This week, the Baltimore County Council voted to pass Bill 37-19, which closes two loopholes that impacted open space requirements in the county. Previously, developers could count parking lot islands and private amenities towards their required open space acreage. Common sense dictates that little patches of grass surrounded by parking lot and private amenities, like rooftop pools, are not public recreational space.
Maryland recently completed a two-year study on the Chesapeake Bay Bridgethat included three recommendations for new crossings. The state is looking at potential bridges between Pasadena and Rock Hall, between Mayo and Easton, and alongside the current spans between Arnold and Kent Island. These sites, along with a "no build" option will be presented at community meetings throughout Maryland.
Today, the Maryland Department of the Environment announced that they are denying the permits to clear cut over 200 acres of Southern Maryland forest for a solar project.
Howard County has a lot of upcoming legislation with hearings scheduled in September. This includes CB38-2019, the Protect This Watershed bill.
Councilwoman Liz Walsh's CB38-2019 is a very big bill that is responding to the problem of waivers in the Patapsco Lower North Branch Watershed. Many laws involving the environment include waivers at the discretion of the overseeing agency, mainly to provide needed flexibility in unforeseen circumstances. When waivers become routine practice, they undermine the effectiveness of that legislation.
On Tuesday, August 20th, County Executive Pittman is holding a town hall at South River High School (201 Central Ave E, Edgewater, MD 21037) at 6:30 PM to present his proposed update to Anne Arundel County's Forest Conservation laws.
Forests throughout Maryland are disappearing, replaced by development. When trends are analyzed, it becomes apparent that Maryland's state minimum forest conservation practices are not doing a good job at protecting our contiguous and heavily forested parcels. It is in these heavily forested parcels that the state is losing hundreds of acres a year.
Georgetown University is currently proposing to cut down 249 acres of Southern Maryland’s largest forest to build a large-scale solar facility. This forest is one of Maryland’s targeted ecological areas, meaning it is a conservation priority for the state. It is home to many at-risk birds as well as Tier II streams, the designation given to Maryland’s highest quality streams. Please click here to email MDE: protect Southern Maryland's largest forest.
Anne Arundel County will be hosting several Visioning Anne Arundel, a continuing discussion for Plan2040, sessions throughout the county. At 5 PM, the county will have an Open House format, followed by a community discussion at 7 PM.
The community discussion will focus on:
While Maryland's legislative session normally ends with celebrations, this year we are all mourning the death of House Speaker Busch. Speaker Busch has served Maryland for many years, championing many environmental issues. His leadership in the House of Delegates and Maryland will be missed.
When the bells rang at midnight, Maryland's legislative session officially ended.
Here is where our priorities landed:
People all across Maryland - especially in Baltimore, Frederick, and Montgomery County where communities have fought or are fighting against trash incinerators in their neighborhoods - have been working to make sure that any increase in the renewable portfolio standard not increase subsidies for trash incineration. Today, on the last day of the legislative session, the current version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act maintains burning trash as a tier 1 renewable energy source, keeping it eligible for the maximum amount of subsidy available.