During the 2018 Legislative session, a bill titled "Sea Level Rise Inundation and Coastal Flooding-Construction, Adaptation and Mitigation" (HB 1350/SB 1006) was passed and became effective on July 1, 2018. The legislation amended Chapter 415 of the 2014 Laws of Maryland (HB 615) that originally established a Coast Smart Council to address certain impacts associated with sea level rise and coastal flooding. The law defines nuisance flooding as "high tide flooding that causes public inconvenience" and requires jurisdictions to "update the plan at least every five years,...publish the plans on the local jurisdictions website,...and...submit a copy of the nuisance flooding plan to the Department of Planning"
In an effort to assist local jurisdictions in addressing these requirements the Chesapeake and Coastal Service at Maryland Department of Natural Resources has undertaken initial conversations and work with local and state partners - including the Maryland Commission on Climate Change and the legislative sponsors - to develop guidance for jurisdictions on potential ways to meet this requirement. As the work group moves toward having guidance available for local governments in January 2019, we welcome a dialogue and input as we consider the most effective and efficient way to meet the requirement and consider ways to address the impacts of nuisance flooding now and into the future.
Regarding which jurisdictions are required to submit plans - based on the best available information and what is written in the legislation the requirements will initially be focused on jurisdictions within Maryland's coastal zone. There will not be a one-size fits all for all communities and it might be accomplished through existing planning processes and/ or a stand-alone plan at the discretion of local jurisdictions. Municipalities could self-select whether they meet the requirements on their own or would choose to work with their respective County to be included in their plan, much like the hazard mitigation plan process.
Please reach out directly to Sasha Land, Chesapeake & Coastal Service, firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to stay in touch about the guidance and opportunities and needs for technical and/or financial assistance to meet these new requirements.