Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program
The Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Program is a 3-part program implemented by the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) as a requirement by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to manage illicit discharges and stormwater runoff.
Stormwater runoff is a result of a rain or snow event flowing over impervious surfaces like streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. The runoff can convey pollutants associated with every day activities into the storm drain system leading directly to our local waterways.
Illicit discharges involve materials like used oil, trash juice from dumpsters, chemicals, or other hazardous materials being discharged, intentionally or unintentionally, into the stormwater sewer system.
OSER relies on you to help us identify any illegal discharges, dumping, or spills! If you notice any spill or discharge of a suspected hazardous or harmful nature, please notify 911 immediately. If it is a non-emergency, please contact our office by email, at 301-600-1416, or please use the County's reporting tool FCG FixIt.
These investigations are friendly visual surveys of commercial and industrial areas around Frederick County to ensure business are not contributing to stormwater runoff pollution and creating "hotspots". Frederick County focuses on facilities related to vehicle maintenance operations, restaurants, and construction material wholesalers. The investigations evaluate facilities in regards to vehicle operations (if any), outdoor material storage, waste management, and overall housekeeping procedures.
OSER is required to identify outfalls, or the opening of the end of pipes within a storm drain system, that have flowing water when it has not rained within the last 72 hours. This is considered dry-weather flow, and is indicative of a potential illicit discharge. Once identified, the water is tested for a variety of chemicals in order to isolate a source. Once the source is documented, whether a business or a homeowner, the appropriate actions are taken to cease the discharge and ensure proper clean up.