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Special Protection Areas

Image of Upper Rock Special Protection Area
​Upper Rock Creek Special Protection Area

Under County law, a Special Protection Area (SPA) is defined as:

  • A part of the County that has high-quality or unusually sensitive water resources (i.e. high quality streams, sensitive wetlands, and soil prone to erosion) or other environmental features AND
  • Where those resources or features are threatened by landuse changes (such as development) unless extraordinary or special protective measures are being taken.

The County Council has designated four areas within Montgomery County as SPAs.

  • Clarksburg

  • Piney Branch

  • Upper Paint Branch

  • Upper Rock Creek

As an area within an SPA is developed, the developer must follow strict requirements throughout the project in order to reduce the threat to these resources and features. While new SPAs are officially designated by County Council, anyone may propose an area for designation.

The Special Protection Area legislation specifies lead agency roles and responsibilities for Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Permitting Services and DEP. View the SPA law.

Use the Special Protection Area watersheds map below to locate the SPA’s and learn about their stream conditions. Click within the red boundaries area of the map or type in a street address below to see: 

  • Monitoring area and description
  • Conditions for the most recent monitoring year

 


View Larger Map

 

Streams in SPAs are monitored annually as compared to the 5-year countywide monitoring cycle for the watershed conditions program.  The red boundaries on the map above show the four designated SPAs in the County. Click the "View Larger Map" link below the map to view it in full screen.

*No data appears in the areas where there was no SPA monitoring in the most recent year.

 

Special Protection Area Locations and Restrictions
Special Protection Area Description Impervious Limit
Clarksburg Clarksburg SPA is the northernmost SPA. It generally encompasses the Little Seneca and Great Seneca watersheds east and west of I-270, north of Old Baltimore Road, and south of Comus Road. In 1994, the Clarksburg Master Plan established the first SPA, the Clarksburg SPA. Currently, a 15% impervious limit is recommended for specific sites on the west side of I-270.
Upper Paint Branch Upper Paint Branch SPA is in the eastern part of the County, generally falling east of New Hampshire Avenue, west of Route 29, north of Fairland Road, and south of Spencerville Road. Established in 1995, it is part of the Master Planning Areas of Fairland and Cloverly. In July 1997 an ordinance (environmental overlay zone) was established for Upper Paint Branch to prohibit certain land uses and limit impervious surface to 10% for new development and certain expansions of existing developments. In 2007, the environmental overlay zone was amended, reducing the impervious limit to 8%.
Piney Branch Piney Branch SPA was established in 1995, and it falls within the Potomac Master Plan Area near Shady Grove and Travilah Roads. There is currently no impervious limit in Piney Branch SPA; it is nearly at maximum build-out.
Upper Rock Creek Upper Rock Creek SPA is the most recently designated SPA, established February 24, 2004, under the Upper Rock Creek Master Plan. It generally includes the area north of Muncaster Mill Road and south of Route 108 between the North Branch of Rock Creek and Woodfield Road. In the Upper Rock Creek SPA, the impervious limit is 8% for private development or subdivisions that are served by community sewer (well and septic are exempted).

 

 

 

Stream Monitoring in SPAs

Stream biology and habitat have been monitored in the SPAs since 1994. DEP monitors stream bugs, fish and habitat annually in SPA streams.  

Image of Rosyside Dace swimming in a stream.

Developers pay a fee based on project size which represents the costs of DEP monitoring associated with their development project.  Stream monitoring is conducted before the project begins, while construction is underway, and for up to five years after construction is completed.  Stations are selected to best evaluate the impacts of the development and may be located above, as well as below, significant projects to better represent that project's direct impacts to the receiving stream. 

 

Goals of the SPA Stream Monitoring Program:

  • Assess development impacts on streams

  • Evaluate the effects of land use change on a watershed

  • Assess if project performance goals are met

  • Link best management practice effectiveness to changing stream conditions

  • Guide future planning decisions

 

Image of DEP staff monitoring a stream within a Special Protection Area.

