Maryland Chapter Blog

Date: Jan 29, 2015
By: Judy Mauriello

As you may know, the Crystal Spring area is slated for a huge residential commercial and townhouse development.  You may have seen the banner headline in The Capital Friday, January 16 reporting on a hearing before a City Council committee on Crystal Spring. Contrary to the headline and suggestions in the story, the City has NOT accepted the developer's latest plans for Crystal Spring. 

A Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Program staffer did report to the two City Councilmen attending that the developer appears to have met some state technical requirements for forest conservation.  What they failed to mention, however, was that the plan was far short of gaining approval.

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Date: Jan 28, 2015
By: Donna McDowell

Montgomery County News – Bill 52-14

County Council President George Leventhal has proposed Bill 52-14, Pesticides – Notice Requirements – Non-Essential Pesticides – Prohibitions.  In his words, “this bill would restrict the use of certain cosmetic pesticides that are most dangerous to human health and the environment. “  Not only would this bill require posting of notices when lawn applications occur, but it would also require the County to adopt IPM (integrated Pest Management) on much County-owned property.  Both the Maryland Chapter and the Montgomery County Group support this bill.  If you live in Montgomery County, please contact your Council member to let him or her know that you support the bill.  It would be most helpful if you attended the second public hearing on this bill, scheduled for Thursday, December 12, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the County Office Building (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland).  At the first hearing on January 12th, pesticide workers turned out in droves to oppose the bill.  We need a large presence on February 12th so please attend.  We will provide you stickers showing that you support the bill.  Let’s pass this bill!

State News  - SMART on Pesticides and Maryland Pesticide Network

SMART on Pesticides Network is working to ban bee-killing pesticides.  We are members of the Coalition that seeks to protect Maryland residents from the harmful effects of pesticides and other toxics.  Work is currently underway to propose legislation during the 2015 session to limit use of these pesticides.  We are grateful to work with Ruth Berlin, Director of the Maryland Pesticide Network, and the other member organizations as we strive to remove harmful chemicals from our land and water. 

If you are interested in working on restricting human interaction with harmful pesticides and other types of toxics, please contact Donna McDowell, Sierra Club contact for this work. 

Donna McDowell


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Date: Jan 26, 2015
By: Seth Bush

Bad news from Governor Hogan already.
As one of his first acts in office, Governor Hogan is threatening to condemn Maryland families to more dirty air, by holding up protections against coal-fired power plant pollution.
The Maryland Sierra Club and prominent public health advocates have been working with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for well over a year on safeguards that would protect Marylanders from harmful smog pollution, which is responsible for a host of adverse health effects, including triggering asthma attacks, especially in vulnerable populations such as children. Smog is formed when nitrogen oxides emitted from burning coal and other sources react with other pollutants to form ground-level ozone. While some of the state’s coal units have modern technology to reduce these harmful emissions, most fail to use it consistently. Other units don’t have modern pollution-cutting technology at all. This puts our air and our health at risk.
Date: Jan 25, 2015
By: Joanne Heckman

The Bloede Dam, one of the last remaining dams on the Patapsco River, will be removed to improve the health and safety of the river. 

An open house will be hosted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and American Rivers. The public is invited to stop by during the day to learn about the plans for the demolition and removal of the dam. 

Date: Thursday, January 29, 2015
Time: 9:30 am to 8:30 pm (arrive and leave as you please)
Location: Baltimore County Public Library— Arbutus Branch
855 Sulphur Spring Road
Arbutus, Maryland 21227 

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Date: Jan 22, 2015
By: Josh Tulkin


On his first day of office, Governor Larry Hogan delayed several important environmental regulations that were poised to go into effect.  Earlier today Sierra Club released this statement.  More info to come.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Send a message to Governor Hogan:

Sierra Club Comes Out Against Hogan, NRG For Yanking Clean Air Protections
First Day in Office, New Gov. Eliminates Public Health Safeguards

Contact:  Adam Beitman, Sierra Club, 202-670-5585 or
Thursday, January 22, 2014

BALTIMORE, MD – Last week, after more than fifteen months of intensive engagement with industry and the public health community, Maryland's Department of the Environment finalized new protections against air pollution from the state’s coal-fired power plants. These safeguards would protect Marylanders from harmful smog pollution, which is responsible for a host of adverse health effects, including triggering asthma attacks, especially in vulnerable populations such as children.

Last night, the Baltimore Sun reported that the Governor’s first move in office was to take the controversial action of yanking those protections at the printing press. This action was taken after the regulations were signed and finalized by Secretary of the Environment.

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Date: Jan 13, 2015
By: Rich Reis

By Veronica Cassilly

     The Promotion of Incineration in Maryland The Maryland legislature established our state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 2004 to promote the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy and establish a market for electricity from these sources. The RPS law specifies that at least 20% of electricity that must be generated from “renewable” sources by 2022. The law also has intermediate goals. The Maryland Sierra Club, as part of the Maryland Climate Coalition, will seek to raise the RPS to 40% by 2025.

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Date: Jan 06, 2015
By: Judy Mauriello

In order to facilitate Anne Arundel Sierra Club Group communications, please email your name and current email address to with "signup" in the subject line.  They will be kept confidential and used for SC business only.























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Date: Dec 26, 2014
By: Kristin Cook

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Date: Dec 18, 2014
By: Kristin Cook

December 2014

Rainwater becomes polluted runoff as it washes over the built environment picking up chemicals, bacteria, trash and sediment.  Polluted runoff is a major factor pushing many of our state’s waterways – including the Chesapeake Bay - to the brink of death. That is why the federal Clean Water Act requires jurisdictions to protect and restore rivers and streams[DC1] by reducing and eliminating polluted runoff -- and why property owners pay a Water Quality Protection Charge, a.k.a. ‘stormwater fees’ to fund this longtime federal mandate.   

The bigger your house and driveway, the bigger your fee, which is directly linked to the square footage on your property that is preventing rainwater from filtering naturally through the soil. 

While under political attack as a ‘rain tax’, these stormwater fees finance critical infrastructure.  Stormwater fees pay for programs that stem the flow of stormwater.  This is critical to maintaining our roads, bridges and sewer lines in good working order, since these comprise our business-critical infrastructure that is regularly damaged by the raging floods caused or worsened by urban polluted runoff.   Creating locally-controlled funds of hundreds of millions of dollars, the fees are an enormous opportunity to set our counties and cities on the path to real sustainability. That is why the Sierra Club’s State Water Team recently organized Clean Water Town Halls – entitled Leaving the Gray Behind: Clean Water, Green Jobs & Climate Resilience - in close collaboration with the Prince George’s and Montgomery County groups held earlier this month.  “It is essential that the public understands the importance of the program as well as the excellent public benefits that result from investing these funds in smart green best practices,” said Linda Schade, who helped organized the Town Halls.  

Clean Water Act requirements are implemented through MS-4 permits (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) that set customized five-year goals for each county or large municipality.  Both Town Halls emphasized the green solutions and positive benefits resulting from a green infrastructure approach to runoff reduction. 

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Date: Dec 18, 2014
By: Claudia Friedetzky

Rainwater becomes polluted runoff as it washes over roads, roofs and parking lots picking up weed killer, engine oil, road salt and trash.

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