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(a) No person shall clear or otherwise undertake land disturbance for the purpose of constructing or maintaining an underground utility without first obtaining a permit from the Commission and implementing erosion and sediment control in accordance with an erosion and sediment control plan approved by the Commission except as provided within subsection (c) of this section.

(b) Any person applying for a permit for underground utility construction for a project which disturbs greater than 40,000 square feet of forested area shall submit an approved forest conservation plan as provided for under the Forest Conservation Act, Natural Resources Article, § 5-1605, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(c) Exemptions from Plan Approval and Permit Acquisition.

(1) Storm drain system construction and maintenance.

(2) Local government utility projects when such governments are operating under a Department-approved erosion and sediment control program and the erosion and sediment control plans are approved by the local approval authority for erosion and sediment control.

(3) Federal or state utility projects that are entirely within federal or state-owned lands and subject to erosion and sediment control approval from the Department. Projects that encompass lands other than federal or state-owned lands must receive plan approvals and permits from the Commission for those portions of the project not on federal or state lands.

(4) Utility work that is of an emergency nature or is required to address a life threatening situation, to the extent that the Commission shall be notified by telephone of the construction on the next business day. Contact the Environmental Programs Unit at (301) 206-8077.

(5) Individual on-site residential sewage disposal systems. (Applicants shall contact the appropriate county health department for all necessary approvals.)

(6) Utility work the Commission approves subject to a requirement that vegetative ground cover remain undisturbed and in its original condition, and that no open trench is created, during or subsequent to the work’s performance.

(7) Aboveground utility construction where the erosion and sediment control plans are approved by the local approval authority. (Amended during 2019 codification; REG-IFSM-EC-2014-002 § IV)