Maryland’s 2019 Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

​Maryland's 2019 Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

​On September 12, 2022, the Secretary of the Environment adopted amendments to the water quality standards regulations. Final action on the regulations was published in the October 21, 2022 edition of the Maryland Register and EPA approved Maryland's water quality standards on June 28, 2023.

For the public review process, MDE published a notice of proposed action in the March 11, 2022 issue of the Maryland Register​. This marked the beginning of the public comment period that ended on April 11, 2022. During this public comment period MDE also held a virtual public hearing on March 30, 2022.

Please click on the links below to access the materials associated with the 2019 Triennial Review including the description of regulatory changes, the recording of the public hearing and presentation, the comment-response document, and the letter of approval from EPA.

Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards and t​he Regulation Changes Made

The first document below provides the specific regulatory language that was revised in the Code of Maryland Regulations and a summary of what water quality standards were reviewed. The following documents below are the Department's response to public comments and EPA's approval letter

The following documents were incorporated by reference into the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) as part of this Triennial Review.  As adopted, they have the same authority and weight as regulatory language captured in COMAR.​

Materials from the Public Hearing on March 30, 2022

Supporting Materials for this Triennial Review  

The following documents were not incorporated by reference but provide supporting information, justification and context for the amendments to Maryland’s water quality standards.  

Designated and Existing Uses
Recent data have shown that the current use classification of some Maryland surface waters are not protective of their existing use. The existing uses of these streams have been formally recognized by the department and some surface waters were reclassified to use class III (or III-P) where data has demonstrated that the designated use and criteria are being attained. The following documents provide justification for and describe the scale of existing use determinations and use classification changes where applicable.

Water Quality Criteria

Antidegradation Policy​​

Contact Information 

For more information, please contact Melinda Cutler at​.

This page was last updated on 08/2023

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