.01 Definitions.

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) “Agricultural land” means land cultivated for the production of crops or used for raising livestock.

(2) “Agricultural operation” means any farming operation devoted to the production for sale of crops or animals, including, but not limited to, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products, nuts, tobacco, aquaculture, nursery and floral products, and trees.

(3) “Brand” means the term, design, trademark, or other specific designation under which a compost product is distributed in the State.

(4) “Certified operator” means an owner, operator, or employee of a composting facility who is certified by the Secretary under this chapter.

(5) “Compost” means a stabilized organic product produced by the controlled aerobic decomposition process in such a manner that the product may be handled, stored, and applied to the land or used as a soil conditioner in an environmentally acceptable manner without adversely affecting plant growth.

(6) “Compostable” means any biological material capable of being aerobically decomposed into compost.

(7) “Composting” is the aerobic degradation of organic matter to make compost.

(8) “Composting facility” means a facility where solid waste or organic material is processed using composting technology, including:

(a) Physical turning;

(b) Windrowing; and

(c) Aeration or other mechanical handling of organic matter.

(9) “Department” means the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

(10) “Distribute” means to import, manufacture, produce, compound, mix, blend, barter, sell, offer for sale, consign, furnish, provide, or otherwise supply compost as part of a commercial enterprise.

(11) “Industrial sludge” means the accumulated semiliquid suspension, settled, or dried residue of solids deposited as a by-product of an industrial process and which is claimed to have value in promoting plant growth or improving the soil.

(12) “Label” means the display of all written, printed, or graphic matter on the immediate container or a statement accompanying a compost product.

(13) “Labeling” means all written, printed, or graphic matter on or accompanying any compost product or the contents of any advertisement, brochure, poster, or television or radio announcement used in promoting the sale of a compost product.

(14) “Lot” means a definite quantity of a compost product by name, classification, or code designation as registered by the Secretary for distribution.

(15) “Manure” means a solid waste composed of excreta of livestock, and residual materials that have been used for bedding, sanitary, or feeding purposes for animals.

(16) Marginal Land.

(a) “Marginal land” means land where the soil characteristics do not support normal vegetative growth over time.

(b) “Marginal land” includes, but is not limited to, land abandoned due to mineral extraction, strip mine areas, areas where topsoil has been removed, fill areas with poor soil characteristics, or landfills with poor topsoil.

(17) “Mulch” means any material or product, with at least 50 percent of its volume composed of particles 1/2 inch or larger in size, that is distributed for primary use on the soil surface or around plants as decoration or as a protective covering to reduce moisture loss, control weeds, prevent erosion, reduce temperature changes, or similar purposes relating to the soil.

(18) “Organic” means any natural biological substance of plant or animal origin that is capable of microbial degradation.

(19) “Origin” means the original physical source of the compostable material.

(20) “Person” includes the State, any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State, or any of their units, or an individual, receiver, trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, fiduciary or representative of any kind, or any partnership, firm, association, public or private corporation, or any other entity unless otherwise provided.

(21) “PFRP” means process to further reduce pathogens, as provided by COMAR 26.04.06.

(22) “Registrant” means a person who registers a compost product pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(23) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary’s designee.

(24) “Septage” means the liquid and solid material pumped or removed from chemical toilets, septic tanks, seepage pits, privies, cesspools, or holding tanks when the system is cleaned and maintained.

(25) “Sewage sludge” means the accumulated semiliquid suspension, settled solids, or dried residue of these solids that is deposited from sewage in a wastewater treatment plant, whether or not these solids have undergone treatment.

(26) Soil Conditioner.

(a) “Soil conditioner” means any substance or mixture of substances, except a commercial fertilizer, unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, agricultural liming material, or gypsum, intended for sale, offered for sale, or sold for:

(i) Manurial, soil enriching, or soil corrective purposes;

(ii) Promoting or stimulating the growth of plants;

(iii) Increasing the productivity of plants;

(iv) Improving the quality of crops; or

(v) Producing any chemical or physical change in the soil.

(b) “Soil conditioner” includes, but is not limited to, materials such as compost, peat, vermiculite, perlite, or digestate produced by anaerobic digestion that are incorporated into the soil.

(27) Solid Waste.

(a) “Solid waste” means any garbage, refuse, sludge, or liquid from industrial, commercial, mining, or agricultural operations or from community activities.

(b) “Solid waste” includes scrap tires and organic compostable materials, but does not include solid or dissolved material in domestic sewage or in irrigation return flows or compost as defined in this chapter.

(28) “Stabilized compost” means any compost that has ceased active biological decomposition, that is, the temperature of a 4-foot-high, 6-foot-diameter pile of compost may not rise more than 20°C above ambient temperature when the pile is left undisturbed for 72 hours at the composting facility.

(29) “Yard waste” means organic plant waste derived from gardening, landscaping, and tree trimming activities, and includes leaves, garden waste, lawn cuttings, weeds, and tree prunings.