Home Building and the Chesapeake Bay

The Home Builders Association of Maryland has developed a pocket card on behalf of the home builder associations in Maryland for members' reference when discussing the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

As you can see from the following data, residential construction does, indeed, have an impact on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. However, any reasonable person can also see that its impact, while not insignificant, plays a very minimal role in contributing pollutants to our water bodies.

Please contact Kristin Hogle at 410-265-7400,ext 111 for extra copies of the card.
FACTS
FACT New construction accounted for just 0.148% of the total 5,900,000 acres in Maryland in 2007 (the most recent data available.
FACT Existing urban and suburban development accounted for 14.3% (843,700 acres) of the total 5,900,000 acres in Maryland in 2007 (the most recent data available). In contrast, new construction accounted for less than 0.2%.
FACT Agriculture (40.9%), wastewater treatment facilities (27.4%), existing urban and suburban development (10.8%), forests (12.2%) and septic systems (7.1%) account for more than 97% of the total NITROGEN load into the Chesapeake Bay . New construction accounts for just 0.3% of the total.
FACT Agriculture (46.5%), existing urban and suburban development (17.8%), wastewater treatment facilities (24.5%) and forests (8.8%) account for nearly 98% of the total PHOSPHORUS load into the Chesapeake Bay . New construction accounts for just 1.4% of the total.
FACT Agriculture (62.7%), existing urban and suburban development (21.0%) and forests (11%) account for 94.7% of the total SEDIMENT load into the Chesapeake Bay in comparison to new construction, which accounts for just 4.7% of the total.
FACT Nearly 75% of URBAN areas in Maryland are PERVIOUS surfaces, which allow water to filter into the ground and natural groundwater to recharge, help with filtration of pollutants, and reduce erosion and flooding.
A Statement of Commitment
While it is obvious that restoring the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay requires a strategy that focuses proportionately on the contributing sources of pollution, the residential building industry commits itself to continuing to minimize its impacts with the development and employment of Best Management Practices on active building sites and by educating home buyers to become effective stewards of the Chesapeake.
A clean Bay is in everyone’s best interest.