Course owners and superintendents should thoroughly investigate all regulatory requirements that apply to the golf facility to protect water quality and to manage stormwater. MDE sets standards for the level of protection afforded to each body of surface water in the state (see COMAR 26.08.01 and COMAR 26.08.02). Water quality standards protect and enhance surface water quality, protect public health and welfare, protect aquatic resources, and serve the purposes of the federal Clean Water Act and all its amendments. In practice, Maryland’s water quality standards form the basis for state programs that control the amount of pollutants entering waters from such sources as industrial plants, sewage treatment plants, storm sewers, and runoff from urban and rural areas. For more information on state programs related to surface water quality, see MDE’s Surface Water Quality Standards. Water quality information can be found in MDE’s Water Quality Data.
Surface waterbodies not meeting surface water quality standards may be subject to pollution limits, also known as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). TMDLs establish the maximum amount of an impairing substance or stressor that a waterbody can assimilate and still meet water quality standards and allocates that load among pollution contributors. TMDLs are a tool for implementing state water quality standards and are based on the relationship between pollution sources and in-stream water quality conditions. Detailed information on Maryland’s TMDLs, including information on nitrogen and phosphorus, can be found at the Maryland TMDL Data Center.
TMDLs have been set to fully restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established pollution load limits to restrict three major pollutants in the Bay watershed: nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients) and sediment (soil). These load limits, which set clear goals for reducing excess pollution, are science-based estimates of the amount of each substance the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries can receive and still meet standards for clean, healthy water. The goals, or pollution reduction targets, require the seven jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, New York and the District of Columbia) to reduce their nutrient and sediment loadings to the Bay until these protective limits are met, within a specific time frame.
In response to these TMDLs, the seven Bay jurisdictions created individual Watershed Implementation Plans, or restoration blueprints, that detail specific actions each would take to meet their pollution reduction goals by 2025. The blueprints guide local and state Bay restoration efforts through the next decade and beyond.
Maryland has developed comprehensive programs for stormwater management and for erosion and sediment control that are designed to reduce the adverse impacts of development on stormwater runoff. This program addresses both the temporary and the permanent impacts associated with development activities. New development projects must follow regulatory requirements that act to allow runoff to infiltrate through the soil and recharge groundwater supplies. MDE’s Maryland Stormwater Design Manual is the official guide for stormwater management principles, methods, and practices in Maryland. Requirements to use environmental site design (ESD) to the maximum extent practicable to provide stormwater management went into effect in May 2010. All jurisdictions in Maryland are implementing ESD for new development and redevelopment projects. For more information on ESD, see Chapter 5 “Environmental Site Design” in the Maryland Stormwater Design Manual.
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