The mission of the Department’s Water Management Administration (WMA) is to restore and maintain the quality of the State’s ground and surface waters, and to plan for and supervise the development and conservation of the State's waters. WMA manages a broad range of activities, including regulating and financing municipal wastewater treatment systems; regulating the use and development of the State's water resources, public water supplies, and on-site residential sanitation systems; regulating well-drilling and industrial pretreatment; providing technical assistance for water and wastewater utilities; financing small creek and estuary restoration; approving erosion/sediment control and storm water management plans; storm water permitting; dam permitting and inspection; protection and management of tidal and nontidal wetlands and waters; and regulating mining activities and mitigation problems associated with abandoned mines. These protection, financing and regulatory activities help WMA ensure that State waters are safe for drinking, recreation, and wildlife.
Manage water, wastewater, and nonpoint source pollution control capital projects that are funded through grants and loans from the Department.
Permit and provide construction inspection for water and sewerage facilities.
Develop and implement the new federally mandated storm water permitting program.
Review and approve erosion/sediment control and storm water management plans for state and federal construction projects.
Inspect dams for safety, issue new permits, and approve downstream warning plans for high hazard dams.
Issue water appropriation permits for use of surface and ground waters.
Issue permits for discharges to surface and ground water from both industrial and municipal facilities as required by the federal Clean Water Act.
Oversee programs delegated by the Department to local health departments. Activities include MDE’s regional consultants who provide technical assistance to local health departments for on-site water and wastewater systems, and assistance in developing and testing new innovative or alternative septic system designs.
Regulate activities conducted in nontidal wetlands and their buffers, and nontidal waterways, including the 100-year floodplain. Also, regulates activities conducted in tidal wetlands.
Create, restore, and enhance nontidal wetlands and streams, provide training and technical assistance and assist in the development of watershed management plans.
Inspect industrial and municipal wastewater discharges, coal and surface mining operations, agricultural sites, and construction activities involving sediment control, storm water management, wetlands and waterways.
Regulate active mines and mitigate environmental problems associated with abandoned mines. Also, regulate oil and gas exploration, production, and storage.
Ensure safe drinking water in Maryland by administering the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, developing the State’s comprehensive ground water protection program, and responding to local water supply emergencies.
Conduct performance evaluations of surface water filtration plants to assist systems in optimizing treatment and reducing the risk of passing Cryptosporidium (a protozoan parasite that can infect humans) into the finished water.
Train public water and wastewater treatment operators and provide on-site technical assistance to support the State’s operator certification program and achieve compliance and pollution prevention goals.
Finance storm water management practices and small creek and estuary restoration projects.
The Environmental Boards screen applicants wanting to enter the professions, administer competency examinations, evaluate continuing education as a prerequisite for license renewal, and take disciplinary action against those licensees found guilty of violating the law.