MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp addressed the Stormwater Association of Maryland (SWAM) on June 15 on Maryland’s proposed Accounting for Growth (AFG) Policy. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is overseeing a stakeholders workgroup to draft an offset policy for water pollution generated by new development and growth in the state. The offset requirements would be in addition to the nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment reduction goals of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, which largely targets currently existing development and pollution sources.
As part of his presentation, Mr. Knapp discussed the goal of the AFG Policy, the projected timeline for the AFG Workgroup (draft regulations by December), the key stakeholders on the workgroup, and the primary components of the draft AFG policy. Mr. Knapp also offered the following observations:
- The AFG Policy has the potential to have a greater impact on practitioners and stakeholders than previous land use and environmental initiatives, such as the 2012 septic system legislation or PlanMaryland.
- The AFG Workgroup has identified the overall components for an AFG Policy but much more work and consensus is needed on the details of the Policy.
- The draft Policy not only includes water pollution reduction goals but also land use goals, which can sometimes complicate or even run counter to the water pollution reduction goals.
- Having proposed regulations for an AFG Policy by December is ambitious but possible.
- MACo has been engaged throughout the process and will remain an active participant until the AFG Policy is finalized.
For further information, please contact Les Knapp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.269.0043