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By Timothy B. Wheeler and Baltimore Sun reporter | December 10, 2009
A series of water pollution violations reported at the University of Maryland's Horn Point environmental laboratory were not violations at all, but "a reporting error," the Maryland Department of the Environment said Wednesday. The university's laboratory near Cambridge on the Eastern Shore was identified as an example of poor state enforcement of water pollution laws in a report by a coalition of environmental groups. The Waterkeepers Chesapeake of Maryland said federal data show the lab had reported 80 violations of its discharge permit requirements over the past five years, and that there was no record of a state inspection of the facility during that time.
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NEWS
June 28, 2014
Kudos to Richard Hall for his commentary entitled "Redevelop Md.'s future" (June 26). It echoes what I have been saying for the past 25 years or so. Better to increase the infill development in places where there is already infrastructure in place than continue to extend development farther and farther away from existing population centers. Stated simply, the goal should be to increase the population of existing population centers. That may be complex to implement and achieve but nonetheless desirable and attainable.
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FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Baltimore Sun reporter | April 7, 2010
Maryland is failing to ride herd on water pollution in the state because of serious funding shortfalls and its own flawed enforcement practices, according to a Washington-based think tank. The Center for Progressive Reform contends in a new report that while Maryland has some of the nation's toughest environmental laws, its enforcement of water pollution is lagging. "They could do better," Robert L. Glicksman, the report's co-author and environmental law professor at George Washington University, said of state environmental officials.
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 | April 8, 2010
Maryland is failing to ride herd on water pollution in the state because of serious funding shortfalls and its own flawed enforcement practices, according to a Washington-based think tank. The Center for Progressive Reform contends in a new report that while Maryland has some of the nation's toughest environmental laws, its enforcement of water pollution regulations is lagging. "They could do better," Robert L. Glicks- man, the report's co-author and environmental law professor at George Washington University, said of state environmental officials.
NEWS
December 18, 2009
A pair of environmental groups said Thursday that they plan to sue Perdue Farms and an Eastern Shore chicken grower for alleged water pollution violations. The Assateague Coastkeeper and the Waterkeeper Alliance filed notice of their intent to seek legal action in 60 days against the Salisbury-based poultry company and the owners of a farm near Berlin that raises 80,000 birds under contract to Perdue. The groups contend that a drainage ditch feeding into the Pocomoke River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, is being polluted with chicken manure washing off the farm.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | June 22, 2012
A new permit proposed by the state for curbing runoff in Baltimore city is coming under fire from a pair of environmental groups, which contend it fails to require big enough reductions in the pollution fouling the harbor. The Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper and Earthjustice say the storm-water permit proposed for the city last week by the Maryland Department of the Environment is vague and weak. The groups are calling on the state to include specific deadlines and enforceable requirements in the permit, arguing that without those it's little more than "guidance" for the city.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | October 18, 2012
Alan Hudson, the farmer at the center of a environmental law case that could shake up the Eastern Shore chicken business, took the stand in federal court Wednesday to tell his side of the story. Hudson testified that as a 19-year-old, he built the chicken houses at issue in the case, on the Berlin-area farm that has been in his family for at least a century. "That was going to be my contribution to getting my foot in the door farming with them," the 37-year-old Hudson said, adding that the farm needed a new stream of revenue after its dairy closed down a few years before.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | August 23, 2001
WASHINGTON - An internal Environmental Protection Agency study concluded that the states are doing a poor job of monitoring and punishing water polluters, even as the Bush administration plans to turn more pollution enforcement over to the states. "Not taking prompt enforcement action increases water pollution as violations go unchecked," the EPA's inspector general found. The 100-page report on state enforcement of water pollution laws in 1998 and 1999 was posted on the EPA's Web site yesterday.
NEWS
By Traci A. Johnson and Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer | September 2, 1993
The New Windsor town government has asked the Maryland Department of Environment to reduce a fine imposed for water pollution at the town's sewer treatment facility from $5,000 to $500, Mayor Jack A. Gullo said last night at the monthly council meeting.In return, the town will improve its laboratory conditions at the treatment lagoon, explain why wastewater discharged from the system in February and March had a high alkalinity, and improve and document the plant's standard operating procedures, Mayor Gullo said.
