Stormwater, Dam Safety, and Flood Management Program

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​The built environment is made up of disturbed soils and hard surfaces, like buildings and roads, which impact the land’s natural ability to soak up rainwater. The State of Maryland has developed comprehensive stormwater management, and erosion and sediment control programs to reduce these adverse impacts of land development on the natural hydrologic cycle. Maryland’s Stormwater, Dam Safety, and Flood​​​​ Management (SDSFM) Program, through oversight and delegation to local ​governments, is responsible for implementing these programs. The SDSFM program consists of five divisions, Program Review, Plan Review, Dam Safety Permits, Dam Safety Inspection and Compliance, and Flood Management.
With more than 500 dams in Maryland, the SDSFM Program ensures all dams are designed, constructed, operated and maintained safely to prevent dam failures and the consequences of failure. The SDSFM Program conducts inspections of dams, issues permits for construction of, repairs to, or modification​s to dam structures, and works with dam owners and emergency management professionals to develop and exercise 'Emergency Action Plans' to be used in the event of a potential dam failure. Dam safety activities are conducted by the Dam Safety Inspection and Compliance and Dam Safety Permits divisions. Visit the Dam Safety home page for more information
The Program Review division of SDSFM manages the stormwater and sediment and erosion control programs. Any land development that disturbs at least 5,000 square feet of area is subject to Maryland’s stormwater and erosion and sediment control regulations. Maryland requires development projects to include construction of environmental site design practices or small rainwater infiltration practices to help rainwater soak into the ground and reduce rainfall runoff. The Program Review Division also administers the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit program, which promotes local water quality improvement through several initiatives. To learn more about these activities and find related resources, visit the Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Management, and MS4 Program​ pages.
The Plan Review Division reviews construction plans on State and federal projects for consistency with Stormwater Management regulations (SWM) and Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) regulations, then issues approval. Projects disturbing less than 5000 sf are exempted from SWM, and if the disturbance is also below 100 cy, no ESC review​ or approval is required. To learn more about the Plan Review Division and​ find resources related to determining stormwater management requirements for State and federal projects, visit the Plan Review Division​ page.
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