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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Office of the Secretary

Welcome from Secretary Robert Summers

Secretary Robert SummersOn behalf of Governor Martin O'Malley, welcome to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) web page.  MDE’s mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.

As you browse our website, please take the opportunity to consider how you can help us safeguard Maryland’s environment. Whether it is properly maintaining your septic system or planting native vegetation and rain gardens on your own property, volunteering by cleaning up trash along the road in your neighborhood or near your local school, conserving water by minimizing lawn watering, only doing full loads of laundry or turning the faucet off when you brush your teeth, conserving energy by purchasing more efficient appliances and driving less or attending public hearings and writing to your legislators in support of environmental issues, you play a critical role in protecting Maryland’s environment. 
The tabs at the top of our homepage will lead you to the topics that most apply to you as a Maryland citizen, business owner or student. These information tabs reflect our commitment to making important information easy to reach.

We hope you find this site informative and thank you for visiting the Maryland Department of the Environment’s website. Please contact my office at 410-537-3003 for more information.


MDE has the following seven broad goals to measure its progress in achieving its mission and vision:

  1. Promoting Land Redevelopment and Community Revitalization
  2. Ensuring Safe and Adequate Drinking Water
  3. Reducing Maryland Citizens' Exposure to Hazards
  4. Ensuring the Safety of Fish and Shellfish Harvested in Maryland.
  5. Improving and Protecting Maryland’s Water Quality
  6. Ensuring the Air is Safe to Breathe
  7. Providing Excellent Customer Services to Achieve Environmental Protection.


MDE employees are:

  • Credible and have the public's confidence;
  • Supportive of teamwork, and empowered by management;
  • Innovative and resourceful;
  • Customer-service-oriented;
  • Professional and proud of their work;
  • Responsive to their stakeholders; and
  • Supportive of environmental stewardship.

MDE Customers and Stakeholders

MDE’s customers include Maryland citizens who expect protection and restoration of the environment; businesses, governments, and individuals who are applying for permits and receiving technical assistance; and technical personnel such as: well drillers, sanitarians, waste water operators, and asbestos contractors who require certification. Other key stakeholders include environmental and public health advocacy groups, citizen groups, educators, scientists and natural resource users.


In 1987, the Maryland Department of the Environment was created to protect and preserve the state's air, water and land resources and safeguard the environmental health of Maryland's citizens. MDE's duties also encompass enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, long-term planning and research. MDE provides technical assistance to Maryland industry and communities for pollution and growth issues and environmental emergencies.


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