How to apply for a permit in Maryland

For work in Maryland, use the following applications listed below, as appropriate. You may download, write, or call the offices below for an application. It is important that you provide complete information in the application, as requested.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Baltimore District - CENAB-OPR
2 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
(410) 962-3670

Maryland Department of the Environment
Water Management Administration
Wetlands and Waterways Program
Montgomery Park Business Center
Suite 430
1800 Washington Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1708

NOTE:  If sending application, mail it to the attention of Regulatory Services Coordination Office.
If you need to contact the office directly, either write at the address listed above or call the following:

Regulatory Services Coordination Office - (410) 537-3762 or (800) 876-0200
Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Division - (410) 537-3768
Tidal Wetlands Division - (410) 537-3837

Aquaculture In Maryland:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are accepting Joint Applications for State Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture leases and Corps of Engineers Federal Permits in the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries and the Coastal Bays. The joint permit application should be submitted to Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Service, Shellfish Program B-2, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401. DNR will forward your joint application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or you can also send to the Corps at the same time as DNR to help decrease review processing times. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must issue a permit before you may conduct shellfish aquaculture activities on your lease from DNR. Click to view more info and to download the Joint State/Federal Application for Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture leases. Additional information can also be found on Maryland Department of Natural Resources' web page on the Shellfish Aquaculture Program.

Work In Maryland (non-Aquaculture)

For work in tidal waters and wetlands in Maryland that are eligible for authorization under the Maryland State Programmatic General Permit (MDSPGP), use the most recent version of the Abbreviated Joint Federal/State Application for the Alteration of any Tidal Wetland and/or Tidal Waters in Maryland, also known as the "short form." 

For work in waterways or wetlands in Maryland, use the attached Maryland Department of the Environment and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Joint Application

Permits Types

In the Baltimore District, we use three types of General Permits to authorize work in Maryland: the Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-6, Nationwide Permits (NWPs), and the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Regional General Permit (TMDL RGP). These General Permits may be used to authorize impacts to waters of the United States that have been determined to result in no more than minimal adverse environmental effects. The majority of projects qualify for authorization under one of these General Permits. For projects with the potential for more than minimal environmental impacts, authorization may be obtained through a Letter of Permission or an Individual Permit. Additional information on State Programmatic General Permits, NWPs, Letters of Permission and Individual Permits may be found on our Permits and Processes page.  Information on the TMDL RGP may be found on our TMDL page.

In some instances, issued authorizations may require compensatory mitigation to offset unavoidable impacts to aquatic resource functions and services.  Information on compensatory mitigation requirements may be found on our Mitigation.

Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-6 (MDSPGP-6)

MDSPGP-6  authorizes work in waters of the United States within the state of Maryland for activities that would cause no more than minimal adverse environmental effects, individually and cumulatively, subject to the permit’s specific terms and conditions. This programmatic general permit has been developed in cooperation with Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) that has regulatory authority over waters in the state of Maryland. MDSPGP-6 became effective October 1, 2021 and will expire September 30, 2026.

Notable Modifications - Take a look at the biggest changes from the MDSPGP-5.

Kickoff Training - View the PowerPoint training slides for full details on the changes in the MDSPGP-6, including revisions to existing activities and conditions, new activities, new project criteria that will require Category B review, new and revised General Conditions, and changes to the standard operating procedures.

View the September 30, 2021 Public Notice on the issuance of the MDSPGP-6.

Nationwide Permits

Nationwide Permits (NWPs) are general permits issued on a nationwide basis to authorize minor activities with minimal evaluation time. NWPs have been established to reduce the regulatory reporting burden for specific activities that have no more than minimal impacts to the aquatic environment.  Most NWPs have been suspended in Maryland since the MDSPGP-6 provides comparable Department of the Army authorization.

