Worldwide Climate Teach-In Comes to Maryland in March

Maryland joins the 2023 worldwide Climate Teach-in and welcomes participation from local jurisdictions. The Worldwide Climate Change Teach-in  seeks to encourage conversations, literacy, and learning opportunities focused on climate change. This year, it will be commemorated around the world on or around March 29, 2023. The Maryland Commission on Climate Change is participating this year and is encouraging local jurisdictions to do the same. The Commission states: It's a powerful way for students and educators to talk about climate…

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Report Outlines Need for Low-Income Retrofits to Meet Climate Goals

A new report by a group of environmentally focused nonprofits outlines the need for investment in low-income housing retrofits.  Earthjustice, the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and Sierra Club Maryland recently released a report titled,"Charting a Pathway to Maryland’s Equitable Clean Energy Future: Electrification and Building Upgrades for Low-Income Residences." The report outlines the need for investment in retrofits for low-income households to meet the state's climate goals under Climate Solutions…

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Report: Offshore Wind Needs Domestic Supply Chain to Reach Goals

A report from The National Renewable Energy Laboratory along with other partners found that a domestic supply chain would make hitting the Biden administration’s 30-gigawatts-by-2030 target more likely. With two companies, Ørsted and US Wind, holding leases to erect and install offshore wind energy developments off the coast of Ocean City, company executives and state and local government officials anticipate Maryland becoming a regional hub for turbine construction and services. Maryland Matters has released coverage of an…

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“Think Regionally” – A Conversation with Montgomery Council Member Kate Stewart

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' podcast "Think Regionally" features its new Board Chair, Montgomery County Council Member Kate Stewart. The Council of Governments, or WashCOG to many, represents and serves the governments in the national capital area, and connects leaders across borders to help shape strong communities and a better region. Every month, more than a thousand officials and experts come to COG to make connections, share information, and develop solutions to the region’s…

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Counties: Weather Preparedness Initiative Should Include Multi-Unit Dwellings

On January 26, 2023, Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee in support of SB 0077 - Housing and Community Development - Homeowner's Extreme Weather Mitigation and Preparation Grant Program with amendments. The bill's cross-file, HB 0190, will be heard in the House Environment and Transportation Committee on February 2, 2023. By establishing the Homeowner's Extreme Weather Mitigation and Preparation Grant Program, SB 0077 would help homeowners, local…

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Washington County Picks up the PACE for Commercial and Industrial Properties

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) ordinance to join the statewide C-PACE program -- making the County eligible to participate in the Maryland Commercial PACE (MDPACE) program, administered by the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC). The PACE program allows access to low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency improvements to commercial and industrial properties. “With the passage of C-PACE, Washington County hopes to use this economic…

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Two Environmental Grant Opportunities with Millions in Funding Available

Please note that April 10, 2023, is the application deadline for these grants.   Environmental Justice Government-to-Government The Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program EJG2G Program (formerly known as the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement program) will provide an estimated total of $70 million in funding. Of this, $20 million will be for State governments to be used in conjunction with CBO partners, $20 million will be for local governments with CBO partners, $20 million will be…

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PA Lagging on Chesapeake Blueprint Implementation, Holding MD and VA Back

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2022 State of The Blue Print shows progress, but more work is needed.  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) recently released its 2022 State of The Blueprint. The report showed significant strides in meeting the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint by the 2025 implementation deadline. The Blueprint is a plan outlining pollution reduction targets for Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, the three states that make up 90% of the Chesapeake Bay’s pollution. https://twitter.com/chesapeakebay/status/1612495938794176512 Maryland and Virginia…

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EPA & Army Finalize Rule Defining Waters of the United States

The EPA and the US Army recently finalized rules defining WOTUS and restoring fundamental water protections.  Earlier this week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule establishing a durable definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to reduce uncertainty from changing regulatory definitions, protect people’s health, and support economic opportunity. The final rule restores essential water protections that were in place prior…

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State Supreme Court Upholds State Preemption on Solar Siting
courtesy of Maryland Court of Appeals
State Supreme Court Upholds State Preemption on Solar Siting

Earlier this month the Supreme Court of Maryland upheld state preemption on solar siting over local zoning policy.  The Maryland Supreme Court announced the decision in Frederick County v. Maryland Public Service Commission that uphold's the state's ability to preempt local zoning decisions when it comes to solar siting. This case upheld the ruling from Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, Maryland v. Perennial Solar, LLC, which established that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC)…

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