MDE Co-Hosts County Level CO2 Emissions Panel

MDE will co-host a panel (in-person and virtual) on June 1 that will highlight a new data tool for local governments to track CO2 emissions. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for Montgomery County, RMI, and Crosswalk Labs are pleased to invite you to a workshop to learn about A New Tool for Examining City and County Level CO2 Emissions. The tool, which is under development by Crosswalk Labs,…

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NACo Highlights Somerset Natural Gas Project

The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently highlighted a major natural gas project in Somerset County.  In a recent article, the National Association of Counties (NACo) highlighted an innovative natural gas project in Maryland's own Somerset County. Previously Somerset County was one of a handful of jurisdictions without access to natural gas. In 2020 County officials launched an initiative to bring natural gas to their community. By 2021 Somerset had a fully operational pipeline, bringing…

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Prince George’s Schools Embark on Ambitious Climate Action Plan

Prince George's County Public Schools approved an ambitious climate change action plan to lower the school system's carbon footprint and incorporate climate education into school curriculum. In total, the plan includes 58 recommendations stemming from a work group of diverse stakeholders. The Prince George's County Board of Education voted unanimously at its April 28 meeting to approve of a comprehensive plan and set of recommendations on how the school system can best help combat the…

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2022 Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards Nominations Open

The Maryland Department of Planning has officially opened nominations for the 2022 Sustainable Growth Awards.  The Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards celebrate significant achievements by individuals, businesses, organizations and local governments to realize the 12 planning visions adopted by the Maryland General Assembly. The annual awards promote exemplary work that represents or inspires collaboration, innovation, conservation, community impact and quality of life. The annual awards are presented by the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and are the highest level…

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Howard Unveils Massive Solar Array at Circuit Courthouse

Howard County this week turned on the first of 11 solar projects as part of the County’s Power Purchase Agreement. The agreement -- the largest of its kind in the state -- will generate 44,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year, covering more than 75 percent of the County’s energy demand at the same price point as current power sources. The PPA allows the County to buy power from solar arrays developed on County and private-owned land.…

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2022 Session: Recap and Wrap-Ups

Catch up on all of the latest outcomes of the 2022 Maryland General Assembly session with wrap-ups on important county-related bills in each policy area. This year, the Maryland General Assembly conducted a legislative session unlike any other due to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic. The unique circumstances surrounding the 444th legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates alike, with one chamber in-person and the other remote for…

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Federal “Building Better School Infrastructure Action Plan” and Grants to Help Modernize Schools

On April 4, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure to "upgrade our public schools with modern, clean, energy efficient facilities and transportation—delivering health and learning benefits to children and school communities, saving school districts money, and creating good union jobs." The Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure and accompanying federal grants "activates the entire federal government in leveraging investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan to…

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Anne Arundel Moving Forward on Two Solar and Renewable Energy Initiatives

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman recently announced two key solar and renewable energy initiatives. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman today announced two key solar and renewable energy initiatives. Executive Order 57 commits the county to purchasing 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 to run all government operations. The County Executive also signed Bill 19-22, paving the way for a public-private partnership with Ameresco to build a solar project on the closed Glen Burnie Landfill that will…

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NACo Breaks Down the Federal Spending Deal: Here’s How It Affects Counties

NACo helped steer many components of the recent $1.5 trillion federal spending agreement - their policy staff break down the components of this broad compromise that affect county governments across America, and here in Maryland. From the NACo write-up After almost six months since the beginning of the federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and after relying on a series of Continuing Resolutions (CRs), Congress reached a bipartisan agreement on a FY 2022 omnibus appropriations bill…

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MACo Opposes Overreaching Spending Requirements

On March 15, 2022, Associate Policy Director D'Paul Nibber submitted testimony to the House Health and Government Operations Committee in opposition to HB 1033 - Environment and Energy - Investment in Overburdened Communities. The bill would require state and local governments to direct at least 40% of overall spending, covering various environmental areas, toward overburdened communities. From the MACo testimony:  This bill is broad in both its scope and effect. By tying up nearly half of…

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