Nutrient Credit Trading Policy Committee Submits Comments to MDE, Will Tackle Aligning for Growth in the Fall

At a meeting on 2016-05-19, the Maryland Water Quality Trading Advisory Committee decided to temporarily suspend meeting while the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) finishes reviewing and incorporating its comments into a draft Trading and Offset Policy and Guidance Manual. The manual will serve as the basis for administering nutrient credit trading in the Chesapeake Bay watershed under both Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements.  The Committee will reconvene in September once MDE has revised the draft manual and will then also begin working on a new “Aligning for Growth” (formerly known as “Accounting for Growth”) policy. The Aligning for Growth Policy will set nutrient and sediment offset requirements for new construction and growth and is required under Maryland’s Watershed Implementation Plan.

The Advisory Committee was formed in January in a third attempt to create a nutrient credit trading policy among different water pollution sectors (agriculture, nonpoint sources like stormwater, and point sources like wastewater treatment plants.) A successful trading policy can help county governments achieve their water quality goals under both the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and MS4 permits. MDE and MDA are the two main state agencies responsible for nutrient credit trading.

County members include: (1) Erik Michelsen, Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works; (2) Shannon Moore, Frederick County Sustainability & Environmental Resources Office; (3) Jim Caldwell, Howard County Office of Community Sustainability; (4) Lisa Feldt, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection; and (5) Leslie Knapp, Jr., MACo. Candace Donoho is representing the Maryland Municipal League and Chris Pomeroy of AquaLaw is representing the Maryland Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies and the Maryland Municipal Stormwater Association.

Other members include representatives from various Maryland departments, the General Assembly, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the development, agricultural, academic, and environmental communities.

Useful Links

Prior Conduit Street Coverage of Water Quality Trading Advisory Committee

MDE and MDA Nutrient Credit Trading Policy Statement (2015-10-23)

Prior Conduit Street Coverage of Aligning/Accounting for Growth Policy