Generating Water Quality Credits

​​Maryland Water Quality Trading


How do I generate credits?

  1. Meet Baseline requirements
  2. Implement a CBP approved practice
  3. Demonstrate a load reduction below the baseline
  4. Submit a Cr​edit Certification and Registration form
  5. MDE Reviews the documentation and determines certification
  6. Certified credits get published on Maryland’s Trading Registry​​

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


Overall MDE Credit Certification Process 

In Maryland, 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 by the appropriate State agency and placed into the Chesapeake Nutrient Trading Registry (CNTR). MDE is responsible for stormwater, wastewater point source, on-site disposal (septic) system and oyster aquaculture credit certification.  Agricultural practices are certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Exceptions for Public Funds

BMPs 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 Adjustment 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.

Additional Guidance

For additional information on Generating Credits see the Water Quality Trading Guidance.

Contact Information

Please use this Feedback Google Form to address any questions or comments about the Water Quality Trading Program.
Please direct questions or comments to the MDE Water Quality Trading Program:
Questions or comments related to agricultural credits should be directed to MDA's Trading Administrator: