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- The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) adopted in 1974, is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans' drinking water. It requires the development of drinking water plans. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) prepared one for Lake Linganore and a multi-stakeholder Task Force developed a report on how to execute the plan. Members of the Frederick County Watershed Management Section are working with Planning staff on an Action Plan to execute elements of the report;
- Frederick County Commissioners signed on to the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement, which creates programs to meet voluntary limits to pollution in the Bay;
- The Clean Water Act establishes a structure allowing for the regulation of pollutant discharges into the waters of the United States. As a result of this act, Lake Linganore has new regulatory limits on pollution from phosphorus and sediment. These limits are called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Frederick County also has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for its municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). It is a many-paged permit that requires studies, plans, and actions to protect Frederick County's watersheds from stormwater impacts.
When you boil down these regulations, Frederick County's process becomes:
- Evaluate watersheds for stream function and the condition of stormwater management facilities;
- Evaluate County government practices for stormwater impacts and map the County's infrastructure;
- Obtain stakeholder input;
- Develop plans to protect and restore the watersheds;
- Conduct engineering studies to investigate and prioritize sites identified in the plans, and;
- Execute the plans through education, community restoration, partner collaboration, and capital projects.
In an effort to address some of the regulatory commitments listed above, County staff applied for a grant from DNR to complete a Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS) first for the Lower Monocacy River Watershed and then for the Upper Monocacy River Watershed. The WRAS is a planning initiative with a broad-based open Steering Committee. The County received grant support from DNR and three technical reports:
- Watershed Characterization
- Synoptic Survey
- Stream Corridor Assessment
The Steering Committee developed a plan to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. The completion of the process resulted in a watershed plan with identified objectives and strategies as well as priority sites for the Upper and Lower Monocacy River watersheds.