Tag: Department of Environment

Investigation: Baltimore scrapyard violations raise questions about Md. pollution enforcement

Following a tip from an environmental group about a Baltimore scrapyard, state inspectors ultimately wrote up the company for 11 violations after seeing sediment, oil and possibly other contaminants washing off the cluttered, debris-strewn site into storm drains that eventually reach the Patapsco River. Nineteen months later, the case remains unresolved, even though documents obtained under Maryland’s Public Information Act show that follow-up inspections by the MDE found new and continuing violations there for months after the initial visit. The state considered imposing a half-million-dollar penalty, but never fined the company nor took harsher enforcement action.

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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.

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O’Malley administration waters down septic control bill in order to save it

A series of nine amendments to the O’Malley administration’s septic bill cleared the Senate Friday evening, preserving longstanding control of septic use by local planning authorities. The administration worked on the deal with the Maryland Association of Counties, farmers, developers and builders to salvage passage of the controversial measure. Liberal Democrats opposed the compromise.

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