Carroll County Approves $1 Million For Stormwater Management Projects

A Stormwater Solutions article (2019-09-16) reported that the Carroll County Board of Commissioners designated almost $1 million to retrofit a stormwater management marsh at Shiloh Middle School and acquire three acres to expand a separate stormwater pond. The article indicated that the County awarded $958,300 to W.F. Delauter & Sons retrofit the marsh. From the article: Built in 2003, the marsh is no longer in compliance with storm water standards, Janet O’Meara, county watershed management…

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Kim Coble To Take Reins for MD League of Conservation Voters

Kim Coble, a well-known leader for years with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been appointed the new Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, an influential environmental group in Maryland policy. From the League of Conservation Voters website: Kim Coble, one of Maryland’s most respected environmentalists, will be the new executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. She will assume her new duties on October 15th. Kim was the unanimous choice of…

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Washington County Planning Commission Offers Recommendations on Solar Siting

A Herald-Mail Media article (2019-09-12) reported that the Washington County Planning Commission has offered recommendations on how to incentivize large solar projects on industrial spaces instead of prime farmland. The recommendations touched on tax breaks, requiring the use of buried transmission lines, and wildlife corridors. The County is seeking to revise its zoning for utility-scale (more than 2 megawatts) solar projects after a recent Maryland Court of Appeals decision found that the State, through the Public Service…

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EPA Finalizes “Waters of the US” Rule

The revised rule governing the "Water of the United States" definition - effectively establishing the scope of federal environmental regulations - has been published as final, to take effect in 60 days. Counties across the country had raised concerns that a 2015 proposed EPA rule would expand the scope of federal regulation far beyond navigable waterways, and potentially affecting waterways as small as agricultural drainage ditches. A 2019 proposed revision had been subject to public…

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Study Finds Sunscreen Chemicals, Antibiotics, & Endocrine-Disrupting Hormones in Chesapeake Oysters

A Bay Journal article (2019-09-11) reported that researchers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County have found ultraviolet (IV) ray filtering chemicals from sunscreen products, as well as antibiotics and endocrine-disrupting hormones in Chesapeake Bay oysters. The findings present another challenge to oyster and Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts and raise human health concerns. The article noted that the contaminants are introduced into the water system through shower and sink drains and end up in both Bay water…

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MAFSM Hosting 15th Annual Conference on Stormwater & Floodplain Management

The Maryland Association of Floodplain and Stormwater Managers (MAFSM) is hosting its 15th Annual Conference on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. The Conference will include a variety of stormwater and floodplain management sessions. In addition to the full conference on November 7, interested individuals can also register for a floodplain management training class on November 6 and the Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) exam on November 8. The training…

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MACo Needs County Participants for Renewable Energy Siting Advisory Committee

Currently there are three separate workgroups looking at renewable energy siting issues (primarily solar and wind) in Maryland and the work of these groups will likely result in legislation or policy changes that will directly affect local land use planning and taxing authority. MACo is active on all three of these workgroups and is seeking interested county participants to serve on a Renewable Energy Siting Advisory Committee that will help guide MACo's positions on this…

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Former Planning Secretary Criticizes “A Better Maryland”

Former Maryland Secretary of Planning Richard Hall criticized the state's new development plan, A Better Maryland, and recent Smart Growth efforts in a Baltimore Sun op-ed (2019-09-09). Hall served as planning secretary under the Martin O'Malley Administration and created the state's first development plan, PlanMaryland. Hall offered his view on the differences between the two plans, claiming that A Better Maryland was as substantive as a "funnel cake on the Ocean City Boardwalk." From the op-ed: What is the…

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Preemption Town Hall Set For September 19th

The LOCAL Maryland coalition, along with the NAACP, are presenting a public "town meeting" on state-level preemption - mark your calendars for Thursday evening, September 19, in Prince George's County. What is #preemption and how can it hurt your health and quality of life? Join us at the Prince George's NAACP Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 19 in Lanham to learn more about preserving the right of local governments to work for your needs. Questions?…

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Chesapeake Council Meets, PA “Upstream” Issues Still Linger

This week's meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, including several watershed areas states and chaired by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, brought continued focus to Pennsylvania's role in Bay pollution, and next steps in these tenuous interstate issues. The Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, created under the Chesapeake Bay Program to promote inter jurisdictional cooperation toward Bay restoration and cleanup goals, convened on September 5 for its annual meeting. The meeting was hosted in Oxon Hill,…

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