Maryland Environmental Service Wants to Help You Save Money!

MACo's Bronze Corporate Partner Maryland Environmental Service (MES) is hosting a Solutions Showcase Session to help counties learn how they can save money with shared services during MACo's Winter Conference. Save Money with Shared Services Tightening budgets have put a strain on county governments. With nearly 50 years of experience providing a wide range of environmental services, the experts at MES can help you leverage efficiencies and preserve your bottom line. Explore ways to meet…

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Prince George’s County Considers Plastic Straw Ban

Prince George's County is considering a ban on the sale and distribution of plastic straws and stirrers according to a recent article from The Washington Informer. From the article: County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee recommended approval Thursday, Oct. 10, to ban non-compostable straws and stirrers.  The committee’s 3-0 vote occurred on the last day the group would meet this year before County Council’s legislative session ends at the end of the year.…

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Washington College to host Eastern Shore Environmental Legislative Summit Oct. 6

The Washington College Center for Environment and Society will host The Eastern Shore Environmental Legislative Summit on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at The Gibson Center for the Arts in Chestertown, Maryland. Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and Former Delegate Heather Mizeur will facilitate this summit, which will focus on the Eastern Shore as ground zero for climate change in Maryland. Baltimore County Delegate Dana Stein, and Montgomery Delegate Vaughn Stewart will be among the featured speakers,…

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Beneath the Surface – How GPR Can Help Analyze Your Infrastructure

Maryland Environmental Service will host a session on the ground penetrating radar and how it can positively impact county budgets at MACo’s Summer Conference as part of MACo’s Solutions Showcase. MACo’s 2019 Summer Conference, “Winds of Change,” will take place on August 14-17 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. Nearly 3,000 individuals from across Maryland will gather to discuss advancements and changes being seen at all levels of government, from cybersecurity…

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MACo Features Innovations in Education at Winter Conference

Photo: Senator Mac Middleton and Betty Weller, President, Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), Chris Parts, US Green Building Council, Maryland Chapter At the 2013 Winter Conference, MACo featured new programs and initiatives that may create possibilities for more unconventional educational options in Maryland. Panelists engaged in a broad-based discussion of topics that challenge some traditional notions of schooling.  Senator Mac Middleton facilitated the discussion. Val Emrich, Director of Instructional Technology, Maryland State Department of Education…

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Report Ranks the Health of Maryland Counties

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin's Health Institute, have released the second annual report of health rankings for U.S. counties, providing a snapshot of local health conditions. The rankings are determined on a model of population health that emphasizes individual health behaviors, education and jobs, quality of health care, and the environment.  According to the 2011 County Health Rankings report for Maryland the top five healthiest counties are as…

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“Last Day” Issues Wrap Up

As reported yesterday by MACo, a number of issues with county effect remained in play prior to the midnight deadline for the General Assembly session.  Below is an overview of how each of those bills ultimately played out: Maintenance of Effort – As reported yesterday, three bills were awaiting  final action. MACo supported HB 44 and SB 53 as a legislative initiative, to expand and balance the process for considering county MOE waiver requests —and…

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Sine Die – What’s Left??

During the last day of the legislative session, a number of issues with broad county effect remain in play. Here's an abbreviated list: Maintenance of Effort - Three bills await final action, with the time winding down. MACo supported HB 44 and SB 53 as a legislative initiative, to expand and balance the process for considering county MOE waiver requests -- both bills will soon be "stuck" before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Another…

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White House Denies Rumor of Reduced EPA Enforcement Authority

According to a story released by the Associated Press with further comment in the Baltimore Sun's B'More Green blog , the AP is reporting that an unnamed Democratic congressman said the Obama administration is willing to accept curbs on the Environmental Protection Agency possibly even the agency's controversial Chesapeake Bay pollution diet - as part of negotiating federal spending curbs through September. "A Democratic lawmaker familiar with a meeting Wednesday between Obama and members of…

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National Trend: Green Education in Classrooms

Throughout the nation, states are developing “environmental literacy plans” to help improve student understanding of the environment and the impact humans have on it.  Legislation introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed in the last two Congressional sessions and likely to be introduced again this Congress would provide $100 million in annual funding to states for environmental education.  Governing Magazine provides a snapshot of green education efforts :

States promoting environmental education emphasize the need to get students out of the classroom. In Maryland, for example, students visit the Chesapeake Bay to measure the water’s salinity and examine the health of its organisms. “Getting their hands dirty has the greatest impact,”Sarbanes says. “It just gets them excited and engaged.” Sarbanes and other advocates say that student excitement spills over into other areas of academics and helps kids perform better across the board.

Maine, Maryland and Oregon have completed their environmental literacy plans, and another four states will soon, Day says. The policies can be adopted in a variety of ways. Oregon’s, for example, was mandated by the state Legislature. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley ordered his state’s plan, and Maine’s plan was developed administratively. The plans don’t focus on detailed curriculum requirements. Instead, they provide broad themes the states should cover. Oregon’s plan, for example, discusses the need for students to “understand the physical and biological world, and our interdependent relationship with it.”

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