University of Maryland Extension

Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program’s Proposed Regulations Announced

Author: 
Ashley Newhall and Paul Goeringer
By Edwin Remsberg

This post shall not be construed as legal advice.

            On October 17, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) published the proposed regulations for the Agricultural Certainty Program (ACP) in the Maryland Register (http://1.usa.gov/1yLxuVT).  ACP, passed by the General Assembly during the 2013 session, is a voluntary program which allows producers who meet and maintain compliance with Maryland water quality standards to be certified for a 10-year period -- meaning that new state and local nutrient and sediment reduction requirements will not apply to the producer.

            Why is ACP a big deal?  I’m sure many of you are more aware of this personally than me, but in Maryland it can feel like nutrient management requirements and sediment requirements change almost yearly.  A producer participating in ACP and meeting required water quality standards will have consistent nutrient management requirements over the next 10 years.  This will potentially allow producers to better plan for the future and work to implement nutrient and sediment reduction requirements as the operation can support those changes.

To read more about the proposed regulations, click here.

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