NJIT Offers Two Free Brownfield Training Sessions




The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is offering two one-day training sessions on brownfield redevelopment on August 1 and 2 in Catonsville, MD. The courses are part of NJIT’s Technical Assistance to Brownfield Communities Program (TAB).

TAB Background

Basic background on the program is provided by an NJIT TAB Flyer:

NJIT provides free technical assistance to state, regional, county, tribal, and local government entities and nonprofit organizations interested in learning about, identifying, assessing, cleaning up, and redeveloping brownfield sites in EPA Region 1 (New England), Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic), and Region 4(Southeast).

Types of Assistance provided by NJIT TAB include (but are not limited to):

  • Guidance on funding opportunities
  • Explaining laws and regulations
  • Navigating regulatory programs
  • Consultant Procurement (review of draft RFPs, creation of evaluation criteria, consultant selection)
  • Review and critique of grant applications
  • Interpretation of technical and scientific reports and data (such as site characterization results)
  • Development of Strategic Plans
  • Development of community specific site evaluation and prioritization processes
  • Development of Corridor Assets and Needs Studies
  • Development of Site Redevelopment Visions
  • Explaining clean-up technologies
  • Design and conduct of community engagement activities
  • Educational workshops such as Brownfields 101
  • Seminars, Webinars, and Boot Camps on specific brownfield related topics
  • Community planning and visioning workshops
  • All-EPA Brownfield grantee meetings
  • And much more!

All services under TAB are provided free of charge.

Brownfield Basics Seminar

Date & Time: August 1, 2018, 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Location: 5522 Research Park Dr. Catonsville, MD 21228

Basic Information from the Brownfield Basics Flyer:

WHAT:  Join us in learning about Brownfields, methods for grant writing, and funding sources available for brownfield redevelopment.

WHO:  This workshop is open to Communities and non-profit groups from the Mid-Atlantic area interested in learning about Brownfields and federal funding programs to support Brownfields revitalization community efforts.

The cost of the seminar is free but attendees must register in advance.

Brownfields Green Infrastructure Boot Camp

Date & Time: August 2, 2018, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Location: 5522 Research Park Dr. Catonsville, MD 21228

Basic information from the Brownfields Green Infrastructure Flyer:

WHAT: This boot camp will be a hands-on session which will provide attendees with an understanding of the challenges, applications, techniques, and benefits of using Green Infrastructure (GI) on any project site, including the challenges of implementing GI on brownfield sites.

WHO: This boot camp seeks to engage community stakeholders, municipal officials, redevelopment authority staff, and planners.

There is no cost for the boot camp but attendees must register in advance.

If you have questions about TAB or either of the sessions, please contact Gary White at gwhite@njit.edu.

MDLCV Releases Vision 2025 Environmental Issue Guide

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters (MDLCV) Education Fund released its Vision 2025: 2018 Issue Guide on June 6, 2018. The guide details issues that will be important to the environmental community during the 2019 Session and beyond. From the guide’s introduction:

Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is dedicated to building the effectiveness of the environmental community by maximizing participation of conservation-minded individuals in public policy decisions. We are proud to present this guide to help Marylanders understand the issues facing our state over the next four years. …

Whoever is governor will oversee an administration that will determine our role as citizens of a global community, as well as the future of our citizens’ health, safety, and quality of life. The goals we reach in 2025 will be set in motion by the decisions our public servants make in the upcoming legislative session.

The guide provides a broad outline of issues that MDLCV and other participating environmental groups view as priorities in order to meet their Vision 2025 goals. These issues and goals include:

  • Setting the stage for 100% clean energy
    • Making Maryland a leader in clean, renewable energy
    • Ensuring the completion of the first large-scale Off-shore Wind farm on the East Coast
    • Building a clean energy workforce
    • Moving towards a clean transportation system, including improved public transit and electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Fishable, swimmable, drinkable state waters, and a healthier Bay Watershed
    • Improved bay ecosystem, including oyster sanctuaries and marine life
    • Smarter development policies that protect forests and open space
    • Reduced run-off from septics and agriculture
    • Conowingo Dam solution involving a federal and multi-state partnership
    • Accelerated progress in meeting targets to protect the health of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Improved health outcomes in all communities through reduced environmental degradation
    • Improved health in communities of color
    • Cleaner communities with reduced trash
    • Higher quality of life through sustainable development
  • Aggressive enforcement of environmental regulations through professionally led, well-staffed, appropriately funded state agencies.
    • Restored funding to enforcement agencies
    • Improved metrics on enforcement outcomes
    • Reduced recidivism of pollution violators
    • Renewed emphasis on protection of sensitive species, including oysters
  • An educated, energized, engaged electorate, reflecting the diversity of Maryland’s population
    • Public financing of elections
    • Improved voter access
    • Strengthened voter education

The guide also includes critical dates for the 2018 election and voter registration information. It does not include specific political endorsements.

