Learn About the New Phase 3 WIP at Harry Hughes Center Information Sessions

The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology is hosting three information sessions and one webinar on the release of Maryland's Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The WIP details the actions that must be taken by the State and local governments to meet the 2025 nutrient pollution reduction goals under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. The sessions and webinar run from April to May 2019, and will include an overview of the draft…

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2019 End of Session Wrap-Up: Planning & Zoning

This post summarizes the status of various planning and zoning bills that MACo took a position on during the 2019 Regular Session. Planning and zoning is an integral function of county governments, and an area that spurs a high level of interaction with residents and business owners. In its planning and zoning advocacy, MACo seeks to protect the ability of local governments - those closest to the people and with the most insight into local…

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Ag Tire Event Collects More Than 379 Tons of Scrap Tires

Farmers across Cecil County recently participated in the 2019 Agricultural Tire Collection Event held at the Cecil County Central Landfill in Elkton. The event aims to collect scrap tires from Cecil County farms at no cost to the farmers. This year, more than 14,000 tires, weighing more than 379 tons, were collected March 1st-11th, with 73 different farms contributing. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), in conjunction with the Maryland Environmental Service and the…

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Conduit Street Podcast: “Spring Cleaning” Policy Roundup

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website. Useful Links Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Budget Conferees Reach Compromise on Spending Plan Previous Conduit Street Coverage: County and Legislative Leaders Push for Build to Learn Act Previous Conduit Street Coverage: $15…

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MET 2019 Land Conservation Conference & Symposium Includes Special Focus on Counties

Registration is now open for the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) 2019 Land Conservation Conference and Symposium. This year's conference runs from May 16 (Thursday) through May 17 (Friday) at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights. Friday is largely targeted towards counties and will include panels with local elected officials and county technical staff. Attendees can register for one or both days. From MET's webpage on the event: Each year, this Conference gathers the land…

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Preservation Maryland Hosting “Pop-up” Offices in Rural Counties

A Preservation Maryland blog post (2019-03-12) announced this it will be setting up temporary "pop-up" offices in rural areas of the State. The offices are designed to easily allow government officials and members of the public to receive information about and discuss land preservation issues in their part of the state. The endeavor is being funded by the Rural Maryland Council. The pop-up offices will be open from May 3 through June 5, depending on…

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Leadership Academy Offers Free Climate Change Training to County Officials

A Bay Journal article (2019-03-20) recounted the history and current status of Maryland's innovative Climate Leadership Academy. The Academy, the first of its kind in the nation, offers training to state and local governments employees on planning and responding to climate change. While governments are the target audience, other groups are also able to participate. Educational sessions offered by the Academy vary in length and duration. The article stated that the creation of the Academy was announced during…

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NACo Urges Counties to Comment on New WOTUS Rule

A National Association of Counties (NACo) policy brief (2019-02-25) urged counties to comment on the recently proposed "Waters of the US" (WOTUS) definition under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). NACo urged counties to provide comments on how the proposed rule will affect county infrastructure, such as road ditches, flood control channels, bridge projects, stormwater drainage systems, and wastewater facilities. Comments are due by April 15. A water way designated as a WOTUS is subject…

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Status of Solar Legislation: Sunny Days or Full Eclipse?

Solar development, particularly the siting of utility scale solar facilities that produce more than 2 Megawatts of power, remains an ongoing issue at both the state and county level. This article summarizes the status of seven different solar bills in the waning days of the 2019 Session. Status of Solar Legislation in the 2019 Session HB 532/SB 744 Protecting Natural Resources and Preserving Productive Farms - Commission on the Development of a Blueprint for Solar…

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Passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act Likely, But Maybe Not This Year

A Maryland Matters article (2019-03-06) discussed whether the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 1158/SB 516) would pass this year despite it being a priority of the environmental community. The article laid out reasons against passage this year but stated it will very likely pass during this term. The Clean Energy Jobs Act would increase the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030 (meaning that half of Maryland's energy must come from renewable sources). The bill…

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