HBAM Policy Partner Sponsors

Accounting For Growth (AFG) Through Offsets Final Report Summary
Issue Overview: As EPA was developing the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay, they required all states within the watershed to submit Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) that outlined actions that each state would take to reduction pollution loading.

In addition to the pollution reduction actions, EPA required the states to include a section in their WIP to outline their plans to account for new growth. The directive to the states required them to either provide allocations for new sources of pollution or establish an offsets plan for new sources.

The Maryland State Builders Association (MSBA) participated in a facilitated negotiation with the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) and other stakeholders to attempt to develop an offset policy that is equitable and implementable.

The following list includes all major provisions associated with the offset policy. It is important to note that MDE reserves the right to draft a policy and regulations without regard for the consensus agreements reached by the work group.

Elements with Work Group Consensus: • Threshold that triggers regulatory requirements---Projects disturbing 5K sq. ft. up to one acre will be assessed a reasonable fee in lieu based on a sliding scale. Projects disturbing 1 acre or greater will be subject to the full offset calculation analysis. • Exceptions—a subcommittee will be formed to consider an exception process for certain public works projects. • Effective Date/Grandfathering---The regulations will go into effect on December 31, 2014. Projects eligible for grandfathering must submit a preliminary plan by December 2014 and get plan approval and complete construction within the time period agreed to in the Stormwater regulation implementation plan. • Fee in Lieu---the Fee will be a permanent option for developers and will be calculated based on the cost of installation and operation and maintenance of permanent urban practices. The fee price will be adjusted based on a 3-year review. • Regulated Pollutants---Projects must offset increased or new nitrogen loads statewide and increases in phosphorous and sediment loads where ever there is a local TMDL. • Stormwater Loading Factors---the assumed efficiency for Stormwater controls if 50% of nitrogen and 60% of phosphorous. Developers can minimize their need to offset by demonstrating the use of more effective BMPs. • Septic Loading Factors---the assumed efficiency for BAT septic systems is 50% efficiency but use of higher efficiency systems can achieve further efficiency credit. Edge of stream loading rates based on 3 zones (80% in critical area, 50% 1K ft. of stream, 30% all other areas) • Wastewater---No offset required for ENR, BNR or secondary treatment sewer systems that have available nutrient capacity. • Atmospheric Deposition---not considered as part of the offset requirement. • Permanency---Load must be offset permanently. Permanent practices must guarantee O/M in perpetuity. Offset can be provided by permanent and non-permanent practices. • Post-Development Load---all offsets must be installed for each defined phases of the development before the grading permit is issued and construction begins. Developers will propose the offset responsibility for the project at an early state in the development process. • Sustainable Growth Patterns---Projects that meet the Stormwater definition as such (40% impervious cover) would have a nominal or no offset requirement. For projects with 20-40% impervious cover, the offset would be based on a sliding scale. • Margins of Safety---The load to be offset will be at a 1:1 ratio with a 10% retirement ratio.

Elements without Work Group Consensus: • Activity that triggers regulation---Any alteration of land or construction or alteration of a structure that creates a disturbed area equal to or above the threshold limit that increased wastewater load or increased nonpoint source pollution will require compliance with the offset regulation. The agricultural community position would exempt any agricultural practices and agricultural related structures from the requirements. • The Cost and Availability of the Fee in Lieu---MSBA along with the majority of stakeholders agree to an initial fee cost of $3,500 per pound. Other stakeholders advocated for a higher fee based on actual costs without weighting the use of practices. • Stormwater Loading Factors---MSBA and the majority of stakeholders supports using the 5-basin edge of stream loads followed by land river segments to determine the loading rate unless there is a local TMDL. Other stakeholders support use of edge of stream loading rates in all circumstances. • Baseline---MSBA and the majority of stakeholders support the MACo baseline proposal as follows: o Active farm conversions must reduce to the statewide average pasture load. No credits may be generated with these types of conversions. All other development calculates the offset responsibility by determining the post development load minus the pre-development land use 2025 TMDL allocation. Credits can be generated from these projects. o Other stakeholders support the Forest baseline that requires all projects to reduce loads to the forest allocation. • Trading Geographies---There was consensus that when interstate trading is available, Maryland will allow interstate trading with in the basin (this option will not be available until EPA approves a structure). MSBA, NAIOP and the local jurisdictions support a statewide trading geography. Other stakeholders support trading restrictions by basin first and only statewide if no credits are available within the basin.

Timeline: The final Work Group Report is scheduled to be distributed at the end of August. MDE will develop a set of regulations in draft form by the end of September for review and discussion. The regulations will be proposed and finalized by December 2013. Upon prjavascript:cm_ced_finish ();omulgation of the regulations, a number of guidance documents to aid implementation are expected to be drafted and the policy will go into place sometime in early 2014.
Nutrient Offset Briefings

Attention HBAM Members: Maryland’s Accounting for Growth Policy, currently being developed, will have profound implications for all HBAM members and businesses involved in the development and housing industry.  This new policy seeks to require developers to "offset" both pre and post construction pollution loads by purchasing credits for best management practices that reduce non-point source pollution offsite, such as on a farm or forest.  The proposed cost of the fee in lieu to meet these offset requirements is estimated to be between $2,000 and $3,000 per pound, resulting in a fee of almost $50,000 per housing unit for some types of development.  To make matters worse, the state is discussing proposals to expand the offset requirements from what is currently proposed, resulting in an even higher fee to meet the regulations.

