EPA Interstate Air Pollution Enforcement Challenged by Maryland & Others

A Bay Journal article (2019-02-11) reported that separate coalitions of environmental groups and East Coast states have launched legal challenges against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its lack of enforcement on interstate air pollution regarding power plant emissions. EPA has struggled to address the problems caused by interstate air pollution and recently declined several petitions to take action. Due to its location and weather patterns, Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay are particularly susceptible…

Comments Off on EPA Interstate Air Pollution Enforcement Challenged by Maryland & Others
2019 Environmental Summit Showcases Solar, “Green” Amendment, & Enforcement Legislation

The 25th annual Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit unveiled the key priorities of the environmental community for the 2019 Session. Their legislative initiatives included: (1) passing the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs initiative, which among other things would increase the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS); (2) putting a healthy "green" constitutional amendment on the ballot; (3) enacting a state Styrofoam ban for food service products; and (4) ensuring adequate environmental funding in the State budget and enforcement…

Comments Off on 2019 Environmental Summit Showcases Solar, “Green” Amendment, & Enforcement Legislation
MACo Supports a Smart Growth Investment Fund

MACo's Policy and Legal Counsel, Les Knapp, testified in support for SB 003, Maryland Smart Growth Investment Fund, February 5, 2019. This bill establishes a Smart Growth Investment Fund through the Department of Commerce. The workgroup recommending this fund is also recommending the creation of public-private investments for sustainable communities or areas designated for transit-oriented development. The bill calls for: a one-time State investment of $7 million a private investment of at least $18 million…

Comments Off on MACo Supports a Smart Growth Investment Fund
Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Solar Preemption Case

A Herald Mail-Media article (2019-02-06) reported that the Maryland Court of Appeals has agreed to review a lower court decision (Board of County Commissioners of Washington County v. Perennial Solar) which held that Public Service Commission (PSC) could preempt local zoning when approving a large-scale solar project (more than 2 megawatts). The specific contested project is 42,000-panel array that would occupy about 86 acres and generate 8-megawatts near Cearfoss Circle in Washington County. As previously reported on…

Comments Off on Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Solar Preemption Case
Animal Manure Anaerobic Digesters Continue to Work Out the Kinks

A Bay Journal article (2019-02-06) examined the ongoing struggles to use anaerobic digestion technology in the disposal of animal and poultry manure on Maryland's farms. Despite millions of dollars of State investment, no project has yet proven profitable or sustainable. However, even the failed projects provide important lessons as anaerobic digestion slowly moves to the United States. Anaerobic digestion is a process where microorganisms break down biodegradable material, such as animal waste or sewage sludge, without oxygen.…

Comments Off on Animal Manure Anaerobic Digesters Continue to Work Out the Kinks
Do “Green Energy” Alternatives Have a Transparency Problem?

A radio feature discusses Maryland's experience since the 1999 deregulation of electric purchasing, and finds inconsistent pricing among "cleaner" alternatives On Baltimore public radio station WYPR's regular feature The Environment In Focus, host Tom Pelton discussed Maryland's experience with de-regulated purchasing of electricity, enacted in 1999. From the website containing both the audio feed and the text of the feature: The whole point of the law was to make electricity cheaper for average folks. The…

Comments Off on Do “Green Energy” Alternatives Have a Transparency Problem?
Climate Change Poses New Nitrogen, Phosphorus Challenges to Bay Restoration

A Bay Journal article (2019-01-30) examined how climate change will affect ongoing Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. The article stated that additional nitrogen and phosphorus reduction targets will be added to the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in 2021 to address the additional precipitation and storm severity predicted due to climate change. From the article: When it comes to runoff, “flow is fate,” said Lewis Linker, modeling coordinator with the state-federal Bay Program partnership. More rain moves…

Comments Off on Climate Change Poses New Nitrogen, Phosphorus Challenges to Bay Restoration
Conowingo, PMT & Green Amendment Among Waterkeepers Chesapeake 2019 Initiatives

A Waterkeepers Chesapeake post (2018-01-30) outlined the group's 2019 Maryland environmental priorities, including the Conowingo Dam, the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT), and a "Green" constitutional amendment. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is a coalition group of 18 waterkeeper programs from throughout the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays area. The group supports Bay and water quality initiatives both at the local level through grassroots action and advocacy and regionally through leveraging its members' strengths and capacities. Waterkeepers Chesapeake also…

Comments Off on Conowingo, PMT & Green Amendment Among Waterkeepers Chesapeake 2019 Initiatives
Chesapeake Bay Gets Its Annual “Fiscal” Checkup

A far-reaching legislative analysis reviews both fiscal and policy issues related to the Chesapeake Bay Each year, among its many agency-by-agency budget analyses, the Department of Legislative Services has presented a review of the Chesapeake Bay. Bay programs stretch across multiple agencies, as well as local governments, and the report is a tidy spot for deep information on the status of Bay programs - both monetary- and results-oriented. The federally-mandated Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)…

Comments Off on Chesapeake Bay Gets Its Annual “Fiscal” Checkup
Haddaway-Riccio Tapped To Lead DNR

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, a senior Hogan aide, has been named the new Secretary for Natural Resources A very familiar face to county leaders, Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio will now lead the Department of Natural Resources. The advancement comes from her prior role as Deputy Chief of Staff under Governor Hogan. She had previously served as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations, and had continued in a high-visibility role with local governments even as she advanced within the Administration. She…

Comments Off on Haddaway-Riccio Tapped To Lead DNR
Close Menu