pollution

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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.

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The Environmental Protection Agency could be coming to the aid of businesses and residents near Newark to clean up some polluted groundwater.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there are two plumes of polluted water near the Delaware Route 72 corridor.

Along with local businesses there is also a city well-water plant in the area.

Delaware environmental officials say the water has been polluted with tetrachloroethylene which the federal government says is carcinogenic.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Scientists say the Conowingo Dam is no longer holding back pollution in the Susquehanna River from entering the Chesapeake Bay.

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Gov. Larry Hogan will announce a plan to make progress at the dam, based on proposals the state has received from private industry.

Hogan told the newspaper he will seek a contractor next month to deal with the sediment and dissolved phosphorous and nitrogen pollution that erodes the health of the nation's largest estuary.

Don Rush

The Nanticoke River has received a grade of C+ from an environmental group.

This is down from the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance report in 2015.

WBOC reports that the downgrade is probably due to localized rain fall during the summer and fall of 2016.

In addition, samples at the Transquaking River showed high bacteria levels than in the past indicating human activity including septic tank or other sewage leakage.  

Over 40 citizen scientists participated in the monitoring taking samples and measurements every other week from late March through early November.  

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A proposal to open Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry is getting its first hearing in the legislature.

A House committee hearing on the bill was set for Wednesday amid opposition from several environmental groups.

The bill establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, most of them abandoned and polluted brownfields.

Delaware Center for Inland Bays

A Delaware task force says that the state needs to do more to clean up its waterways.

So, it has proposed that the First State’s residents shell out $40 to $80 a year to pay for it.

This would be added to an individual’s income taxes with a $45 surcharge on business license fees.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that officials say that would raise around $20 million each year.

That money would then go to deal with cleaning up pollution and investment in infrastructure.

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Breathing might be just a little easier in Kent and Sussex Counties.

The American Lung Association says in its annual report that they received an A for daily and annual particle pollution.

WBOC also reports overall they did improve from an F rating in 2015.

The report also looks at the number of days of pollution from ozone smog.

Lung Association believes that diesel exhaust and coal-fired generators is the cause of much of the pollution.

Don Rush

It may be a blip but the Wicomico River has the highest levels of fecal bacteria in its recorded history and algae has made a comeback.

That was the conclusion of a report by the environmental group Wicomico Creekwatchers.

Given the rainy season last year it is believed to be a onetime event.

Judith Stribling, a biology professor at Salisbury University and with the Creekwatchers, told the Salisbury Daily Times that wet years always look bad while dry years produce better results.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of doing more to protect forests in Maryland are holding a rally.

It's being held Wednesday in front of the Maryland State House before a hearing on legislation to strengthen the state's Forest Conservation Act.

State reports indicate more than 14,480 acres of forest have been lost to development statewide in the past eight years. That's despite a law intended to minimize the clearing of forests, which helps reduce pollution runoff into the bay.

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There's a new report that finds the health benefits from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative between 2009-2014 added up to $5.7 billion. The initiative covers the northeast states with the exception of Pennsylvania. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke about the new report with Professor Sara Via who is with the University of Maryland, College Park biology department and co-lead on the Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility's Climate Health Action Team .

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - A coalition is releasing a report on the impact of a Maryland initiative to increase energy efficiency.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy is releasing the report Thursday in Baltimore on EmPOWER Maryland.

It is expected to include details about the cost savings on consumer electric bills and their impact on electricity consumption, pollution reduction and economic growth in Maryland.

Under the initiative, the state has worked to reduce energy consumption by 15 percent.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new report finds water clarity in the Chesapeake Bay is the best it's been in decades, and native rockfish, oyster and blue crab populations are rebounding as the overall health of the nation's largest estuary improves.
 
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's biennial State of the Bay report gave the estuary a C-minus grade, an improvement from a D-plus two years ago. It's the highest score since the first report in 1998.
 

EPA

Not long ago, we learned that water quality in the Chesapeake Bay is improving, thanks to EPA’s pollution diet for states in the Bay’s watershed. But one part of one state—south central Pennsylvania—has lagged behind in reaching its pollution reduction goals, mostly because of fertilizer that runs off farm fields into Bay tributaries.

Now, Pennsylvania, the US Department of Agriculture and the EPA have committed to spend $28 million to accelerate pollution reduction efforts in that region.

Don Rush

The Environmental Working Group has been raising questions about the levels of the possible cancer causing chemical Chromium 6 in the nation’s drinking water.

In Salisbury the chemical which is used in industries ranging from paint to plastic is listed among those found in the city’s drinking water.