HBAM is hosting a series of Nutrient Offset briefings over the next 2 months to bring members and non-members up to speed on the issue and help raise needed funds to fight the regulations.  If implemented as is currently being proposed, the resulting regulations will have devastating effects on the entire industry and every business that is dependent upon it.  This is your chance to get informed, learn how the industry is fighting for an equitable policy, and involve non-HBAM members to get them up to speed on this pending regulation.

Background: Since 1985, Maryland has reduced nitrogen pollution by 33% and Phosphorus pollution by 38%, while the population has increased 29% (1.28 million) during the same period.  New construction in Maryland contributes just 0.3% of the nitrogen loading and 1.4% of the Phosphorus loading to the Chesapeake Bay, while agriculture contributes 45% of the Nitrogen loading and 65% of the Phosphorous loading, and urban sources contribute 8% of the Nitrogen loading and 15% of the Phosphorous loading. 

HBAM Offset Briefings: HBAM’s State lobbyist Katie Maloney will give an update on the proposed offset policy, what it means for your business, and will discuss the industry’s strategic plan to fight for an equitable policy.  You are invited to attend one or more of the following briefings:

  • June 4 in Howard County at the Stanford Grill. 8900 Stanford Blvd., Columbia, MD 21045 – NEW DATE!
  • June 5 in Anne Arundel County at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Gilligan. 1316 Water Oak Drive, Pasadena, MD 21122– NEW DATE!

All proceeds from these events wil go towards HBAM's Policy Partner Campaign.

About HBAM’s Policy Partner Campaign:  Policy Partners is a government affairs program to fight unique and potentially devastating legislation or regulations emanating from state or local governments.  Policy Partner money is used primarily on the state level to fund HBAM's commitment to the Maryland State Builders Association to hire legal representation to fight legislation and regulations, hire consultants to perform independent 3rd party technical and scientific research to support our industry, and to provide marketing and public relations support.  The Maryland State Builders Association estimates a financial need of $150,000 to fight this regulation, assuming no litigation, and HBAM has committed to raising $75,000.  Please consider one of the sponsorship levels below and bring your colleagues not active with HBAM to help raise these needed funds.

Policy Partner Sponsorship Opportunities:                          

  • $7,500 Policy Partner Sponsorship includes 10 tickets and special recognition at all Policy Partner events and a plaque to display in your office
  • $5,000 Policy Partner Sponsorship includes 7 tickets and special recognition at all Policy Partner events and a plaque to display in your office
  • $2,000 Policy Partner Sponsorship includes 5 tickets and special recognition at all Policy Partner events and a plaque to display in your office 
  • $1,000 Sponsorship includes 3 tickets and special recognition at one event      
  • $500 Sponsorship includes 1 ticket and special recognition at one event          

Individual Tickets:

  • HBAM Builder/ Developer/ Remodeler Member: $250
  • HBAM Associate Member: $150

To Register: please complete the following information and email Michael@homebuilders.org or fax to (410) 265-6529.
Payment Information:
Name(s):
Price:

Credit Card:                                                                                         Exp. Date:
Primary Contact Information:
 
If you would like to pay by check, please contact Michael Harrison at (410) 265-7400 ext. 109 for details and an address.
 
For questions, please call HBAM at (410) 265-7400, ext. 109
HBAM Policy Partner Information

What Is Policy Partners?
HBAM's Policy Partners is a government affairs program to fight unique and potentially devastating legislation or regulations emanating from state or local governments.

How is Policy Partner money spent?

Policy Partner money is used primarily on the state level to fund HBAM's commitment to the Maryland State Builders Association to hire legal representation to fight legislation and regulations, hire consultants to perform independent 3rd party technical and scientific research to support our industry, and to provide marketing and public relations support.

What are the immediate Policy Partner Needs?

HBAM and our coalition partners, led by the Maryland State Builders Association, are preparing for our largest regulatory fight ever.  The Maryland Department of the Environment’s ‘Accounting for Growth Strategy,’ requiring development offsets, will have the largest impact to the development industry ever: costing up to $40,000 PER LOT to meet these regulations.

What is the Policy Partner Fundraising Goal?

The Maryland State Builders Association estimates a financial need of $150,000 in 2013 alone to fight this regulation, assuming no litigation.  HBAM has committed $75,000 to this fight, and we are asking each Chapter Board to raise $20,000.

 

Important Documents

Accounting for Growth Overview

Accounting for Growth Discussion Draft

Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission Comments and Recommendations

Draft Regulations

 

 

Important Links

MDE Accounting For Growth Website

Discussion Draft (July 12, 2012) - PDF

Schedule of Outreach Events (Updated on an on-going basis) - PDF

Presentation - PDF

Offset Calculation Tool (DRAFT) - EXCEL

Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan
(March 30, 2012)

Maryland's 2012-2013 Milestone Goals 
(March 30, 2012)

Maryland's Final Phase I Watershed Implemention Plan