For more than 20 years, McCormick Taylor has been an advocate and trusted partner in supporting jurisdictions and clients in their program initiatives to meet aggressive MS4 and TMDL permitting goals.


On October 26, 2020, the Chesapeake Bay Program approved the fourth and final memo revisiting and recommending guidance to improve Stream Restoration protocols. McCormick Taylor was involved with memos 2 and 4.


Memo 2 discusses recommendations for crediting outfall and gully stabilization projects in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This memorandum establishes protocol 5 as a crediting method for Outfall and Gully Stabilization projects baywide. A guidance document—authored by Scott Lowe, Director, Environmental Services; Mike Miller, Manager, Environmental Restoration; and Josh Smalley, PE, Water Resources Engineer of McCormick Taylor’s Baltimore office—laid the groundwork for the memo and influenced the technical rationale behind protocol 5. The expertise and commitment of McCormick Taylor’s environmental and watershed professionals over the last four years were instrumental in the development and ultimate approval of this protocol. 


Protocol 5 helps MS4 programs prioritize outfall sites that are experiencing severe erosion for restoration. The protocol outlines a crediting method that generates MS4 credit based on the amount of erosion, not the linear feet of channel improved. The impact of this change is far-reaching, yielding higher benefits of water quality improvements to the Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds that adopt the protocol per BMP while saving taxpayers millions of dollars. 


Memo 4 discusses consensus recommendations to improve protocols 2 and 3 for defining stream restoration pollutant removal credits. Scott Lowe contributed to the recommended changes to protocols 2 and 3 as a member of the expert panel for memo 4. The changes to the protocols allow for clear and scientifically robust calculations for water quality improvements associated with hyporheic exchange and floodplain reconnection.


As Stream Restoration strategies and methods evolve and continue to improve, crediting methods need to adjust to account for the benefits of projects that interact more effectively with floodplains, provide resiliency for increasing storm flows, and improve connection with groundwater.


McCormick Taylor is honored to be considered an important contributor to the expert panel process for the Chesapeake Bay Program. We seek to constantly improve our efforts to restore the Bay.


We welcome the opportunity to discuss your MS4 permitting compliance challenges. For more information, contact Scott Lowe, Director, Environmental Services or Craig Carson, Senior Manager, Watershed Services.

MS4 Experience

  • GIS analysis and geodatabase management
  • Watershed plans and implementation strategies
  • Modeling and scenario development
  • Crediting strategies
  • Portfolio management
  • Program implementation and financial management
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination program development
  • Watershed design and alternative delivery services
  • Asset management and storm drain, outfall, and BMP inspection
  • TMDL and wasteload compliance
  • Public education and outreach
  • Ordinance development and adoption support
  • Stormwater planning, site selection, design, and construction oversight
  • Post-construction stormwater management inventory and inspection
  • Report development
  • Monitoring
Scott Lowe, Director, Environmental Services | | (410) 662-7400
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Craig Carson, Assistant Director, Watershed Services | | (410) 662-7400