Montgomery County’s 2021 Energy Summit Announces Session Schedule

Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the US Green Building Council National Capital Region have announced the preliminary schedule of the virtual 2021 Montgomery County Energy Summit. The Summit’s 2021 theme is “Resiliency, from Building to Community,” and will build upon the County's goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035. The Summit will explore strategies, technologies and case studies. This year's Summit is a forum for the community to discuss ways…

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Baltimore County to Convert 15-Acre Industrial Site to Public Park

Sparrows Point Park could include a renewable energy powered community center, synthetic turf field, 10,000-square foot playground, and public pier. Baltimore County is poised to create its first new park in more than six years. The Olszewski administration is following through on its early actions working to secure funding and begin planning the project. From the article: “We’ve had more support, more funding and really more interest from [Olszewski’s] administration than we’ve ever had before…

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State Settles Lawsuit With Luke Paper Mill

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles today announced a settlement with the owners of the Luke Paper Mill. Under the terms of the settlement, Verso Luke LLC and its parent company, Verso Corporation will have to continue investigating the source of seepages, remediate the discharge, and pay a civil penalty of $650,000.  The lawsuit began last year after reports that "black liquor," a sludge byproduct of paper production, was…

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Washington County Commissioners Appoint New Environmental Director

Earlier this week the Washington County Board of County Commissioners announced the appointment of Mark Bradshaw as Director of the Division of Environmental Management. Bradshaw will lead Solid Waste & Recycling, Water Quality, and the Clean County Initiative. He has served Washington County Government for the past 22 years, most recently as Deputy Director of Engineering Services. From the press release: Bradshaw graduated from Wilkes University earning a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. He…

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Calvert Establishes Veterans Affairs Commission

The Calvert Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has established a Veterans Affairs Commission to advise on issues affecting veterans and promote support services in the county. The Board unanimously approved the measure at their March 23rd meeting.  The new commission will work with the BOCC as well as other public and private entities to ensure representation of veterans in employment, education, training and public programs throughout the county. “Calvert County has strong and proud ties…

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Agricultural Land Preservation 2022 Easement Cycle Now Open

The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) is now accepting applications for the FY22 easement cycle. Landowners are encouraged to submit applications through their county preservation programs. Deadlines vary by county, but the State will review all applications after July 1, 2021. From the Department of Agriculture's press release: “Maryland’s beauty, history, and character is woven into its nearly 2 million acres of farmland,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Preserving our precious agricultural land in such…

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Jason Mitchell to Lead Baltimore City Department of Public Works

Today, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott announced the appointment of Jason Mitchell to serve as Director of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works. “Identifying committed, transformational leadership for the Department of Public Works has been a top priority since taking office. I am thrilled to welcome Jason Mitchell, a veteran public servant who cares deeply about building local governments that function better for our residents, to the City of Baltimore team,” said Mayor Brandon…

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PIA Body Camera Bill Passes Senate Committee for First Time

Last week, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted favorably on a bill that would update the Public Information Act (PIA) to create a necessary policy for the release of body camera footage. SB 690 - Public Information Act - Inspection of Records From Body-Worn Digital Recording Devices is a prior MACo initiative that had passed the House of Delegates several years in a row. The bill repeatedly encountered opposition in the Senate Committee, but this…

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Mayor Scott Announces Reform of City Procurement

Earlier this week, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced plans to reform the City's procurement process with a focus on equity.  Mayor Scott is fulfilling his promise to reform procurement operations in the city. The process began with a set of recommendations from the Mayor's transition team to revise procurement to increase transparency, small business access, timely vendor payment, and more. To start reforms, the administration is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for a comprehensive…

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EPA Seeking Nominations for Local Government Advisory Committee

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting nominations to serve on its Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC).  Members of the Committee advise EPA on a variety of topics including improving access to clean air and water, climate change response, greenhouse gas emission reduction, and more. Candidates must be current elected or appointed officials representing local, state, tribal or territorial governments. From the press release: “Local and state partnerships are vital to EPA’s mission of…

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