Clarksburg Monitoring Partnership 

In 2002, Federal government agencies and the University of Maryland partnered with DEP to conduct monitoring of the long term changes that are occurring in the Clarksburg SPA. This partnership has concentrated their resources on Clarksburg because:

  • Of the ability to evaluate the effects of development on an undeveloped landscape,

  • The level of development activity is greatest,

  • The suite of representative BMPs to monitor is the most diverse, and

  • Long term monitoring resources enable the most intensive and effective monitoring to evaluate changes in hydrology and morphology.

Results from the Clarksburg Monitoring Partnership will be used to evaluate success of the SPA program requirements in minimizing impacts on streams. 

 

The Clarksburg team is using a Before, After, Control, Impact (BACI) design approach to assess the land use changes and the accompanying or resulting impacts on stream conditions. The opportunity to study the development process from beginning to end will help in assessing how the changes in topography and imperviousness will affect the hydrology and geomorphology of the receiving streams.

 

Map showing locations of Clarksburg study sites.

What is the Partnership Investigating?

The study involves documenting changes in the area by monitoring:

  • Stream flow by collecting continuous data at USGS flow gauges

  • Local rainfall amount and intensities at two rain gauge stations

  • Landscape change and alteration mapping using LiDAR imagery

  • Hydrology and geomorphology and linking them to changes in biological communities (benthic macroinvertebrates, fish, and stream salamanders)

  • Groundwater levels and quality

  • Stream ecosystem structure and function through advanced studies of community metabolism, nutrient uptake, and decomposition

This collaborative approach to monitoring long-term change in an aquatic ecosystem has resulted in a comprehensive approach to documenting the effectiveness of land use planning and the use of modern sediment and erosion control and stormwater management BMPs.

 

Research from the Clarskburg Monitoring Partnership

Environmental Protection Agency:

Collaborative Research: Streamflow, Urban Riparian Zones, BMPs, and Impervious Surfaces

Using Repeated LIDAR to Characterize Topographic Change in Riparian Areas and Stream Channel Morphology in Areas Undergoing Urban Development: An Accuracy Assessment Guide for Local Watershed Managers (PDF, 14.38MB)

Collaborative Hydrologic Research in the Clarksburg Special Protection Area

 

U.S. Geological Survey:

Advanced Remote Sensing Research and Development

The BMP Database and Applications: Greenway Village and Clarksburg Village (PDF, 6.84MB)

 

 

 

Best Management Practices

The goal of monitoring stormwater best management practices (BMP) in Special Protection Areas is to evaluate their effectiveness in minimizing the impacts of land use change on streams.

Since the late 1990s, monitoring individual BMPs has provided information on performance.  Changes in state stormwater regulations in 2010 shifted the earlier focus from larger individual BMPs to an approach using many BMPs with small drainage areas within a development.

Image of a sand filter next to a row of townhomes. A sand filter is a stormwater management best practice.
A sand filter is one type of stormwater
management best practice

The effect of this new approach is to maintain the hydrology of ‘woods in good condition’.  DEP is now using a systems approach to understand the cumulative effects of all the BMPs to the streams within the SPA.  DEP considers site design, stormwater management plans, project performance goals, and feasibility when designing a monitoring plan.

Elements of stream and groundwater monitoring include:

  • Groundwater elevations and chemistry

  • Stream (surface water) chemistry

  • Stream temperature

  • Stream flow (discrete or continuous)

  • Stream profiles and cross sections

  • Sedimentation/embeddedness

  • Photographic documentation

 

Elements of Structural BMP Monitoring include:

  • Sampling of total suspended solids at erosion and sediment control BMPs

  • Pollutant removal efficiency sampling of nutrients, metals, and pollutants at stormwater  BMPs

After BMPs are fully constructed and functioning, stream monitoring and the monitoring of the BMP network will be integrated.  By monitoring changes across an entire stream system before, during, and after development, the success of minimizing the effects of development on streams can be determined. 

 

Requirements for Developers

The Special Protection Area (SPA) program requires that developers (of new construction) work closely with the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) from the onset of the regulatory review process to minimize impacts on stream conditions in the SPA and ensure the continued high quality of the County's environmental resources.

This page lays out the requirements that all developers must meet during the planning and construction phase within SPAs. For information on the SPA application and review process, visit the Department of Permitting Services Special Protection Area site.

