BALTIMORE, MD (March 20, 2008) - The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) unveiled a Final Draft Policy for Nutrient Cap Management and Trading, which will take effect in 30 days on April 17, 2008, pending any significant new comments. The comments will be accepted through April 4, 2008. Under this policy, Maryland will continue to be a leader in the effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay while accommodating expected population growth.
"This Policy will build on Maryland’s successful nutrient reduction efforts by providing a mechanism for offsetting the impacts of future growth and development,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “As credits and offsets become available, this Policy will facilitate Smart Growth while protecting the Bay."
Maryland has already made significant progress in reducing nutrient pollution. Through the Bay Restoration Fund, the State’s major wastewater treatment plants are upgrading to enhanced nutrient removal and best management practices are being employed to reduce nonpoint source pollution. This has removed millions of pounds of nutrients from the Bay and its tributaries, and brought us closer to our goals.
After the nutrient reductions are achieved, however, they must be maintained or water quality in the Bay will decline again. The Bay States, including Maryland, face development pressure due to population and economic growth. Development results in increased sewage flows and runoff from impervious surfaces. Increase of animal agriculture also contributes to the increase in nutrient loads. Maryland has developed this Policy for Nutrient Cap Management and Trading as one tool for accommodating growth while maintaining the nutrient caps.
More information on the Policy for Nutrient Cap Management and Trading can be found at mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/Pages/nutrientcap.aspx.