Stormwater Design Guidance

The authority for Maryland's statewide stormwater management program is established in the Environment Article, §§4-201 and 4-203, Annotated Code of Maryland and in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.17.02.   These documents may be found here:

In 2008, the Department published a model ordinance that jurisdictions could use as a pattern for developing local ordinances.  The model ordinance may be found here:

The Department has published guidance on various technical procedures and calculations relevant to implementing environmental site design (ESD) for both new development and redevelopment. The following publications provide additional information for use when designing or reviewing stormwater plans:

Alternative/Innovative Technology Practice Guidance

MDE recognizes that new and innovative technologies for stormwater management are being developed, including many proprietary designs. The following publications provide additional information and guidance on the use of alternative/innovative technologies for addressing Maryland's stormwater management requirements:​

Guidelines for Embankment Retrofit Design (04/22/2015)

In response to stormwater restoration requirements established by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4), local jurisdictions, and State and federal property owners may consider restoration projects that involve modifications to existing small ponds or other embankment structures. Reconstructed ponds that use an embankment for impounding water must be designed to meet specific criteria depending on the classification of the existing structure. To assist with determining the design requirements for retrofitting an existing embankment, MDE has developed guidelines for Embankment Retrofit Design. These guidelines will direct the designer to the appropriate design criteria that must be maintained when modifying an existing embankment or pond for the purposes of improving water quality or quantity management benefits. These guidelines are required to be followed for State or federal applicants and any person planning to impact a significant or high hazard dam. 

These guidelines may be found here:​

Guidelines for Embankment Retrofit Design​


Agricultural Practices and Agricultural Structures - Guidance for Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Management, and NPDES Permits (02/27/2017 & 7/3/2019)

Agricultural land management practices (also referred to as “conservation practices”) properly implemented are valuable tools for protecting water quality as well as conserving related soil and water resources. To facilitate their use, MDE is providing guidance that meets the requirements of the State Erosion and Sediment Control Law, the State Stormwater Management Law, and the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Discharge Permit for Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity (General Permit). 

The guidance may be found here:

Guidance for Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Management, and NPDES Permits​

MDE has also developed a Standard Plan that may be used to meet the minimum stormwater management control requirements etablished in State regulation. This standard plan may be used if accepted locally to ensure effective implementation of stormwater management for agricultural structures. Questions about the Standard Plan should be directed to the Sediment, Stormwater & Dam Safety Program at (410) 537-3543.

The model standard plan may be found here: 

Standard Stormwater Management Plan for Agricultural Structures (SSDS-SP01)​


Standard Plan for Poultry House Sites (Maryland's Eastern Shore)

MDE, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Soil Conservation Districts (SCDs) published the “2011 Model Stormwater Management Standard Plan for Poultry House Site Development on Maryland Eastern Shore.” In July 2019, an updated Standard Plan was adopted by the State.  This Standard Plan is a single design option that is intended to be used by the SCDs, County stormwater management authorities, and local designers to address stormwater requirements for poultry operations on the Eastern Shore.

MDE also has developed a stormwater management “calculator” to assist in sizing of the stormwater management practices for the “Model Standard Plan for Poultry House Site Development on the Eastern Shore.” Copies of the model standard plan and calculator are available here:

Stormwater Management Standard Plan for Poultry House Sites (SSDS-SP02)

Calculator for Poultry House Development 



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