MACo Discusses County Energy Siting Issues With Governor’s Renewable Energy Task Force

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp discussed county solar siting issues before the Task Force on Renewable Energy and Siting on October 17. The Task Force was formed by Governor Larry Hogan earlier this year and will soon be preparing a preliminary report on renewable energy siting recommendations and legislation for the 2020 Session. The Presentation Knapp covered several topics in the presentation, including: the State's climate change and energy goals; MACo's general position…

Comments Off on MACo Discusses County Energy Siting Issues With Governor’s Renewable Energy Task Force
Multiple States Challenging EPA on WOTUS Definition Rollback, Air Emission Standards

A Maryland Independent article (2019-10-14) reported that multiple states, including Maryland, are challenging recent regulatory changes made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Clean Water Act, including repealing a change to the "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) definition and proposed limits to Section 401 of the Act, which allows states to block construction of interstate projects like pipelines or dams if they would damage local water quality. Waters falling under the WOTUS…

Comments Off on Multiple States Challenging EPA on WOTUS Definition Rollback, Air Emission Standards
Sun Editorial Urges Action Against Climate Change “Indifference” Based on Naval Academy Risk

A Baltimore Sun editorial (2019-10-14) expressed frustration about a perceived lack of interest in climate change effects in Maryland and urged the state and local communities to take action. The editorial was based on a recent article published by the U.S. Naval Institute discussing the potential of having to relocate the U.S. Naval Academy due to sea level rise. The Naval Institute article noted that the Academy is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it is located…

Comments Off on Sun Editorial Urges Action Against Climate Change “Indifference” Based on Naval Academy Risk
Federal Judge Allows Maryland’s MTBE Lawsuit Against Gasoline Companies to Move Forward

A Daily Record article (2019-10-08) reported that a federal District Court judge is allowing a Maryland lawsuit to proceed against various petroleum-related companies for environmental contamination from a gasoline additive. The article stated that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the lawsuit against more than 50 petroleum related companies in December, 2017. The suit alleged significant water contamination from the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which originated from leaking underground service station tanks. (MTBE is…

Comments Off on Federal Judge Allows Maryland’s MTBE Lawsuit Against Gasoline Companies to Move Forward
MDA Awarded $1 Million Grant to Promote Healthy Soil Practices

A Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) press release (2019-10-10) announced that MDA has been awarded a $1 million grant through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF) to promote healthy soil practices. Farms that adopt healthy soil practices can increase carbon sequestration and protect local and Chesapeake Bay water quality.  From the press release: “This grant will allow the department to expand its efforts in promoting the benefits of soil health for Maryland farmers and our…

Comments Off on MDA Awarded $1 Million Grant to Promote Healthy Soil Practices
Anne Arundel Holds Public Hearing on Contentious Forest Conservation Bill

A Bay Journal article (2019-10-8) reported that Anne Arundel County held a nearly three-hour public hearing on a contentious forest conservation bill introduced by County Executive Steuart Pittman. The article indicated that the bill was supported by environmental and civic groups and opposed by developers and the real estate industry. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Pittman introduced the bill in an effort to stem the loss of forest in the County. The County has lost 2,775 since…

Comments Off on Anne Arundel Holds Public Hearing on Contentious Forest Conservation Bill
Submit Your Questions Now for the #MACoCon Smart Growth Subcabinet Meeting

The Smart Growth Subcabinet will be meeting at the 2019 December MACo Winter Conference and answering your questions on land use, environment, transportation, and other important county issues. Let MACo know if you have a topic you want directly addressed at the meeting (see instructions near the end of this post.) A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet Description The Smart Growth Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. Its members (mostly…

Comments Off on Submit Your Questions Now for the #MACoCon Smart Growth Subcabinet Meeting
Circuit Court Holds Rogue Baltimore City Officers Acted Within “Scope of Employment”

A Baltimore Sun article (2019-10-04) reported that the Circuit Court has held Baltimore City liable for a $32,000 judgment against three former Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) police officers after they were found to have planted a gun on a person they arrested. The case highlighted the challenge of determining when a police officer is acting within the scope of their employment, thereby making the local government liable for their actions. If upheld on appeal, the case…

Comments Off on Circuit Court Holds Rogue Baltimore City Officers Acted Within “Scope of Employment”
MACo Talks Solar Across the State

As previously reported on Conduit Street, there are multiple workgroups studying the issue of renewable energy siting (especially utility-scale solar) that will result in policy recommendations and legislation for the 2020 Session. Over the past several weeks, MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp has participated in various workgroup meetings and meet with county officials about this ongoing issue. Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting Created by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan through Executive Order,…

Comments Off on MACo Talks Solar Across the State
MDLCV Releases 2019 Environmental Scorecard

A Maryland League of Conservation Voters (MDLCV) blog post (2019-10-03) announced the release of its 2019 Environmental Scorecard. The scorecard ranks Maryland senators and delegates based on key environmental votes they took during the 2019 Session.  The scorecard also displays individual senate and house legislative district ratings on a map. From the blog post: Maryland became the first state to pass a statewide ban on Styrofoam food service products, and Maryland is facing the climate crisis…

Comments Off on MDLCV Releases 2019 Environmental Scorecard
Close Menu