Talbot, Feds Partner to Improve Coastal Infrastructure

Talbot County is partnering with federal agencies to deliver more than $2.8 million in funding for local infrastructure projects aimed at reducing the impacts of flooding. Last week, members of Maryland's congressional delegation announced that $1,436,701 in federal funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Coastal Resilience Fund to support coastal infrastructure projects in the Town of Oxford. The County will offer a further $1,437,959 in matching funds to support the projects. The…

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Charles Pursues Establishing Resilience Authority

Charles County is moving forward with plans to create a resilience authority.  The Charles County Commissioners will hold a public hearing in December to consider legislation to create the Resilience Authority of Charles County. Legislation passed during the 2020 General Assembly Session with MACo's support that enables local governments to form resilience authorities to aid in the financing of resilience infrastructure projects. As many communities across the State struggle with the impacts of sea level…

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Ag Preservation and Program Open Space: State Agencies Brief Committee

Today, the Joint Subcommittee on Program Open Space and Agricultural Land Preservation was briefed by State agencies on a variety of land use topics.  Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) were on hand to provide updates. The presentations focused on the status of land acquisition and preservation, as well as the impacts of the pandemic on agriculture and parks. MDA…

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Maryland Commission on Climate Change Issues Annual Report

The Maryland Commission on Climate Change has released its 2020 Annual Report to the Governor and General Assembly.  The report outlines the Commission's work examining new recommendations, and details actions at all levels of government to combat climate change in Maryland. Notably, this year's report comes with a Commission recommendation to establish a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goal requiring at least a 50 percent reduction by 2030 and achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2045.…

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Baltimore Recognized on Global ‘A List’ for Climate Action

Baltimore is one of 88 cities worldwide to be recognized for its efforts to build resiliency and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Today, environmental nonprofit CDP published its 'A List' of cities around the world that are leading on climate action and sustainability. Baltimore is one of only 25 North American cities recognized this year, along with other regional leaders like Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Getting on the list is not a simple task. Cities must…

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Counties to PSC: Keep Communities “Plugged In” On Solar Siting

This week, MACo sent a letter to Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) Executive Secretary, Andrew S. Johnston, urging the Commission to preserve the essential role of local zoning in the solar siting process. Following a recommendation outlined in the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting (REDS) final report, the PSC initiated a rulemaking proceeding to consider revisions to the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) process through amendments to the Code…

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Circuit Court Sides With Harford in Forest Conservation Case

A Harford County Circuit Court judge has nixed a lawsuit brought by environmentalists who were challenging Harford County's approval of a developer's forest conservation plan. The case hinged on whether the County's approval of the site's forest conservation plan was appealable. The Circuit Court ruling stated that the approval was not a final decision on the project, and therefore could not be appealed. Earlier this year the Chesapeake Bay Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the…

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County Ballot Questions: Here’s What We Know

Across Maryland, voters considered a number of ballot questions concerning county governance and structure. Here, Conduit Street provides the latest results for each county-specific ballot question. Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties did not present voters with any county-specific ballot questions. Vote totals and percentages in this article are based on unofficial results of the Maryland State Board of Elections as of Thursday, November 5,…

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DNR Releases Forest Action Plan, Seeks Comments

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released part one of the State Forest Action Plan in draft form and is seeking comments until Nov. 16. The Action Plan outlines important issues for the Maryland Forest Service, and is comprised of three parts: Statewide Forest Assessment, 5-Year Strategy, and Maryland’s Assessment of Need for its Forest Legacy Program for conserving working forests. The report notes important details including that Maryland currently has 39 percent forest…

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Montgomery Continues to Expand ‘Shared Streets’ Program

Last week, Montgomery County added new areas to their 'Shared Streets' program that makes roadways more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. The County announced that parts of Woodland Drive will be designated as “Temporary Neighborhood Greenways,” which means vehicle traffic will be limited to primarily local traffic. This strategy supports local businesses by making it easier for foot traffic to reach dining and shopping. With the new additions on Woodland Drive the program now has…

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