MDE Unveils Draft Climate Change Plan

A Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) news release (2019-10-15) unveiled the State's long-awaited draft Greenhouse Reduction Act (GRRA) Plan. The draft plan outlines what the State and local governments will need to do to reduce in-state greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from their 2006 levels by 2030 and prepare for further reductions in the future. The draft plan anticipates achieving a 44% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and will result in a…

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MACo Discusses County Energy Siting Issues With Governor’s Renewable Energy Task Force

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp discussed county solar siting issues before the Task Force on Renewable Energy and Siting on October 17. The Task Force was formed by Governor Larry Hogan earlier this year and will soon be preparing a preliminary report on renewable energy siting recommendations and legislation for the 2020 Session. The Presentation Knapp covered several topics in the presentation, including: the State's climate change and energy goals; MACo's general position…

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Sun Editorial Urges Action Against Climate Change “Indifference” Based on Naval Academy Risk

A Baltimore Sun editorial (2019-10-14) expressed frustration about a perceived lack of interest in climate change effects in Maryland and urged the state and local communities to take action. The editorial was based on a recent article published by the U.S. Naval Institute discussing the potential of having to relocate the U.S. Naval Academy due to sea level rise. The Naval Institute article noted that the Academy is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it is located…

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Anne Arundel Holds Public Hearing on Contentious Forest Conservation Bill

A Bay Journal article (2019-10-8) reported that Anne Arundel County held a nearly three-hour public hearing on a contentious forest conservation bill introduced by County Executive Steuart Pittman. The article indicated that the bill was supported by environmental and civic groups and opposed by developers and the real estate industry. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Pittman introduced the bill in an effort to stem the loss of forest in the County. The County has lost 2,775 since…

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Submit Your Questions Now for the #MACoCon Smart Growth Subcabinet Meeting

The Smart Growth Subcabinet will be meeting at the 2019 December MACo Winter Conference and answering your questions on land use, environment, transportation, and other important county issues. Let MACo know if you have a topic you want directly addressed at the meeting (see instructions near the end of this post.) A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet Description The Smart Growth Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. Its members (mostly…

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MACo Talks Solar Across the State

As previously reported on Conduit Street, there are multiple workgroups studying the issue of renewable energy siting (especially utility-scale solar) that will result in policy recommendations and legislation for the 2020 Session. Over the past several weeks, MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp has participated in various workgroup meetings and meet with county officials about this ongoing issue. Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting Created by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan through Executive Order,…

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Coalition Calls for Release of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan

A Chesapeake Climate Change Action Network (CCAN) news release (2019-10-02) announced that a coalition of 26 Maryland-based advocacy groups have sent a letter to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) urging MDE to release its pending Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA) Plan. The Plan will outline what the State and local governments must do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below their 2006 levels by 2030. The Plan is a statutory requirement…

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Sun Interviews New Baltimore County Sustainability Officer Stephen Lafferty

A Baltimore Sun article (2019-10-02) interviewed former Maryland Delegate Stephen Lafferty, who recently resigned his position to become Baltimore County's first sustainability officer. The interview covered Lafferty's legislative work on environmental issues, how the County can become more sustainable, and the long-term challenges posed by climate change. From the interview: Baltimore Sun Media: How would you describe your job? What sorts of things have you been working on? Steven Lafferty: Really, it’s been getting acclimated so far.…

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Save the Date: Historic Preservation Capital Grants Workshops

The Maryland Department of Planning offers a series of opportunities to learn more about grant writing for historic preservation throughout the state this November. The Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program promotes the acquisition, restoration, and rehabilitation of historic properties in Maryland. Eligible properties are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing structure within a district. According to the Maryland Historical Trust, the program has received…

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