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Environmental Protection and Sustainability
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Environmental Agreement

Section 32-4-305 (A) of the Baltimore County Code (BCC) states that an Environmental Agreement (EA) shall be executed by the Applicant prior to commencement of construction of any improvements. When an EA is required under the provision of Title 4, Article 32, of the BCC, the EA shall be executed upon application for a grading permit or building permit whichever is requested first. Security(ies) shall be posted in accordance with the time frames stipulated in Section 32-4-305 of the BCC.  Download the Environmental Agreement Form. (PDF)

Find and read each part of the environmental agreement.

Storm Water Management (SWM) Security
Forest Buffer Protection (FBP) Security
Forest Conservation (FC) Security
Wetland Mitigation (WM) Security
Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Management (CBCA) Security
Critical Area Buffer Management Plan (CABM) Security

Storm Water Management (SWM) Security

 1. Security and Environmental Agreement Required

Section 33-4-108 of the BCC specifies the requirements for issuance of a grading or building permit, including posting of any required security for storm water management. Section 32-4-305 described the stages at which the environmental agreement is to be executed and performance security posted.

2. Reductions

The SWM performance security may be reduced in accordance with Section 32-4-313 of the Baltimore County Code (BCC). The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) will entertain requests for security reduction at the following stages of construction, subject to conditions herein.

A. Upon completion of construction of a sediment basin which will be converted to SWM in accordance with Section 33-4-109 of the BCC, inspections and certifications by a registered, professional engineer are required at specific stages of construction for detention and retention structures. The applicant is responsible to provide construction inspection services and must submit partial "As Built" plans and reports to EPS for approval in accordance with permit requirements. To document proper construction, the certifying engineer will be required to submit two sets of the following along with partial "As Built" plans.

  • Daily inspection reports;
  • Compaction test and other pertinent geotechnical data;
  • Photographs during construction; (recommended)
  • Material supply tickets, including:
    • Pipe, riser, anti-seep collars, watertight bands;
    • Concrete;
    • Gabions, rip rap, stone, filter fabric;
    • Other man-made materials

Daily inspection reports shall be complete and legible and each sheet shall be signed by the inspector, certifying engineer and contractor representative. The certifying engineer shall also provide an itemized cost estimate for converting the facility from sediment control to SWM, including preparation of final "As Built" plans and reports. The construction estimate shall be prepared based upon the cost of the County procuring a contractor to complete the work.

EPS shall review the partial "As Built" plans and reports, inspect the facility and review the cost estimate for conversion. Upon approval of these items, EPS may request the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to the approved cost estimate for conversion. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced.

B. Upon "As Built" approval Notwithstanding a. above, Section 33-4-109 (h) of the BCC states that final approval of SWM facilities is subject final inspection of the facilities by EPS, as well as approval of "As Built" plan certified by a registered professional engineer. Complete "As Built" plans and reports shall be provided to EPS for approval in accordance with permit requirements. To document proper construction, the certifying engineer will be required to submit two sets of the following along with "As Built" plans.

  • Daily inspection reports;
  • Compaction test and other pertinent geotechnical data;
  • Photographs during construction; (recommended)
  • Material supply tickets, including:
    • Pipe, riser, anti-seep collars, watertight bands;
    • Concrete;
    • Gabions, rip rap, stone, filter fabric;
    • Other man-made materials
  • Compaction test and other pertinent geotechnical data;
  • Photographs during construction (recommended)
  • Material supply tickets, including:
    • Pipe, riser, anti-seep collars, watertight bands;
    • Concrete;
    • Gabions, rip rap, stone, filter fabric;
    • Other man-made materials

Daily inspection reports shall be complete and legible and each sheet shall be signed by the inspector, certifying engineer and contractor representative.

EPS shall review the "As Built" plans and reports, and inspect the facility. Upon approval of these items, EPS may request OBF to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to 10% of the original, but not less than $5,000 per facility. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced, and will remain in force for the duration of the maintenance period (one year minimum).

C. Upon completion of the maintenance period In accordance with BCC 33-4-111, all SWM facilities shall be inspected by EPS during the first year of operation. EPS shall inspect each facility approximately one year after "As Built" approval. If a facility is determined to be in proper condition, final EPS approval shall be granted. If deficiencies exist, the maintenance period shall be extended until satisfactory corrections are made. Upon EPS approval, OBF may be requested to reduce the remaining performance security to zero. Upon OBF approval, the security may be fully reduced.

1. Security and Environmental Agreement Required

Section 33-4-108 of the BCC specifies the requirements for issuance of a grading or building permit, including posting of any required security for storm water management. Section 32-4-305 described the stages at which the environmental agreement is to be executed and performance security posted. Type, size and location of all SWM facilities

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Forest Buffer Protection (FBP) Security

In accordance with Section 33-3-106 and 33-3-112 of the Baltimore County Code (BCC), The Director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) or his designee may require measures to reduce or minimize adverse impacts to water quality, streams, wetlands, floodplains and habitats when Forest Buffer disturbances occur. Section 33-3-105 of the BCC allows the Director or his designee to require that the above-referenced measures be shown on a plan entitled Forest Buffer Protection (FBP) plan. Prior to the approval of a grading permit or building permit, the applicant shall post a security with EPS to insure that all work authorized by the FBP plan shall be done in accordance with the approved plan and the provisions of the above-referenced articles.

The FBP performance security shall be in the amount equal to one hundred ten (110) percent of the estimated cost of implementing the FBP plan. The estimated cost shall be approved by the EPS. In no instance shall the amount of the performance security be less than twenty five (25) cents per square foot of the required area.

In accordance with EPS policy, inspection and certification is required at specific stages of implementation. The applicant is responsible for providing an inspection report and shall submit the report to EPS for approval in accordance with the plan requirements. The report shall include information regarding the number, health, size, form and vigor of the plants; control of insects, disease, and competing vegetation; watering; mechanical injury; and the name of the company or individual responsible for maintenance.

Any deviation from the approved final FBP plan shall be documented on a revised FBP plan. The revised FBP plan shall be reviewed and approved by EPS prior to approval of the initial planting.

The FBP performance security may be reduced in accordance with Section 32-4-313 of the BCC. EPS shall entertain requests for security reduction at the following stages of construction, subject to conditions herein.

A. Implementation of the FBP plan: Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may begin the three (3) year maintenance agreement. No reduction in security shall be entertained at this stage. 

B. Upon completion of the first year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the first year. If deficiencies exist, and they are not corrected, EPS reserves the right not to reduce the performance security. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to seventy five (75) percent of the original security. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced.

C. Upon completion of the second year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the second year. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the OBF to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to fifty (50) percent of the original security. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced.

D. Upon completion of the third year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the third year. The minimum survival rate shall be seventy five (75) percent of the total number of plants per acre at the end of the three-year maintenance agreement. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the OBF to reduce the performance security to zero (0). Upon OBF approval, the security may be fully reduced.

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Forest Conservation (FC) Security

In accordance with Section 33-6-110 of the Baltimore County Code (BCC), a grading permit or building permit for regulated activities may not be issued until the final Forest Conservation (FC) plan has been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS). Furthermore, the FC plan must incorporate a binding 3-year forest establishment and maintenance agreement. The FC performance security shall be in the amount equal to one hundred ten (110) percent of the estimated cost of implementing the FC plan. The estimated cost must be prepared by a qualified professional and approved by EPS. In no instance shall the amount of the performance security be less than twenty five (25) cents per square foot of the required afforestation or reforestation area.

Inspection and certification prepared by a licensed forester, licensed landscape architect or other qualified professional specified in COMAR 08.19.01.04 (hereafter referred to as QP), is required at specific stages of implementation in accordance with Section 33-6-118 of the BCC. The applicant is responsible for providing an inspection report and shall submit the report to EPS for approval in accordance with the plan requirements.

The report shall include information regarding the number, health, size, form and vigor of the trees; control of insects, disease, and competing vegetation; watering; mechanical injury; and the name of the company or individual responsible for tree care.

Any deviation from the approved final FC plan shall be documented on a revised FC plan, prepared by a QP. The revised FC plan shall be reviewed and approved by EPS prior to approval of the initial planting.

The FC performance security may be reduced in accordance with Section 32-4-313 of the BCC. EPS shall entertain requests for security reduction at the following stages of construction, subject to conditions herein.

A. Implementation of the FC plan: Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may begin the three (3) year maintenance agreement. No reduction in security shall be entertained at this stage.

B. Upon completion of the first year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification prepared by a QP and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the first year. If the reforestation or afforestation does not meet the survival requirement after the first year, the applicant shall establish reinforcement plantings in accordance with the Baltimore County Forest Conservation Manual. If deficiencies exist, and they are not corrected, EPS reserves the right not to reduce the performance security. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to seventy five (75) percent of the original security. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced.

C. Upon completion of the second year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification prepared by a QP and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the second year. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the OBF to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to fifty (50) percent of the original security. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced.

D. Upon completion of the third year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification prepared by a QP and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the third year. The minimum survival rate shall be seventy five (75) percent of the total number of trees planted per acre at the end of the three-year maintenance agreement. Wild tree seedlings from natural regeneration on the planting site may be counted up to fifty (50) percent towards the total survival number, if they are healthy, native species at least twelve(12) inches tall. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the OBF to reduce the performance security to zero (0). Upon OBF approval, the security may be fully reduced.

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Wetland Mitigation (WM) Security

As outlined in the Baltimore County Policy, Rules and Regulations Manual (policy manual) promulgated in accordance with Section 33-3-105 of the BCC, the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) or his designee may require measures to avoid, minimize, rectify, reduce or compensate for impacts to nontidal wetlands. The Wetland Mitigation Guidelines in the policy manual require that, prior to the approval of a grading plan, the above-referenced measures be shown on a plan entitled Wetland Mitigation (WM) plan. Therefore, prior to the approval of a grading permit, the applicant shall post a security with EPS to insure that all work authorized by the WM plan is done in accordance with the approved plan and the provisions of the above-referenced policy.

The WM performance security shall be in the amount equal to one hundred ten (110) percent of the estimated cost of implementing the WM plan. The estimated cost shall be approved by the EPS. In no instance shall the amount of the performance security be less than twenty five (25) cents per square foot of the required area.

In accordance with EPS policy, inspection and certification is required at specific stages of implementation. The applicant is responsible for providing an inspection report and shall submit the report to EPS for approval in accordance with the plan requirements. The report shall include information regarding the number, health, size, form and vigor of the plants; control of insects, disease, and competing vegetation; watering; control of competing vegetation; mechanical injury; and the name of the company or individual responsible for maintenance.

Any deviation from the approved final WM plan shall be documented on a revised WM plan. The revised WM plan shall be reviewed and approved by EPS, prior to approval of the initial planting.

The WM performance security may be reduced in accordance with Section 32-4-313 of the BCC. EPS shall entertain requests for security reduction at the following stages of construction, subject to conditions herein.

A. Implementation of the WM plan: Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may begin the three (3) year maintenance agreement. No reduction in security shall be entertained at this stage.

B. Upon completion of the first year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the first year. If deficiencies exist, and they are not corrected, EPS reserves the right not to reduce the performance security. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to seventy five (75) percent of the original security. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced.

C. Upon completion of the second year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the second year. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the OBF to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to fifty (50) percent of the original security. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced.

D. Upon completion of the third year of the maintenance agreement: The requirement for inspection and certification and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the third year. The minimum survival rate shall be seventy five (75) percent of the total number of plants per acre at the end of the three-year maintenance agreement. Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the OBF to reduce the performance security to zero (0). Upon OBF approval, the security may be fully reduced.

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Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Management (CBCA) Security

In accordance with Article 33 Title 2 of the BCC, Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Requirements, the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) or his designee may require mitigation in order to minimize the effects of a proposed project or activity on water quality, fish, wildlife, and plant habitat. The mitigation described in the above-referenced sets of regulations may be in the form of planting, stormwater management (SWM), and/or other best management practices (BMP) and shall be shown on a plan entitled Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Management (CBCAM) plan. Prior to the approval of a project plan, minor subdivision plan, grading permit or building permit, as determined by EPS, the applicant shall post a security with EPS to insure that all work authorized by the CBCAM plan is done in accordance with the approved plan.

The CBCAM performance security shall be in the amount equal to one hundred ten (110) percent of the estimated cost of implementing the CBCAM plan. A detailed cost estimate shall be prepared by the applicant and approved by EPS as a condition of the CBCAM plan. In no instance shall the amount of the performance security for mitigative planting be less than twenty five (25)cents per square foot of the required area.

The CBCAM security shall be evaluated for release in the following manner. That portion of the security that is dedicated to vegetative planting shall be released in accordance with the procedure used to release a Forest Conservation security. That portion of the security that is dedicated to SWM shall be released in accordance with the procedure used for release of the Stormwater Management security. All other CBCAM securities shall be released in accordance with the time frame detailed in the notes on the approved plan.

Any deviation from the approved final CBCAM plan shall be documented on a revised CBCAM plan. The revised CBCAM plan shall be reviewed and approved by EPS.

The CBCA performance security may be reduced in accordance with Section 32-4-313 of the BCC. EPS shall entertain requests for security reduction, subject to the procedure described in the FC security, SWM security or as noted on the CBCAM plan. EPS may request the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) to reduce the performance security accordingly. Reductions may be requested in the time frames specified in the above-referenced policies until such time as the security is fully reduced.

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Critical Area Buffer Management Plan (CABM) Security

Residential Properties with One Existing or Proposed Single Family Dwelling

Projects with Total Planting Requirements < 1/4 ACRE

In accordance with Article 33, Title 2 of the Baltimore County Code (BCC), Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Requirements, and COMAR 27.01.09.01, the Director of the Department of Sustainability (EPS) or his designee may require buffer establishment or mitigation in order to improve buffer functions or minimize the effects of a proposed project or activity on water quality, fish, wildlife, and plant habitat. The buffer establishment or mitigation described in the above-referenced laws shall be shown on a plan entitled Critical Area Buffer Management (CABM) plan.  Prior to the approval of a project plan, grading permit or building permit, as determined by EPS, the applicant shall post a security with EPS to insure that all work authorized by the CABM plan is done in accordance with the approved plan.

The CABM performance security shall be in the amount equal to one hundred ten (110) percent of the estimated cost of implementing the CABM plan.  A detailed cost estimate shall be prepared by the applicant and approved by EPS as a condition of the CABM plan.  In no instance shall the amount of the performance security for buffer establishment or mitigation planting be less than twenty five (25) cents per square foot of the required planting acreage.

1. Evaluation

The CABM security shall be evaluated for release in the following manner:

Inspection and certification prepared by an environmental professional (hereafter referred to as EP), is required at specific stages of implementation. The applicant is responsible for providing an inspection report and shall submit the report to EPS for approval in accordance with the plan requirements.

The report shall include information regarding the number, health, size, form and vigor of the trees; control of insects, disease, and competing vegetation; watering; mechanical injury; and the name of the company or individual responsible for tree care.

Any deviation from the approved final CABM plan shall be documented on a revised CABM plan, prepared by an EP.  The revised CABM plan shall be reviewed and approved by EPS prior to approval of the initial planting.

2. Stages of Construction

The CABM performance security may be reduced in accordance with Section 32-4-313 of the BCC. EPS shall entertain requests for security reduction at the following stages of construction, subject to conditions herein. 

A. Implementation of the CABM plan:

Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may begin the two (2) year maintenance agreement.  No reduction in security will be entertained at this stage.  The applicant shall be responsible for providing the report and a written request to EPS to inspect the plantings. Failure to request the required initial inspection of plantings will result in an automatic extension of the maintenance requirement by a timeframe determined by EPS, not to exceed two (2) calendar years.

B. Upon completion of the first year of the maintenance agreement:

The requirement for inspection and certification prepared by an EP and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the first year.  If the plantings do not meet the one hundred (100) percent survival requirements outlined in COMAR 27.01.09.01-2, the applicant shall establish reinforcement plantings in accordance with the approved CABM plan.  If deficiencies exist, and they are not corrected, EPS reserves the right not to reduce the performance security.

Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) to approve reduction of the performance security to an amount equal to seventy five (75) percent of the original security. Upon OBF approval, the performance security may be reduced. 

C. Upon completion of the second year of the maintenance agreement: 

The requirement for inspection and certification prepared by an EP and submittal of an inspection report is repeated at the end of the second year.  If the plantings do not meet the one hundred (100) percent survival requirements outlined in COMAR 27.01.09.01-2, the applicant shall establish reinforcement plantings in accordance with the approved CABM plan. If deficiencies exist, and they are not corrected, EPS reserves the right not to reduce the performance security.

The minimum survival rate shall be one hundred (100) percent of the total number of trees, shrubs and herbs planted per acre at the end of the two-year maintenance agreement. Reinforcement planting to bring the number of trees, shrubs and herbs up to one hundred (100) percent of the number originally planted will be required if the required survival rate has not been met.

Upon inspection of the planting and approval of the report, EPS may request the OBF to reduce the performance security to zero (0). Upon OBF approval, the security may be fully reduced.

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Revised January 17, 2013

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