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Tim Wheeler | August 15, 2012
Trading pollution "credits" to reduce the cost of cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay risks endangering the health of the region's poor and minority communities, a new report warns. The report by the Washingon-based Center for Progressive Reform contends that without explicit safeguards, water-quality trading programs being launched in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia could result in localized concentrations of nutrient pollution, most likely in urban areas with already degraded waters.
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By Tim Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2014
After shrinking for a while to its smallest size in 30 years, the Chesapeake Bay's "dead zone" has made a late-summer comeback, and that's not good for crabs, fish and oysters. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports that the volume of bay water with too little oxygen in it for fish to breathe -- also known as the "dead zone" -- rebounded in early August to its 8th largest size.  In early July, the zone had dipped to a record-low volume in early July, a shift scientists attributed to Hurricane Arthur stirring the bay's waters as the storm passed by Maryland on its way up the Atlantic coast.  With the dead zone back to above-average, the volume of low-oxygen water in the main bay was estimated last week to be 1.32 cubic miles.  That's about what government and University of Maryland scientists had predicted early in the summer, based on high river flows resulting from a wetter spring this year than in 2013.  Heavy rains and snow melt tend to wash more nitrogen and phosphorus off the land into the water, where the plant nutrients stimulate algae blooms, followed by a dip in oxygen levels in the bay's depths.
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NEWS
By Tom Horton and Tom Horton,SUN STAFF | March 7, 1997
NEWS THIS WEEK from north and south of us: encouraging signs of an environmental turnaround in Virginia; and in Pennsylvania, bringing "ecosystem management" to a mammoth forest coveted by loggers and deer.It is a pleasure to write of good environmental news out of Virginia, where Gov. George F. Allen's administration has spent the last few years welshing on Chesapeake Bay commitments.Before the legislature adjourned last month, it passed two bills called "historic" in importance by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Richmond, Va., office.
NEWS
August 20, 2014
Gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan is using the Conowingo dam to attack his opponent ( "Rain inspires new Hogan attack on Brown," Aug 12) in a perfect example of politicians distorting facts to suit their campaigns. The 200 million tons of sediment stored behind the Conowingo Dam are certainly a threat to the Chesapeake Bay. However, to suggest that Maryland should abandon its local cleanup programs to deal solely with Conowingo is irresponsible and just plain wrong. On the day Mr. Hogan made his proclamation, record rainfall overflowed local rivers, creeks and streams in central Maryland, causing widespread flooding and polluted runoff.
NEWS
August 2, 1999
Monitoring of water quality to end week of Aug. 30The Anne Arundel County Department of Health will end its summer water-quality monitoring program for fecal coliform bacteria the week of Aug. 30.The water-quality phone line at 410-222-7999, installed for access to the results, will remain in operation through Sept. 6.The program and phone line will be activated again next year during the Memorial Day weekend.Information: www.health.co. anne-arundel.md.us.
NEWS
March 19, 2005
Saving streams protects legacy for our children Forty years ago, children swam safely in Herring Run, a small tributary that flows through Baltimore County and northeast Baltimore City. Now it is contaminated from sewage leaking from our aging sewer system, trash dropped and swept into storm drains, nutrient pollution from fertilizers and pollutants surging into the stream with every storm. Yet the stream remains a beautiful place that gives urban children a small sense of the wild. And it can become better.
NEWS
November 20, 2013
The Farm Bureau doesn't care at all about the water quality of our local streams, much less the Chesapeake Bay ( "Farm pollution rule withdrawn," Nov. 15). I live in central Maryland and one of our local "environmental" farmers just spread a very large field of corn fodder with liquid manure. The manure was not worked into the soil. This is manure disposal, not manure utilization. The water quality of our local streams will never improve until Maryland gets serious about what is happening on its farms.
EXPLORE
August 2, 2011
Residents can provide input into improving water quality in Prince George's County at a series of three public forums. The forums are a joint effort between the county's Department of Environmental Resources, Soil Conservation District, Health Department, Department of Public Works and Transportation; Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission; and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. The first forum will be held Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Prince George's County Soil Conservation District, 5301 Marlboro Race Track Road, Suite 100, inUpper Marlboro.
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By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2013
More than 70 percent of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams are falling short of water quality goals, according to a report released Tuesday. The "Bay Barometer" report is issued annually by the Chesapeake Bay Program, the federal-state partnership that oversees restoration efforts for the bay. This year's report includes a new category that combines water quality readings such as dissolved oxygen and clarity. The bay and its tributaries are broken into 291 sections, of which only 29 percent had an adequate score.
