Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) Issue and Needs Assessement
The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology has released an assessment of WIP issues based on interviews with the 24 county WIP teams. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will hold a webinar on the results of the assessment on November 28. Further information on the webinar is below.
According to the Agro-Ecology Center, the assessment will also be incorporated into an independent capacity analysis by conducted by the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment that will analyze the capacity of local governments and non-governmental organizations to implement the WIP.
Key issues found by the assessment include clarification of the “consequences” if a jurisdiction failed to meet its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) goals, lack of State leadership in WIP implementation (including both funding and technical assistance), and inconsistencies between the State and federal permitting agencies about what is pemissible as a watershed restoration project. MACo has previously raised almost all of the issues identified by the assessment and has been working with the Agro-Ecology Center to promote and address these issues.
In response to the assessment, MDE will be holding a webinar to discuss the assessment’s findings on November 28 from 10:00 AM – 12:00PM. County representatives are welcome to participate.
Call-in information:Toll-free dial-in number: (866) 247-6034 Conference code: 3500509640 Adobe Connect: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/md_wip/
The draft agenda indicates the webinar will include a discussion on the findings of the assessment, the current status of the WIP, and an overview of future steps.