EPA Unveils New Waters of the United States Definition

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) unveiled a new proposed "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) definition on December 11, 2018. The WOTUS definition under the federal Clean Water Act determines what waterways are subject to the Act's protections and permitting requirements. The proposed definition will replace a controversial 2015 change to the definition that caused concern for many local governments and agricultural interests. History of WOTUS Definition…

Comments Off on EPA Unveils New Waters of the United States Definition
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…

Comments Off on Carbon Tax Bill Introduced in House of Representatives
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…

Comments Off on Both Farmers & Environmentalists Concerned as Phosphorus Limits Ramp Up
Talk Land Use, Environment & Transportation with Smart Growth Subcabinet at #MACoCon

The Smart Growth Subcabinet is holding court at the 2019 January MACo Winter Conference. This is your chance to hear about land use, environment, transportation and other important county issues directly from Cabinet secretaries and other key Administration decisionmakers. 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…

Comments Off on Talk Land Use, Environment & Transportation with Smart Growth Subcabinet at #MACoCon
State Holding Phase III WIP Regional Workshops for Local Governments

In a joint press release (2018-11-08), the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology announced that several state agencies are hosting a series of regional workshops for local governments on the state's pending Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The WIP will guide both Maryland and its local governments on the third and final phase for achieving water pollution reduction goals under the Chesapeake Bay…

Comments Off on State Holding Phase III WIP Regional Workshops for Local Governments
Solar Siting Preemption Case Now Precedent

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has now released a precedent-setting opinion, Board of County Commissioners of Washington County v. Perennial Solar, LLC, which holds that the state can preempt local zoning when granting approval for the siting of a large scale solar project. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Court issued a decision in late August which held that state law allows the Public Service Commission (PSC) to preempt by implication the zoning of…

Comments Off on Solar Siting Preemption Case Now Precedent
DNR Fact Sheet Highlights Technical, Financial Aid Available to Meet New Local Coast Smart Requirements

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently released a helpful fact sheet that highlights new county building requirements for constructing structures in areas subject to sea level rise or coastal flooding and development of a plan to address nuisance flooding. The fact sheet also identifies available technical and financial assistance to help meet these new requirements. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in 2018 (HB 1350/SB 1006) that: (1) starting…

Comments Off on DNR Fact Sheet Highlights Technical, Financial Aid Available to Meet New Local Coast Smart Requirements
Online Tool Shows Climate Change Effects for Every Maryland County

A Bay Journal article (2018-10-29) reported that Cornell University has created new online tool that provides a county-by-county breakdown on the current and future effects of climate change with respect to temperature and precipitation. For most counties within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the tool shows that more recent years are hotter and subject to more precipitation. The tool, called Climate Smart Farming (CSF) is designed to show how the climate has changed in the Northeastern United States…

Comments Off on Online Tool Shows Climate Change Effects for Every Maryland County
Food Recovery Summit Tackles Food Waste and Composting Issues

The Mid-Atlantic Food Recovery Summit and Eighth Annual Food Day tackled the challenging issues of reducing food scraps from the solid waste stream. The Summit was hosted by Bowie State University, in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on October 24 and drew several hundred attendees. MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp attended. As part of the opening comments, Maryland Secretary of the Environment…

Comments Off on Food Recovery Summit Tackles Food Waste and Composting Issues
Bay Journal Special Series 4 of 4: The Long Voyage Ahead

The fourth and final Bay Journal article (2018-10-18) in a special series looking at the Chesapeake Bay ended with a cautionary but optimistic assessment of Bay Restoration efforts. The article summarized the positive progress that has been made and stressed that many of the pollution reductions undertaken now will not show their impact until years or decades from now. The article noted that some scientists believe the Bay is at a "tipping point" where a little…

Comments Off on Bay Journal Special Series 4 of 4: The Long Voyage Ahead
Close Menu