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 2744) announcing the reissuance of 12 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and four new NWPs, as well as the reissuance of NWP general conditions and definitions with some modifications. These 16 NWPs will go into effect on March 15, 2021, and will expire on March 14, 2026:

  • NWP 12 – Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities
  • NWP 21 – Surface Coal Mining Activities
  • NWP 29 – Residential Developments
  • NWP 39 – Commercial and Institutional Developments
  • NWP 40 – Agricultural Activities
  • NWP 42 – Recreational Facilities
  • NWP 43 – Stormwater Management Facilities
  • NWP 44 – Mining Activities
  • NWP 48 – Commercial Shellfish Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 50 – Underground Coal Mining Activities
  • NWP 51 – Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
  • NWP 52 – Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects
  • NWP 55 – Seaweed Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 56 – Finfish Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 57 – Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities
  • NWP 58 – Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances

‚ÄčThe 12 existing NWPs published in the January 13, 2021 final rule replace the 2017 versions of these NWPs. The 2017 versions of NWPs 12, 21, 29, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, and 52 expire on March 14, 2021.

On March 5, 2021, the Baltimore District issued Special Public Notice 21-08, announcing the final suspensions and regional conditions for these 16 2021 NWPs in the State of Maryland. The document identifying the suspended NWPs can be found here. A copy of the NWPs definitions, general conditions, and regional conditions can be found here.

On December 27, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 73522) announcing the reissuance of 40 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and the issuance of one new NWP. The NWP general conditions and definitions published in the January 13, 2021 Federal Register (86 FR 2744) apply to the 41 NWPs issued in the December 27, 2021 final rule. A copy of the NWPs, definitions, general conditions, and regional conditions can be found here.

These 41 NWPs issued in the December 2021 final rule went into effect on February 25, 2022, and will expire on March 14, 2026:

  • NWP 1 - Aids to Navigation
  • NWP 2 - Structures in Artificial Canals
  • NWP 3 - General Maintenance
  • NWP 4 - Fish & Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities
  • NWP 5 - Scientific Measurement Devices
  • NWP 6 - Survey Activities
  • NWP 7 - Outfalls & Associated Intakes
  • NWP 8 - Oil & Gas Structures on Outer Continental Shelf
  • NWP 9 - Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas
  • NWP 10 - Mooring Buoys
  • NWP 11 - Temporary Recreational Structures
  • NWP 13 - Bank Stabilization
  • NWP 14 - Linear Transportation
  • NWP 15 – U.S. Coast Guard Approved Bridges
  • NWP 16 - Return Water from Upland Contained Disposal Areas
  • NWP 17 - Hydropower Projects
  • NWP 18 - Minor Discharges
  • NWP 19 - Minor Dredging
  • NWP 20 - Response Operations for Oil and Hazardous Substances
  • NWP 22 - Removal of Vessels
  • NWP 23 - Approved Categorical Exclusions
  • NWP 24 - Indian Tribe or State Administered Section 404 Program
  • NWP 25 - Structural Discharges
  • NWP 27 - Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Enhancement, and Establishment
  • NWP 28 - Modifications of Existing Marinas
  • NWP 30 - Moist Soil Management for Wildlife
  • NWP 31 - Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities
  • NWP 32 - Enforcement Actions
  • NWP 33 - Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering
  • NWP 34 - Cranberry Production Activities
  • NWP 35 - Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins
  • NWP 36 - Boat Ramps
  • NWP 37 - Emergency Watershed Protection
  • NWP 38 - Cleanup of Hazardous& Toxic Materials
  • NWP 41 - Reshaping of Existing Drainage and Irrigation Ditches
  • NWP 45 - Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events
  • NWP 46 - Discharges in Ditches
  • NWP 49 - Coal Remining Activities
  • NWP 53 - Removal of Low-Head Dams
  • NWP 54 - Living Shorelines
  • NWP 59 - Water Reclamation and Reuse Facilities

The 40 existing NWPs published in the December 27, 2021 final rule replace the 2017 versions of these NWPs.

On February 4, 2022, the Baltimore District issued Special Public Notice 22-02 (LINK to PN), announcing the final suspensions and regional conditions for the 41 2021 NWPs in Maryland. The document identifying the suspended NWPs can be found here (LINK to https://www.usace.army.mil//Portals/63/Enclosure%201%20Suspensions.pdf).  A copy of the NWPs, definitions, general conditions, and regional conditions can be found here.

Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Regional General Permit (TMDL RGP)

The TMDL RGP may be used to authorize work undertaken to meet TMDL goals within Maryland. The TMDL RGP is applicable to non-tidal wetlands and streams.  For additional information related to the TMDL RGP, see our TMDL page (LINK to page).