WBOC reports that local officials were quick to downplay any health significance to the finding.            

Mirant

BALTIMORE (AP) - The owners that operate two power plants in Maryland have agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to resolve allegations over polluting in the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers.

The Maryland Department of the Environment announced the federal court agreement Monday.

beebehce.org

Local residents packed themselves into the chambers of city hall in Lewes to criticize a proposed shopping center as the projects is set to go before the county Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission on July 14th.

The city council and local board of public works heard residents argue that the latest plan for the Gills Neck Village Center would result in potential pollution of the local water wells and create traffic congestion.

The developer JG Townsend Jr. and Company wants to build a 75-thousand square foot shopping center on 12 acres of land.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is telling state agencies to come up with specific ways Virginia can act to decrease carbon emissions from the state's power plants.

The governor signed an executive order Tuesday, saying Virginia's coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to rising sea levels.

Republican lawmakers and McAuliffe have been at odds over who should have the authority to implement the state's portion of President Barack Obama's proposed carbon emission rules.

Don Rush

An environmental consultant says that it would be okay for Wicomico County to allow the large chicken house operation slated for Naylor Mill Road.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that John D. Hynes and Associates found that the Maryland groundwater protection rules would be strong enough to protect such areas as the Paleo Channel and nearby waterways.

The paper says that Monica Brooks, a local resident and critic of the project, called the report “passing the buck” to justify going forward.

Bay Journal

The development of the large chicken operations with as many as 10 houses has Delmarva officials scrambling to find ways to regulate them as local residents raise concerns ranging from the economic impact on housing prices to pollution and health risks. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with noted environmental author and Eastern Shore native Tom Horton on how he assesses the latest conflict.

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A Cape Henlopen area wastewater treatment plant has violated the state’s water-pollution laws.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that treated wastewater wound up being sprayed on fields that were found to be too wet or frozen to absorb.

The paper reports that the incident took place in early March when the water could be observed as running off the field.

The Wolfe Neck Wastewater Treatment Plant was cited on March 18th for the violation.

The Sussex County will not be fined but will be forced to building a buffer to comply with the law.  

 

Clean Virginia Waterways website

GLOUCESTER, Va. (AP) - Nearly 100 scientists and policy leaders are gathering in Gloucester to discuss littered seas and waterways.

The ever-growing problem is widely associated with vast floating islands of plastic and other human castoffs found in the world's oceans. Officials say the problem extends to domestic waters, as well, and it poses a threat to human health and wildlife.

The issue will be the focus of the Virginia Marine Debris Summit on Monday. Participants will meet at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

military times

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The government is asking a federal judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit involving groundwater pollution from Fort Detrick in Frederick.

The Frederick News-Post reports that U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein filed the document Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

He says the government has no particular duty to respond to hazardous substances and that the Army can use its own judgment in deciding whether to clean it up.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Fans of the Chesapeake Bay now have an online tool to track the progress of the estuary's restoration.

Called ChesapeakeProgress, the website gives visitors an overview of the multi-state effort to clean up the bay after decades of neglect. The site shows goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement involving six states and Washington, D.C.

The agreement is aimed at limiting urban and rural pollution from flowing into the bay. The bay's water has become so polluted, vast areas are called "dead zones" because they are devoid of life.

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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.

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Last night a Somerset County Planning and Zoning hearing got an earful about concerns over the increasing number of chicken houses in the region.

WBOC reports that residents from Princess Anne called on the county commissioners to deal with issues ranging from noise and pollution to traffic and smells among other things.

A number of residents complained that they have been overrun by the chicken houses endangering their property values.

public domain

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - More Potomac River communities are taking steps to protect their drinking water from last week's chemical spill at a western Maryland paper mill.

Treatment plant operators announced precautions Tuesday as a preliminary analysis indicated the nonhazardous, synthetic latex is not breaking down into potentially harmful components.

ewallpapers.eu

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A freighter has run aground in the Delaware River south of Philadelphia.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A lawsuit aimed at keeping cattle out of Virginia streams that feed into the Chesapeake Bay has been rejected by a Circuit Court judge in Richmond.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said Tuesday it will review the decision before deciding on its next step.

The foundation sued the state to push for regulations that would require Virginia's largest livestock operations to fence off streams to keep their animals out of the water.

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Cover crops hit a record high of 478-thosuand acres.

That’s up from 2012 when there were 430-thousand acres.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture says that’s the largest number in the state’s history.

Annapolis provided $22 million this year for the program.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation ranks cover crops as one of the five best cost-effective measures for farmers to reduce pollution into the region’s estuary.

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