Maryland Chapter Blog

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.

                                     

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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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Date: Dec 17, 2014
By: K. Laurel Imlay
 
  For the past few years, Sierra Club Maryland has worked to implement new pollution rules for manure running off of factory farms and into our water. Gov. O'Malley has finally announced the new rules, but Gov.-Elect Hogan has stated he will do all he can to undo them come January. 
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Date: Dec 17, 2014
By: K. Laurel Imlay

Contributed by Robert Portanova and Kristin Cook

Montgomery County resident Ann Smith has done a tremendous amount of work on quantifying and educating the public about the potential effects of the proposed M83 highway thru a delicate ecosystem known as the Seneca Creek Waterway System. 

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Date: Dec 15, 2014
By: Seth Bush

Time is running out!

Submit an official comment in support of MDE's plan to cut back coal pollution in Maryland.

The deadline for comments is January 7
Take Action!
Send Your Letter

Time is running out to clean the air in Maryland!

Last week, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) opened a 30-day public comment period on a new rule that would require all of Maryland’s coal plants to install state-of-the-art pollution-cutting technology, stop using coal for fuel, or retire. 

The new standard is exactly what we need to protect the health of our families and an important step in becoming a clean energy state. This is your last chance to tell MDE to finalize these rules now. Any delay puts the rules at risk to be weakened -- and we need these safeguards to be in place for next summer's smog season.

Submit an official comment today in support of MDE's new standard to cut back coal pollution -- it's urgent we deliver as many comments as possible to make sure MDE finalizes this new standard at the earliest possible date.

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Date: Dec 12, 2014
By: Judy Mauriello

“Variances denied for Critical Area development,  South county plan could weaken protections”

The above headline appeared in the Capital Gazette November 12, 2014, heralding a report by E. B. Furgurson III (pfurgurson@capgaznews.com), that detailed a recent win for the environment near Churchton, in south Anne Arundel County (see Google Earth map below at left.

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Date: Dec 12, 2014
By: Joanne Heckman

On December 9, 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the red knot bird has won federal protection. An excerpt from The Wisconsin Gazette article on the announcement is given below. 

Rare Atlantic Shorebird Wins Federal Protection

The red knot -- a robin-sized bird that makes 9,300-mile migrations -- has won Endangered Species Act protection under the Center for Biological Diversity's 757 species agreement. This epic traveler depends on horseshoe crabs' eggs for the energy it needs to make its twice-yearly trips between South America and the Canadian Arctic. Thus, as crab populations decline due to harvest by the fishing and biomedical industries, so do the red knot's. The bird is also threatened by habitat destruction and climate change.

In 2005 environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for emergency protection of the species, but the agency stuck the bird on the "candidate" list, where it languished for nearly a decade. Now, because of the Center's 2011 agreement, the Service has finalized protection for this singular bird.

Because the bird is now protected under the Endangered Species Act, its shoreline habitat in Maryland and Delaware legally requires maximum protection from water pollution and environmental degradation. 

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Date: Dec 10, 2014
By: Joanne Heckman

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority held a public hearing on December 8. The MHAA Chair, Amanda Conn, reminded the attendees that the certification of a Heritage Area and the work of its "managing entity" (proposing projects and seeking funding) are legal. She also mentioned that the Management Plan of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway is not a Master Plan for the Patapsco Valley State Park, and that only the Park Service employees can approve plans for the State Parks (individual development plans and overall Master Plans).

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Date: Dec 08, 2014
By: Seth Bush
 
Being energy-efficient at home is one of the easiest ways to protect the environment.  You can do this, and save energy and money off your electric bill by using a programmable thermostat. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can get one at no charge from Pepco and Delmarva Power. Here are a few tips on how to use your programmable thermostat, and an idea for how to save even more energy through the Energy Wise RewardsTM program offered by Pepco and Delmarva Power. 
Date: Dec 05, 2014
By: Joanne Heckman

The final public hearing on the proposed Heritage Area that will include 5000 acres of Patapsco Valley State park has been announced.

WHAT: Maryland Heritage Areas Authority public hearing on the proposed designation of a Patapsco Certified Heritage Area
 
WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Monday, December 8, 2014 
 
WHERE: Catonsville Clubhouse, 10 Saint Timothy's Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228
 
WHO: Local government officials, heritage resource organizations, conservationists, tourism industry representatives, business and property owners, and others who are interested in the proposal to designate the Patapsco Certified Heritage Area

 

The Sierra Club testimony has been submitted. The public is welcome to testify in person and no advance registration is required.

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