Stricter standards to keep stormwater runoff under control — and out of the Chesapeake watershed — have been postponed until at least the end of 2010, and possibly as late as Dec. 1, 2011.

The tougher standards would control the way new homes, shopping centers, and other developments are built. Environmentalists maintain the new standards are necessary to protect the watershed for future generations, but opponents say the rules will increase sprawl, increase the cost of housing, and that consumers would ultimately bear the cost of stricter development rules that builders would have have to comply with.

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