Carbon Tax Bill Introduced in House of Representatives

A Sustainable Cities Network article (2018-12-04) reported on the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the United States House of Representatives that would set a nationwide price and refund system for carbon emissions. Many climate change advocates support a carbon tax as a market driven approach to address climate change. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 (H.R.7173) is sponsored by Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), Francis Rooney (D-FL), Charlie Christ (R-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Anna…

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Baltimore City + Crown Castle = Small Cells in Action

Crown Castle, a Winter Conference Sponsor, created a case study on its successful implementation of small cells in Baltimore City. Crown Castle faced some challenges in providing wireless coverage in the city. For example, the amount of implementation and coverage created challenges in gaining approval. Crown Castle decided the ideal solution was to implement small cells throughout the city. Since 2015, they have installed over 500 small cell units with additional 583 in the works.…

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Survey Finds Millennial Homeownership Up, Student Debt Remains a Burden

    A Route 50 article (2018-11-26) reported on the results of a recent survey which found that millennial home ownership rates are increasing despite continuing financial burdens from student debt. The survey was conducted by the company Research Now on behalf of the professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. From the article: But a report about the results also points to estimates indicating that 80 percent of people in this age bracket say student…

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Board of Public Works Awards $74 Million for Local Water Projects

A Chesapeake Bay Magazine article (2018-11-19) reported that the Maryland Board of Public Works has approved $74 million in wastewater and sewage treatment projects. The projects will address local water quality and help in Chesapeake Bay Restoration efforts. While most of the funding will go to Baltimore City, other counties with approved projects include: Allegany, Caroline, Frederick, and Garrett Counties. From the article: “These are smart investments to protect public health and the environment while saving money…

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Harford Unveils Draft Green Infrastructure Plan

Harford County is seeking public review and comment on its first Green Infrastructure Plan. Green infrastructure is an interconnected network of forests, wetlands, and waterways that support natural ecosystems, preserve water resources, improve stormwater management, and promote healthier communities. According to a press release: Creation of the Green Infrastructure Plan is an implementation of HarfordNEXT, the countywide master plan developed by the Department of Planning & Zoning under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman.…

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Talk Land Use, Environment & Transportation with Smart Growth Subcabinet at #MACoCon

The Smart Growth Subcabinet is holding court at the 2019 January MACo Winter Conference. This is your chance to hear about land use, environment, transportation and other important county issues directly from Cabinet secretaries and other key Administration decisionmakers. 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…

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Ball Reconsidering Proposed Ellicott City Demolition Plan

A WTOP news article (2018-11-14) reported that incoming Howard County Executive Calvin Ball is reconsidering a plan to demolish 10 historic buildings in downtown Ellicott City to help mitigate the catastrophic flooding that has swept through the area twice in the last several years. As a County Council Member, Ball voted against the flood mitigation plan, which had been proposed by outgoing County Executive Allan Kittleman. The proposed 5-year mitigation plan provoked some controversy with historical and…

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Solar Siting Preemption Case Now Precedent

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has now released a precedent-setting opinion, Board of County Commissioners of Washington County v. Perennial Solar, LLC, which holds that the state can preempt local zoning when granting approval for the siting of a large scale solar project. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Court issued a decision in late August which held that state law allows the Public Service Commission (PSC) to preempt by implication the zoning of…

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Sierra Club Op-Ed: Adopt RGGI Approach to Curb Transportation Air Pollution

In an op-ed for the Maryland Reporter (2018-11-05), Maryland Sierra Club Transportation Director Lindsey Mendelson and Washington DC Sierra Club Chair Mark Rodeffer argued that Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states must change their transportation systems in order to reduce harmful air emissions and reduce congestion. The writers advocated for instituting either a carbon "cap and trade" system for the transportation sector, similar to what has been done for power emissions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative…

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DNR Fact Sheet Highlights Technical, Financial Aid Available to Meet New Local Coast Smart Requirements

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently released a helpful fact sheet that highlights new county building requirements for constructing structures in areas subject to sea level rise or coastal flooding and development of a plan to address nuisance flooding. The fact sheet also identifies available technical and financial assistance to help meet these new requirements. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in 2018 (HB 1350/SB 1006) that: (1) starting…

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