Lower Crime, Fewer Foreclosures, Faster Permitting…Data Tracking Contributes to County Performance

Prince George’s County’s transforming neighborhoods initiative has contributed to positive results through a CountyStat program focused on gathering and analyzing information from 3-1-1 calls and other sources.

The National Association of Counties article, Building Trust: Performance Metrics in Counties, profiles performance management programs in county governments in Maryland, North Carolina, and Illinois.

NACo writes:

Counties across the country are in a continuous process of performance improvement. From running local health departments to overseeing elections, counties deliver a variety of services and represent an industry of half a trillion dollars in annual operations. Performance metrics have become especially important for counties in face of rising state and federal mandates, decreasing funding shared by states with counties and multiplying state limitations on counties’ ability to raise revenue.

The presentation by Prince George’s CountyStat Director Ben Birge shared several ways that his county program has been able to deliver results, including public safety and customer service outcomes.

Screenshot 2018-06-12 10.17.17
Prince George’s CountyStat program offers service improvements based on data analysis.

MACo’s Summer Conference will include an Open Government and Data Work Group Roundtable, led by Mike Morello of the Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement, and Ben Birge of Prince George’s County Stat.

The conversation at MACo will include insight into how counties can improve outcomes and increase efficiency with existing resources and select the best targets for results from county performance tracking.

Screenshot 2018-06-12 19.57.09
The National Association of Counties survey found that data collection and metric identification to be top hurdles to county government performance improvement programs.

The National Association of Counties found that the biggest hurdles to data analysis for county governments were data gathering and identifying metrics. At MACo, the Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement will offer Round Table will bring forward for conversation:

  • Free data available from the State of Maryland, and
  • Metrics that make the biggest difference to your county’s bottom line

The Round Table will be held on Wednesday, August 15, from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm at the Roland E Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. To attend the Open Government Work Group Round Table, register for the MACo Summer Conference. Daily registration options are available.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Reinvest Maryland 2.0 Unveiled

MDP logo

A Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) press release (2018-06-05) announced the release of Reinvest Maryland 2.0. The report is an update of the original Reinvest Maryland and provides a toolkit for assisting local governments in infill, redevelopment and revitalization projects. The report also includes studies that are applicable in urban, suburban, and rural areas.  From the press release:

The Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission (Commission) and the Department of Planning (Planning) today released Reinvest Maryland 2.0, a report that provides resources for all levels of government to work together, strengthen collaborative efforts to support revitalization and reinvestment, and engage stakeholders in supporting Maryland’s communities to improve the quality of life.

The report examines redevelopment in Maryland and identifies tools, case studies and best practices that support redevelopment and revitalization in existing communities. …

Reinvest Maryland 2.0 addresses all aspects of the redevelopment process, including: Promoting Reinvestment; Regulatory Reform; and Financing Tools and Programs. It also includes a set of Policy Recommendations.

The Commission and its workgroups collaborated closely with Planning, which staffs the commission, as well as other state agencies, to: identify best practices in Maryland communities; identify, review and refine the recommendations; and communicate with local officials and practitioners to identify and share the most effective planning tools and resources.

The extensive research provided insight into the best ways to create vibrant places with a range of housing, employment and transportation options in Maryland, as well as identifying strategies to overcome the challenges that communities face with redevelopment. “We must continue to provide technical assistance and resources that support reinvestment initiatives in Maryland’s great communities,” said Commission Chairman Susan Summers. “Reinvest Maryland 2.0 outlines recommendations to help us grow smarter and improve quality of life.”

Planning will build upon this work with the Reinvest Maryland website, as a onestop source of redevelopment information in Maryland, and solicit additional case studies and information from local communities and practitioners to support the educational efforts of the Commission’s workgroups.

“This has been a great team effort and the new Reinvest Maryland 2.0 website provides an interactive experience for Maryland’s stakeholders,” said Secretary of Planning Robert McCord.

