Environment

Erik Christensen / gnu

(AP) The controversy over drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean has been reignited by the election of Donald Trump.
 
Environmentalists and coastal businesses say it could be the first major fault line that divides them from the new president.
 
The Obama administration has moved to restrict offshore oil drilling leases in the Atlantic, as well as off Alaska.
 
But President-elect Trump says he intends to use all available fuel reserves for energy self-sufficiency.
 

Don Rush

A new environmental report says that improvement for habitat areas in the Delaware Inland Bays has stalled.

It also reports that the water quality in the bays is still rated fair or poor.

WBOC says that the report by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays found the largest non-point source of nutrient pollution came from fertilizers, animal waste and storm water runoff.  

But the report notes that of the original 13 point sources of discharges into the bay are only two left.

creative commons

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Opponents of the natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing are holding events across the state as Maryland environmental regulators prepare to publish proposed rules for issuing permits starting in October.

The events include a rally Monday afternoon at the Baltimore office of Democratic state Sen. Joan Conway, who chairs the Senate's environmental committee. The Don't Frack Maryland Coalition is asking Conway to support a permanent ban on fracking.

creative commons

The stakes could be high for Delmarva when it comes to the effects of climate change in the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the White House.

The Republican has declared climate change “a hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese.

On the peninsula great efforts have gone into plans for dealing with the loss of coastline.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the three states have serious vulnerable areas ranging from the wetlands along the Delaware Bay Shore and the Chesapeake Bay to Virginia’s coastal barrier islands.

public domain

MILTON, Del. (AP) - State and federal officials are celebrating a restoration project at Delaware's Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell planned to join Gov. Jack Markell and Sen. Tom Carper on Friday to tout one of the largest federally funded restoration projects on the Atlantic Coast.

The $38 million project restored 4,000 acres of coastal marsh and rebuilt existing dunes and barrier beach to improve natural defenses against storms and sea-level rise.

official campaign photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Environmental activists are set to start a three-day protest outside Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office.

Activists plan a Monday news conference to call on McAuliffe to oppose proposed natural gas pipelines and push for stricter state requirements related to disposing coal waste byproduct.

The activists will then have a three day picket line outside the governor's office.

U.S. Army

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a $750 million class-action lawsuit alleging the Army's reckless handling of chemical and biological toxins caused death and illness among people living near Fort Detrick in Frederick.

The Frederick News-Post reports that U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake filed the dismissal notice Thursday in Baltimore.

She ruled that the plaintiffs had not met a threshold requirement of proving the Army lacked discretion over how to dispose of hazardous waste.

Chesapeake Conservancy website

LAUREL, Del. (AP) - The U.S. Navy has joined with environmentalists and state officials to purchase a 48-acre tract of land in Sussex County, expanding a corridor of protected land beneath airspace used for research at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

State officials said Tuesday that the Cod Creek property, a woodland tract along a tributary of the Nanticoke River, was purchased for $206,529. Funding came from the Department of Defense, Delaware's Open Space Program and the Chesapeake Conservancy.

Glen Dillon / wikipedia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Hundreds of protesters streamed into Virginia's capital city to criticize the Democratic governor's energy policies, including his support for a proposed natural gas pipeline.

Carrying signs that read "We won't pipe down," the group on Saturday also lambasted Gov. Terry McAuliffe's support for offshore oil drilling and for not trying to stop an electric company's release of treated coal ash water into rivers.

creative commons

GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report on the health of coastal wetlands in the nation, with the five-year effort revealing that wetlands in the coastal plains region, which includes Virginia, are slightly healthier than the nation overall.

The Daily Press reports that the EPA's survey shows that 50 percent of all wetland types in the region were in good health, 21 percent were in fair condition and 29 percent were in poor condition.

elizabeth prata / creative commons

There was another public forum on the debate over the arrival of mega chicken houses in Wicomico County.

It was held at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center last night by local government leaders.

But WBOC reports that when it was over many critics walked away unsatisfied.

There were representatives from the state departments of health, agriculture and the environment to answer questions from the public.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials are asking the Delaware Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling that invalidated sediment and stormwater regulations adopted over the past two years.

The judge ruled last year that the regulations were invalid because they required adherence to technical documents that were not subject to public hearings or comment under the state Administrative Procedures Act.

creative commons

There will be no moratorium on large chicken houses in Wicomico County.

Council president John Cannon told a meeting last night, that the council does not have enough information to impose one. 

state.delaware.gov

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Developer Joseph L. Capano Sr. has pleaded guilty to bank fraud and an environmental violation in connection with the construction of housing in in New Castle.

Local media report that the 74-year-old Capano enter the plea Monday in federal court in Wilmington.

Prosecutors say Capano used more than $145,000 in loan proceeds earmarked for building the Riverbend for personal purchases. According to his plea agreement, Capano admitted to ordering some construction of the residential development to go through protected wetlands.

save beach cove

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials say that several sites will be off-limits to shellfish farmers as they move forward with permitting plans.
 
The Wilmington News Journal reports that state officials announced Wednesday that they are moving forward with plans for a statewide permit that would expedite the process for future shellfish famers.
 
