Howard Announces Second Round of Rent Relief Funding

Last Friday, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced a second round of "HoCo RISE" rental assistance funding, with an additional $800,000 in CARES Act funds to support residents struggling to pay rent because of the pandemic. Beginning on Oct. 5, Howard County residents can apply for up to three months of assistance to pay past due rent. The additional $800,000 of funding available will add to the already disbursed nearly $1.6 million granted in round…

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New Waste Management Report Identifies Gaps in Plastic Recycling Infrastructure

A September report from waste disposal and recycling giant Waste Management (WM) shows issues with recycling infrastructure in the United States. According to the report, the northeastern United States have very few reclamation facilities for some common types of plastic such as polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The report notes that there are only four PET reclamation facilities, and no PP reclamation facilities northeast of Virginia. This leaves one of the most densely populated…

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Worcester Awarding COVID-19 Relief Grants to Small Businesses

Worcester County Economic Development is encouraging small businesses and farmers to apply for the next round of their Workforce Back to Business COVID-19 Assistance Grant Program. Worcester County awarded over $1 million in the first round of grants, and is accepting applications for round two until September 18. Farmers and small businesses including sole proprietors with no employees are eligible for the grants that will be awarded in $2,500 increments. Funding for the grants comes…

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MEA Launches More Than $5 Million in Resilient Clean Energy Grants

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is launching more than $5 million in grants across three separate programs to support resilient and clean energy projects. Fiscal Year 2021 programs now accepting applications include: Combined Heat and Power (CHP), Parking Lot Solar PV Canopy, and Resilient Maryland. The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Grant Program will offer $3.3 million through in two rounds, with the first application due on October 2, 2020. CHP systems are best used…

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EPA Facing Multiple Lawsuits Over Failure to Enforce Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

A coalition being led by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and including Anne Arundel County is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to hold Pennsylvania and New York accountable for inadequate pollution reduction plans. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, along with other state Attorneys General from Delaware, Virginia, and Washington D.C. are filing a separate suit. The coalition is following through on its notice of intent to sue EPA they filed back…

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Howard Grants Nearly $750k to Live Venues and the Arts Community

Today, County Executive Calvin Ball announced nearly $750,000 in grants for Howard County live venues and arts community that have been impacted by the pandemic. Artists, concert venues, and non-profit arts organizations have lost revenue as many performances, classes, and commissions have been put on hold due to the pandemic.  In response, Howard County has organized HoCo RISE Live Theatre and Artist Relief Funds to support local establishments like Merriweather Post Pavilion, as well as…

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Montgomery Launches $20 Million COVID Rent Relief Program

Today, Montgomery County officials launched the second phase of the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program with an additional $20 million. The program will utilize federal CARES Act funding to provide financial assistance to qualifying residents. In the first phase, the County awarded $1 million, and the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has maintained an active waitlist while streamlining the process for those requesting assistance. From the press release: Eligible renters must certify that…

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DHCD Opens $16 Million in Eviction Prevention Grants to Jurisdictions

Today, Governor Hogan and the the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced that they are opening the application period for $16 million in Eviction Prevention Partnership grants to support local rental assistance programs. Maryland's counties, and Baltimore City can now submit their applications for a portion of $16 million in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to help local programs with eviction prevention. In the first wave of funding, DHCD released $2.2…

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Carroll Contemplating Community Solar Zoning Changes

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners recently approved a zoning code amendment that would allow community solar projects on agricultural remainders between five and 20 acres. The amendment heads to the County's planning and zoning commission for final approval. Community solar allows consumers the option of purchasing solar energy produced by smaller solar arrays through subscriptions. This gives residents access to clean energy without having to install panels on their own property. In Maryland, community…

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Howard Grants Maryland Legal Aid $60k to Support Residents Facing Eviction

Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced that the County is providing $60,000 to Maryland Legal Aid (MLA) to assist residents facing eviction and other legal challenges as a result of the pandemic. Many Marylanders are facing evictions due to financial challenges presented by the financial crisis resulting from the pandemic. Following an end to the state eviction moratorium, and with advocates suggesting there are loopholes in the newly issued federal moratorium, many are concerned…

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