Clean Water for Maryland: Local Ordinances for Environmental Site Design

Introduction

Decades of rapid development and suburban sprawl throughout Maryland have burdened the state’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters with increasing amounts of polluted stormwater runoff. In 2007, the state took a major step towards reversing this growing threat by passing a law requiring the use of Environmental Site Design (ESD) to reduce runoff from all development and redevelopment projects.

As a result, localities throughout the state must adopt an ordinance that requires sustainable stormwater management practices. As communities begin to formulate and implement these ordinances, it is essential that they incorporate the strongest possible protections to preserve and restore clean water for future generations. Moreover, by better integrating the built and natural environment, ESD also reduces flooding and the burden on existing, conventional infrastructure.

This document describes the benefits of sustainable stormwater practices and details the key elements of a strong stormwater ordinance that will meet the clean water challenges we face using innovative and cost-effective techniques.