Increased Trail Traffic at Local Parks

As businesses temporarily close and teleworking increases, many residents are naturally spending less time outside their homes. In an effort to redress their daily schedules, many are visiting local parks to utilize trails and public outdoor areas. Local agencies are encouraging park visitors to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes maintaining safe distances from other visitors, refraining from participating in team sports, avoiding touching surfaces like playground equipment, and staying…

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Hogan Dedicates $175 million for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Governor Larry Hogan announced Monday that his administration is putting $175 million toward small businesses and nonprofits that face economic hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak. From the press release: The Maryland Department of Commerce will offer up to $125 million in loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofits through the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. A $75 million loan fund and a $50 million grant fund, with $1 million in grants…

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Coronavirus Changes Public Transportation Outlook

Temporary business closures, social distancing, quarantine practices, and teleworking are all leading to a decrease in demand for public transportation. The D.C. Metro is estimated to run a deficit of $50 million per month as ridership has declined significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and they have put more money into enhanced facility cleaning and basic personal protection equipment for their employees. Metro has responded to the decrease in demand by altering their…

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Maryland Issued “Mediocre” Rating for Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has given Maryland an overall 2020 infrastructure grade of C. The group gives Maryland high marks in areas like bridge resiliency and airport capacity but highlights issues with transit, citing an eight-year decline in ridership. ASCE issues grades in various infrastructure categories based on the following criteria: capacity, condition, operation and maintenance, funding, future need, public safety, resilience, and innovation. Consistent throughout the report are references to a…

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Local Agencies: Be Careful What You Flush

As citizens are making heightened efforts to promote clean environments for living and work, many are increasing the types of products they flush away. Local public works departments are asking residents to refrain from flushing products other than toilet paper as many products, including those labeled "flushable" can cause expensive system blockages. Due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus many residents may be tempted to dispose of disinfecting wipes by flushing them away. Additionally, toilet…

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Nevada Adopts Energy Storage Target
Wind Turbine & Solar Panels at Talbot County Bio-Solids Facility
Nevada Adopts Energy Storage Target

Nevada has set energy storage targets of 100MW by the end of 2020 and 1,000MW by 2030. They join five other states in adopting specific deployment goals. The Nevada Public Utilities Commission released a proposal in January, two years after the State's Legislature solicited a study on the benefits of energy storage. The Commission now requires that electric utilities in the state with gross annual operating revenue of $250 million or more incorporate energy storage…

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Tracking State Responses to Coronavirus

As state and local governments adapt to continually changing public health challenges presented by the novel coronavirus many are looking to see what measures have been implemented in other areas. States and local jurisdictions are taking a wide range of actions to combat coronavirus, from appropriating emergency funds for public health efforts, to activating their national guard units, closing schools, restricting employee travel, and placing different limits on gatherings. Several organizations including The National Conference…

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Comptroller Announces Tax Payment Deadline Extension

Marylanders will have extra time to pay their state taxes before incurring interest or penalties. Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Tuesday that his office is pushing back the due date for business and individual income tax payments to July 15th. From the press release: “Right now, Maryland taxpayers and businesses must stay focused on their health and keeping their lights on, both in their homes and businesses,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Extending the due date for Maryland…

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Bill Allowing Expanded Use of Bay Restoration Fund Passes Legislature

HB 1035 Bay Restoration Fund – Use of Funds – Municipal Wastewater Facilities has passed third reader in the Maryland Senate 45-0. This bill would not change the amount of funds placed in the Bay Restoration Fund, but would expand the authorized uses of funds to include costs associated with the connection of a property using an on-site sewage disposal system to an existing municipal wastewater facility that has signed a funding agreement with the…

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Bill Promoting Recycling Market Development Passes House

HB 1452 Department of the Environment – Office of Recycling – Recycling Market Development has passed the Maryland House of Delegates 133-0, and been referred to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. The bill requires that the Office of Recycling within the Maryland Department of the Environment identify new and existing markets for recycled commodities. This would be useful to county recycling programs that have seen the commodity market trend downwards since other…

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