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By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2013
Environmentalists and government officials dedicated a stormwater pollution control project near Annapolis on Wednesday that they say is an example of what can be done to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The $900,000 project was paid for by state and federal grants, but is the type of project that could be funded by Anne Arundel County's new stormwater fee, said Severn Riverkeeper Fred Kelly, who spearheaded the project. The project re-engineered a stormwater holding pond and 1,700 linear feet of Cabin Branch, a stream that flows from the intersection of Bestgate Road and Generals Highway near the Westfield Annapolis mall out to Saltworks Creek on the Severn River.
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NEWS
By Janene Holzberg and For The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
Maintaining an environmentally friendly landscape at her family's home in Long Reach comes as second nature to Janine Pollack, who loves gardening and the outdoors. The pluses, some obvious and some not, are numerous. They include the inherent adaptability of native plants to the area's climate as well as their ability to attract insects, which attract birds, which attract wildlife. But the primary ecological benefit - which goes undetected by most visitors surveying the natural beauty of Pollack's outdoor canvas - is the ability of strategically placed landscaping to prevent polluted stormwater runoff from spoiling waterways and eventually fouling the Chesapeake Bay. Such benefits, and the principles behind them, will explained to visitors Sept.
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NEWS
January 19, 2010
In his January 18th piece, "New Md. Rules on Stormwater Assailed," Tim Wheeler describes the content of a Smart Growth Task Force meeting at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) where members of the development community came out to oppose new regulations aimed at tightening pollution control standards on re-development sites. Having been at the meeting, I wasn't surprised so much by the overwhelming sentiment from the development community; they don't want to have to pay the cost of making their projects pollute less.
FEATURES
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
About 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from a rooftop generator at Bond Street Wharf into the Fells Point harbor Sunday, Maryland environmental officials said. The fuel leaked into the water from a stormwater outfall at Bond Street, Maryland Department of the Environment spokesman Jay Apperson said. Officials believe 75-100 gallons of the red-dyed fuel reached the Patapsco River. MDE's Emergency Response Division contained the spill with a boom, a temporary floating barrier used to contain oil, and used absorbent materials to recover oil from the water, Apperson said.
NEWS
March 29, 2012
Between 2006 and 2011, during the worst economic period since World War II for design and construction firms, my company has quadrupled in size. We have hired both professional and semi-skilled workers. The reason for that is we have focused our work on fixing community stormwater systems. These systems of pipes, trenches and ponds that drain rain water from our cities and suburbs have been badly neglected in the past few decades. Many jurisdictions estimate at least 30 percent of their stormwater facilities no longer function.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2013
The Anne Arundel County Council on Monday lowered the new stormwater fees to $1 for all nonprofit organizations. Previously, the county charged the nominal $1 fee to religious nonprofits and churches, but the American Civil Liberties Union objected this summer, saying religious groups shouldn't be treated differently than other groups. The vote to lower the fee was 4-3, with support from Council Chairman Jerry Walker, Councilman Daryl Jones, Councilman Derek Fink and Councilman Richard Ladd.
NEWS
March 17, 2014
The Severn River Association will host a meeting Tuesday, March 18, to discuss ways that local communities are dealing with stormwater runoff issues. The session is part of the association's monthly educational series. Residents from Herald Harbor and Winchester neighborhoods will explain how their communities sought grants from state, federal and nonprofit groups to help design and build stormwater control solutions. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Union Jack's, 2072 Somerville Road, Annapolis.
NEWS
June 14, 2013
The answer to the new stormwater fees and requirements is porous asphalt ("Churches seek break on city stormwater fee," June 12). When such asphalt is used, rainwater drains through the top layer and eventually runs back into the soil underneath the asphalt. This eliminates the need for drainage structures and drainage areas and stops runoff into ecologically sensitive or protected waterways. Moreover, it costs less overall than traditional paving options, is better for the environment and should be exempt from the high fees imposed by local governments.
NEWS
June 13, 2013
The Catholic Church and other religious institutions should stop complaining about paying their fair share of the burden we all bear to clean up our environment ("Churches seek break on city stormwater fees," June 12). If they weren't already exempt from taxes, which is a debatable given the Constitution's ban on laws favoring the establishment of religion, the rest of our secular population would not have the burden of making up the tax loss. The small assessment for such a wealthy church should pose no undue burden on its ability to do charitable work.
NEWS
May 6, 2013
Maryland lawmakers are wringing a tax from the rain that falls from our roofs. It won't be long before Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly come up with a way to tax the rain that falls from our umbrellas ("Arundel council overrides stormwater veto," May 2). They can use the same criteria that they use for the roofs and the driveways. I can visualize the Maryland Raindrop Police running after us with their measuring tapes, assessing all parasols, umbrellas and large golf umbrellas.
