Departmental Proposed and Emergency Regulations

The following outlines current Notices of Public Comment, Notices of Emergency Action, Notices of Proposed Action, and Notices of Final Action that have been requested by the Maryland Secretary of Agriculture and published in the Maryland Register. 

Visit the Maryland Register Online to read the most recent proposed regulations in their entirety.

Note: Notices of Final Action will stay on this page for six months. After that, all state regulations can be viewed at the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) site​.​

Notices of Public Comment

Notices of Emergency Action

Notices of Proposed Action

  • The following notice(s) were published in the August 26, 2022 Maryland Register
The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposes to amend Regulation .02 under COMAR 15.03.01 Commercial Weighing and Measuring Devices and Procedures for Testing Packaged Goods. 

The purpose of this action is to update the edition to NIST (National Institute​of Standards and Technology) Handbook 133 that MDA uses to verify the net quantity of contents of packages kept, offered, or exposed for sale, or sold by weight, measure (including volume, and dimensions) or count at any location (e.g., at the point-of-pack, in storage warehouses, retail stores, and wholesale outlets). MDA already has incorporated by reference Handbook 133. Since it was incorporated by reference, the National Conference on Weights and Measures, which meets annually, has amended NIST Handbook 133 on several occasions. The new citation to NIST Handbook 133 is the most current edition of the handbook.​

The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposes to amend Regulation .01 under COMAR 15.03.02 Packaging and Labeling 

The purpose of this action is to adopt certain sections of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Handbook 130 (2022 Edition). The National Conference on Weights and Measures recently approved these and other sections of this handbook. MDA already has incorporated by reference (from an earlier edition of Handbook 130) the following section of this handbook: "Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulation". MDA now intends to also incorporate by reference the section titled: "Examination Procedure for Price Verification". This action will: (1) Ensure that accurate and adequate information on packages as to identity and quantity of contents is provided so that purchasers can make price and quantity comparisons; and (2) Provide procedures to conduct price verification inspections in any type of store, including those that use Universal Product Code scanners and price-look-up codes at the check-out counter as a means for pricing. The 2022 edition of NIST Handbook 130 is the most current edition of this handbook.

  • The following notice was published in the August 12, 2022 Maryland Register

​ The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposes to amend Regulation .02 under COMAR           15.20.07 Agricultural operation Nutrient management Plan Requirements. In addition at the           same time, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is withdrawing the amendment to                   Regulation .02 under COMAR 15.20.07 Agricultural Operation Nutrient Management Plan             ​Requirements that were proposed on February 25, 2022.

The purpose of this action is to place certain requirements and restrictions on the land-application of food processing residuals (FPR), a newly defined term. During Spring (March 1—June 30), Summer (July 1—September 9), and the first portion of Fall (September 10—October 31), a person land-applying FPR's shall either: (a) directly inject the material into the soil; or (b) incorporate it into the soil no later than the end of the day that the application is made. If incorporating this material, the person must use primary tillage equipment (e.g., chisel plow or heavy discing) so that at least 95% soil coverage of the material occurs. In addition, the person must plant a crop (which in the Summer and Fall, can be a cover crop, a defined term) no later than 14 days after the land-application of the material is complete.

During the latter portion of Fall (November 1—December 15), a person may not land-apply a non-injectable FPR, but instead must store this material until the last day of February of the following year. For injectable FPRs, a person may inject this material into soil growing an existing crop or cover crop through December 15; and after this date, must store this material until the last day of February of the following year.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposes to amend Regulation .02 under COMAR 15.20.07 Agriculture Operation Nutrient Management Plan Requirement.  

The purpose of this action is to amend a section of the Department of Agriculture’s Maryland Nutrient Management Manual (November 1999) which is incorporated by reference. To date, the manual has been amended eight times. It was last amended in August 2016. Specifically, the Department is proposing to amend Section I-D1 of the manual, titled “Nutrient Application Requirements”.

In addition to making certain stylistic changes to this section, the proposed action places greater restrictions on the land application of food processing wastes and residuals to control odors. This includes requiring that the material be injected or incorporated into the soil (e.g., requiring 95 percent soil coverage over the applied material through incorporation) within a certain time period. This will also require planting a harvestable crop or cover crop within a certain time period when land application of this material is allowed. Land application of this material will not be allowed in the late fall (after October 31) and winter.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposes to amend Regulation .10 under COMAR 15.01.05 Cost-Sharing Program — Water Pollution Control Program. 

The purpose of this action is to increase the “not-to-exceed” payment from $50,000 to $75,000 that may be made to a person applying to receive funds under the State’s Cost-Sharing Program for the following type projects to prevent or control agriculturally related nonpoint source pollution, that is, a single project not covered by a pooling agreement.​

  • The following notice was published in the December 17, 2021 Maryland Register

    The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposes to adopt new Regulations .01—.11 under a new chapter, COMAR 15.01.18 Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program—Appeal Procedure.

Notices of Final Action

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