The Cumberland River Project is focused on improving the water quality, water flow and fish passage on the Potomac River. Completion of the project will not only improve the river but allow for boating and fishing access to the river in the downtown Cumberland area. This is one of several ecological projects in Maryland benefiting from the use of mitigation banking. According to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), “a mitigation bank sells compensatory mitigation credits to permittees whose obligation to provide compensatory mitigation is then transferred to the mitigation bank sponsor. The operation and use of a mitigation bank are governed by a mitigation banking instrument, which is a legal document reviewed and approved by the Interagency Review Team.” MDE encourages the use of mitigation banks in Maryland.
The Cumberland River Project is a partnership involving the Army Corp of Engineers, Maryland Department of the Environment, and Water and Land Solutions working on design and permitting. The project is being done as river mitigation, with mitigation credits established to sell to needed projects all along the Potomac River and parts of the Chesapeake Bay. An important part of the project process is finding uses for the credits that will be created. One area the credits can be used for is with municipal MS4 permits that cover sewer treatment upgrades and CSO improvements. If your city or town can use such mitigation credits to further water quality projects in your municipality over the next 5 to 10 years, contact Bill Atkinson, Project Management Consultant for Allegany County at 301-697-8506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.