Accounting for Growth: Regs Expected Before Year End

As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland Department of the Environment is working with multiple stakeholders (including counties) toward a set of proposed regulations to govern the forthcoming “accounting for growth” policy, intended to manage nutrient loads attributable to future development not envisioned in the current Total Maximum Daily Load programs for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The eventual regulations will dictate purchasing of offset credits to counterbalance new nutrient loads arising from development.

From the MDE website:

A draft of a proposed AFG policy was widely circulated through stakeholder meetings and documents posted online, however, our extensive outreach and public comment revealed that there was a lack of consensus on many fundamental issues. Therefore, a work group has been established with various stakeholders to find common ground, clarify areas of disagreement and make recommendations for a draft AFG policy in June 2013. Eight meetings of the work group have been scheduled, beginning January 18, 2013 and ending June 28, 2013. The workgroup will follow these guiding principles.

For more information on Accounting for Growth in Maryland, please contact our Office of Communications at (410) 537-3003.

During recent meetings of the ad hoc workgroup, MDE clarified its intended timeline for the regulations to effect these broad policies. The Department has now indicated that it is targeting this fall to have proposed regulations submitted through the Maryland Register and subject to review by the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review. That would put the regulations themselves ton track to be finalized and in place before the end of the year (and the beginning of the 2014 legislative session).

The Accounting for Growth workgroup currently has three more meetings planned to continue discussion and evaluation of policy options — stretching into the month of July.

For more information on the Accounting for Growth process and workgroup, see previous Conduit Street coverage:

Stakeholder Workgroup – May 2013
Comments to Stormwater Association – May 2013

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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