26.17.06.07

.07 Water Appropriation or Use Permit Conditions.

A. General.

(1) The permit period shall be 12 years unless the Department determines that a shorter period is appropriate.

(2) A permit shall contain an effective date, an expiration date, and a date the permittee first appropriated water at the site.

(3) A permit shall contain conditions limiting the average daily appropriation or use to a quantity specified by the Department. In addition, a ground water appropriation or use permit shall limit the average daily appropriation during the month of highest use, and a surface water appropriation or use permit shall limit the maximum daily appropriation to quantities specified by the Department.

(4) A permit shall specify the purpose of the appropriation or use and the source and location of the appropriation or use.

(5) A permit shall contain a condition allowing authorized representatives of the Department to have access to the permittee's facilities to conduct reasonable inspections and evaluations necessary to assure compliance with the permit. The permittee shall provide such assistance as may be necessary to effectively and safely conduct the inspections and evaluations.

(6) To renew a permit, the permittee shall file a renewal application with the Department not later than 2 weeks before the expiration date on the permit.

(7) The Department may suspend or revoke a permit for violating the conditions of the permit, the regulations in this chapter, or the provisions of Environment Article, Title 5, Subtitle 5, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(8) A permittee shall obtain a new permit before making a change in appropriation or use which would result in a new use, quantity, source, or place of use.

(9) A permit may not be transferred without the prior written approval of the Department. If approved, the Department shall issue a new permit, which may contain new conditions at the discretion of the Department. A permittee who wants to convey a water appropriation or use permit, and the person who wants to obtain the permit shall each state their intentions in writing to the Department.

(10) The Department may inactivate a permit after written notice to the permittee, if it finds that water is no longer being appropriated or used under that permit.

B. Non-Agricultural Water Appropriation and Use Permits.

(1) This section does not apply to permits issued for the appropriation and use of water for agricultural purposes.

(2) The Department shall review an active permit at least once every 3 years, or more frequently at the discretion of the Department. During a permit review, the Department may modify the permit to adjust the quantity of the water a permittee may appropriate or use or add a condition to the permit for resource management purposes, including avoidance or mitigation of unreasonable adverse impacts on public health or the environment.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in COMAR 26.17.07, a permit may contain a condition requiring the permittee to stop or reduce water use when directed to do so by the Department during a drought period or emergency.

(4) Except for subdivisions served by individual domestic wells, a permit issued for an average of 10,000 or more gallons a day shall contain a condition requiring the permittee to report semiannually to the Department the quantity of water appropriated under the permit for each of the preceding 6 months. The Department may require a permittee to report daily use and may require the permittee to install flow-measuring devices.

(5) A ground water appropriation or use permit for an appropriation from a well 4 inches in diameter or larger shall contain a condition requiring that the pumping equipment be installed so that water levels can be measured during pumping and nonpumping periods without dismantling any equipment. Any opening for tape measurements of water levels shall have a minimum inside diameter of 0.5 inch and be sealed by a removable cap or plug. The permittee shall provide a tap for taking raw water samples before water enters a treatment facility, pressure tank, or storage tank.

C. Agricultural Water Appropriation or Use Permits.

(1) The Department shall review an active permit at least once every 3 years, or more frequently at the discretion of the Department. During a permit review, the Department may modify the permit or add a condition to the permit for resource management purposes, including avoidance or mitigation of unreasonable adverse impacts on public health or the environment.

(2) Public notice and opportunity for hearing requirements of Environment Article, §5-506, Annotated Code of Maryland, do not apply to the renewal of a water appropriation or use permit for agricultural purposes if no change is intended in the use, quantity, source, and place of use.

(3) Water Use Reporting.

(a) A water appropriation or use permit for agricultural purposes may contain a condition requiring the permittee to report an estimate of total water use for each month of the preceding calendar year to the Department.

(b) The Department shall provide the necessary water use report form to the permittee each year.

(c) The permittee may measure water use by any method the permittee considers appropriate under the circumstances to reasonably reflect actual water use. Methods of measurement may include in-line water meters, sonic/vibration meters, induction meters, pump operation time meters, or acreage irrigated.