Bay Grasses Expected to Decline Due to 2018 Rainfall

A Bay Journal article (2019-08-21) reported that sections of the Chesapeake Bay's aquatic grasses are expected to decrease this year in response to heavy rains that caused increased nutrient and sediment runoff in 2018. The article noted that initial reviews of the 2019 aerial Bay grass survey show "significant losses" of widgeon grasses in the Mid Bay region, which has the most underwater grass beds in the Bay. Eelgrass beds in the Lower Bay also appear to…

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Agreement Reached Between States & Major Telcomm Companies on Fighting Robocalls

A Daily Record article (2019-08-22) reported that a coalition of all 50 states and Washington D.C. have reach an agreement with 12 phone companies on fighting illegal robocalls. The article noted that robocalls are a frequent source of consumer complaints, both within Maryland and nationally. The agreement was the result of a bipartisan effort. Telecommunication companies that signed onto the agreement included AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. A robocall is a call made with an autodialer and…

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Anne Arundel Executive Looks to Strengthen County Forest Conservation Protections

An Anne Arundel County press release (2019-08-21) announced that County Executive Steuart Pittman plans on introducing legislation to strengthen the County's forest conservation law. Pittman is taking this action in the light of recent forest losses within the County. From the press release: “Forests are tremendously important to our county,” said County Executive Pittman. “Trees reduce air pollution, soak up stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat and help fight climate change. For decades, we’ve made it…

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Learn About Ag Production Challenges at “What’s That Smell?” Workshops

A University of Maryland Extension news release (2019-08-19) announced that Chesapeake College and the Lower Shore American Job Center will host several one-day workshops for local officials about current challenges facing agriculture in Maryland. From the news release: The “What’s That Smell?” Understanding Modern Agriculture and What Officials Need to Know Workshops will be held September 17, 2019, at the Higher Education Center at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills and on October 10, 2019, at…

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Governor Hogan Creates Task Force on Renewable Energy Development & Siting

A press release (2019-08-14) from the Office of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that Hogan had signed a new executive order creating a Governor's Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting. The Task Force will study how renewable energy generation projects, such as solar and wind, should be sited in the state and ways to streamline the project approval process. From the press release: “In my most recent State of the State address, I…

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Hogan Talks Education, Land Use, & Rural Broadband at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan gave the closing address to the 2019 MACo Summer Conference on August 17, touching on a variety of issues including: economic growth, land use, rural broadband, and education. Referencing the conference theme of “Winds of Change,” Hogan stated that “we have brought real and lasting change to Maryland.”   Economic Growth Hogan stated that Maryland has had “the biggest economic turnaround in America” and has gone from losing more than 100,000…

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Surviving an Active Shooter Situation at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

Attendees to the 2019 MACo Summer Conference learned how to survive an active shooter situation during the “Active Shooter Response Training” panel on August 17. Harford County Sheriff’s Office Sniper Section Coordinator and Deputy First Class Thomas Wehrle conducted the class and defined an “active shooter situation” as when an individual is actively engaged in killing and is not when the shooter is dead, not killing, or barricaded. Most active shooter incidents are over in…

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Bay Restoration Progress & Phase III WIPs Debated at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

Different perspectives were offered on Maryland’s new Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) during the “Endgame: Can Our Phase III WIP Meet Our Bay Restoration Goals?” panel on August 16 at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles presented an overview of the WIP approval process. Maryland is waiting on final comment and approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Grumbles noted that Pennsylvania’s draft Phase III WIP…

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2019 Summer #MACoCon Highlights County Recycling Challenges

Attendees to the 2019 MACo Summer Conference received important updates on recycling and composting during the “Reduce, Reuse…Now What?” panel on August 16. Panelists discussed the state of the national recycling economy, the current state of composting in Maryland, and recent changes to recycling facility regulations. Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Land and Materials Director Kaley Laleker discussed pending regulations that would clarify how recycling facilities handle solid waste that is often mixed in…

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Moving Towards a Clean Energy Future at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

The panel “Keeping Clean Energy Green Energy” on August 15 at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference examined Maryland’s transition to clean energy and explored what it means for county government infrastructure and land use policies. Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles reiterated that the state’s pending Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act plan requires Maryland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 from 2006 levels and prepares for a future reduction goal of 80%.…

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