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By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2012
A federal appeals court swept aside a key pillar of Maryland's plan to reduce soot and smog on Tuesday when it struck down a federal rule aimed at limiting air pollution crossing from one state to another. Maryland has moved aggressively to cut emissions from coal-burning power plants that officials say contribute to serious health problems such as asthma, heart attacks and premature death. But up to 70 percent of the pollution fouling the state's air comes from upwind states, according to Robert M. Summers, Maryland secretary of the environment.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2014
Federal regulators approved new pollution limits Monday for Maryland's coastal bays aimed at restoring water quality in the shallow lagoons that serve both as playground for Ocean City vacationers and vital habitat for fish and wildlife. Like the Chesapeake Bay, the state's coastal bays suffer from an overdose of nitrogen and phosphorus, which feed algae blooms and stress fish by depleting levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. The bays have been officially recognized as impaired by nutrient pollution since the mid-1990s.
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Tim Wheeler | December 9, 2013
Maryland joined seven other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states Monday in asking for federal help to curb air pollution from outside their borders, saying emissions from the Midwest and South are hurting their residents' health and their economies. The eight states petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to require nine "upwind" states - Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Caroline, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia - to join an interstate commission that over the past two decades has yielded ozone pollution reductions in Maryland and other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
NEWS
July 12, 2014
I am writing in response to Chris Wood's commentary about pollution in the Chesapeake Bay ("Trout, the bay - and your drinking water - at risk in the Senate," June 18). As a girl raised for more than 13 years in Maryland, I grew up boating, crabbing and swimming in the bay and the Severn River, and I am deeply saddened to see how the bay's health has declined since then. The Chesapeake Bay produces 500 million pounds of seafood a year. I have experienced this firsthand when I caught blue crabs for our family dinner many nights.
HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2011
In a sweeping move aimed at curbing long-distance air pollution that afflicts the health of 240 million Americans — including Marylanders — the Environmental Protection Agency is ordering power plants across much of the eastern United States to sharply curtail emissions. The rule, announced Thursday, gives coal-fired plants in Maryland and 26 other states until 2014 to make steep reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, pollutants that contribute to serious health problems such as asthma, bronchitis and heart attacks.
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Tim Wheeler | August 10, 2012
Maryland may have some of the nation's strictest limits on power plant pollution, but its residents are still breathing more toxic emissions from those facilities than in most other states. The state's reliance on burning coal for electricity appears to be the underlying reason, it seems. That's the upshot of a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council that tallies the 20 states with the highest levels of hazardous air pollutants from power plants in 2010. Maryland ranks 19th, well down the list from big coal-mining and -burning states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia, but just ahead of tiny Delaware.
NEWS
August 10, 2005
The new owner of a Baltimore medical waste incinerator has agreed to cut air pollution by installing equipment to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent and to pay a $75,000 penalty for past air pollution violations, the Maryland Department of the Environment announced yesterday. Environment Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick said Curtis Bay Energy also has agreed to install continuous mercury emission monitoring equipment, a first for Maryland. CBE also will perform $125,000 in supplemental projects, including research and development on new ways to control and monitor mercury emissions.
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By TOM HORTON | August 26, 1995
As voyages go for the Peter W. Anderson, the Environmental Protection Agency's flagship ocean research vessel, the past few weeks on Chesapeake Bay might have seemed unremarkable.Most days, the converted Vietnam gunboat, docked this week for tours at the Inner Harbor, has scarcely traveled past Poole's Island off Harford County.There, it held position in the "plume" of pollution streaming from Baltimore on the wind, its array of instruments taking the most discerning and comprehensive measures to date of the region's air emissions as they passed over and fell on the bay.But this minor voyage is part of the culmination of critical, decades-long efforts to link the health of the planet's air with that of its waters.
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By Mary Knudson | March 10, 1991
It's happened several times to both Dani Chapman, 17, an Harriett Owens, 69. A casual trip outside from their homes in Dundalk to a shopping mall or other destination brought on attacks of gasping for breath and wheezing so severe and prolonged that they were rushed by ambulance to a hospital where they remained for a week."
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By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | March 24, 2005
A Baltimore developer known for breathing new life into crumbling architectural landmarks has purchased a run-down medical waste incinerator with a history of air pollution violations. Samuel K. Himmelrich Jr. says he has installed a $200,000 pollution filtration system at the Phoenix Services incinerator in Curtis Bay that he hopes will remove more than 90 percent of its mercury air pollution, which can cause brain damage in infants. And he said he plans to invest as much as $4 million over three years to fix up the decaying plant.
NEWS
June 21, 2014
Fortunately for Marylanders, Gov. Martin O'Malley has had the foresight to transition our state toward renewable energy sources for power generation. As a result of the passage of the Off-Shore Wind Bill and the veto of House Bill 1168, an anti-on-land wind bill, Governor O'Malley has established wind power as a viable and significant source of energy for Marylanders in the future. Nevertheless, Maryland now has one of the highest sources of air pollution in the East. The 2014 State of the Air Report released by the American Lung Association rates Baltimore City with the grades of F and D for ozone and fine particle pollution, respectively.
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Tim Wheeler | January 3, 2014
The Environmental Protection Agency moved Friday to reduce harmful air pollution from woodstoves and heaters, proposing to phase in tighter emission standards for new units. The announcement was welcomed by Maryland environmental officials, who had joined in October with their counterparts in New York and five other states to sue the agency for failing to adequately protect the public from emissions from residential wood heaters. "Enough was enough," said Angelo Bianca, deputy air management director for the Maryland Department of the Environment .  EPA had not updated regulations for wood heaters since 1988, he noted.
NEWS
December 10, 2013
The Washington-Baltimore region is ranked worst on the East Coast for smog, also known as ground-level ozone. The common air pollutant shortens lives, and its presence causes those alerts when children, the sick and the elderly are warned to stay indoors. Only portions of Texas and California are rated worse within the United States. That gave Marylanders a considerable interest in the oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of cross-state air pollution — conducted Tuesday despite the snow storm that shut down much of Washington.
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Tim Wheeler | December 9, 2013
Maryland joined seven other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states Monday in asking for federal help to curb air pollution from outside their borders, saying emissions from the Midwest and South are hurting their residents' health and their economies. The eight states petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to require nine "upwind" states - Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Caroline, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia - to join an interstate commission that over the past two decades has yielded ozone pollution reductions in Maryland and other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
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Tim Wheeler | November 6, 2013
Reducing air pollution has given an unexpectedly big boost to long-running efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, a new study finds. Resarchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science determined that nitrogen pollution in nine mostly forested rivers and streams in the Appalachian reaches of the bay watershed has declined in tandem with government-mandated air pollution reductions for power plants and motor vehicles....
NEWS
By Joel Brinkley | October 18, 2013
China is poisoning its own people and making no apparent effort to stop this. Most people know about the unprecedented air pollution in major Chinese cities. For months, photos of Beijing and other cities obscured by the gray-brown muck have been on the front pages of newspapers worldwide. But even more serious problems are leading people to consume toxic rice and other foods, while also creating other shocking consequences -- like the 42 deaths and more than 1,500 serious injuries in Shaanxi province from hornet-swarm stings in recent weeks.
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By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | December 25, 2003
Maryland and 11 other states challenging the Bush administration's new air pollution rules won an injunction in federal court yesterday blocking some of the most critical regulations from taking effect. The order from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stops the Environmental Protection Agency from putting in place this week changes to the Clean Air Act regarding coal-fired power plants and other industrial facilities. "We are pleased with the court's ruling," said Richard McIntire, a spokesman for Maryland Department of the Environment.
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By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,Sun reporter | February 25, 2008
Power plants and other industries would have to pay more than $2 million a year in new air pollution fees so the state could hire more environmental enforcement officers under a bill being debated in Annapolis. The O'Malley administration is supporting the legislation, which would allow the Maryland Department of the Environment to use the money to fill 26 positions that have been vacant because of several years of budget cuts. "We need to have adequate enforcement of our air pollution laws, and we don't have that - only 18 inspectors looking after 11,600 sources of air pollution," said Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat and sponsor of the bill.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2013
Federal regulators have reached a tentative deal with Carnival Corp. on a plan to reduce air pollution from nearly a third of its cruise ships, but the accord comes too late to reverse at least a temporary loss of lucrative cruise business for Baltimore. Under the agreement, to be announced today, the Miami-based company pledged to install pollution control equipment on 32 of its ships over the next three years and use it while they cruise in waters near the U.S. coast. During that time, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard will exempt those vessels from a pending requirement that they burn less-polluting fuel.
NEWS
July 7, 2013
In response to the op-ed written by Dee Hodges ("Focusing on the wrong threat to the bay," July 4), I must disagree. She recently attended a forum where I spoke in detail about Chesapeake Bay pollution. I made it very clear that the sources of pollution to the bay are varied and that all must be addressed or the bay cleanup will fail. Pollution of the bay comes from many sources and is caused by many pollutants. Air pollution contributes 30 percent of nitrogen; sewage treatment plants must be made more efficient, thus the Bay Restoration Fee (flush tax)
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