Tier II Review – Other Environmental Reviews

Other state environmental reviews for projects that might require future MDE permits, may also identify projects that may need to undergo a Tier II review, and potentially require Tier II review information at that time.  

State Clearinghouse Reviews

The Maryland Department of the Environment routinely performs a basic geographic location screening for potential Tier II water quality concerns when developing comments for the Maryland State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance, or Clearinghouse​.  

The standard Agency response includes background information about the Antidegradation Policy and regulation, notification of which Tier II waters are affected, basic guidance for completing the review documentation, and a summary of potential comments that could be expected if an MDE Tier II review is required for a future permit.  The no-discharge alternatives analysis, minimization analysis, checklist for general construction permits, and where necessary, social and economic justification forms are provided for awareness.  

Please note that projects that propose permanent land disturbances are given a review finding of R2: Contingent Upon Certain Actions, as these may need future MDE permits or authorizations.  In this case, it is strongly recommended that applicants contact MDE regarding the Tier II review as early as possible in the planning process so as not to delay funding and permit review.

Power Plant Research Program (PPRP - Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR))

“The Power Plant Research Program​ functions to ensure that Maryland meets its electricity demands at reasonable costs while protecting the state’s valuable natural resources. It provides a continuing program for evaluating electric generation issues and recommending responsible, long-term solutions.

The program is responsible for managing a consolidated review of all issues related to power generation and transmission in Maryland. This role – unique in State government – provides a framework for the comprehensive review of all electric power issues with the goal of balancing need, cost and impact.” – DNR PPRP

MDE coordinates with PPRP environmental review staff to help avoid, minimize, and justify impacts to Tier II waters from projects such as solar farms.  In doing so, MDE may provide Tier II water quality protection conditions necessary for projects to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).  These conditions would be similar to those required under the nontidal wetlands or waterways construction permits.

Click here to return to the Tier II Review Information page.  Click here to return to the Maryland Tier II Waters homepage.

Please direct any questions or comments concerning Maryland's Antidegradation program to Angel Valdez at angel.valdez@maryland.gov​.

This page was last updated 06/2021.

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