On an annual basis, approximately 5 million cubic yards of sediments are dredged in Maryland's portion of Chesapeake Bay. Finding environmentally responsible solutions for managing this material is a priority for the State of Maryland. MDE published guidance with public involvement to facilitate dredged material reuse in a manner protective of public health and the environment:
Most dredged material from Chesapeake Bay, including Baltimore Harbor's navigation channels, is comprised of clean sediments that can be used on the land as soil amendments or engineered fill or in the water to create aquatic habitat and help improve water quality. Through existing regulatory authority, MDE has developed guidance to assist scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals seeking approvals to innovatively or beneficially use dredged material in how the Department makes related determinations. In so doing, applicants will better understand what information is required leading to increased transparency and efficiency in the permitting and approval process.
Key Accomplishments of this Guidance Include:
This guidance was developed in response to the 2016 Final Report and Recommendations of the Interagency Regulatory Workgroup on Innovative and Beneficial Reuse, that identified a need for and recommended the development of MDE Guidance and Technical Screening Criteria. It is hoped that this document will encourage further innovation in the private sector to use dredged material in environmentally beneficial ways or as useful products in the marketplace. The Guidance Document and Technical Screening Criteria have also been posted on the Maryland Port Administration’s Dredged Material Management Program (DMMP) - Publications website.
In 2001, the Maryland general Assembly enacted the Dredged Material Management Act (DMMA) that established a Dredged Material Management Program (DMMP) and the DMMP Executive Committee to provide oversight and guidance over the Port's dredging needs through a rolling 20-year capacity/placement plan. The governance structure of the DMMP is depicted below. The DMMA prioritizes beneficial use and innovative reuse as the preferred placement options in Maryland.
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