MACo awarded Maryland Secretary of the Environment Benjamin Grumbles a 2017 Recognition Award for his local government outreach and inclusion efforts when developing environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Counties are critical partners with the State on many key environmental issues, such as the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, stormwater runoff and water quality, solid waste diversion and recycling, soil erosion and sediment control, and enforcement actions. Grumbles has walked the challenging line between being a partner, collaborator, and regulator with county governments and MACo was pleased to honor the Secretary with a Recognition Award.
The award was supposed to be given at MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference last December but Grumbles could not attend due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, Grumbles came to MACo’s Legislative Committee meeting on February 21 to receive his award and provide a short update on key environmental issues.
Grumbles responded to the characterization that being Secretary of the Environment was a difficult job by stating,”I don’t have a tough job. I have an awesome job!” Grumble also praised MACo members and staff, noting “I learned pretty quickly [when I started this job] that MACo was hugely influential and important.”
The update included: (1) addressing Pennsylvania’s Bay restoration failings; (2) the Conowingo Dam; (3) Maryland’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan; (4) federal budget cuts to environmental programs; and (5) the Department of the Environment’s pending nutrient credit trading regulations.