Carroll Co. receives EPA award for its water protection efforts

October 14, 2004|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll County earned national recognition and an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday for decades of water protection efforts that recently culminated in the adoption of a resource management ordinance and a manual that sets standards for development.

"The county has created a model that is to be recognized into the future," said John Armstead, deputy director of EPA's water protection division for the Mid-Atlantic. The county has "an admirable ordinance that balances economic and ecological factors that are both essential to the quality of life," he said.

County, state and federal officials gathered on the shores of Piney Run Reservoir in Sykesville yesterday to applaud the county commissioners for their stance on environmental issues. Armstead praised the county's "working effort to protect drinking water and sustain it for the future."

Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge accepted the Source Water Protection Award, symbolized by an etched glass plaque, carved in the shape of the county. She noted the regional implications of the county efforts - many of the streams that feed the metropolitan area's water supply have sources in Carroll.

John Grace, chief of the source protection division at the Maryland Department of the Environment, reminded the crowd of the county's dedication to environmental issues. In the 1980s, Carroll officials used a federal grant to develop maps that detailed well sites and future water sources, he said.

"The maps were the envy of all of us," Grace said. "This very year, the county passed a water resource ordinance that places a priority on the community water systems that we all depend on. It is a real benchmark."

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