NEWS
Staff Reports, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2014
Howard County's Watershed Protection and Restoration Program is launching a project to repair a stormwater pond on Old Mill Road in the vicinity of Millwick Drive in Ellicott City. The project will include replacement of the pond's metal principal spillway with a new concrete spillway. Last year, the County Council approved a Watershed Protection and Restoration Plan that is expected to collect $9.5 million annually for improvement projects. The money will be used for stream restorations, pond retrofits, bioretention areas, asphalt reduction and other projects to meet a federally required target of making sure that 20 percent of the county's untreated impervious surface is being treated by 2019.
BUSINESS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2014
The concrete oozed rather than poured out of the mixer truck, almost as if reluctant to cover the ground - partly because it won't, entirely. Laborers shoveled pebbly gobs around to form a new sidewalk at a park-and-ride lot in Waysons Corner, one of two where the State Highway Administration is laying "pervious" concrete this summer as a test of its environmental friendliness. Porous paving surfaces have been around for decades, but they're expensive and often didn't work well.
NEWS
Staff Reports, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2014
Anne Arundel County Police have identified the man whose body was recovered from a pond near Arundel Mills in Hanover Tuesday morning. Police said the man was an accused shoplifter who had run from security at the mall and jumped into the nearby pond. He was identified as Tavon Talley, 26, of Baltimore. Police said the Office of The Chief Medical Examiner completed an examination and autopsy of Talley and found the cause of death appears to be drowning, pending toxicology results.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2014
Carroll County has agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty after a federally led inspection found the county had failed to properly protect its streams and waterways from polluted stormwater runoff. The Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier this week it had reached a settlement with the county, in which local officials agreed to pay the fine and correct federal water pollution violations found more than two years ago. The agency accused the county of failing to identify all the outfalls where stormwater runs into streams and rivers, not inspecting construction sites often enough, failing to check all county facilities for runoff controls and not providing a hotline for residents to report illegal discharges into storm drains.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2014
State and federal officials joined a Chesapeake Bay nonprofit Thursday in announcing the award of more than $3.7 million to 34 organizations to reduce storm-water pollution in Maryland and three neighboring states and the District of Columbia. Nine of the grants totaling more than $1 million went toward planting trees, removing pavement and other greening projects in Baltimore city, while two smaller grants targeted plantings in Baltimore County. Shawn Garvin, Mid-Atlantic regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, whose agency provided some of the funds, said investing in such "green infrastructure" to soak up rainfall is "critically important to restoring local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. " Storm-water runoff is a significant and growing source of pollution fouling the bay, but controlling it in dense, older communities is challenging and costly.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | June 16, 2014
In Severna Park, candidates repeat two words again and again this primary season: rain tax. County Councilman Dick Ladd, a Republican who represents Severna Park, Arnold and Broadneck in the 5th District, is being targeted by six challengers, most of whom criticize him for voting for the county's stormwater fees, derided as the "rain tax" by opponents. "People are worried about taxes. People don't like the rain tax that not only Dick Ladd voted for, but said he voted for with pleasure," said Republican challenger Joseph M. Campbell.
NEWS
May 3, 2013
The glaringly evident lack of leadership in our state is so very obvious, it's disconcerting ("Spinning corruption," May 1). If Gov. Martin O'Malley would quit looking ahead at a possible run for the presidency, perhaps he and his cronies (one with curly white hair, the other with straight white hair) could have possibly averted the heinous situation at the Baltimore Detention Center. Our governor probably thought Javon White was a Raven! Patrick Lynch, Nottingham
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2014
As Anne Arundel County officials begin spending money from new stormwater fees on environmental projects, they're hoping to make it easier for property owners to appeal the fees. Since the fees were billed for the first time last summer, more than 300 property owners have appealed. More than one-third of appellants missed the Aug. 15 appeal deadline, but the Department of Public Works is reviewing their appeals anyway. Chris Phipps, the county's director of public works, is seeking approval of a bill before the County Council that would legally allow this year's late appeals to be considered.
NEWS
March 17, 2014
The Severn River Association will host a meeting Tuesday, March 18, to discuss ways that local communities are dealing with stormwater runoff issues. The session is part of the association's monthly educational series. Residents from Herald Harbor and Winchester neighborhoods will explain how their communities sought grants from state, federal and nonprofit groups to help design and build stormwater control solutions. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Union Jack's, 2072 Somerville Road, Annapolis.
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