Stormwater management could soon become a utility fee

If the governor decides to sign HB713 into law, Louisiana would become the 42nd state to declare stormwater to be a utility.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - If the governor decides to sign HB713 into law - a bill crafted after a similar law passed in Florida 30 years ago - Louisiana would become the 42nd state to declare stormwater to be a utility.

“Establishing a stormwater utility is not a mandate or requirement but it’s a local option,” said Kelly Hurtado with the Louisiana Stormwater Coalition, a volunteer who helped draft the bill.

“For example, in Baton Rouge, we get a water bill, and on the water bill, you see your sewer bill and your garbage fee, right? There would be a separate line item that would say the stormwater management program or stormwater management fee,” said Hurtado.

So essentially each city would get with the department of public works, have an expert come in and run the numbers for that area and assess what they need.

“Do they need drain and canal maintenance? Do they need sediment and litter trapping equipment,? Do they need capital improvements? All the things that a stormwater management program goes to pay for, right?” Hurtado added.

Baton Rouge has been able to make big strides when it comes to its stormwater management, but only with the recently allocated one-time federal dollars.

These programs would keep the money coming into a program tailored to your city.

“I feel that’s a step in the right direction,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said.

Now even if the governor decides to sign this into law that does not mean you would be hit with new fees automatically. It would be up to you and your local government to decide what is best for your area and if you need a stormwater program or not.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.