The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has proposed regulations to establish the Maryland Water Quality Trading Program, a voluntary program that would establish a marketplace for private sector participation in meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. The proposed regulations are designed to provide greater flexibility and reduce costs in achieving Maryland’s goals to meet federal pollution limits for the Bay.
As proposed, the program will give all sources access to a water quality marketplace and flexibility in meeting and maintaining their pollution limits by acquiring credits generated from load reductions in local watersheds. It will allow agricultural sources that have reduced their pollution beyond the required baseline to produce credits that can be purchased to meet cleanup requirements to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The proposed regulations allow for MDE to certify credits for trading.
Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said, “We can speed up the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay and reduce the cost of restoration with innovative partnerships and regulatory safeguards.”