Counties Struggle With Stormwater Treatment Requirements

A Bay Journal article (2019-04-01) provided an in-depth analysis of the struggles county governments face in addressing pollution caused by stormwater runoff. All counties must achieve some level of stormwater runoff reduction under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and many counties, particularly urban jurisdictions, must achieve specific goals under their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits. The MS4 permits require the retrofitting of existing impervious surface and stormwater treatment facilities with green infrastructure that…

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Maryland’s “Toll Facility” Chief Resigns

Kevin Reigrut, the Executive Director of the Maryland Transportation Authority, resigned this week following a closed-door meeting of the Authority. As first reported in The Daily Record, Reigrut's departure has been confirmed by the Authority, but no details have been offered publicly. In recent years. the Transportation Authority has played a high-profile role with the ongoing proposal to expand toll lanes on Interstate 270 and then to other high-volume highway projects across the State. Also,…

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Record-Breaking Year for the Port of Baltimore

Last year was record-breaking for the Port of Baltimore. It handled 43 million tons of international cargo at a value of $59.7 billion in 2018 breaking a 44-year-old cargo record of 40.9 million tons. As announced by The Baltimore Business Journal: The total represents the combined amount of cargo handled by the port's state-owned public and privately owned marine terminals. The previous high mark was $40.9 [sic] million tons in 1974. The Port of Baltimore…

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2019 End of Session Wrap-Up: Transportation and Public Works

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of transportation policy in the 2019 General Assembly.  MACo generally advocates for appropriate state assistance with roadways and bridges across our communities. Transportation is a shared function in Maryland, with state-maintained roadways (mainly numbered roads) and locally-maintained roadways interlocking throughout most areas. Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database. Partnering with the State Highway Administration MACo supported with amendments legislation that…

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Drone Workgroup Flies into Formation

The Maryland State Geographic Information Committee, often called  MSGIC, held the first meeting of a new standing statewide workgroup on drones. Drone pilots, contractors, and aviation consultants joined representatives of state and county governments this week for the initial meeting of a workgroup on unmanned aerial systems, commonly called drones. Meeting attendees included representation from: Private entities including: surveying companies, government consultants, construction management firms State agencies including: Maryland Environmental Service, Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland State…

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Lessons in Resilience from Florida Counties

Route Fifty offers a webinar on resilience featuring speakers from State and local governments in a state that faces frequent natural disasters. Route Fifty, a national source of government news offers a free webinar on resilience with speakers targeted for local government listeners. From Route Fifty: State and local governments across the country are increasingly facing challenges building communities resilient to the physical, social and economic changes taking shape both regionally and nationally. Tune in…

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A Legislative “Veto” On Counties’ Transportation Priorities?

The Senate has approved a new requirement in the process for counties identifying priority MDOT projects - support of the county's legislative delegation. In the Senate amendments to the broad Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, HB 1407, new language was added  and approved by the Senate to change the requirements for identifying a local priority project. Under the proposed language, when a county submits a "local priority letter" to the Department of Transportation, identifying a…

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“Complete Streets” Grant Funding Urged By Local Governments

On February 7, MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified in support of HB 82, a bill to strengthen the state's "Complete Streets" program and ensure funding for a local grant component of that effort. From MACo's testimony: Maryland created a Complete Streets Program through 2018 legislation to offer grants to local jurisdictions seeking to develop and implement such policies for their own locally-managed roadways. This centralized system was an effective means to develop in-house expertise…

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Counties: Leave Bay Bridge Out of Today’s Toll Debate

As the House Environment and Transportation heard debate on HB 102, MACo urged the Committee to avoid upending a tenuous law regarding bay crossings. While MACo did not take a position either in favor of or in opposition to the bill (which seeks to grant a county "approval" for new toll facilities), MACo did submit a letter suggesting that any new law should be placed alongside, rather than in place of, the current privilege afforded…

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Prince George’s Begins Pothole Blitz on County Roadways

The Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) is taking advantage of mild temperatures and sunny skies in order to focus on filling potholes caused by frigid temperatures, snow, and salt. DPW&T crews are resuming pothole repairs, on County-maintained primary and major collector roadways, after last week’s snow. According to a press release: “As safety is our top priority we want to do what we can, when we can, to improve Prince…

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