Robert Ballinger(410) 537-3003
Dawn Stoltzfus (410) 537-3003
BALTIMORE, MD (December 31, 2008) – Today the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) received a legal challenge to the "final determination" for the new general permit for stormwater related to construction activities disturbing one or more acres. The following is a statement from MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson:
This new general permit would be the most progressive measure in Maryland to stop sediment from damaging waterways and eroding streambanks. We are disappointed that this challenge has been filed, despite new and improved conditions in the permit that include requirements for monitoring and plan review, critical elements of site design and erosion and sediment controls in plans, and increased public notification and participation.
The permit also incorporated numerous suggestions to improve sediment control practices to achieve water quality standards suggested through a series of stakeholder meetings, and MDE committed to comprehensively review and update the State's erosion and sediment control technical standards in early 2009 and finalize changes by May 30, 2010.
After MDE issued its final determination for the general permit, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposal that would require a numeric standard for stormwater runoff at sites over 30 acres in size. MDE will incorporate any aspects of that proposal in its update to the technical standards, and, if EPA adopts regulations requiring effluent limitations, MDE will reopen Maryland’s general permit to incorporate the effluent limitation requirements as soon as possible after federal adoption.
The draft permit, along with Montgomery County’s proposed municipal permit and revised stormwater management regulations, clearly demonstrates that Maryland is taking strong, comprehensive steps to further reduce polluted stormwater runoff.
Because the proposed general permit is being challenged, it will not become effective on January 1, 2009, as proposed. In addition, the interim general permit that was in effect expired on December 31, 2008. Therefore, developers of new construction projects disturbing one acre of land or greater shall be required to apply for an individual permit for the discharge of stormwater associated with construction activities. The process for doing so is:
For additional questions or to request a form, contact Jesse Salter or Karen Smith, Compliance Program, Water Management Administration at Jesse.Salter@maryland.gov or Karen.Smith2@maryland.gov or (410) 537-3510. Forms may also be downloaded here.
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