Accounting for Growth in Maryland: Webcast on August 29

The Environmental Protection Agency requires that states account for growth as part of the Watershed Implementation Planning process. Maryland is developing an Accounting for Growth (AfG) policy that will address the increase in the State’s pollution load from increased population growth and new development. To restore the Bay each of the Bay states, including Maryland, not only needs to reduce its current nutrient load, but also hold the line against new pollution. Maryland is expected to add an estimated 478,000 households by 2035, which will add more than 2 million pounds of nutrient pollution to the Bay per year.

Maryland’s plan for addressing pollution load from new development centers on: 1) the strategic allotment of nutrient loads to large wastewater treatment plants to accommodate growth; and 2) the requirement that all other new loads must be offset by securing pollution credits. To ensure that there are sufficient credits available, the State is designing its AfG policy to induce a robust nutrient trading market in Maryland, which would, in turn, lower pollution reduction costs, especially for local government, developers, tax and rate payers, and accelerate the Bay’s restoration. The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Net will be the platform on which the trades will be accomplished.

A draft of a proposed Accounting for Growth (AfG) policy was widely circulated through stakeholder meetings and documents posted online in 2012, however, extensive outreach and public comment in the summer and fall of 2012 revealed a lack of consensus on many fundamental issues. Therefore, a work group was established with key stakeholders to find common ground, clarify areas of disagreement and make recommendations for a revised AfG policy while following certain guiding principles. Ten meetings of the Work Group were conducted, beginning January 18, 2013 and ending July 19, 2013. A report summarizing recommendations of the Work Group will be completed in August 2013. The report will be posted on MDE’s AfG website.

This month, a webcast will be held on Thursday, August 29 to provide a progress report on the development of the AfG policy and regulations. The morning meeting will be held at the 4-H Center in College Park with satellite locations on the lower Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland, and Western Maryland. Please note that this meeting is designed to provide a venue to answer questions about developing policy and regulations and that formal comments will not be taken.

The meeting will be held at the following locations beginning at 9:30 am and concluding by noon. The webcast will only be available for viewing at these locations.

The Maryland 4-H Center
8020 Greenmead Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740
For directions, visit http://www.maryland4h.org

Webcast sites:
College of Southern Maryland
Center for Business and Industry, Room # BI113
8730 Mitchell Road
La Plata, Maryland 20646
For directions and campus map, visit http://www.csmd.edu
Please park in Lot #6.

Frostburg University
Pullen 139
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, Maryland 21532-2303
For directions and campus map, visit http://www.frostburg.edu/fsumap/
Please park in PAC lot.

Salisbury University
Guerrieri University Center, Wicomico Room
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
For directions and campus map, visit http://www.salisbury.edu
Participants should park in parking lots A & B. Parking permits are required and can be obtained at http://www.salisbury.edu/police/parking/visitor_parking.asp

For questions or additional information about the meeting, please contact Nancy Nunn at (410) 827-6202, ext. 128 or nnunn@umd.edu

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