23.02.04.03

.03 Definitions.

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

B. Terms Defined.

(1) “Administrator” means the Wetlands Administrator for the Board of Public Works.

(2) “Board” means the Maryland Board of Public Works.

(3) “Critical area” consists of the following areas, as indicated on the Statewide Base Map:

(a) All waters of and lands under the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries to the head of tide;

(b) All State and private wetlands designated under Environment Article, Title 16, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(c) All land and water areas within 1,000 feet beyond the landward boundaries of the resource identified under §B(3)(a) and (b) of this regulation.

(4) “Department” means the Maryland Department of the Environment.

(5) “Dredging” means the removal or displacement by any means of soil, sand, gravel, shells, or other materials, whether or not of intrinsic value, from any State or private tidal wetlands.

(6) Enhancement.

(a) “Enhancement” means the rehabilitation of a degraded wetland site by manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a wetland site:

(i) To heighten, intensify, or improve a specific function, or functions; or

(ii) For a purpose such as water quality improvement, flood water retention or wildlife habitat.

(b) “Enhancement” results in a change in wetland function, or functions, and can lead to a decline in other wetland function, but does not result in a gain in wetland acres.

(7) Filling.

(a) “Filling” means the:

(i) Displacement of tidal water by depositing into State or private wetlands soil, sand, gravel, shells, or other materials, including pilings, piers, and other structures;

(ii) Artificial alteration of tidal water levels by any physical structure, drainage ditch, or otherwise; or

(iii) Storm drainage projects that flow directly into tidal waters of the State.

(b) “Filling” does not include:

(i) Drainage of agricultural land;

(ii) In-place replacement or repair of functional shore erosion control structures using substantially similar materials and construction design; or

(iii) Planting of wetlands vegetation when no grading or fill in State or private wetlands is necessary.

(8) “Interested person” means, an owner of a riparian property contiguous to a parcel for which there is a licensing proceeding, or an individual that comments on, requests hearings for, or makes inquiries about a licensing proceeding.

(9) “License” means written authorization by the Board under Environment Article, §16-202, Annotated Code of Maryland, to dredge, fill, construct structures, or conduct certain other activities involving State tidal wetlands.

(10) “Licensee” means a person to whom the Department issues a general wetlands license or the Board issues an individual or emergency State tidal wetlands license.

(11) “Living shoreline” means an approach that uses plants and sand, rock, oyster shell, or other natural materials to protect shoreline and to create, maintain, or enhance habitat.

(12) “Maintenance dredging” means dredging an area previously dredged under a Board-issued or Department-issued license for the purpose of maintaining the area’s functional navigation channel, marina, or mooring basin.

(13) “Mean high water” means the average of all the high water levels observed over the national tidal datum epoch.

(14) “Mean high water line” means the line where the land meets the water surface at the elevation of mean high water.

(15) “Mean low water” means the average of all the low water levels observed over the national tidal datum epoch.

(16) “Mitigation” means offsetting loss or damage to State tidal wetlands due to licensed activity by creating new State tidal wetlands or restoring or enhancing existing State tidal wetlands.

(a) “In-kind” means having characteristics closely approximating the original characteristics, including those of a vegetated tidal wetland before that wetland was adversely impacted.

(b) “Out-of-kind” means having characteristics not closely approximating those of a tidal wetland before that wetland was adversely impacted.

(17) Nonstructural Shoreline Stabilization Measure.

(a) “Nonstructural shoreline stabilization measure” means an erosion control measure that is dominated by tidal wetland vegetation, such as submerged aquatic vegetation, and is designed to preserve the natural shoreline, minimize erosion, and establish aquatic habitat.

(b) “Nonstructural shoreline stabilization measure” includes a living shoreline.

(18) Nonwater-Dependent Project.

(a) “Nonwater-dependent project” means a temporary or permanent structure or activity that, by reason of its intrinsic nature, use, or operation, does not require location in, on, or over State or private tidal wetlands.

