Generating Water Quality Credits

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 How do I start generating credits?

  1. Meet baseline requirements for your sector specific practice (pictures below)
  2. Implement a best management practice 
  3. Demonstrate a load reduction below the established baseline 
  4. Submit a Cr​edit Certification and Registration form to MDE
  5. MDE Reviews the documentation and determines certification 
  6. Certified credits get published on Maryland’s Trading Registry​​ to be purchased

​​​​​​*For generation of Agriculture credits, please visit Maryland's Nutrient Trading. (leaving MDE website)


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Credit Certification

A credit is defined as 1 pound of pollutant reduction for the duration of one year. Credit generating practices must be ​​​verified and credits are not valid for sale until certified. MDE is responsible for stormwater, wastewater point source, on-site disposal system and oyster aquaculture credit certification.  Agricultural practices are certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Exceptions for Public Funds​

Best management practices implemented with public funding can be used to meet baseline permit requirements but are not eligible for credit generation during their “funded lifespan” unless otherwise specified.

Credit Adj​ustment Factors

  • All credits require Edge of Tide (EoT) adjustments, based on the load they contribute to the Chesapeake Bay, to make them consistent across different regions in the State.
  • A Reserve Ratio of 5% will be applied to each credit certified by the State. This will create a pool of credits that can be used to buffer credit losses elsewhere, or be retired as water quality improvement. 

Contact Information

General questions or comments can be sent to MDE's Water Quality Trading Program:
Questions or comments related to agricultural credits should be directed to MDA's Trading Administrator: