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Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident Updates 
County offices are closed on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.

Environmental Impact Review (EIR) is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the Regulations for the Protection of Water Quality, Streams, Wetlands and Floodplains (Baltimore County Code (BCC) (Section 33, Title 3), the Forest Conservation Regulations (BCC, Section 33, Title 6) and the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Regulations (BCC, Section 33, Title 2).

Regulations for the Protection of Water Quality, Streams, Wetlands and Floodplains

Any development activity that occurs on a property that contains or is located within 200 feet of a stream, wetland or riverine floodplain is subject to the forest buffer regulations. These regulations may require the accurate delineation of a non-tidal wetland, or the accurate delineation of a perennial or intermittent stream. A steep slope and erodible soils analysis (SSA) may be required to determine the appropriate forest buffer. The SSA application and guidelines can be found on the link provided. A forest buffer alternatives analysis and forest buffer variance is required for any proposed development or redevelopment activity within a forest buffer. No tree or shrub removal, clearing, grazing of animals, mowing, burning, spraying, filling, dumping or soil disturbance is permitted within a forest buffer easement without written permission of DEPS.

Impacts to streams, wetlands and/or floodplains may also require a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) or the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE).

Forest Conservation Regulations

The Maryland Forest Conservation Act was passed in 1991 and the Baltimore County version was adopted in 1993 (BCC 33-6). The scope of these regulations states that any development activity that occurs on a unit of land that is 40,000 square feet or greater is subject to the forest conservation law. A forest stand delineation (FSD), forest conservation worksheet (FCW) and a forest conservation plan (FCP) may be required by a licensed forester, licensed landscape architect or other qualified professional. Visit Maryland's Forest Conservation Act page to view a list of qualified professionals.

For more information regarding the timber harvest application process and the required forms, call the Baltimore County Soil Conservation District at 410-527-5920.

Declaration of Intent (DOI)

Chesapeake Bay Critical Area

The Critical Area regulations require all development within 1000 feet of tidal waters and tidal wetlands meet specific provisions, including setbacks from the water and limits on lot coverage, also known as impervious surface, and forest and tree clearing.

The program places all lands in the Critical Area into one of three land use categories, which are:

  • Intensely Developed Areas (IDA)—IDAs are residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial and developed land uses are predominate. Relatively little natural habitat occurs. Pollutant loadings must be reduced by 10 percent and Habitat Protection Areas must be protected. A minimum 100-foot buffer is required.
  • Limited Development Areas (LDA)—LDAs have low or moderate intensity uses and co-exist with natural plant and animal habitats. Runoff has not been substantially altered or impaired.
  • Resource Conservation Areas (RCA)—Natural resource areas such as habitats, wetlands and forests and resource-oriented activities such as farming and fishing predominate in RCAs.

Growth Allocation allows RCA to be converted to LDA or IDA, or LDA to be converted to IDA.

For more information, call 410-887-3980.

Variance and Analysis Applications


Standards, Approvals and Plans

Fact Sheets

Contact Us

Environmental Protection and Sustainability

County Office Building
111 West Chesapeake Avenue
Room 305
Towson, Maryland 21204



Horacio Tablada