Chesapeake: The Sierra Club Maryland Chapter Newsletter
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December 2010

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Maryland Chapter Excom Elections: Every Candidate Is an Environmentalist

This issue of Chesapeake includes the ballot for electing at-large members of the executive committee of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club

EPA Pushes States to Put the Bay on a Pollution Diet

by Carol Nau
By Carol Nau—In August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced further plans to put the ailing Chesapeake Bay on a “pollution diet,” and presented proposed sediment limits for the six states and the District of Columbia that comprise the Bay watershed. The limits are expressed in terms of total maximum daily load, or TMDL. The states and the District were charged with developing detailed watershed implementation plans (WIPs) to indicate how they would apportion these sediment limits, as well as the limits issued earlier for nitrogen and phosphorus, among their various pollution sources.

How Much Does It Cost to Harness the Wind?

by Amanda Ruthven
By Amanda Ruthven—It seems that determining the economic feasibility of wind energy would be easy; after all, wind is free. Worldwide, wind energy is getting cheaper, yet empirical cost data is scarce for offshore wind energy in the United States. There are many components that complicate estimating the cost of such projects but at a macro-level, the cost of generating this type of electricity, like any other, consists of the capital costs, the running costs, and the cost of financing.

Harford County Proposes to Triple Size of Incinerator

by Veronica Cassilly
By Veronica Cassilly—Harford County’s proposal to triple the size of its incinerator will increase the current rate of burning from 360 tons of trash a day to 1500 tons per day. The emissions from the current incinerator include 94 different toxins, 12 of which the Environmental Protection Agency has established safe levels for. The other 82 toxins have not yet been tested. It is not known what the health effects would be if all 94 of the toxins in the atmosphere were inhaled at once.

How to Talk About Coal

Your Auntie talks a lot about the importance of coal. She’s never worked in a mine, but once in college she knew someone whose sister’s boyfriend was an assistant to a power company executive, so she feels some affinity with the industry. She has an idealized view of coal, though, and thinks that most coal still comes from underground mines. She’s not really sure what mountain-top removal is, but she’s for it nonetheless.

BICO Takes City Kids from the Streets to the Trail

by Marta Vogel
By Marta Vogel—“Before that, you would not have caught me in the woods,” says Juan Coles, a senior at Digital Harbor High School, a magnet public high school in Baltimore. “I was a city boy. Sierra Club has changed my life.”

Group News Roundup

by Mary C. Corddry
Following is a roundup of what’s happening with the nine Sierra Club groups in Maryland: Anne Arundel County, Catoctin, Eastern Shore, Greater Baltimore, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Southern Maryland, and Western Maryland. If you have information to contribute to future “Roundups” for the Chesapeake newsletter, please contact Mary Corddry at or at 410-239-4590.


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