15.20.12.08

.08 Annual Verification and Reporting.

A. All trades involving agricultural credits certified by the Department require, at minimum, annual credit verification and reporting. Inspections will be scheduled as appropriate to practice type.

B. A person who buys certified credits shall employ a Department-approved verifier who does not hold an interest in the agricultural operation generating the credits or was not involved in the original application or qualification of the credits.

C. Following the site visit to the agricultural operation, the verifier shall provide the following to the Department:

(1) Information as required on a Verification Report form; and

(2) Information following an inspection and review of the records for the agricultural operation including:

(a) Review of the current NMP and documentation that it continues to be implemented in accordance with COMAR 15.20.07 and 15.20.08;

(b) Review of the current SCWQP and documentation that it continues to be implemented and addresses all nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment runoff and emission issues as specified;

(c) Documentation that the agricultural management and BMPs implemented continue to meet baseline compliance and that all credit generating practices continue to be operated and maintained in accordance with the terms of the trading contract and the requirements of this chapter; and

(d) Confirmation that no deficiencies exist and no corrective measures are needed or a detailed description of deficiencies and required corrective actions.

D. The Department, Maryland Department of the Environment, the buyer and the seller, and the owner or operator shall receive a copy of the report prepared by the verifier conducting any inspection and records review within 30 days of the site visit.

E. The Department may issue a corrective action order which allows a time period for repairs or other remedies to bring any deficiencies into compliance. The Department may require additional inspections and written substantiations that corrective measures have been taken. Any such action or actions by the Department does not preclude the Maryland Department of the Environment from exercising its authority when agricultural credits are incorporated into issued discharge permits.

F. Within 30 days of receiving a copy of the report, an owner or operator may dispute information in the report that owner or operator believes is in error or does not accurately represent the condition or management of the operation and may address these concerns in writing to the Department with a copy the to the verifier.