Governor Hogan this week, under the leadership of Benjamin Grumbles, Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Environment, released draft regulations encouraging market-based solutions to accelerate the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Significantly, the proposal would allow states to work together under an interstate trading provision to leverage greater opportunities to address interstate water pollution. If adopted, it would mark the first time a state has included an interstate trading component within its water protection regulations. According to Brent Fewell, Founder and Chair of the Earth & Water Law Group, “This represents a true watershed moment for the watermen and citizens of Maryland, and this proposal could serve as a significant catalyst to making meaningful progress toward cleaning up the Bay’s water quality.”
According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Bay produces nearly one-third of the nation’s blue crabs, and the Bay itself generates nearly $33 billion in revenues annually. However, nutrient pollution from various sources, such as upstream agriculture, urban stormwater, air deposition from industry, septic tanks, and wastewater treatment plants continue to plague the Bay and has resulted in up to $4B in annual losses to the region.
Grumbles who previously served as the Assistant Administrator for U.S. EPA Office of Water remains one of the nation’s leading proponents of water quality trading and innovation to address nutrient pollution which impacts over 40% of the nation’s waters.
MDE released the following announcement