Laws, Regulations and Policy
Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) implements and enforces a variety of Federal, State and local regulations to protect and enhance Baltimore County’s natural resources. Programs involved with these activities include:
The Land Preservation Regulations (PDF) contain Section 26-277(c) of the Baltimore County Code which provides requirements for review of construction and subdivision on prime and productive soils on RC-2 zoned land.
Find information on the Environmental Impact Review:
- Agricultural Minor Subdivision Regulations (PDF) – Procedure for agricultural minor subdivisions.
- Chesapeake Bay Critical Area – Laws and regulations affecting the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area can be found in the Baltimore County Code. This link will take you to the County Code Access page. View the following locations for regulations specific to the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area:
Baltimore County Code, Article 33, Title 2
Baltimore County Code, Article 32, Title 9 (Growth Allocation)
Baltimore County Zoning Regulations, Several Miscellaneous Sections (contact Environmental Impact Review Section staff for details)
- Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, Article 33 (PDF) – Baltimore County Chesapeake Bay Critical Area law.
- Growth Allocation, Article 32 (PDF) – Baltimore County Growth Allocation law.
- Forest Conservation – Forest conservation laws are contained in Article 33, Title 6 of the Baltimore County Code.
- Forest Conservation Regulations (PDF) – Forest Conservation law.
- Forest Conservation Technical Manual (PDF) – This is a technical manual developed by Baltimore County for implementation of the Forest Conservation regulations.
- Forest Conservation Technical Manual Appendices (PDF) – There are sixteen appendices to the technical manual.
- Protection of Water Quality, Streams, Wetlands and Floodplains – Laws concerning this are contained in Article 33, Title 3 of the Baltimore County Code.
- Protection of Water Quality, Streams, Wetlands and Floodplains (PDF) – Forest Buffer law.
- Environmental Agreement Guidelines and Form – Review the procedures for development and redevelopment activities that require a security bond and an environmental agreement between the developer and Baltimore County. This page details the guidelines for the agreement and also includes the current Environmental Agreement form.
The Ground Water Management Section is generally responsible for enforcing the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.04. Specific county laws, regulations, and policies related to these responsibilities include:
- Ground Water Management Regulations (PDF) – This document contains Section 1.03 of the Code of Baltimore County Regulations (COBAR) that was adopted April 22, 2005, and revised April 22, 2011. It pertains to on-site sewage disposal, domestic well water supplies, and residential underground storage tanks. Please note that these regulations will be used in conjunction with the applicable sections of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), and the Baltimore County Code that are not included in this document.
- Ground Water Management Policy Manual (PDF) – This document contains the policies of the Ground Water Management Section of EPS adopted on April 22, 2005, and revised April 22, 2011. These policies are used in conjunction with applicable state and county laws and regulations. The appendices referred to in the policy manual are available in PDF format in the Forms section.
- Golf Course Environmental Guidelines (PDF) – Guidelines for the design and maintenance of golf courses in order to minimize their impact on the natural resources of Baltimore County.
- Baltimore County Well Law – This document contains Title 2 Section 34-2 of the Baltimore County Code which details the requirement for transferring properties served by or to be served by private well supplies.
The Inspection and Enforcement Section moved to the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections in February 2012.
The Grading Regulations (PDF) contains Section 1.04 of the Code of the Baltimore County Regulations (COBAR) which was adopted on April 22, 2005, and pertains to excavating, grading, sediment control, and forest management in Baltimore County.
The Stormwater Management Regulations (PDF) contain Article 33: Title 4 of the Baltimore County Code that was adopted in response to Stormwater Management (SWM) Act of 2007. The intent of the Act it to improve the effects of storm water runoff, and thereby improve the quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Article 33: Title 4 significantly affects the design of storm water components for land development projects. Some of the more significant changes are:
- Environmental Site Design to the Maximum Extent Practicable must be addressed for all projects, including redevelopment.
- Three sequential plan submissions and reviews are now required: Concept SWM Plan; Development SWM Plan; and Final SWM Plan.
- Redevelopment projects will require 50 percent reduction in impervious surface or equivalent water quality management. Currently the requirement is 20 percent.
- No grading or building permits may be issued until sediment control and SWM plans are signed.
To review the COMAR revisions and become familiar with all the changes to the Design Manual, visit the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Review and download stormwater engineering checklists for submission to Stormwater Engineering.
Revised July 22, 2015