St. Mary’s Approves New Ordinance to Protect Waterways

Yesterday, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved a new resolution regulating non-stormwater discharges to the storm drain system. Commissioners approved the Pollution Prevention and Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination resolution after County staff completed a thorough stakeholder outreach to ensure the community was on board with the proposal. Outlined in the ordinance are methods for controlling pollutants into the sewer system and enforcement guidelines. The ordinance will take effect on January 4, 2021. From…

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Howard Recertifies Status in Federal Flood Program

Howard County recently recertified its class six status in the annual Community Rating System (CRS) with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Status within the CRS allows residents of that community to take advantage of discounted rates for flood insurance. Currently, because of the class six rating, Howard County residents are eligible for a 20 percent discount on premiums if they reside within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), and 10 percent if they do…

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CARES Funding Available for MD Fishing Industry

Maryland to Provide $3 Million in Direct Assistance to Commercial Seafood Industry The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) this week announced that applications will be available on November 4 for economic relief funds for the commercial seafood industry through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application will be available to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland…

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Feds Grant Maryland Over $20 Million for Drinking Water Projects

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Maryland will receive $20,170,000 for drinking water improvement projects. The funds will go to the State's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program that provides low interest loans to communities for projects such as upgrades to existing drinking water treatment facilities and water transmission line replacement. The grant will be met by $4 million in state matching funds. From the press release: “EPA’s continued commitment to…

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Anne Arundel Rolls Out Program to Buy Flood-Prone Homes

Anne Arundel County is coordinating a pilot program along with the City of Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to purchase properties that see frequent flooding. The program will use acquired properties to better protect other nearby areas from the impacts of frequent non-tidal or stormwater flooding, and give frustrated property owners a new option. The County has dedicated $1.3 million to the pilot program, and intends to purchase initially purchase only a few properties.…

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Offshore Seismic Testing Thwarted

Seismic air gun testing will not occur off the mid-Atlantic coast anytime soon after legal obstacles forced five companies to concede their permits which are set to expire next month. Oil and gas drilling companies use seismic air gun testing to find deposits of oil and natural gas below the ocean floor. High-powered air guns blast the ocean floor, and receivers trailing the watercraft measure the echoes. Many environmental groups have fought for years to…

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Anne Arundel Water Reclamation Facilities Earn National Awards

The Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works has received the received the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Peak Performance Awards for wastewater treatment excellence at all seven of the County's Water Reclamation Facilities. Several facilities received NACWA's highest award, peak performance platinum, which recognizes facilities demonstrating five consecutive years of 100 percent compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. The County's Broadwater facility has 28 consecutive years of perfect performance, and…

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Maryland Restaurant Piloting Waste Management Project

A Takoma Park restaurant is experimenting with a project to manage waste from food service containers. Takoma Beverage Company is piloting a program that will reduce waste from food service containers by extending producer responsibility and managing the products. Through mid-October, specific containers will be given to customers and reclaimed for sanitation and reuse. From coverage in Source of the Spring: “When participants order from the restaurant, they receive their food in specially designed containers,”…

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Congress Extends Chesapeake Bay Program

Last week, Congress approved a broad package of conservation initiatives including the extension of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program. The America's Conservation Enhancement Act includes several important provisions that reauthorizes the Bay Program for five additional years with a maximum allocation capped at $92 million per year. This year, Congress set aside $85 million for the program. Also reauthorized is the Chesapeake Gateways and Watertrails Network that works to connect people…

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Foam Ban Now In Effect

Maryland becomes the first state to implement a ban on food service establishments providing polystyrene containers. Starting today, food service establishments can no longer provide styrofoam containers to customers. During the 2019 General Assembly Session the legislature passed a bill that would prohibit food service establishments from giving out singe-use styrofoam containers to customers. The bill took effect July 1 of this year, but decreased traffic at restaurants throughout the state did not allow businesses and…

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