 

Pre-application Meetings

Image of design plans for a sand filter.
Design plans for a sand filter.

Developers of projects in SPAs are required to hold pre-application meetings. At a pre-application meeting, DEP presents the project developer with the critical natural resource parameters that need to be maintained to protect the existing high-quality stream conditions. The parameters are guided by the performance goals.

The purposes of the meeting are to:

  • Present the applicant with the proposed performance goals that are to be used for developing the site layout
  • Discuss the conceptual approach and possible locations of preferred structural and nonstructural best management practices (BMPs) and their estimated suitability for achieving the performance goals
  • Review the monitoring protocols and the procedures to be followed by the applicant in developing a BMP monitoring plan
  • Review the development impact monitoring protocols and procedures that DEP will use in monitoring development impacts
  • Use innovative site layouts and linked BMP options to maximize the protection of water quality, stream habitat, and aquatic life.

The applicant must make a written request to set up a pre-application meeting and must supply three copies of specific elements of the required water quality inventory at least 30 working days before the pre-application meeting.

Applicants are responsible for taking minutes of these meetings and submitting them for approval by the County.

 

Water Quality Inventory Requirements

Image of a wet pond in front of a row of townhomes.
A wet pond is one type of stormwater
management best practice.

According to the Montgomery County Regulation on Water Quality Review for Development in Designated Special Protection Areas, the applicant must supply a minimum of three copies of these specific elements of the required water quality inventory at least 30 working days before the pre-application meeting:

  1. Location and rating of infiltratable soils based on the latest edition of the soil survey for Montgomery County, Maryland. On-site soil analysis will be required with the applicant's formal submission of the water quality inventory.
  2. Forest stand delineation and natural resources inventory, which must include:
  • Stream buffer delineation in accordance with the Planning Board's Environmental Guidelines
  • Erodible soils and areas of steep slopes
  • Location of all field-delineated intermittent and perennial springs, seeps, and wetlands.
  1. A drainage area map showing the upstream drainage area, hydrologically important fractures, and the location of existing developed areas and BMPs in the subwatershed (as identified in DEP's inventory of stormwater management facilities).

 

 

Water Quality Monitoring Requirements

Beginning in 2013, DEP is responsible for all water quality monitoring required in SPAs. Prior, project developers were responsible for meeting water quality monitoring requirements. Water quality monitoring consultants were contracted by individual project developers. These consultants followed annual reporting and data submission requirements for SPA BMP monitoring and specified procedures for BMP monitoring, including submission of reports and data. 

BMP Sampling Protocols (PDF, 464KB)

To promote consistency and comparability among BMP monitoring projects, the Department of Environmental Protection, Special Area Protection Program, established this BMP sampling protocols document to provide guidance to persons conducting BMP monitoring.

Progress Report Template (DOC, 25KB)

As part of water quality plan requirements, consultants or individuals conducting SPA BMP monitoring have been required to submit annual reports as well as quarterly progress reports. This template provides an outline for report submissions. Quarterly progress reports are submitted to DEP staff assigned to the project.

SPA BMP Monitoring Checklist (PDF109KB)

For projects covered under pre-2013 requirements, consultants must fill out the SPA BMP Monitoring Checklist and attach it to the annual report to certify that all required items are included and ready for DEP approval.

Annual reports and data are to be submitted to the developer/client, DEP, and the Department of Permitting Services (DPS). Questions on reporting requirements and data submissions can be directed to the Watershed Management Division by dialing 240-777-0311 or 3-1-1, or by emailing DEP.

 

Performance Goals for Site Development Within SPAs

SPA permitting requirements guide the development of concept plans for site imperviousness, site layout, environmental buffers, forest conservation, sediment and erosion control, and stormwater management. The performance goals include:

  • Stream/aquatic life habitat protection 
  • Maintaining stream base flow 
  • Protecting seeps, springs, and wetlands 
  • Maintaining natural on-site stream channels 
  • Minimizing storm flow runoff increases 
  • Identifying and protecting stream banks prone to erosion and slumping 
  • Minimizing increases in ambient water temperature 
  • Minimizing sediment loading into streams 
  • Minimizing nutrient loadings into streams 
  • Controlling insecticides, pesticides, and toxic substances. 