Some of the areas that will be off-limits to farmers include Beach Cove in Indian River Bay and other near-shore sites in Little Assawoman Bay.
 

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure supporters say would be the first in the country to help protect bees by taking certain pesticides off of store shelves has been approved by the Maryland Senate.

Senators voted 32-14 Wednesday for the Pollinator Protection Act. It now goes to the House.

The measure would limit pesticides containing neonicotinoids to certified applicators, farmers and veterinarians. Consumers would not be about to buy them in stores in 2018.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's lieutenant governor is urging federal officials to exclude Virginia from offshore drilling.

In a letter addressed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam said offshore drilling has the potential to threaten the environment, defense, agriculture and tourism of the state.

Northam, a Democrat, has announced his plans to run for governor in 2017. In the letter, he cited the "demise of the Chesapeake Bay" and his work toward its restoration as one of the reasons he decided to run for public office.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Senate has approved extending coal tax credits that critics say do a poor job of helping the state's coal country.

The upper chamber voted Monday to approve continuing two coal-related tax credits, which are set to expire shortly, to 2022. The measure was approved by a large margin, indicating that it would likely survive a veto by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Republican supporters of the measure said it was necessary to help Southwest Virginia's hard-hit coal industry.

webapp.psc.state.md.us

BALTIMORE (AP) - Seven people were arrested during a protest of a trash-burning power plant in south Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun reports Tuesday's demonstration at the Maryland Department of the Environment headquarters was led by the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club and United Workers. The groups oppose the construction of the Fairfield Renewable Energy Power Plant.

Police didn't release the identities of those arrested or their charges.

elizabeth prata / creative commons

Wicomico County could see the largest chicken operation to be built in the area just outside of Salisbury.

It would contain 13 poultry houses and would be located near Naylor Mill and North West roads to the northwest of the town.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the proposal has environmentalists rallying for a fight against the project.

They say it’s just part of a major move toward large poultry operations that began in Accomack and Somerset counties.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has approved a wetlands license needed to build more than 1,000 homes for senior citizens on Kent Island.

The Board of Public Works voted 2-1 Wednesday for a license needed for the Four Seasons development, a project that has sparked debate for years.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Treasurer Nancy Kopp voted for it.

creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are issuing an election-year guide stressing a moral imperative to evaluate candidates according to their positions on marriage and abortion.

The bishops adopted the guide called "Faithful Citizenship" at their national assembly Tuesday in Baltimore. The document was approved overwhelmingly in a vote at the event.

The statement was especially watched for how much it reflected the priorities of Pope Francis, who was elected two years ago.

creative commons

Not a week goes by when a shooting doesn't spark a conversation about gun control. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that a recent letter from the head of the National Rifle Association got him to thinking about just what the organization wants from him. 

ereic christensen / gnu free documentation license

The Assateague Coastal Trust has scheduled a public meeting on Thursday in Sussex County on the impact of offshore drilling along the Atlantic Coast.

The Trust argues that tourism, the preservation of wildlife and the environment will be negatively affected by the drilling.

The Trust’s Executive Director Kathy Phillips told WBOC that there was a fear that the offshore drilling could disrupt marine life while oil spills could damage the coastal communities.           

Don Rush

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A Superior Court judge has tossed out a massive rewrite of Delaware's storm water and erosion-control regulations.

Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves ruled Wednesday that the Department of National Resources and Environmental Control provided "illogical" justifications for failing to include many technical but critical details, including failing to hold any public hearings on the 2,000-page regulations.

Delaware River Basin Commission

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Environmentalists, government officials and academics are gathering at the University of Delaware for a two-day meeting to discuss issues involving the Delaware River watershed.

Gov. Jack Markell was scheduled to deliver Monday's keynote address at the Delaware River Watershed Forum gathering.

Congressman John Carney and National Wildlife Federation President Collin O'Mara also were scheduled to attend the third annual event.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia and West Virginia each are receiving $1 million in federal funding for their roles in restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

The funding from the U.S. Department of Education is intended to help farmland owners plant trees along rivers and streams to reduce runoff into waters that feed the bay.

official photo

Representative John Kowalko has launched a petition drive aimed at removing a half million tons of waste at an Edge Moor pigment plant.

The Newark Democrat said he is worried that the Chemours’ facility could pollute the surrounding area if the plant is sold or left abandoned after the company closes it.

That would leave the taxpayer to fund the cleanup of the 15 acre site if the waste leaked into the groundwater.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a Chemours spokesperson said that there were no plans to sell the facility.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration is still reviewing the impact of President Barack Obama's plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, but Maryland Democrats already are praising the plan.

Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles, of Hogan's administration, says it takes time to review the fine print of 3,000 pages. He says the good news is Maryland is well-positioned to be a leader among states on its own terms and through regional collaboration.

Don Rush

Rehoboth voters gave the thumbs up to $70 million for building a new city hall and a new wastewater outfall.

$52 million will go to the outfall and $18 million for the new city hall.

Mayor Sam Cooper told the television station that he was relieved after approval by voters over the weekend.

The city hall project got the green light by more than 150 votes out of 12-hundred ballots cast.

Meanwhile, the outfall has gotten opposition from environmental groups who fear the pollution from nutrients flowing into the water. 

Pages