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
April 8, 2014
Two years ago, the General Assembly passed a law requiring Maryland's 10 largest jurisdictions to begin imposing a stormwater fee to cover the costs of reducing pollution that results when rain sweeps dog droppings, pesticides, motor oil and other harmful muck into streams and rivers. Worsened by the rising amount of impervious surfaces (driveways, parking lots, rooftops and so on) in the region, such runoff is a major source of pollution into the Chesapeake Bay, and the fee's adoption was hailed as part of a banner year for the environmental movement.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | December 24, 2013
Baltimore city , Baltimore County and Prince George's County have been directed by the state to step up their efforts to reduce polluted runoff fouling local streams and the Chesapeake Bay. But environmental groups contend the mandates are too vague and weak, raising the possibility they may go to court to challenge them. The Maryland Department of the Environment ordered the three large jurisdictions to take a variety of similar actions over the next five years to curtail storm-water pollution, including reducing litter in water ways and retrofitting 20 percent of their streets, parking lots and buildings to catch or treat runoff.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | November 24, 2013
Environmental groups scored a win last week in their lawsuit contending that Montgomery County's state-mandated plan for curbing polluted runoff is lacking. Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin ordered the Maryland Department of the Environment on Wednesday to revisit the storm-water permit it had issued the county in 2010 requiring reductions in pollution and trash from county streets, parking lots and existing buildings. Environmentalists had challenged the permit , arguing that it violated the Clean Water Act by failing to specify reductions needed in harmful discharges of nutrients, sediment and bacteria into the county's rivers and streams.
NEWS
November 22, 2013
Alas, the regulation of farming is one of those activities that invites the kind of polarized views that one associates with Washington politics and playground fights. The recent decision by the O'Malley administration to delay new rules limiting the spread of phosphorus-laden poultry manure brought predictable results. Some environmental groups cried "foul" (or "fowl" depending on one's point of view) while the folks at the Maryland Farm Bureau said they wouldn't be satisfied until the regulations were buried much deeper and more permanently than that.
NEWS
November 4, 2013
With the 2014 general election almost exactly one year away, at least five of Maryland's gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate environmental issues for the first time tomorrow in Annapolis. No doubt questions will range from smart growth to climate change to the future of the Chesapeake Bay, but surely no topic is likely to prove more contentious than what Maryland should do about polluted run-off from city and suburban streets. Voters would be wise to pay attention to what the candidates have to say on the subject as it may prove the best way to sort those who claim to care about clean water from those who are willing to do something about it. The political grandstanding over the state's "rain tax" has been one of the more disheartening developments to hit the local environmental movement in recent years.
FEATURES
By Susan McGrath and Susan McGrath,Los Angeles Times Syndicate | March 20, 1991
Evil-smelling effluent bubbling from a factory into a bay. Is that what you see when you think of water pollution?Twenty years ago, that picture would have been pretty accurate. But factories and municipalities have largely cleaned up their act -- and their effluent, the technical term for waste water.Now when it comes to polluting surface waters, the biggest villains are us. You, me, Mr. Perennially Tinkering Under Cars next door, Ms. Weed and Feed the Lawn Every Month Whether It Needs It or Not on the corner, and the folks across the street who paved their yard so they wouldn't have to mow it.The problem is runoff.
NEWS
September 20, 2013
I have followed David Craig throughout his administration as Harford County Executive, and he has been governing from a moderate right-of-center position. It seems now he is running for governor he has chosen to pander to the extreme uninformed wing in his party with his recent comments regarding water pollution and run-off into the Chesapeake Bay ( "Harford's Craig to seek repeal of local 'rain tax,'" Sept. 17). He has chosen to take an easy rhetorical approach in opposing the so-called "rain tax. " It is pretty easy to be against a tax on "rain.
EXPLORE
June 10, 2013
Residents will see clear benefits from paying storm water fee Most people probably wouldn't let their child bathe in a storm drain. Yet allowing him or her to swim or wade in many of the creeks and rivers of Carroll County after a heavy rainstorm is virtually the same thing. That's because of storm water. It's not an everyday term, storm water. But it's a genuine problem. Storm water pollution is increasing around the region. Thanks to cooperation between government, business and citizens, water pollution from farms, sewage plants, and other sources has been reduced.
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