Performance Goals section of this page to read how developers within SPAs must achieve certain goals through the site plan design process and accompanying permitting requirements for sediment, erosion, and stormwater management controls. The development process requires close coordination between the urban development project's design team and the County's environmental, regulatory, and planning agencies. 

 

Performance Goals

Performance goals are established for each development application within a Special Protection Area (SPA). These goals are designed to protect critical natural resources and maintain existing stream conditions and to uphold the framework of the SPA conservation plan.

Image of a team of researchers studying the health of a Special Protection Area stream.
Monitoring a Special Protection Area stream.

Performance goals will be established to:

  • Protect, maintain, and restore water quality, natural stream environments, and the ecological balance of aquatic communities within the County
  • Mimic natural watershed processes
  • Stimulate innovative and integrated applications of site plans, sediment control, and stormwater management measures to limit changes to natural hydrology, reduce the on-site generation of pollutants that affect water quality, and mitigate impacts on adjacent and downstream conditions
  • Develop better measures of assessing the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs)
  • Seek improved BMP designs with higher effectiveness to protect water quality and minimize maintenance
  • Protect downstream receiving waters.

 

Use of Performance Goals

  • The Department of Environmental Protection will establish performance goals for each development project.

  • The performance goals will be based on consideration of the following:

    • Development site location within the subwatershed

    • Site topography and hydrology

    • Presence of environmentally sensitive areas

    • Results of available baseline stream monitoring within the watershed.

  • BMP performance goals will be developed and evaluated using the most currently available and pertinent monitoring information and published research.

  • The achievement of performance goals will be measured and analyzed using

    1. Protocols or procedures for BMP monitoring that the Department specifies to the applicant at the pre-application meeting

    2. Development impact monitoring conducted by the Department

 

Nature of Performance Goals

The performance goals established for each project will vary depending on site location, topography and hydrology, presence of environmentally sensitive areas, and results of available baseline stream monitoring in the watershed.

Performance goals will be applied and monitored to assess the relationships between land use, the effectiveness of various BMPs (individually and in combination), and measured impacts of development on water quality, stream habitat, and aquatic life.

 

Performance Goals

Image of an American Toad
American Toad

Following is a list of the types of performance goals that might be considered for each project, their rationale, and specific examples of how these goals might be expressed quantitatively or qualitatively depending on the conditions for a particular site.

  1. Stream/aquatic life habitat protection.

    Rationale: The pre-development aquatic community should be maintained, preserved, or improved.

    Examples of goals:

    1. Protect, and maintain habitat features identified in the water quality plan.
    2. Restore or create habitat that promotes natural recovery toward stream habitat reference conditions.
    3. Promote recovery of the aquatic community as measured by pre- and post-development comparisons to the reference condition.

 

  1. Maintain stream base flow. 

    Rationale: Maintenance of stream base flow, particularly during low flow periods, is essential to supporting the critical habitat needs of the aquatic biological community. Base flow reductions decrease the wetted width and depth of stream riffle, run, and pool aquatic habitats. Maximum base flow preservation is important to maintain viable populations of existing or target species. Reductions in base flow may also result in increased stream temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen levels, to the detriment of aquatic life.

    Examples of goals:

    1. Limit the reduction of base flow
      1. In streams with drainage areas of 1,000 acres or less or
      2. In first- and second-order streams with minimum base flows of 2 cubic feet/second (cfs) or less, as identified through baseline stream monitoring during the low-low period of the year (July to October).
    2. Maintain post-development mean daily baseflow, as measured during the critical low-flow period of the year, so as not to reduce available on-site aquatic habitat below pre-development conditions.
Image of a wetland.
Wetlands and vernal pools serve as important
habitat and breeding areas for wildlife. 

 

  1. Protect seeps, springs, and wetlands.

    Rationale: Seeps/springs and wetlands are principal outlets for groundwater flow into a stream. These are the sources of the cold water recharge necessary to maintain water temperature within the tolerance limits of the biological community.

    Examples of goals:

    1. Protect natural recharge areas of perennial seeps and springs that provide cold water to streams. Construct recharge areas, as necessary and feasible, to mimic the function of natural recharge areas that cannot be protected.
    2. Protect vernal pools that provide amphibian habitat by including them within stream buffer lines.

 

  1. Maintain natural on-site stream channels.

    Rationale: Channels originating from perennial or intermittent springs/seeps and wetlands deliver cold groundwater to the receiving stream. Maintaining the integrity of the channel will help maintain the quality of the flow.

    Examples of goals:

    1. Perennial streams:
      1. Use bio-engineering techniques in conjunction with effective upland site planning and stormwater controls to help stabilize and protect the desirable stream habitat features most vulnerable to anticipated development impacts.
      2. As discrete project phases in subwatersheds are completed and stabilized, implement immediate measures to restore damaged stream habitat caused by the project. Use bio-engineering or other appropriate habitat restoration techniques.
    2. Intermittent streams:
      1. Protect intermittent channels formed primarily by intermittent springs and seeps at a higher level than intermittent channels formed primarily by overland surface flow. These channels might convey cold water originating from groundwater recharge.
      2. Use intermittent channels from surface flows and associated stream buffers as part of a system for quality treatment of stormwater.
      3. Stabilize the channel banks with bio-engineered solutions, perhaps in combination with traditional methods where appropriate.

 

  1. Minimize storm flow runoff increases. 

    Rationale: The frequency of runoff events that create erosion in stream channels in a given subwatershed needs to be managed. In general, bankfull discharges cause the most damage to the quality of the stream channel habitat. Cumulative increases in subwatershed runoff affect downstream channels as well as on-site channels. Therefore, analysis to determine the storm events that cause bankfull discharge will be conducted within and/or downstream of the development project site.

    Examples of goals:

    1. Design storm flow controls to manage on-site and downstream bankfull discharges at or below pre-construction frequencies.
    2. Reduce the frequency and duration of bankfull events, as well as associated sediment loadings resulting from bank erosion.
    3. Maintain current bankfull storm frequency and duration if bank stability and channel conditions are determined to be in an optimal to suboptimal range.
    4. Reduce bankfull frequency and duration, or stabilize banks through bio-engineered and structural BMP solutions if habitat is determined to be in marginal to poor condition.

 

Image of a grass swale next to a row of townhomes.
A grass swale is a type of stormwater
management best practice.
  1. Identify and protect stream banks prone to erosion and slumping.

Rationale: Even with on-site stormwater management, prolonged storm flow releases from development can cause stream bank erosion and habitat impairment, especially in the most erosion-prone stream reaches.

Examples of goals:

  1. Identify the most erosion-prone stream bank areas, and stabilize them with a combination of structural and bio-engineered solutions to anticipate the altered flow regime resulting from development.
  2. Determine the new volume, rate, and bank height of stormwater runoff resulting from the site's BMPs. Stabilize the stream bank areas most prone to erosion and provide in-stream habitat features to maintain the stream channel conditions required for the new flows.

 

  1. Minimize increases in ambient water temperature.

    Rationale: Peak stream temperatures and their duration are additional primary determinants of the biological community structure that can be maintained in a stream. The peaks and duration of temperature extremes during low-flow periods of the year should not increase beyond the limits of those documented during baseline monitoring, or the upper temperature limits specified in the State Water Use Standards (COMAR 26.08.01 to 04). Base flow bypasses from stormwater controls and preventive forest preservation, natural succession, and afforestation measures undertaken in stream buffers are methods to reduce the elevation of ambient water temperature.

    Examples of goals:

    1. As the stream flows through the site, maintain the existing temperature conditions at an optimal level.
    2. If monitored water temperature increases as the stream flows through the site or if the project is expected to increase stream temperatures, reduce heating effects to maintain ambient water temperature in keeping with State Water Use Standards temperature criteria (COMAR 26.08.02.03-3).

 

  1. Minimize sediment loading.

    Rationale: Excessive loadings of fine sediment can destroy the stream riffle habitats of benthic macroinvertebrates and freshwater fish. Maintaining the quality of the riffle habitat is critical because most members of the macroinvertebrate community reside in riffle habitat. Loss of this community also eliminates the primary food source for insectivorous fish, causing a reduction in the quality of this biological community as well. Excessive sediment loads can smother and destroy the eggs of species that use riffle habitat for spawning. Excess sedimentation fills in pools, reducing habitat for fish. Abrasive sediment loadings also contribute to stream bank instability by accelerating streambed and bank erosion. This further compounds siltation damage downstream.

    Examples of goals:

    1. During construction phases, stream embeddedness levels should remain at pre-construction levels.
    2. Post-development embeddedness levels should return to pre-development levels within one year after completing and stabilizing each defined phase of the development project.
    3. The recovery of the riffle benthic community and riffle fish community should be to pre-development levels as described by measurements of community structure and function.

 

Image of a northern red salamander larva.
Northern Red Salamander
  1. Minimize nutrient loadings.

    Rationale: Excessive nutrient loadings can cause algae blooms and alter the community composition of the stream fish and macroinvertebrates. Excessive nutrient loadings can be especially damaging when introduced to downstream water supply reservoirs and to other slow-moving impounded or tidal waters. The State of Maryland has established tributary protection strategies to reduce the impact of the nitrogen and phosphate loadings from upstream tributaries on the Chesapeake Bay.

    Examples of goals:

    1. Measure or provide estimates, acceptable to the Department, of the pollution reduction achieved by implementing educational pollution source control programs targeted to resident citizens and the business community.
    2. Design BMPs to achieve specified ranges of nutrient reduction. Implement a BMP monitoring plan to measure nutrient reductions observed from BMPs designed to provide water quality control.

 

  1. Control insecticides, pesticides, and toxic substances.

    Rationale: Toxic concentrations of chemicals are extremely dangerous to all forms of life. If they are not controlled, acute or chronic toxic impairment can destroy or lessen the aquatic community downstream of the development.

    Examples of goals:

    1. Maintain levels of toxic compounds below concentration thresholds established in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria and State water quality standards.
    2. Include language in homeowners' association documents or other appropriate educational materials to implement site-specific Integrated Pest Management pollution source control programs that minimize the use of herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides.
    3. Reduce the use of potentially toxic substances by the resident community (e.g., oil and antifreeze dumping, improper or excessive use of pesticides).
    4. Measure or provide estimates, acceptable to the Department, of reductions in toxic pollution achieved by implementing educational pollution source control programs targeted to resident citizens and the business community.
    5. For high-density commercial, industrial, and mixed-use developments with large impervious areas, give special consideration to the control of hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other pollutants normally associated with intense land use.

In addition to the performance goals set forth above, the Department may establish other performance goals based on the need to protect unique water quality features or federal/ state designated rare, threatened, or endangered species.

 

 

Annual Reports

DEP prepares and coordinates the preparation of Annual Reports that present the latest information on the quality of the SPA water resources, important features that need to be protected to maintain these water resources, and the success of the SPA program in allowing needed economic growth to occur while minimizing growth related impacts.

2011 SPA Annual Report

The fifteenth annual report on the Special Protection Area (SPA) program summarizes the results of all monitoring completed in the four SPAs during 2011. For those who would like to have the technical background for the report, data can be requested from DEP.

 

2010 SPA Annual Report

 

2009 SPA Annual Report

The thirteenth annual report on the Special Protection Area (SPA) program summarizes the results of all monitoring completed in the four SPAs through 2009. Monitoring of stream conditions is intended to evaluate water quality and development impacts on water quality. BMP monitoring is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs in mitigating construction impacts as well as their effectiveness in minimizing post-construction effects on water quality. This report includes the results of stream and best management practice (BMP) monitoring and presents a comprehensive analysis of all available biological, chemical, and physical data collected from 1994 through the 2009 calendar year.

There are two versions of the 2009 SPA Annual Report. The web version is available as smaller files that are easier to download and view online. The print version contains all sections of the document in a single file. This version is larger and most appropriate for those who wish to download and print the entire document, including the Technical Appendices.

 

2008 SPA Annual Report

The twelfth annual report on the Special Protection Area (SPA) program summarizes the results of all monitoring completed in the four SPAs through 2008. Monitoring of stream conditions is intended to evaluate water quality and development impacts on water quality. BMP monitoring is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs in mitigating construction impacts as well as their effectiveness in minimizing post-construction effects on water quality. This report includes the results of stream and best management practice (BMP) monitoring and presents a comprehensive analysis of all available biological, chemical, and physical data collected from 1994 through the 2008 calendar year.

 

2007 SPA Annual Report

The eleventh annual report on the Special Protection Area (SPA) program covers results of stream monitoring and the sampling of sediment and erosion controls and stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in 2007. In addition, this 2007 Annual SPA Report provides available information regarding water quality results associated with Newcut Road and Town Center development and other similar developments to assist the County Council in determining how to proceed in the final Stage 4 phase of development (Ten Mile Creek) for the Clarksburg Master Plan.

 

2006 SPA Annual Report

The 2006 Special Protection Area Program Annual Report summarizes the results of all monitoring completed in the four SPAs through 2006. Monitoring of stream conditions is intended to evaluate water quality and development impacts on water quality. Results for each SPA are evaluated independently to characterize local trends and impacts to water quality. The results of developer-managed monitoring of BMPs is also included. BMP monitoring is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs in mitigating construction impacts as well as their effectiveness in minimizing post-construction effects on water quality.

Download the 2006 SPA Annual Report  (PDF, 2.5MB)

 

2005 SPA Annual Report

The 2005 Special Protection Area Program Annual Report summarizes the results of all monitoring completed in the four SPAs through 2005. Monitoring of stream conditions is intended to evaluate water quality and development impacts on water quality. Results for each SPA are evaluated independently to characterize local trends and impacts to water quality. The results of developer-managed monitoring of BMP's is also included. BMP monitoring is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of BMP's in mitigating construction impacts as well as their effectiveness in minimizing post-construction effects on water quality. The information obtained is to be used to improve the design of future projects. This report covers the period of 1994-2005.

Download the 2005 SPA Annual Report  (PDF, 1.4MB)

 

2004 SPA Annual Report

The 2004 Special Protection Area Annual Report summarizes results of all monitoring completed in the four SPAs through 2004. DEP monitors stream conditions annually locations throughout the SPAs. Additionally, development projects located within the SPAs are required to monitor representative sediment and erosion control and stormwater management BMPs to determine the effectiveness of these devices in minimizing impacts to the receiving stream. Results of an analysis of sediment and erosion control device effectiveness are presented. Proposed changes to the current SPA law and their rationale are discussed in the report. This year, the report has been produced in a smaller, easier to read format. The Special Protection Area Program began in 1994. This report covers the period of 1994-2004.

Download the 2004 SPA Annual Report

 

2003 SPA Annual Report

The 2003 Special Protection Area Annual Report summarizes results of all monitoring completed in the four SPAs through 2003. DEP monitors stream conditions annually at 47 fixed locations throughout the SPAs. Additionally, new development projects located within the SPAs are required to monitor on-site conditions to determine effectiveness of site design and stormwater management BMPs (Best Management Practices) in minimizing impacts to the receiving stream. Status of all new development proposed in the SPAs can also be found in this report. The Special Protection Area Program began in 1994. This report covers the period of 1994-2003.

Download the 2003 SPA Annual Report  (PDF, 6.4MB)

 

2002 SPA Annual Report

The 2002 Special Protection Area Annual Report summarizes results of all monitoring completed in the three SPAs through 2002. DEP monitors stream conditions annually at 47 fixed locations throughout the SPAs. Additionally, new development projects located within the SPAs are required to monitor on-site conditions to determine effectiveness of site design and stormwater management BMPs (Best Management Practices) in minimizing impacts to the receiving stream. Status of all new development proposed in the SPAs can also be found in this report. The Special Protection Area Program began in 1994. This report covers the period of 1994-2002.

 

2001 SPA Annual Report

 

2000 SPA Annual Report

Download the 2000 SPA Annual Report  (PDF, 9.5MB)

 

1998 SPA Annual Report

Download the 1998 SPA Annual Report  (PDF, 3.7MB)

 

Conservation Plans

Chapter 19, Article V of the Montgomery County Code requires that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) prepare a conservation plan for each Special Protection Area (SPA). The following plans are available:

 

Upper Paint Branch

Download the Upper Paint Branch Conservation Plan  (PDF, 1.2MB)