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Regulatory Information for Maryland

•  Maryland Department of Agriculture

Agricultural producers in the State of Maryland who produce crops on acreages greater than 10 acres (in total), and/or have a gross income of more than $2500 per annum, are required to write and implement a nutrient (nitrogen & phosphorus) management plan.

The MDA Nutrient Management Program oversees a licensing and certification program for consultants, compliance activities and education and training programs necessary to implement the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1998. Although the law includes a number of deadlines and requirements, it also offers many new incentives aimed at helping farmers comply. Sorting through the maze of new requirements and features is no easy task. The links in this website are designed to help farmers and commercial applicators understand the law and how it pertains to their operation or business.

MDA Nutrient Management Homepage - http://www.mda.state.md.us/resource_conservation/nutrient_management/index.php


•  Maryland Cooperative Extension Nursery and Greenhouse Water and Nutrient Management

Here you will find easy-to-read information about the nutrient management law and regulations in Maryland -- specifically for nursery and greenhouse operations. It includes detailed information on how you can go about writing a nutrient management plan for your operation, targeting an array of best management practices. Since many operations require applications of irrigation water, and since water is the easiest way nutrients are carried in runoff, these plans also include a water component, based on a risk assessment strategy.

We have links to many other resources, including and explanation of the concepts involved in writing these plans, for both field and container operations. We also have links to current training programs, research programs, relevant publications and other informational websites.  

MCE NurseryWeb Water and Nutrient Management Homepage - http://www.nursery.umd.edu/nutrient.html


•  Maryland Department of Environment Water Information Center

The Maryland Department of Environment Agency's top priorities include restoring and maintaining the quality of ground and surface waters. This requires the enforcement of standards and controls on point and non-point sources of pollution.

MDE issues permits, and inspects and maintains compliance at facilities concerning industrial and municipal wastewater discharges, coal and surface mining, agriculture, and construction involving major water and sewerage facilities, dam safety, sediment control, stormwater management, wetlands and waterways.

Under federal and state laws and regulations, MDE is also responsible for ensuring that all public drinking water systems throughout Maryland meet strict drinking water quality standards. Approximately 4.3 million Marylanders are served by public drinking water systems. Private wells serve approximately 900,000 Marylanders. Individual wells, which serve one lot or home, are regulated by local governments through delegation from MDE.

Maryland 's water quality standards provide that surface waters should be protected for basic water uses such as water contact recreation, fishing, support of balanced and diverse populations of aquatic plants, animals and wildlife, and use as an agricultural and industrial water supply.

You should consult this website to apply for Water use, Well construction, tidal and nontidal wetland disturbance permits, erosion/sediment control and stormwater management plan approvals, and dam safety permits

MDE Water Information Homepage - http://www.mde.state.md.us/Water/index.asp

MDE Water Management Administration contacts - http://www.mde.state.md.us/Water/wma_numbers/index.asp


•  Natural Resource Conservation Service

The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment. NRCS puts nearly 70 years of experience to work in assisting owners of America 's private land with conserving their soil, water, and other natural resources. Local, state and federal agencies and policymakers also rely on our expertise. We deliver technical assistance based on sound science and suited to a customer's specific needs. Cost shares and financial incentives are available in some cases. Most work is done with local partners. Our partnership with local conservation districts serves every county in Maryland and the District of Columbia . Participation in our programs is voluntary.

NRCS Nutrient Management Homepage - http://www.md.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/agronomy/nm.html

There is financial assistance available for producers that go beyond the minimum requirements of the 590 Maryland Nutrient Management Conservation Practice Standard under Maryland 's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) at http://www.md.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/eqip2006.html

The Technical Service Provider (TechReg) program helps landowners locate and choose certified registered technical service providers who can help them meet their conservation goals. http://techreg.usda.gov/


•  Maryland Soil Conservation Districts:

A typical soil conservation district office includes a district manager, and district conservationist, engineers, agricultural planners, technicians, soil scientist, urban reviewers, and administrative staff. These professionals oversee a range of soil conservation and water quality protection efforts to enhance farming operations, prevent flooding, safeguard streams and reservoirs, foster wildlife habitat, manage forest resources and address natural resource impacts from urban growth. Detailed advice on planning and establishing agricultural best management practices, such as terraces and grassed waterways to help control erosion, is at the core of their mission. District staffs also provide landowners and developers with information on soils and other natural resources, while approving stormwater management plans for local governments and sediment and erosion control plans required by Maryland law.

Contact your local soil conservation district for more information on free services, including conservation planning, design and installation of conservation practices and cost-share assistance for the construction of conservation practices.