Maryland delays growth pollution rules

Subtitle: Regulators need more time to set "offsets" for new development
Source: Baltimore Sun
Author: Tim Wheeler
Article Type:
Date Published: 11/29/2012

State rules requiring “offsets” for water pollution from new development have been delayed until next year, Maryland’s top environmental regulator told lawmakers Wednesday. Although the regulations originally had been set for issuance by next month, Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers told members of House and Senate environment committees that there are “more details to be sorted out,” mainly over a plan to let developers buy pollution “credits” elsewhere or pay a fee to the state for the costs of offsetting their projects’ water-quality impacts. The growth-offset regulations are required under the Chesapeake Bay “pollution diet” that the Environmental Protection Agency has imposed on Maryland and the five other states in the bay watershed. A new state lawaimed at limiting development on septic systems also mandates pollution offsets for any large housing subdivision that would not be connected to a sewer system. Summers explained that offsets are needed to ensure that population growth and development don’t undermine the states’ efforts to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution fouling the bay.