Bay Debris Cleanup Ongoing From Summer Storms

A Bay Journal article (2018-12-05) reported on the ongoing cleanup of debris and trash that flooded into the Chesapeake Bay from summer storms that occurred back in July. Debris poses not only a navigation and safety threat to boats but can foul restoration efforts undertaken by the State and local governments. According the article, 2018 is on track to be one of the wettest years ever record in the mid-Atlantic region, with Baltimore City receiving 59 inches…

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Carbon Tax Bill Introduced in House of Representatives

A Sustainable Cities Network article (2018-12-04) reported on the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the United States House of Representatives that would set a nationwide price and refund system for carbon emissions. Many climate change advocates support a carbon tax as a market driven approach to address climate change. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 (H.R.7173) is sponsored by Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), Francis Rooney (D-FL), Charlie Christ (R-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Anna…

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Orientation Begins For New General Assembly Members

A Maryland Reporter article (2018-12-05) reported that newly elected members of the Maryland General Assembly started their two day orientation Wednesday, December 5. There are 18 new Senators out of 47 and 42 new Delegates out of 141, although some had previously served as a legislator and are either moving to a new house or returning after an absence. The article described the advice General Assembly leadership gave to new members: “Compromise is not a dirty word,”…

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Get the Latest on Parks & Rec Issues & Controversies at #MACoCon

County park and recreation departments must juggle many different policy balls while providing your county with recreation, health, and economic benefits. Learn more about the benefits county park and rec departments bring to your residents and budget and the challenges they face at the 2019 January MACo Winter Conference. More Than a TV Show: The Real Issues of "Parks and Recreation" Description The hit television show “Parks and Recreation” highlighted the challenges facing county parks and…

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Both Farmers & Environmentalists Concerned as Phosphorus Limits Ramp Up

A Bay Journal article (2018-11-28) reported that as regulations limiting the amount of phosphorus that can be applied to farmland are fully phased in, both farmers and environmentalists are expressing concerns about the potential consequences. Farmers are concerned about the problem of disposing of phosphorus-rich poultry litter that has traditionally been used as a fertilizer and the high cost of alternative fertilizers. Environmentalists are concerned about improving the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries…

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Waste to Energy Plant in City & State Legislative Crosshairs

A Baltimore Sun article (2018-11-30) reported that legislation proposed by the Baltimore City Council and the Maryland General Assembly will target the City's waste to energy plant/trash incinerator. Proponents of the legislation argued that the plant produces significant amounts of air pollution and contributes to climate change. Opponents countered that waste to energy is environmentally better than landfilling, produces electricity more cleanly than fossil fuels, and that motor vehicles generate far more air pollution in the City…

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Rascovar Praises Mohler’s Term as Baltimore County Executive

Columnist Barry Rascovar summarized the short tenure of Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler in a Political Maryland op-ed (2018-11-26). Mohler stepped into the Executive role after the sudden and unexpected death of former County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Mohler's term will end in early December, when incoming County Executive John “Johnny O” Olszewski, Jr. assumes the office. Mohler will have served as County Executive  total of 195 days. In the op-ed, Rascovar praised Mohler for the stability…

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Survey Finds Millennial Homeownership Up, Student Debt Remains a Burden

    A Route 50 article (2018-11-26) reported on the results of a recent survey which found that millennial home ownership rates are increasing despite continuing financial burdens from student debt. The survey was conducted by the company Research Now on behalf of the professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. From the article: But a report about the results also points to estimates indicating that 80 percent of people in this age bracket say student…

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Do China’s Recycling Restrictions Spell Trouble for Maryland Counties? Learn the Answer at #MACoCon

China was previously the largest recycling processor in the world, accepting imports from Maryland counties and local governments across the United States. Now, China has initiated a new "National Sword" policy that may close this market - leaving our recycling collections without a place to be processed. Learn more about this pressing national and local challenge at the 2019 January MACo Winter Conference. Trash Backlash: Will Going Green Put Us in the Red? Description Maryland…

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Board of Public Works Awards $74 Million for Local Water Projects

A Chesapeake Bay Magazine article (2018-11-19) reported that the Maryland Board of Public Works has approved $74 million in wastewater and sewage treatment projects. The projects will address local water quality and help in Chesapeake Bay Restoration efforts. While most of the funding will go to Baltimore City, other counties with approved projects include: Allegany, Caroline, Frederick, and Garrett Counties. From the article: “These are smart investments to protect public health and the environment while saving money…

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