Special Secretary of Smart Growth Wendi Peters noted, “With Governor Hogan’s leadership, we are continuing to assist communities and change Maryland for the better.”

The report includes a series of policy recommendations broken down into several categories. The categories include:

  • Establishing a Vision for Reinvestment
  • Creating and Better Funding Innovative, Effective Reinvestment Programs
  • Identifying and Addressing Regulations and Policies that may Impede Reinvestment
  • Deploying Targeted Financial Tools
  • Promoting Equitable Development
  • Encouraging Excellence in Community Design and Preservation
  • Using Metrics to Gauge Success and Drive Reinvestment
  • Accelerating Transit-Oriented Development

In addition to the basic report and case studies, MDP has created an interactive website that provides further information on case studies, contacts for technical assistance, and a toolbox that allows users to navigate and connect with more than 100 state and federal redevelopment and infill programs.

Useful Links

Reinvest Maryland 2.0 Report

Reinvest Maryland 2.0 Interactive Website

Growth Commission Presents 2018 Sustainable Growth Awards

The Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission presented its 2018 Sustainable Growth Awards in Annapolis on June 4, 2018. The awards highlight individuals, groups, programs, or projects that further the principles of smart and sustainable growth. From a Commission press release (2018-06-04):

The Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission today presented awards for leadership, community planning, and conservation at its sixth annual awards ceremony at the Maryland State House in Annapolis. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, and programs that exemplify well-planned economic and community development initiatives throughout the state. “These award recipients from across Maryland represent creativity, innovation, and passion – traits that we see in leaders across our great state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “My administration is proud to celebrate their contributions and their commitment to helping change Maryland for the better.” The six winners are individuals and organizations that demonstrate their commitment to sustainable growth – development or redevelopment that is compact, walkable, and takes advantage of existing infrastructure while preserving the rural landscape – in Maryland. “The commission and I are thrilled to recognize these outstanding Maryland projects,” said Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission Chair Susan Summers. “These awards are the highest level of recognition for well-planned economic and community development and sustainability in the state.” “Today’s recipients characterize the resourcefulness, imagination, and originality that makes Maryland a leader in cultural preservation, community and economic development, and environmental stewardship,” said Wendi Peters, Special Secretary of Smart Growth. “I join the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission in celebrating today’s award winners who demonstrate what can happen when great ideas and local vision come together in the spirit of creating economic opportunities, robust communities, and a superior quality of life for Marylanders.”

From Left to Right: Special Secretary of Smart Growth Wendi Peters, SGC Chair Susan Summers, Rock Hall Mayor Brian Jones, Maryland Delegate Jay Jacobs, Maryland Delegate Steven Arentz, Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, and Maryland Senator Stephen Hershey

This year’s award winners included the following (award category is in parentheses):

  1. Rock Hall Mayor Brian Jones (Leadership & Service)
  2. Anacostia River Trail, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Segment (Sustainable Communities)
  3. Havre de Grace Opera House (Sustainable Communities)
  4. Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theatre Baltimore City (Sustainable Communities)
  5. R House in Baltimore City (Sustainable Communities)
  6. ECO City Farms (Preservation and Conservation)

Useful Links

2018 Sustainable Growth Award Winners Web Page (includes videos for each award winner)

SGC Web Page

Still Time To Speak Up On Maryland Transportation Plan

There’s still time to provide your input into the Maryland Transportation Plan!

Courtesy MDOT

A few months ago, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) released a survey to allow Marylanders to weigh in on State transportation priorities. MDOT continues to receive comments and questions on the Plan at 2019MTP@mdot.state.md.us. All comments received through June 29 will be addressed in the draft plan anticipated in Summer 2018.

MDOT develops a new Maryland Transportation Plan every five years. The Plan articulates a 20-year vision for transportation priorities in the State, and provides a rubric for transportation investment decision-making.

MDOT has released this video explaining the planning process:

For even more information on the Maryland Transportation Plan, visit MDOT’s very informative website.

NACo Panel Discussion: Filling in Infrastructure Gaps is Critical

naco logoA National Association of Counties (NACo) County News article  (2018-05-08) recounted a panel discussion on “Building Inclusive Infrastructure” that was hosted by NACo on May 15 as part of Infrastructure Week 2018. The discussion highlighted the local, state, and national challenge of providing and funding core infrastructure services.  From the article:

“How do you think about infrastructure every morning when you wake up?” [Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program Adie] Tomer asked. “You want to make sure there’s clean running water in the bathroom, you want to make sure when you flip the light switch that there’s power on, that the gadgets you have plugged in are fully juiced up because when they’re not it causes real problems all day, right? You also want to make sure you have gas and electricity in the kitchen so you can prepare breakfast. And you definitely want to make sure the broadband into our homes and wi-fi into our routers is running very smoothly. Here’s the real capper … we also want to make sure there’s transportation infrastructure to get us where we need to go.”

