BALTIMORE, MD— In response to Governor Larry Hogan’s unprecedented actions taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Secretary Ben Grumbles has implemented policies at MDE to limit in-person transactions and safeguard the health of its employees, stakeholders and the general public while protecting the environment and public health.
A large number of MDE employees are working remotely until further notice. During this time, MDE staff will continue to be available by phone and email. Environmental inspectors continue to enforce and protect citizens while following CDC distancing guidelines.
As part of the state’s strong response to COVID-19, Governor Hogan issued an executive order providing a grace period for any state licenses, permits and/or registrations that may be expiring or up for renewal during the state of emergency. Renewal deadlines will be extended up to 30 days after the state of emergency is lifted. More information is available from your MDE program contacts.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and the department will continue to maintain normal operations as much as possible. Information and updates on meetings will be posted on the department’s website and social media accounts (Facebook
) as they become available. Any questions regarding specific programs or services provided by MDE should be sent to email@example.com.
Sewer Sentinel Initiative Maps Available
The maps are updated weekly with the results from testing the wastewater flowing from congregate housing areas throughout the state. Sample locations are color coded to indicate if the virus is present and if it is increasing, decreasing or remaining the same. A red dot indicates that the virus has been detected and its presence is increasing with each week's sample. If you reside in an area with a red dot, refer to your local health department and housing directors about what you can do to keep yourself safe. A yellow dot indicates that the virus has been detected, but the level remained steady over the last week. A green dot means that the virus amount is decreasing from week-to-week. A blue dot indicates that the virus was not present or was at an undetectable level.
In partnership with housing authorities, management companies as well as state and local health departments, the goal of this project is to detect and respond to the presence of the COVID-19 virus in vulnerable communities. Research has shown people shed the virus in their urine and feces before normal symptoms are present as well as those who may be asymptomatic. By testing wastewater, Maryland can help keep communities healthier and safer by making them aware of their risk earlier.
Even if the COVID-19 virus is not detected in your community, you should still follow all local, state and federal social distancing and masking rules. If you feel sick, get yourself tested, and plan to get the vaccine as soon as you are able. For more information on the Sewer Sentinel Initiative, please visit:
MDE Exercises Enforcement Discretion Carefully
During the global pandemic, the Maryland Department of the Environment has exercised its enforcement discretion on a careful and limited basis. Protection of public health and the environment is the priority with each individual decision. The department, unlike the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, did not issue a broad, upfront policy on Covid-related leniency and that fact has helped significantly in reducing the number of Maryland entities seeking delays or waivers.
Most requests asked for flexibility on the timing of monitoring reports due to the closure of facilities and reduction of staffing. The agency received requests from Maryland’s largest utilities – WSSC and the local jurisdictions Baltimore City and Baltimore County – for relief from their obligations under consent decrees to reduce sewage overflows. None of those requests were granted.
to view the requests and actions taken.
Electronically Accepted Permit Applications
For information regarding Electronically Accepted Permit Applications please click here
Public Information Act Requests
For information regarding Public Information Act requests please click here
Water, Wastewater, and Industrial Wastewater Operator Certification
All certifications that expired on or after April 1, 2020 have been considered active under the Governor's Executive Order to administratively renew operators' certifications. This extension will terminate on June 30, 2021. Late fees will resume on July 1, 2021.
All certifications that expired on January 1, 2020, through and including March 1, 2020, were within the 90-day grace period at the time the Executive Order was issued and are considered inactive. For these certifications, the reinstatement period will resume on July 1, 2021.
All other certifications expired as of December 31, 2019, are considered inactive. Certificates beyond the 90-day grace period are considered in reinstatement for two years after the expiration date. Certificates beyond the two year reinstatement period may not be renewed.
Click here to read more. Questions should be directed to the Board of Waterworks and Waste Systems Operators at firstname.lastname@example.org