A. The following terms have the meanings indicated.
B. Terms Defined.
(1) "Agricultural drainage project" (project) means the construction, reconstruction, repair, straightening, widening, or deepening of any ditch, drain, canal, or other watercourse, natural or man-made, financed or managed by a public drainage association to lower the water level in the soil of adjacent lands for agricultural purposes.
(2) "Association" and "public drainage association" mean an organization established to locate, construct or reconstruct, operate and maintain ditches, drains, and channels to provide agricultural drainage under Article 25, §52, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(3) "Best management practice" (BMP) means a conservation or pollution practice that:
(a) Reduces soil loss associated with farming practices; or
(b) Minimizes movement of sediment, animal wastes, nutrients, or agricultural chemicals into the waters of the State.
(4) "Cooperator's agreement" means a landowner's written agreement with a local soil conservation district to have a soil conservation and water quality plan prepared.
(5) "Department" means the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Environment, or the Department of Natural Resources, or any combination of them.
(6) "Maintenance" means the periodic:
(a) Control of woody growth or removal of shrubs and small trees which alter the flow, affect channel stability, or limit access to a channel;
(b) Removal of channel obstructions, debris, and minor sediment deposits so long as the removal does not:
(i) Alter the approved design of the channel; or
(ii) Consist of channel reconstruction or realignment;
(c) Cleaning out or installation of sediment traps;
(d) Routine repair work needed to maintain the project in accordance with the approved design specifications; and
(e) Installation of water control structures and stabilization of soil to prevent erosion.
(7) "Off-sided construction or reconstruction" means a method of constructing channels through riparian or other woodland, characterized by the following:
(a) Construction or reconstruction operations are performed from one side of the channel called the construction side, the other side of the channel being called the off-side;
(b) Blowouts and treefalls are prevented by:
(i) Clearing the off-side bank of trees and other vegetation up to 12 feet from top of bank, and
(ii) Selectively cutting diseased, damaged, and other problematic trees on the off-side that would fall into the channel from beyond the cleared area;
(c) After construction, the off-side berm is allowed to reestablish natural vegetation, while all maintenance to the channel is performed from the construction side.
(8) "Person" means any individual, receiver, trustee, guardian, personal representative, fiduciary, or representative of any kind any any partnership, association, corporation, or other entity. Person includes the federal government, this State, any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of this State or any of their units.
(9) "Pollution" means any contamination or other alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any waters of this State, including a change in temperature, taste, color, turbidity, or odor of the waters, or the discharge or deposit of any organic matter, harmful organism, or liquid, gaseous, solid, radioactive, or other substance into any waters of the State that will render the waters harmful, or detrimental to:
(a) Public health, safety, or welfare;
(b) Domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or other legitimate beneficial uses;
(c) Livestock, wild animals, or birds; or
(d) Fish or other aquatic life.
(10) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture unless the context indicates otherwise.
(11) "Soil conservation and water quality plan" means a farm plan approved by a local soil conservation district to minimize soil erosion, and to minimize the movement of sediment, animal waste, nutrients, or agricultural chemicals into the waters of the State.
(12) "Stable channel" means a channel where:
(a) The following degradation does not occur:
(i) Significant erosion of the channel banks and bottom,
(ii) Erosion around culverts, bridges, or water control structures along the channel, and
(iii) The formation or enlargement of gullies because of the uncontrolled entry of water flow;
(b) Significant aggregation to the channel occurs only within the designated limits on:
(i) Sediment traps,
(ii) In-stream wetlands designed for this purpose, and
(iii) Channel reaches designed for this purpose.
(13) "Water control structure" means a structure in an Agricultural drainage project that:
(a) Conveys water;
(b) Controls the direction or rate of flow of water; or
(c) Maintains a desired water surface elevation.
(14) "Waters of the State" includes both surface and underground waters within the boundaries of the State subject to its jurisdiction, including that portion of the Atlantic Ocean within the boundaries of the State, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and all ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, public ditches, tax ditches, and public drainage systems within the State, other than those designed and used to collect, convey, or dispose of sanitary sewage.