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Nitrogen

NEWS
By Susan Gvozdas and Susan Gvozdas,Special to The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2008
Anne Arundel County Council members are weighing whether to require homeowners to install a new, more expensive nitrogen-reducing septic system when making upgrades or repairs to their septic tanks. On Monday, council members approved, by a 5-2 vote, an amendment to the bill that would require the new septic tanks only in bogs and critical areas, land within 1,000 feet of tidal waters. The bill had extended the requirement outside those areas, but that language was removed because council members were concerned about the amount of state money available to reimburse homeowners, said Democratic Councilman Jamie Benoit of Crownsville.
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NEWS
October 6, 2008
For those who monitor the health of the Chesapeake Bay, here's the latest discouraging water quality indicator: 340. That's the paltry number of eligible Maryland homeowners who have chosen to upgrade their septic systems with nitrogen-removal technology under a 2-year-old, state-funded program that underwrites 100 percent of the costs up to $10,000 each. The bottom line? The Maryland Department of the Environment can't seem to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars to help correct a serious water quality problem in this state.
NEWS
By Rona Kobell and Rona Kobell,rona.kobell@baltsun.com | September 28, 2008
BENEDICT - Walter Boynton knows all there is to know about the Patuxent River - how to find its guts and marshes, where it shifts from suburban stream into bay-like vastness, when the tide is slack and when it rises. But you don't need to be a University of Maryland biologist to see that the river is in trouble. As Boynton steers his boat underneath the Route 231 bridge near this Charles County town, a thin white film covers the water - part of a miles-long algae bloom. He lifts a dredge from the water to examine a sample of the bottom.
FEATURES
By SUSAN REIMER and SUSAN REIMER,susan.reimer@baltsun.com | September 6, 2008
We all learned the same Thanksgiving story in grade school: The Indians taught the Pilgrims to plant corn, which kept the settlers from starving. The Indians' secret? Plant the seed corn with a fish head. Fish as fertilizer is making a comeback of sorts. Gardeners are realizing that it is valuable because of its unusually high nitrogen content. You just have to get past the smell. That's what stopped me. When I tried to use fish emulsion a couple of summers ago, one whiff of the concentrate made my stomach lurch.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld,Special to the Sun | August 16, 2008
My compost pile smells. It never did before. I've been adding table scraps (no meat or dairy products), plus grass and weeds. Unpleasant odor can be caused by too much nitrogen (green/fresh plant material) or too much water and not enough air. Since all your materials are "green," balance them with "brown" materials, which are high in carbon. Such items include dead dried leaves, sawdust and straw. You can use shredded newspaper, too, but go lightly. If you've been watering the pile, cut back on that.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld,Special to the Sun | July 19, 2008
Every time a baby squash starts to grow, it dies. I water the garden every day with a hose, but my squash still dry up. How can I stop this? Most vegetable plants don't like wet foliage. Choanephora wet rot is a fungus encouraged by rainy years but also by watering overhead and too often. The fuzzy black or brown fungal growth occurs in squash (and pumpkin) blossoms, causing them to abort or, at the connection of the blossom to the young fruit, to wither. Try watering at the base of the plants, only to supplement rainfall.
BUSINESS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,Sun reporter | June 19, 2008
It was November 2006, and Tim Askew had his hands full just dealing with the idea that his new company's technology could treat esophageal cancer. He hadn't even launched his first product, he had few employees, and revenue was still months away. But then he got a call from Dr. William Krimsky, and his world got a lot more complicated "He single-handedly changed the course of the company," said Askew, who is chief executive of CSA Medical Inc.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN REPORTER | May 27, 2008
About a mile from his office at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Thomas Devine has reduced nine years of research to a 3-foot-wide strip of earth that runs about half the length of a football field. There, between two rows of rye, Devine grows his peculiar variety of a crop with a monster-like name: hairy vetch. And he has big plans for it - such as revolutionizing world agriculture. "We're hoping to get a good set of seeds here. All the conditions seem to be right for it," said Devine, plucking a few of the plants from the rich brown soil.
NEWS
By Arthur D. Hershey | May 8, 2008
The Chesapeake region's largest wastewater treatment facility - Washington, D.C.'s Blue Plains Sewage Treatment Plant - is finally getting the attention it deserves. Congressional leaders have called hearings to investigate the bay's largest source of harmful nutrient pollution. The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority has made great strides to initially address reducing pollution at Blue Plains, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is finally requiring the plant to do more. But the primary issue facing the water and sewer authority, Congress and ultimately the ratepayers is costly funding.
NEWS
By Rona Kobell and Rona Kobell,Sun reporter | February 19, 2008
The Chesapeake Bay Commission is asking Congress for $4 million to help pay for improvements to the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant in Washington, a massive facility that each day discharges more than 300 million gallons of treated wastewater into bay tributaries. The plant was upgraded just a decade ago, when the Environmental Protection Agency said it had to reduce its discharge of nitrogen pollution into the Potomac River. But the agency is holding plants to even higher standards now, and getting a huge plant such as Blue Plains to meet them would make a significant difference in the bay's health, advocates say. "If the country is going to have a state-of-the-art facility, it should be in the nation's capital," said Ann Swanson, the bay commission's executive director.
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