Md. Water Regulation Change Expected to Benefit Oyster Operation - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Water Regulation Change Expected to Benefit Oyster Operations

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BALTIMORE, Md. – The Maryland Department of the Environment is changing water discharge regulations in a way that is expected to benefit oyster-growing operations in the state.

The amendments remove a requirement for business to obtain a discharge water permit if they only discharge water that passes through without added pollutants. The department says the changes will have no effect on environmental protections.

“This change advances one of the Hogan administration’s top priorities: removing unjustified regulations in order to boost Maryland’s business climate while maintaining important environmental safeguards,” said MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles. “We are changing Maryland for the better by rooting out unnecessary requirements and strengthening our commitment to aquaculture and other sectors that grow our economy and protect our environment.”

"Anything our state can do to encourage and expand aquaculture, including reforming this regulation, will aid Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts and boost Maryland’s economy,” added Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton.

The Maryland Register shows the amendments have been adopted as proposed and will go into effect on September 28.

Under the current regulation, a water discharge permit is required for any Maryland business that discharges more than 10,000 gallons a day, regardless of whether there is a discharge of pollutants, which is more stringent than federal requirements.

According to MDE, not only do oyster operations represent no additional pollution to state waters, they also improve the overall water quality by serving as natural filtration for sediment.

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