nitrogen

Exelon Corp

DARLINGTON, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is planning to make an announcement after the second Conowingo Dam Summit.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday in Darlington.

The Hogan administration has been focusing on ways to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution that comes by way of the dam. The Republican governor highlighted the significance of addressing sediment overflows at the dam during his 2014 campaign.

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.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - An environmental sciences professor says eating less meat can help the Chesapeake Bay.

James Galloway of the University of Virginia tells the Daily Press that farm animal waste is a big part of the nitrogen runoff that depletes oxygen in the bay.

Galloway says eating one-third less meat from cows, pigs and chickens in the watershed could make the difference. He says Americans typically consume 30 percent more protein than they need. 

Angela Byrd

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Scientists say they will soon help Chesapeake Bay fisherman by mapping the water's low-oxygen dead zones in real time.

Poor oxygen levels often force fish out of the bay's cool bottom waters. William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science says it will show anglers where the fish may have gone.

The university says it's using experimental computer models to map and forecast the bay's dead zones. The oxygen-poor areas are created when excess nitrogen from fertilizers and wastewater flow into the water and boost the growth of algae.

Nanticoke Wastershed Alliance

A new report by the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance found that the region is still suffering from high amounts of nitrogen.

In its new report Beth Wasden, volunteer and outreach coordinator with the Alliance, said there were some improvements in many of the sub-watersheds.

But this year the grades for them have fallen again.

WBOC reports that of the six areas there were four scores of F one D-Plus and one D.

Excess amounts of Nitrogen can cause algae blooms which eliminates the oxygen in the water.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel has been formed to study ways to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution that comes by way of the Conowingo Dam.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced the multi-agency work group Thursday.

The Hogan administration announced it will be looking to determine whether dredging the dam and re-use of dredged materials can be done efficiently.

Angela Byrd

BALTIMORE (AP) - A report by environmental scientists says the health of the Chesapeake Bay has improved as efforts to reduce runoff from land continue.

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science released the report Tuesday. The center says improvements in 2015 in water quality, chlorphyll and nitrogen levels contributed to a resurgence in aquatic grasses.

One indicator that declined was total phosphorus, excess quantities of which can lead to algae blooms.

The numbers of striped bass held steady, blue crab and bay anchovy improved.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has turned back a challenge by the American Farm Bureau Federation and others to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.

The Farm Bureau claimed that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority in efforts to clean up the Bay and its tributaries.

The high court’s decision let’s stand lower court panel’s ruling that the EPA did not exceed it authority.  

The Farm Bureau and the National Association of Homebuilders among others had argued that the Blueprint trampled on state authority in setting clean up goals for the Bay.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials have approved more than $1.2 million for efforts to improve water quality and conserve energy.

The Board of Public Works approved the funds Wednesday for projects that include upgrading septic systems and a sewage treatment plant and stabilizing a stream.

The panel approved $750,000 in Bay Restoration Fund grants to upgrade septic systems in 18 counties. The Maryland Department of the Environment says the upgrades, which will be focused within the critical area, can halve the amount of nitrogen the systems deliver into groundwater.

Don Rush

The Wicomico River got some mixed reviews from a local environmental group.

The Wicomico Creekwatchers found that the nitrogen and phosphorous level have improved slightly.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the bacterial levels were found to be a high risk for swimmers at six out of eight sites that were tested.

This was worse than a year ago.

The group of Salisbury University volunteers tested 22 sites along the Wicomico River.

 

Don Rush

$60 million has been awarded by the Maryland Board of Public Works for upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant in Salisbury.

The money will go to design and building a system for Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal.

City officials hope this will cut the output of nitrogen by over 83 percent and of phosphorus by 85 percent.  

The Salisbury wastewater treatment plant processes 8.5 million gallons a day.

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There’s legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that would urge Congress to do something about the state of the Conowingo Dam.

The dam is blamed for sediment flowing into the bay which contains harmful nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen when the dam floods.

The Maryland Senate resolution wants the Congress to get the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study on the state of pollution at the dam.

Last November a $1.4 million study found that cutting pollution into the bay would fall mostly only the shoulders of agricultural communities.

creative commons

The Environmental Protection Agency has given its approval of Maryland’s pollution budget that is aimed at cutting nitrogen and phosphorus along the state’s coastal bays and tributaries.

The pollution budget would slash nitrogen by up to 35 percent and phosphorus by 18 percent for the coastal bays.

Stiffer cuts have been imposed for a bay’s tributaries.

The Total Maximum Daily Load levels apply to bodies of water ranging from the Assawoman Bay and the Isle of Wight Bay to Chincoteague Bay and Newport Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says conservation practices by farmers have reduced runoff into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

A report released Thursday shows farmers have made significant progress reducing sediments, pesticides and other pollutants that flow into the bay. More than 15 million tons of sediment have been reduced annually. That's enough to fill 150,000 cars on a train that would stretch from Washington, D.C., to Albuquerque, N.M.