Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP): Development

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Maryland's Phase III WIP Builds on Past Success

Maryland’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) will build on previous statewide and local efforts. Local goals, statewide policies, and robust engagement are essential to success, now and in the future.

For Maryland’s Phase II WIP, completed in 2012, counties and conservation districts submitted detailed plans to Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). Since then, Maryland has been working to implement State and local plans. MDE has been working closely with local jurisdictions on new stormwater permits and reporting requirements. Upgrades to major wastewater treatment plants are nearly completed and upgrades of priority minor plants have begun. The Phase III WIP will continue to highlight regulated and State-funded activities to maintain implementation progress and incorporate lessons learned.


Regional Phase III WIP Workshops

    Maryland Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Eco​logy, conducted five spring and six fall regional Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) workshops for Maryland's Phase III WIP. These workshops were held throughout Maryland and served to inform participants about the Phase III WIP process and obtain feedback from MDE's valued local partners.

    ​Workshop Materials

    Below, you can access presentations and other meeting information on the Hughes Center website:


    Schedule and Local Involvement in Phase III WIP Development 

    • Spring 2018
      MDE reviewed Maryland’s draft planning targets for the State's major river basins. These new planning targets were set based on refinements made to the most recent version of the Bay watershed model, which uses the most up-to-date land use, land cover, and monitoring data available. The improved modeling tools were used to estimate where the State is with respect to statewide and basin-level 2025 WIP goals. These analyses determined what pollution gaps remain; a necessary step before local goals could be refined.

    • May-June 2018 
      MDE and other State partners held five regional Phase III WIP meetings to inform and receive feedback from stakeholders. The agenda featured progress, funding, and lessons learned, along with opportunities to ask questions and give opinions on the proposed Phase III WIP approach. 

    • Summer-Fall 2018
      MDE provided webinars with more detail on topics of interest to stakeholders.

    • Summer-Fall 2018 
      In preparing Maryland’s Draft Phase III WIP, MDE and MDA worked with all stakeholders to build local goals into the State plan and refine, adapt, and adjust local plans. MDE colaborated with local governments and MDA worked with conservation districts to ensure that the most up-to-date local information is included in the statewide scenario.

    • November-December 2018
      MDE and other State partners held additional regional Phase III WIP meetings to provide localized information to stakeholders.

    • April 2019 
      Draft State WIPs will be submitted to the EPA and posted online for public comment.

    • April - May 2019 
      ​MDE will host several regional meetings and a webinar to guide participants through the commenting process for the draft Phase III WIP.

    • August 2019 
      Final State WIPs will be completed. The Phase III WIP will synthesize information from multiple sources into a single scenario that demonstrates achievement of Maryland’s water quality standards and statewide load reduction targets for 2025.
    Ideas and input are always welcome. Please contact us if you have questions, need additional information, or have feedback on the proposed approach for developing Maryland's Phase III WIP. 

    Contact Information

    Please direct questions or comments to​.​


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