Stream Protection & Restoration

The mission of Harford County Stream Protection & Restoration is to provide a comprehensive environmental program to protect and enhance the quality of Harford County’s water resources including streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds and wetlands. Because all of man’s activities affect these natural systems, each of us must practice responsible water resources management. Responsible water resources management maintains that the quality of water that we swim in, drink from, and fish from remain free from harmful chemicals and pollutants.

In 1987, Congress passed amendments to the Clean Water Act which created a permit for local jurisdictions to regulate the quality of water discharged by the stormdrain system. This permit is called a municipal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES) or also called MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system) permit.

In 1992, Harford County received its first MS4 permit. Each permit is valid for 5 years, and then renewed, with modifications. The permit requires the County to implement programs to improve the quality of water entering into local stream and rivers. Some of the required programs include identification of water quality impairments through watershed assessments, restoration of water quality impairments, public outreach, water quality monitoring, and identification of illegal discharges to the stormdrain system. The MS4 permit also requires that Harford County coordinate with Maryland state agencies in the development of watershed restoration for the implementation of the TMDL program and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.

Watershed Regulation Resources


Watershed Restoration and Protection Office

212 South Bond Street, 1st Floor
Bel Air, MD  21014
(410) 638-3217


Christine Buckley

Program Manager

Betsy Collins

Capital Project Manager

Michele Dobson

Water Quality Monitoring Specialist

Laura Coste

Outreach Coordinator