Bay Program partners developed and adopted a set of five BMP verification principles to both guide the development of the verification guidance and to establish the basis upon which to evaluate the development and implementation of enhanced jurisdictional BMP verification programs.

The principles provide the common bar with which partners could judge the distinct components of the framework to ensure everything would be aligned to hit the same mark in the end. A complete overview of the five verification principles can be found in Appendix A.

Chesapeake Bay BMP Verification Principles adopted in December 2012.

Practice ReportingAffirms that verification is required for practices, treatments and technologies reported for nitrogen, phosphorus and/or sediment pollutant load reduction credit through the Bay Program. This principle also outlines general expectations for BMP verification protocols.
Scientific RigorAsserts that BMP verification should assure effective implementation through scientifically rigorous, defensible and professionally established and accepted sampling, inspection and certification protocols. Recognizes that BMP verification shall allow for varying methods of data collection that balance scientific rigor with cost effectiveness and the priority placed upon the practice in achieving pollution reduction.
Public ConfidenceCalls for BMP verification protocols to incorporate transparency in both the processes of verification and of tracking and reporting the underlying data. Recognizes that levels of transparency will vary depending upon source sector, acknowledging existing legal limitations and the need to respect individual confidentiality to ensure access to non-cost shared practice data
Adaptive ManagementRecognizes that advancements in practice reporting and scientific rigor, as described above, are integral to assuring desired long-term outcomes while reducing the uncertainty found in natural systems and human behaviors. Calls for BMP verification protocols to recognize existing funding and allow for reasonable levels of flexibility in the allocation or targeting of funds.
Sector EquityCalls for each jurisdiction’s BMP verification program to strive to achieve equity in the measurement of functionality and effectiveness of implemented BMPs among and across the source sectors.