Under the federal Clean Water Act, states are required to establish water quality standards for all U.S. waters using a multifaceted process. Water quality standards include designating uses such as fishing, swimming and public water supply; establishing water quality criteria that when met, will sustain the designated uses; identifying waterways that fail to meet water quality criteria and are considered impaired; and developing maximum levels of pollutants that the water body can assimilate and still meet the water quality criteria. Meeting these maximum levels of pollutants results in restoring the water body.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Chesapeake Bay is not meeting water quality criteria for dissolved oxygen, Chlorophyll a and water clarity. It was determined that the pollutants causing these impairments are sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen. This is documented in the EPA Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load for Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sediment issued December 29, 2010, which is often referred to as the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) sets target load reductions within Maryland that seek to return the Bay to compliance with these water quality criteria. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) developed an implementation plan that addresses the MDOT SHA load reduction targets and it is a component of Maryland’s overall WIP.
There are numerous ongoing projects throughout the state that are occurring within the right-of-way (ROW), including projects conducted by utilities or other companies with permission to be within the ROW. To view SHA Bay Restoration projects, use the interactive map to explore what is going on in your area.
For more information, please click the following links:
707 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3601
Main Business Line – 410-545-0300
Safety Campaigns – 1-800-323-6742
For emergencies, call MDOT SHA's Statewide Operations Center at 410-582-5650.
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