Stormwater management is an integral component of Maryland’s environmental consciousness. The State is home to numerous streams and rivers that ultimately drain to Chesapeake Bay, the largest inland estuary in the United States. These streams and the Bay not only provide drinking water, food, economic opportunities, and water for irrigation, but also a home for a diverse ecosystem. However, growing population and land use changes associated with urbanization modify the hydrology of receiving surface waters and deteriorate stream health. Impervious area, such as building rooftops, paved streets, and parking lots added as a consequence of new and past development results in changes to how rainfall and subsequent runoff occurs. These include increases in peak flow and total volume of stormwater runoff and accelerated stream channel erosion. Excess sediments, nutrients, chemical contaminants, and other pollutants build stress on flora and fauna and contribute to decline in water quality. Additionally, accidental spills, illegal dumping, and sanitary sewer system leaks can also cause significant degradation. So, managing urban runoff has become increasingly important.

The State of Maryland has developed comprehensive stormwater management, and erosion and sediment control programs to reduce the adverse impacts of development on stormwater runoff. ​ The goal is to manage stormwater by using environmental site design (ESD) to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) to maintain after development as nearly as possible, the predevelopment runoff characteristics, and to reduce stream channel erosion, pollution, siltation and sedimentation, and local flooding, and use appropriate structural best management practices (BMPs) only when necessary.


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