Maryland Wastewater Variances regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Maryland Wastewater Variances: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Variances to pretreatment standards: Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR)

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Effluent limitation modification for toxic substances: COMAR

Re-mining operations: COMAR

Regulatory Agencies

Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Water Management Administration

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Maryland is authorized by EPA to administer the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program for wastewater discharges. As part of this program, the state has adopted the federal rules related to granting variances from the national pretreatment standard based on fundamentally different factors (FDF).

MDE may also grant a temporary modification from one or more effluent limitations based on water quality criteria for toxic substances. Requests for alternate thermal effluent limitations should be submitted together with the state NPDES permit application. See the state section THERMAL DISCHARGES for details.

Administration and enforcement. MDE's Water Management Administration is responsible for administering and enforcing the state's water quality management program, including wastewater variances.

State Requirements



Maryland's state pretreatment program applies to industrial users who discharge industrial waste, either directly or indirectly, into publicly owned treatment works.

A person may request an FDF variance if factors relating to an industrial user are fundamentally different from the factors ...

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