These are reasonable expectations, he noted. But there’s a gap in the United States, he said, when you think about entire rural towns where children can’t do homework because they don’t have a broadband connection, communities in Michigan that don’t have clean water or when people have to drive two hours to get to work.

Filling the gaps takes funding and community engagement — two pieces of the puzzle that need to be addressed when considering infrastructure projects, said Ramsey County, Minn. Commissioner Jim McDonough, who was joined on the panel by Ellory Monks, co-founder, the Atlas Marketplace, and Brooks Rainwater, senior executive and director, Center for City Solutions, National League of Cities.

Useful Links

NACo Transportation & Infrastructure Web Page


New Carroll County Zoning Ordinance Addresses Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries

A Carroll County Times article (2018-05-28) reported that Carroll County is updating its zoning code to specifically address breweries, distilleries, and wineries. With the recent rise in popularity of craft alcoholic beverages and other agritourism activities, counties have struggled to find the balance between keeping an area in productive agriculture versus allowing some related and subordinate activities that can keep a farm alive financially.

The article indicated the new zoning code will provide direct guidance to farm breweries, wineries, and distilleries on what the County requires of their operations. The code defines allowed activities, use of retail space, and the percentage of finished alcohol that can be imported from outside the farm. The County worked with farmers and alcohol producers when developing the ordinance. From the article:

“This is a coming trend,” said [Carroll County Director of Land and Resource Management Tom] Devilbiss last week. Farm breweries, wineries and distilleries are “in a lot of places and we wanted to make sure it was covered. It’s for everyone’s benefit … so that everything they’re doing is legal and covered in our code. …

Commissioner Richard Weaver, R-District 2, a former farmer and agriculture teacher, said he also recognizes the trend is growing and said the changes will give farmers and county staff alike a much easier way to conduct their business.

Useful Links

Carroll County Proposed Zoning Ordinance

Know Your (Riparian) Rights! #MACoCon

Do you know your riparian rights?

Do you know what those even are?

Maryland has 3,190 miles of shoreline – and, with those miles of shoreline, come 3,190 miles of riparian rights. Join some of Maryland’s top attorneys at MACo’s Summer Conference, “Water, Water Everywhere,” to learn about how federal, state and local law all interplay to regulate shoreline improvements – and what counties can do to protect their most important water assets for everyone.

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: Know Your Water Law

Description: Maryland counties are rich with water, both in terms of waterfront access building-731207_1920and in sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure. Counties benefit from this — but along with these assets come great responsibilities and risks. Conflicts that arise over responsibilities for water-related assets cannot often be shrugged off as “water under the bridge,” but require proactive planning and protection. In this session, learn how counties depend upon the law to protect water-related assets, keep their water clean, and interplay with various federal and state laws. As an added bonus, attendees will finally find out what “riparian rights” actually are.


  • John Mattingly, Esquire, County Attorney’s Office for Calvert County
  • Lisa Ochsenhirt, Esquire, Attorney, AquaLaw PLC

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18, 2018 at the Rowland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Learn Where Smart Growth & “A Better Maryland” Are Going At #MACoCon

Hear a discussion on the future direction of Smart Growth in Maryland and receive an update on the new State Development Plan, A Better Maryland, at the 2018 MACo Summer Conference.

Smart Growth Next: How Do We Grow From Here?


With Smart Growth turning 20 years old and a new State Development Plan – A Better Maryland – being drafted, now is the ideal time to consider the future of Smart Growth in Maryland. Panelists will reflect on the past successes and failures of Smart Growth, offer suggestions on modernizing the Smart Growth visions and policies, and provide an update on the status and elements of the State Development Plan.


  • Wendi Peters, Special Secretary of Smart Growth, Maryland Office of Smart Growth
  • Gerrit Knaap, Executive Director, National Center for Smart Growth
  • Deborah Carpenter, Planning and Land Management Director, Garrett County

Moderator: To Be Determined

Date & TimeFriday, August 17, 2018; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: