Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman set new guidance aimed at preventing sediment pollution from construction sites and preserving forests through the county’s revised forest conservation ordinance. With the release of new ‘blue’ or ‘green’ notices, county government is heralding a new era of transparency in the development and construction review process.

Blue notices will announce guidance or policy changes from the Department of Inspections and Permits, while green notices will announce the same from the Office of Planning and Zoning. These guidance tools are now available online to the public and the regulated community.

“Since day one, my administration has placed an emphasis on protecting the environment through stricter enforcement of our environmental laws,” said County Executive Pittman. “With this new guidance, we continue that effort in a transparent way so everyone can read and understand the rules.”  

 The first blue notice is aimed at reducing so-called “chocolate milk” (i.e., sediment that runs off construction sites) through consistent inspections of each site. The notice also outlines potential environmental violations that are likely to result in stop work orders or fines.  

 The three green notices are a package describing how the county will implement its new forest conservation law, which became effective on Thursday, Jan. 9. The notices alert the development community that modifications to disturb priority forests will result in increased forest planting requirements. Additionally, the notices provide a list of options to fulfill planting requirements, and state that the county will only accept fee-in-lieu if all other planting options are not available.