26.23.01.04

.04 Expanded Buffer.

A. Nontidal wetlands for which the buffer shall be expanded to 100 feet by regulation are:

(1) Nontidal wetlands of special State concern; and

(2) Nontidal wetlands with adjacent areas containing:

(a) Steep slopes; or

(b) Highly erodible soils; and

(3) Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW).

B. Nontidal Wetlands of Special State Concern.

(1) The following criteria shall be used by the Department to designate nontidal wetlands of special State concern that:

(a) Provide habitat or ecologically important buffers for the habitat of plant or animal species:

(i) Listed as endangered or threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;

(ii) Listed as endangered or threatened, or species listed as in need of conservation by the Department of Natural Resources; or

(iii) Considered to be a candidate for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or considered to be locally unusual or rare by the Department of Natural Resources; or

(b) Are unique natural areas or contain ecologically unusual natural communities.

(2) Nontidal wetlands of special State concern are designated in COMAR 26.23.06.01.

C. Nontidal Wetlands with Steep Slopes and Highly Erodible Soils.

(1) The following criteria may be used by the Department in designating nontidal wetlands with steep slopes or highly erodible soils:

(a) Slopes immediately adjacent to the nontidal wetlands in excess of 15 percent; or

(b) Soils adjacent to a nontidal wetland with an erodibility factor greater than 0.35 as determined by the United States Soil Conservation Service.

(2) Specific nontidal wetland sites with steep slopes and highly erodible soils identified by the Department shall be designated by regulation.