both jurisdictions have paid to the utility and cost. savings.
  • Recommend the governance model best suited for water and wastewater systems in the Baltimore region, and the necessary legislation and funding to establish the recommended model.
  • Issue a final report to the Mayor of Baltimore City, the County Executive of Baltimore County, the Governor and the General Assembly, no later than January 30, 2024.

TIMELINE

The Task Force is currently expected to hold four public meetings:

  • September through November—Public Meetings Held
  • December—Draft Report Issued for Public Comment Period
  • January 2024—Public Comment Period Closes
  • January 30, 2024—Final Report on Findings and Recommendations Issued

MEETINGS

Upcoming meeting schedule and details will be posted when available.

MEMBERS

The Task Force is comprised of the following diverse group of experts, local stakeholders and community leaders.

  • Five members named by Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott:
    • Bill Henry—Baltimore City Comptroller, Task Force Chair
    • Lester Davis—Vice President, Chief of Staff of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
    • Jason Mitchell—Former Director of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW)
    • Patrick Moran—President, AFSCME Council 3
    • Kishia L. Powell—General Manager/CEO, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Water
  • Three members named by Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski:
    • Lauren Buckler, P.E., CEM, LEED AP—Deputy Director, Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation
    • Carla A. Reid—Former General Manager, WSSC Water
    • Robert M. Summers, Ph.D—Former Maryland Secretary of the Environment
  • Two members named by Governor Wes Moore:
    • Timothy Barr—Managing Director, Water/Wastewater, Maryland Environmental Service
    • Jessica Medicus—Environmental Manager, Bay Associates Environmental, Inc.
  • One member of the State Senate named by Senate President Bill Ferguson:
    • Senator Cory McCray—District 45, Deputy Majority Whip
  • One member of the House of Delegates named by Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones:
    • Delegate Dana Stein—District 11B, Vice-Chair, Environment and Transportation Committee
  • One member named by the Chair of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council:
    • Yosef Kebede—Director, Howard County DPW

CONTACT INFORMATION

For questions or more information about the Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force, email watergovernance@baltimorecountymd.gov.

B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later Eastcountytimes.com in 2022.

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