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By Meredith Cohn | meredith.cohn@baltsun.com | March 29, 2010
On a bridge behind a strip mall on Liberty Road just west of Baltimore, a group of state biologists trekked out in the morning drizzle Monday to gauge the health of the Chesapeake Bay. From the bridge over the Gwynns Falls they lowered a device about 2 feet into the brown-green water to take the temperature and measure the dissolved oxygen. Then they lowered a bottle with a small crane to collect a water sample, checking for sediment, nutrients and solids. The effort, made in 54 sites each month across the state since 1986, shows the short-and long-term health of Maryland's streams, the Inner Harbor and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. The results not only help guide those who regulate pollution, but help the biologists show how the way people live and work affects the water quality nearby and downstream.
NEWS
August 14, 2014
If Baltimore were actually considering privatizing its water system, the 50 or so people who were protesting outside City Hall on Wednesday would have had a strong case to be upset. But it's not. Rather, Baltimore is looking for a consultant to evaluate the operation and maintenance of its aging system to find ways to increase efficiency - something that should be greatly in the public interest at a time when rates are constantly going up and broken water mains are distressingly common.
NEWS
July 3, 2014
The Maryland and Delaware Atlantic Ocean beach resorts got a bit of good news to kick off the summer season this past week. The latest survey by the National Resources Defense Council rates both states as having some of the cleanest beach water in the country. Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency water quality standards for swimmer safety (and the prevalence of disease-causing bacteria or viruses), Maryland had the fourth safest coastal beaches in the country. Delaware was the best overall.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | June 28, 2014
Fecal matter, it's enough to make you wonder whether you'll ever want to jump in the water again. But it's summer after all, and what's summer without a dip in the bay or a spin on the water skis. Now there's a way to know how much fecal bacteria is in your chosen body of water. The Maryland Department of the Environment posts swimming advisories on an interactive online map at marylandhealthybeaches.com. Beaches closed because of high bacteria readings are shown with red markers; safe beaches are shown in blue.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2014
Visitors to Cunningham Falls State Park are being warned by the Frederick County Health Department that swimming, wading or splashing at Hunting Creek Lake could make them sick. Heavy rainfall and storm-water runoff have affected the lake's water quality, according to the health department. Park patrons are urged to stay out of the water if they have cuts or open skin wounds, a compromised immune system or young children. If anyone does go in the water, officials recommend scrubbing with anti-bacterial soaps immediately upon getting out of the water.
NEWS
By Quinn Kelley, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2014
A sewage overflow estimated at 50,000 gallons was released into Miller Run in west Catonsville, and officials have advised people avoid contact with the waste water. Baltimore County's public works department responded to the sanitary sewer overflow Monday morning. A resident discovered the sewage, which overflowed from a manhole in a right-of-way south of Baltimore National Pike and north of Quilting Bee Road. The overflow was undetected for about seven days; after cleaning roots obstructing the line, the department stopped the overflow at 10 a.m., officials said.
NEWS
December 4, 2013
To view the latest measure of the state of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, the Chesapeake Bay Program's "Bay Barometer," is not unlike receiving the interim report card of a chronically underachieving student. Whatever modest progress is reported, it's difficult to get past the miserably low overall grades. This sort of science-based snapshot may be useful, but it's also a bit bracing - or "sobering" as some environmentalists have described it. Less than one-third of the Chesapeake Bay's tidal areas meet federally-approved water quality standards while three-quarters of 92 tidal areas tested positive for chemical contaminants, and underwater grasses continue to decline.
NEWS
January 12, 2010
The Sun's January 11 op-ed accurately describes the Department of the Environment's focus on enforcing environmental laws that, despite resource constraints, resulted in a 34 percent increase in enforcement actions in 2008 ("Tougher policing of water quality needed"). Our annual report will soon detail an additional 7 percent increase in 2009. But while there are certainly differences of opinion, the claim that "nobody is doing anything" to clean up the Chesapeake Bay is simply incorrect.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | June 26, 2013
If you're thinking of hitting the beach anytime this summer, the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests you're much less likely to get sick playing in the surf at Ocean City or at Dewey and Rehoboth beaches in Delaware. The New York-based environmental group rates the Atlantic beaches closest to most Marylanders "superstars" for water quality, awarding them five stars for ensuring the health of bathers, along with 11 other beaches nationwide. Ocean City has gotten the group's five-star rating every years since 2008.
FEATURES
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2013
More than 70 percent of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams are falling short of water quality goals, according to a report released Tuesday. The "Bay Barometer" report is issued annually by the Chesapeake Bay Program, the federal-state partnership that oversees restoration efforts for the bay. This year's report includes a new category that combines water quality readings such as dissolved oxygen and clarity. The bay and its tributaries are broken into 291 sections, of which only 29 percent had an adequate score.
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