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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Policy for Nutrient Cap Management and Trading

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) through a public process has developed a Policy for Nutrient Cap Management and Trading (Policy), which took effect on April 17, 2008.  It is a creative and innovative approach to managing point sources nutrient load caps.  One aspect of Maryland’s approach is unique. Other states allow trading in lieu of upgrading a WWTP.  In Maryland, upgrade of major WWTPs is required and the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) was instituted to fully fund these upgrades.  Trading is not available as a substitute for the upgrades. Nutrient reductions achieved through the upgrades must be maintained to meet Bay water quality goals. The Policy addresses both the need to achieve early nutrient load reductions from point sources through  enhanced nutrient removal upgrades and the need to address new or increased point source nutrient loads associated with a growing population. The need to address planned growth is met through various environmentally sensitive offset/trading options and requirements outlined in the Policy.  Facts About Nutrient Cap Management/Trading - Phase One provides a summary of the Policy along with frequently asked questions about the Policy.  Under this policy, Maryland will continue to be a leader in the effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay while accommodating expected population growth.



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