(b) “Nonwater-dependent project” includes a:

(i) Dwelling unit on a pier;

(ii) Restaurant, shop, office, or other commercial building or use on a pier;

(iii) Temporary or permanent roof or covering on a pier;

(iv) Pier used to support a nonwater-dependent use; and

(v) Small-scale renewable energy system on a pier, including a solar energy system and its photovoltaic cells, solar panels, or other necessary equipment; a geothermal energy system and its geothermal heat exchanger or other necessary equipment; and a wind energy system and its wind turbine, tower, base, or other necessary equipment.

(c) “Nonwater-dependent project” does not include:

(i) A fuel pump or other fuel-dispensing equipment on a pier;

(ii) A sanitary sewage pump or other wastewater removal equipment on a pier;

(iii) A pump, pipe, or any other equipment attached to a pier and associated with a shellfish nursery operation under a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources under Natural Resource Article, §4-11A-23, Annotated Code of Maryland; or

(iv) An office for managing marina operations, including monitoring vessel traffic, registering vessels, providing docking services, and housing electrical or emergency equipment related to marina operations.

(19) “Over, on, in, or under” means the horizontal and vertical totality of State tidal wetlands and the associated air space applicable throughout this chapter, except when the context clearly limits the meaning.

(20) “Periodic maintenance dredging” means maintenance dredging where:

(a) The area and depth of the dredging are in conformance with the original dredging license;

(b) No more than 500 cubic yards of material are dredged at each maintenance dredging to restore licensed work;

(c) The dredged material is deposited upon the designated dredge material placement site or other upland site approved by the Department; and

(d) The licensee receives prior approval from the Department for each maintenance dredging operation.

(21) “Person” means any natural person, partnership, joint stock company, unincorporated association or society, the State, any unit of the State, a political subdivision, the federal government, or other corporation of any type.

(22) “Political subdivision” means a county (including Baltimore City) or municipality.

(23) “Private tidal wetlands” means:

(a) Land not considered State tidal wetlands bordering on or lying beneath tidal waters, that is subject to regular or periodic tidal action and supports aquatic growth;

(b) Tidal wetlands transferred by the State by a valid grant, lease, patent, or grant confirmed by Article 5 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, to the extent of the interest transferred; or

(c) Tidal waters created by the excavation of upland unless conveyed to the State.

(24) Restoration.

(a) “Restoration” means reestablishment of tidal wetlands on former tidal wetland sites by manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a site with the goal of returning natural/historic functions.

(b) “Restoration” results in rebuilding a former wetland and in a gain in wetland acres.

(25) “Riparian rights” means a bundle of rights that derive from the physical relationship of a body of water to the land abutting it.

(26) Riprap.

(a) “Riprap” means intentionally placed rock or other durable materials such as rubble or pre-formed concrete shapes, used to armor both shorelines, channels, and other natural features as well as pilings and other structures, against scour, and water or ice erosion.

(b) “Riprap” includes structures that may be constructed of riprap, such as revetments, embankments, groins, sills, and breakwaters.

(27) State Tidal Wetlands.

(a) “State tidal wetlands” means any land:

(i) Under the navigable waters of the State below the mean high water line, affected by the regular rise and fall of the tide; and

(ii) Between the landward boundary, coterminous with the mean high water line, and the seaward boundary, 3 miles from the low water mark of the Atlantic coast.

(b) “State tidal wetlands” does not include wetlands that have been transferred by the State by valid grant, lease, patent, or grant confirmed by Article 5 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, which are instead “private tidal wetlands” to the extent of the interest transferred.

(28) “Structure” means something that is built or constructed, temporarily or permanently, including a boathouse, breakwater, bulkhead, drainage ditch, groin, pier, revetment, sill, tidal impoundment dike, transmission facility, or water control structure.

(29) “Trenchless technology” means subsurface construction work, including horizontal directional drilling, microtunneling, and other similar technologies, used to install underground infrastructure, such as below-ground pipelines and cables.

(30) “Upland” means any area that does not qualify as a tidal or nontidal wetland.