Aerial view of Riviera Beach in Anne Arundel County. Photo by add1sun

Don’t mess with Conowingo until you’ve cleaned up your act

If I could amend the federal Clean Water Act, I’d include triple penalties for polluters who spend more energy pointing to other polluters than on cleaning up their own mess.

This “we won’t act till they do” dereliction has colossally delayed action to clean up the Chesapeake, and dodging the real issues has become a prime focus of conservative politicians and rural governments in Maryland.

Until someone musters billions of dollars to dredge centuries of sediment from Pennsylvania trapped behind the giant Conowingo Dam, they whine, it makes no sense for them to spend money on their pollution.

Lt. gov. candidates Ulman, Rutherford clash in radio debate

The two men running for the No. 2 spot at the Annapolis State House actually have more government management experience on their resumes than their running mates at the top of the ticket for governor.

But Democrat Ken Ulman, the two-term Howard County executive, and Boyd Rutherford, a former state General Services secretary and assistant U.S. agriculture secretary, faithfully echoed the positions of party nominees Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan Jr. as they argued with each other and even the moderator Thursday in an hour-long debate on WAMU-FM

Rising Seas 2: Former seafood capital Crisfield struggles to survive

Crisfield, the most southern Maryland town, is surrounded by water on three sides. The community rests just 3 feet above sea level — a problem if the bay rises another 2 to 5 feet. The CNS analysis found the entire city and its surrounding neighborhoods would be partially underwater at 2 feet; most would be underwater at 5. Over the past half century, Crisfield has been declared a federal disaster area at least four times because of hurricanes and tropical storms.

Conowingo dam dirt continuing problem for the bay

A 14-mile reservoir behind the Conowingo hydroelectric generating dam in northern Maryland stops two million pounds of sediment every year from flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. But another one million pounds get through, burying underwater grasses that support sea life and adding to the bay’s myriad pollution problems.
The reservoir that stores the sediment is expected to reach capacity within 20 years, after which all of the sediment will get through the dam, putting the bay’s health further at risk. The dam’s owner, the state and environmental groups are seeking solutions to the problem.

New septic system requirements fire up opponents at hearing

More than two dozen witnesses testified before a joint legislative committee Tuesday on proposed regulation for upgraded septic systems across the state, most of them opposing the rule change. State Department of the Environment officials who wrote the regulations –– the only proponents aside from environmentalists –– told the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review joint committee that applying best available septic technology statewide is the way to reduce nutrient sediment load in the Chesapeake Bay.