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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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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Construction on Montgomery County’s Bus Rapid Transit Line is Underway

The 14-mile-long route for the county's premier Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line is expected to improve public transportation along gridlocked Route 29. The BRT aims to shorten travel times through the use of dedicated travel lanes and fewer stops. Two additional routes, Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike, are currently under study. From The Washington Post: The system, branded Flash, is scheduled to debut in 2020, offering more frequent service on new “clean diesel” buses,…

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Proposal Could Help Bring New Bike Paths to Baltimore County

Under a new initiative, BaltCoBike 2030, Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler proposes the county set aside $200,000 annually to match public and private sector grants to build bike paths and lanes in county neighborhoods. Grants to construct bike infrastructure typically require a local match. If this initiative is continued by the future county executive and council, the county would be better positioned to leverage funds for bike projects. The Baltimore Sun reports: Baltimore County recently…

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SHA Geared Up for Snow Removal, Ditches Steel Plows for Rubber and Ceramic Blades

A Herald-Mail Media article (2018-10-31) reported that the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is ready to tackle snow and ice on State-maintained roads. The article stated that SHA has budgeted $71 million for ice and snow removal from 17,950 miles of roads. From the article: “No matter what happens, we’re going to be ready for this,” said [SHA spokesman Charlie] Gischlar, adding that Garrett County already has recorded 2 to 3 inches of snow this fall. Last…

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DC Proposes Massive Potomac River Water Quality Project

A DC Water news release (2018-10-25) announced that the District of Columbia is proposing a new project that could have significant water quality benefits for the Potomac River. The project is a deep sewer tunnel that would capture sewer overflows and transport the contaminated water to the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment. The news release noted that the environment assessment (EA) on the project is open from public comment through November 30, 2018.…

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Food Recovery Summit Tackles Food Waste and Composting Issues

The Mid-Atlantic Food Recovery Summit and Eighth Annual Food Day tackled the challenging issues of reducing food scraps from the solid waste stream. The Summit was hosted by Bowie State University, in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on October 24 and drew several hundred attendees. MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp attended. As part of the opening comments, Maryland Secretary of the Environment…

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Solid Waste Workgroup Writing Recycling Facility Regulations

The Solid Waste and Recycling Facilities Workgroup considered a very preliminary draft of regulations that would cover various types of recycling facilities at its meeting on October 23, 2018. The regulations will eventually set operational, enforcement, and (potentially for certain types of facilities) permitting requirements. The Workgroup was created by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in response to 2017 legislation (HB 124) that requires MDE to adopt regulations governing recycling facilities. The legislation…

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Prince George’s has Questions; Maglev CEO Offers Answers

Wayne Rogers, CEO of The Northeast Maglev and Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail, has responded to questions raised in a letter from Prince George's County planning officials over the proposed $12 billion project to build a high-speed train between Baltimore and D.C. In an earlier article The Washington Business Journal reported on the questions and concerns outlined in the county's letter. These included the impact of tunnel digging and bridges on residences, the location of ventilation…

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Howard County Bill Calls For New Homes to Support Electric Vehicle Charging

The Howard County Council is considering a bill intended to remove some of the barriers to electric vehicle usage by requiring new single family homes and apartment buildings to have the infrastructure in place to support electric vehicle charging stations. The Baltimore Sun reports: “We are concerned about the environment and we think electric vehicles will help,” said Jen Terrasa, a Democratic member of the County Council who introduced a bill to require the necessary…

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