A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
B. Terms Defined.
(1) “303(d) list” means the list of impaired waters maintained by the State pursuant to 33 U.S.C. §1313(d).
(2) “Aggregator” means a person that funds, generates, owns, or assembles credits resulting from a number of point or nonpoint sources to resell them.
(3) “Agricultural land” has the meaning stated in COMAR 15.20.12.02.
(4) “Agricultural nonpoint source” means a nonpoint source that is an agricultural operation.
(5) “Agricultural operation” has the meaning stated in COMAR 15.20.12.02.
(6) “Allocation” means the share of the total amount of pollutants that impaired waters can receive from a specific source discharger.
(7) “Baseline” means the practices, actions, or levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, or sediment reductions that must be achieved before a credit seller becomes eligible to generate credits, enter the trading market, and trade credits.
(8) “Bay Restoration Fund (BRF)” means the fund established by Environment Article, §9-1605.2, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(9) Best Management Practice (BMP).
(a) “Best management practice (BMP)” means a practice, or combination of practices, that is determined by the Chesapeake Bay Program to be an effective and practicable method of preventing or reducing pollutants generated by point or nonpoint sources so as to minimize the movement of those pollutants into or remove those pollutants from waters of the State, or mitigate flooding.
(b) “Best management practice (BMP)” includes structural and nonstructural pollution controls, operations, and maintenance procedures and practices that prevent or reduce pollutants.
(10) “Broker” means a person that connects a credit seller and a credit buyer and helps to negotiate a trade between them.
(11) “Cap” means a legally enforceable aggregate mass load limit contained in a discharge permit.
(12) “Certification” means the process in which credits are quantified by the Department or the Department of Agriculture and placed on the Registry, or the result of this process.
(13) “Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP)” means the regional partnership of federal and state agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions that leads and directs Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection.
(14) “Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model (CBWM)” means the latest model adopted by the Chesapeake Bay Program used to simulate loading and transport of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from pollutant sources throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and provide estimates of watershed nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads resulting from various management scenarios.
(15) “Credit” means a unit of load reduction below baseline of 1 pound of nitrogen, phosphorus, or sediment.
(16) “Department” means the Maryland Department of the Environment.
(17) “Edge of tide (EoT) factor” means a numeric adjustment that reflects the rate at which pollutants are reduced through natural processes, such as hydrolysis, oxidation, and biodegradation, and manmade structures, such as dams, on their way through nontidal tributaries to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay or its tidal tributaries.
(18) “Edge of tide (EoT) ratio” means a numeric adjustment applied to a trade to compensate for different EoT factors in the segmentshed where the credit is generated and the segmentshed where the credit is used.
(19) “Enhanced nutrient removal (ENR)” has the meaning stated in Environment Article, §9-1601, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(20) “Floating cap” means a permitted effluent limitation applicable to an ENR facility, funded by the Bay Restoration Fund, which is calculated at the end of each calendar year using the end of the calendar year annual cumulative flow for the facility, multiplied by the applicable nitrogen or phosphorus concentration, and then converted to units of pounds per year.
(21) “Generator” means the original source of pollution reductions embodied in a credit, regardless of subsequent buyers and sellers of the credit.
(22) “Impaired waters” means waters included on the 303(d) list for nitrogen, phosphorus, or sediment.
(a) “Load” means a pound or pounds of nitrogen or phosphorus or a pound, pounds, ton, or tons of sediment discharged by a point or nonpoint source per unit of time.
(b) “Load” is calculated or estimated using pollutant concentrations and flow and converting them to pounds or tons.
(24) “Load allocation (LA)” means the portion of a receiving water's loading capacity that is attributed to one of either its existing or future nonpoint sources.
(25) “Local water quality impairment” means conditions in a nontidal river, stream or impoundment that would cause the nontidal river, stream or impoundment to be listed on the 303(d) list for nitrogen, phosphorus, or sediment.
(26) “Marketplace” means an online system where information is exchanged between credit owners or their representatives and credit buyers.
(27) “Maryland Nutrient Tracking Tool (MNTT)” means an online performance-based calculation system that enables users to analyze agricultural parcels and their management to determine eligibility and credit generation potential for participation in the Maryland Water Quality Trading Program.
(28) “Maryland Water Quality Trading Program (Program)” means the Program under this chapter that establishes the policies and procedures to support market-based trading activities to enhance water quality and to certify, verify, and register nonagricultural point and nonpoint source nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment credits.
(29) “MS4 Permittee” means a person that has been issued a Phase I MS4 permit or a Phase II MS4 permit as defined in 40 CFR §122.26.
(30) “Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)” has the meaning stated in 40 CFR §122.26.
(31) “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program” means the national system for issuing permits as designated by 33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq., its amendments, and all regulations and rules adopted under the federal Clean Water Act and State law.
(32) “Nonregulated source” means a point source or nonpoint source that the Department has determined is not required to obtain an NPDES or State discharge permit and that is not an agricultural operation.
(33) “Nonpoint source” means a source of pollution that is not from a discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance, or other point source, as point source is defined in 33 U.S.C. §1362.
(34) “On-site sewage disposal system” means a sewage system that discharges treated effluent into the ground, such as a septic system.
(35) “Performance-based benchmark” means a wastewater point source annual effluent load which is calculated at the end of each calendar year using the end of the calendar year annual cumulative flow for the facility, multiplied by the applicable assigned nitrogen or phosphorus performance concentration converted to units of pounds per year, where:
(a) A sewage treatment facility with a design capacity greater than or equal to 0.5 million gallons per day has an assigned performance consideration:
(i) Equal to or less than 3.0 mg/l for nitrogen or .3 mg/l for phosphorus; and
(ii) If applicable, equal to or less than the concentration basis of the permit’s required floating cap; and
(b) All other wastewater point sources have an assigned performance concentration established on a case-by-case basis, with the resulting benchmark at least as stringent as the baseline required under Regulation .05 of this chapter.
(36) “Person” has the meaning stated in COMAR 26.08.01.01.
(37) “Point source” has the meaning stated in 33 U.S.C. §1362.
(38) “Public funding” means federal or State grant funding.
(39) “Registration” means the recordation of a credit or trade in the Registry.
(40) “Registry” means a publicly accessible online database system used by the Department and the Department of Agriculture to administer the Maryland Water Quality Trading Program by tracking credit-generating BMPs, verification activities, credits, trades, and credit usage records.
(41) “Reserve pool” means a pool of certified credits created by the application of the reserve ratio that can be used by the State as stated in Regulation .08 of this chapter.
(42) “Reserve ratio” means a 5 percent reduction in the total number of generated credits, the result rounded down to the next whole number, placed in the reserve pool at the time of certification.
(43) “Sector” means each of the following groups of persons:
(a) Agricultural dischargers;
(b) Stormwater dischargers;
(c) Sewage treatment and industrial wastewater dischargers; and
(d) Persons having on-site sewage disposal systems.
(44) “Segmentshed” means a discrete land area that drains into one of the Chesapeake Bay Program tidal segments for which a TMDL is established in the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
(45) “Source discharger” means a:
(a) Point source regulated under an NPDES or State discharge permit that has received an individual or aggregate wasteload allocation; or
(b) Nonpoint source that is assigned a share of the aggregate load allocation for an entire sector.
(46) “Stormwater” has the meaning stated in COMAR 26.17.02.02.
(47) “Stormwater point source” means a regulated stormwater discharger such as a MS4 permittee, or an NPDES Industrial stormwater permittee.
(48) “Technology-based effluent limitation (TBEL)” means a permit limit for a pollutant that is based on the capability of a treatment method to reduce the pollutant to a certain concentration or loading.
(49) “Total maximum daily load (TMDL)” means a calculation for an impaired water body of the maximum amount of a pollutant the water body can receive and still meet applicable water quality standards in accordance with federal Clean Water Act requirements.
(50) “Trade” or “trading” means a transaction, sale, or other exchange of credit through a contractual agreement between a credit generator or owner and a credit buyer.
(51) “Uncertainty ratio” means a numeric adjustment to a trade to compensate for possible discrepancies in estimated pollutant reductions resulting from inaccuracy in credit estimation methodology or variability in project performance, or to provide a margin of safety in the achievement of water quality goals.
(52) “Wasteload allocation (WLA)” has the meaning stated in COMAR 26.08.01.01.
(53) “Wastewater” has the meaning stated in COMAR 26.08.01.01.
(54) Wastewater Point Source.
(a) “Wastewater point source” means a sewage treatment discharger, an industrial wastewater discharger, or any other point source that has applied for and received an NPDES or State discharge permit issued pursuant to COMAR 26.08.04.
(b) “Wastewater point source” does not include stormwater point sources.
(55) “Watershed” means an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel.