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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2012
On a hot summer day, it's hard to see how the Conowingo Dam could hurt the Chesapeake Bay. Anglers line the shore below the 94-foot high impoundment, casting out into the gently roiling Susquehanna River for rockfish breaking the water. Yet unseen, on the other side of the dam, millions upon millions of tons of sediment and nutrient pollution are slowly building up that could wreak havoc on the bay if they get through. "It's an invisible problem," said Michael Helfrich, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, as he watches the fishermen.
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NEWS
October 8, 2014
Democrat Anthony G. Brown and Republican Larry Hogan threw around a lot of charges and numbers during Tuesday's gubernatorial debate. Here are some of the facts behind the accusations. • Brown repeatedly said Hogan wants to hand corporations "a $300 million tax giveaway. " Hogan has said he wants to reduce Maryland's corporate tax rate from 8.25 to 6 percent, which translates into $300 million of tax revenue in one year. Hogan contends the increased economic activity from lower taxes would eventually more than offset that loss.
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NEWS
By TOM HORTON | March 27, 1993
Basic to the nature of estuaries like Chesapeake Bay is their variability.From its geologic history to its life forms, currents and sediments, the bay displays rich overlays of comings and goings that help make the place so fascinating.For example, perhaps a dozen different Chesapeakes have existed during the last several million years. As ice ages wax and wane, the oceans are alternately bound up and released from the polar ice; sea level rises and falls by several hundred feet.Only in the warmest parts of the short periods -- tens of thousands of years -- between glaciers do the seas gorge the coastal river valleys like the one the Susquehanna River has cut through our region.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
To hear Larry Hogan tell it, the multibillion-dollar effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay has been a dismal failure - and the biggest problem is getting Pennsylvania and New York to stop sending sediment pollution down the Susquehanna River. The Republican gubernatorial candidate vows to "stand up" for Maryland farmers, watermen and homeowners, who he contends have been unfairly burdened with the bay's restoration, and says he'd take the other states to court if necessary to get them to do more.
NEWS
By Alan J. Craver and Alan J. Craver,Staff writer | March 29, 1992
A Bel Air developer has been placed on two years' probation for violating state sediment-control laws by allowing soil from a developmentsite to foul a stream.Thomas J. Langford, 45, also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for 18 counts of sediment-control violations at his Plumtree Estates development south of Bel Air.Harford Circuit Judge William O. Carr ordered the developer Monday to pay $30,000 in fines, but suspended payment of the fines.Langford filed for bankruptcy two years ago.The developer faced a maximum sentence of $495,000 in fines and 18 years in prison for the violations.
NEWS
By Erin Texeira and Erin Texeira,SUN STAFF | March 12, 1997
The body of water that lends its name to Columbia's Wilde Lake village has long suffered a buildup of sediment because heavy rains erode its tributaries at an alarming rate.Now, after years of complaints from residents and a push by local ecologists, the county and the Columbia Association (CA) are setting aside money to do something about the problem.A large-scale engineering project, scheduled to start this summer, will stabilize some of the streams to reduce the amount of sediment coming off their banks, said Jim M. Irvin, director of the county Public Works Department.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2011
Two weeks after Tropical Storm Lee flushed millions of tons of mud into the Chesapeake Bay, state and federal officials announced Tuesday they are launching a study of how to protect the estuary from sediment and other pollutants building up behind dams on the Susquehanna River. Experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maryland departments of environment and natural resources and the Nature Conservancy, a Washington-based conservation group, will team up for the $1.4 million, three-year evaluation of how to deal with sediment accumulating upriver from the Conowingo Dam and three other hydroelectric facilities on the Susquehanna.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | February 15, 2001
Restoration work could begin next week on a Cecil County trout stream that was damaged when a sediment holding pond on a nearby hazardous waste site failed, state officials said yesterday. In the wake of the December accident, sediment clogged an unnamed stream that flows into Basin Run, downhill from the Woodlawn County Landfill, a federal Superfund site. The stream is the Basin Run watershed's main trout-spawning area, say biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
NEWS
By Liz Atwood and Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF | November 19, 1998
Visionary engineers, tough local development regulations -- and a stroke of luck -- might have spared Loch Raven Reservoir from filling in with sediment these last 75 years, extending the life of the water supply and saving taxpayers from costly dredging.Officials with the Maryland Geological Survey, working with federal and local agencies on the most comprehensive study of area reservoirs, found the capacity of Loch Raven has not significantly diminished since 1923 -- contrary to the fears of environmentalists.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2010
Visitors who expect to see clear waters at Columbia's Lake Elkhorn after a multimillion-dollar dredging is complete in December will likely find algae and vines thriving again next spring, despite rising cost estimates for removing decades' worth of sediment. Without dredging, Columbia's man-made lakes would eventually fill in with sediment and plants, reverting over decades to the stream valleys they once were. The two largest, 37-acre Elkhorn, and 27-acre Lake Kittamaqundi, have never been completely dredged.
FEATURES
By Tim Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2014
Ever wonder why your neighborhood streams and rivers look so muddy after a heavy rain? A recent survey of construction sites in the Baltimore area found less than a quarter of the exposed soil being worked had been properly protected from erosion. The survey, involving staff and volunteers from 22 different environmental and community groups, found widely varying but generally poor controls on mud pollution being used at building sites in Baltimore City and the five surrounding counties.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | September 9, 2014
Legislators from Maryland and Pennsylvania sparred at a hearing in Annapolis Monday over whether their states are doing too much or too little to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution. In a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing called to review the new bay restoration agreement, Maryland state Sen. Steve Hershey complained about the "astronomical cost" of cleaning up the ailing estuary, calling it an "unfunded mandate" from the federal government. Maryland's share has been estimated at nearly $15 billion through 2025, he noted.
NEWS
September 1, 2014
The general election is still more than two months away but here's a bit of friendly advice to candidates hoping to win office in Maryland: Don't use the Conowingo Dam as an excuse to stop cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. That would seem like common sense but it's become increasingly clear that damning the dam has become a popular political strategy. Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan released a 30-second ad through his website last month that essentially blames the Conowingo for the bay's woes and urges voters to fight back against other pollution-fighting strategies endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Democratically-controlled state government.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | August 12, 2014
Discussing the weather might once have been an alternative to arguing about politics, but not in Maryland in 2014. Before the front that brought torrential rains to Maryland Tuesday had even passed, it became the basis for an attack by Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan on Democratic rival Anthony G. Brown. Precipitation had already been at the center of this year's campaign as a result of Republican opposition to the storm water cleanup fees they have dubbed "the rain tax. " On Tuesday evening, after a day that brought flash flooding around the state and broke rainfall records at BWI, the Hogan campaign released a statement charging that the downpour underscored the O'Malley-Brown administration's failure to protect the Chesapeake Bay from " catastrophic releases of polluted sediment from the long-neglected control reservoirs, or ponds, above the Conowingo Dam. " Hogan was referring to a long-running controversy over how much hard the buildup of decades of sediment behind the dam on the Susquehanna River poses to the bay. Hogan considers it the No. 1 threat to the bay -- a view not shared by the Army Corps of Engineers and many environmentalists.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 5, 2014
Sediment buildup behind Conowingo Dam poses a relatively small threat to the Chesapeake Bay's health, a federal official said at a Senate hearing Monday. He predicted it could cost billions of dollars to address the risk by dredging the river bottom, and suggested it was not worth the expense. Col. J. Richard Jordan III, commander of the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers, testified at the hearing - held at the dam, rather than in Washington - that only 20 percent of the muck that turned the upper bay brown after Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 came from the buildup behind the hydroelectric facility, according to a joint federal-state study.
NEWS
By Gerald W. Winegrad | December 15, 2013
Thirty years ago, the governors in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; the mayor of D.C.; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator signed the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement, solemnly pledging to stem the flow of pollutants and bring the bay into compliance with the Clean Water Act. As a state senator, I optimistically witnessed this event and thought the job would be done in a decade. But today - after more detailed pledges to reduce nutrients, sediment and toxic chemicals - we are still far from meeting these commitments.
NEWS
By John Morris and John Morris,Staff writer | May 17, 1991
The county violated state laws against sediment pollution when it failed to install erosion controls at the Sudley landfill near Lothian.The state Department of the Environment issued a complaint against the county May 9, said DOE spokesman Michael Sullivan.State inspectors had asked the county to correct environmental violations at the site three times since February, Sullivan said.The state asked the county to plant grass or cover an unused area, where the soil is exposed. But the problem still had not been resolved when an inspector returned last week.
NEWS
By Joel McCord and Joel McCord,SUN STAFF | June 16, 2000
CONOWINGO - Beneath the waters that slap against the wall of the dam here is a load of silt that, let loose, could choke much of the life out of Chesapeake Bay. The mile-long dam across the Susquehanna River, connecting Harford and Cecil counties, has kept about 2.5 million tons of sediment from reaching the bay every year since it was built in 1928. But the lake behind the dam is filling fast and in 15 to 20 years is expected to reach the point where it will hold no more silt. "There's no question that the sediment that's built up behind that dam is a time bomb just waiting to go off," said Mike Hirschfield, a senior vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2013
A measure that would allow Maryland to continue to unload huge quantities of dredging spoils on islands in the Chesapeake Bay — an effort considered critical for the port of Baltimore — won broad bipartisan support Wednesday in the ordinarily divided House of Representatives. The 417-3 House vote to approve an $8 billion water bill cleared the way for negotiations with the Senate on a final legislative package that state officials hope will be even more advantageous for state shipping operations.
NEWS
September 26, 2013
This letter is in reference to your story on Wednesday Sept. 25, "Craig calls APG biggest polluter. " For some reason, Mr. Craig's remarks just rubbed me the wrong way. It sounded like he would rather have a sound-bite than be accurate in his statements. Well Mr Craig let's talk about some of these points 1. "APG should fix Atkisson Dam because it's their sediment. " I beg to differ. Last time I checked sediment is moved by water and water flows downstream. That sediment is most likely due to the development in the upper Winters Run drainage basin.
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