pollution

creative commons

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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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A lawsuit is challenging Virginia rules governing large farm operations, arguing that waters feeding the Chesapeake Bay are being fouled by livestock.

The lawsuit was filed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Richmond Circuit Court. It argues that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the State Water Control Board erred when they approved a new 10-year pollution abatement permit governing large dairy, cattle, pig and poultry farms.

Duncan Harris / creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - Environmentalists are raising a stink about Maryland's approach to air pollution.

The Sierra Club says it's joining six other environmental groups Monday at a public hearing in Baltimore on proposed emergency smog regulations.

The Sierra Club says the proposed rules are an inadequate, short-term solution.

The Department of the Environment proposed the regulations after Republican Gov. Larry Hogan blocked adoption of a rule that would have made coal-fired power plants install costly new pollution controls, switch to cleaner-burning fuel or shut down.

awn.delaware.gov

It will have taken at least $110 million since 2002 to clean up the Standard Chlorine superfund site left behind by the Metachem Products LLC which declared bankruptcy.

The latest phase will be run $17.4 million to install a thick cap and toxic vapor collection system.

It will cover the 23 acres that is the site's main production area.

Ninety percent of the cleanup costs are being funded by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The state of Delaware is picking up the other 10 percent.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - State-mandated stormwater fees would end under a bill headed to Gov. Larry Hogan's desk.

The House voted 138-1 to the bill Monday night, and the Senate unanimously approved some changes by the House.

Critics have described the 2012 law as a "rain tax." While the bill ends state-mandated fees, it still requires local officials to prove they can pay to meet federal requirements to clean up polluted stormwater.

pbf website

The latest permit renewal request for the Delaware City Refinery found more than 500 people crammed into an auditorium at the Gunning Bedford Elementary School last night.

It was hearing on the facility’s cooling water intake and pollution discharge rights.

Environmentalists showed up -- some in fish costumes – and argued that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control had incorrectly agreed to issue the permit.

dover.af.mil

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AP) - Officials at Dover Air Force Base say chemical compounds used in firefighting foam have been found at four sites on base, but not in drinking water supply wells.

Officials said Monday that an investigation detected perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in shallow groundwater and some surface drainage ditches in levels above Environmental Protection Agency recommended limits. They noted that the base obtains drinking water from a deep confined groundwater aquifer that is isolated from the aquifer where the contaminants were found.

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The battle over reports on the new Maryland phosphorus regulations is not over.

The Environmental Integrity Project says they do not go far enough.

The group studied 62 Eastern Shore chicken farms that used poultry manure on their crops from Caroline,  Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.

And it says the study found that farmers had spread three times more phosphorus in chicken manure on their fields than their crops needed in 2012.

Exelon Corp. website

BEL AIR, Md. (AP) - State and federal agencies are holding a public meeting to discuss their conclusion that dredging the reservoir behind the Conowingo Dam wouldn't effectively reduce pollution of the lower Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.

The meeting Tuesday night in Bel Air offers an opportunity for people to sound off on an issue that Gov.-elect Larry Hogan has highlighted.

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