Environment

Chesapeake Bay Program via flickr

Two environmental organizations are suing Gov. Larry Hogan for blocking proposed clean air regulations on his first day in office. The Sierra Club and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility argue that the governor lacked the authority to pull back the rules aimed at reducing nitrogen oxides that are key ingredients in ozone.

Just before leaving office, the Maryland Department of the Environment under then-Gov. Martin O’Malley approved smog-combatting regulations that would have required coal-fired power plants to run pollution controls throughout the summer ozone season and forced upgrades to pollution control technology in older facilities.

John Lee

The General Assembly’s repeal of the storm water remediation fee requirement has rekindled the debate over the so-called “rain tax” in Baltimore County. Republicans on the County Council are vowing to push to repeal the county’s fee.

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science via flickr

The Chesapeake Bay Program, that multi-state, multi-federal agency partnership working on bay restoration, released Monday the latest set of draft strategies to guide the next steps in restoring America’s largest estuary to the health it once enjoyed.

Senior News Analyst, Fraser Smith talks to John Lee from the WYPR News Department about Baltimore County's efforts to raise the money needed to repair the infrastructure and the damage toThe Chesapeake Bay caused by stormwater runoff pollution.

eutrophication&hypoxia / FLICKR

The water is clearer, the underwater grasses are coming back and so are the oysters, if only incrementally, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s latest report on America’s largest estuary.

Pollution is declining and the dead zones are shrinking. And that’s all to the good. But two of the bay’s iconic species—crabs and rockfish—are in trouble. And the scores for other indicators, such as wetlands, toxics and nitrogen pollution did not change.

WYPR's Joel McCord talk The Baltimore Sun's Timothy Wheeler about how environmental issues will fare in 2015. 

Daniel Foster via flickr

Gov. Martin O’Malley is ready to allow the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and he’s poised to propose the strictest standards in the country. But even after years of deliberation and contention, fracking in Maryland still holds more questions than answers.

Out in northern Garrett County, in far western Maryland, Frank Vitez has been waiting for years for hydraulic fracturing to come. When I visited him this fall, he took me up a hill on his property to show just how close he is to the Pennsylvania border. He knows that Pennsylvania landowners—people just like him—profit from the gas under their land. With the horizontal drilling techniques that have ushered in a new energy boom in the US, the well pads just beyond the border could be used to frack his gas.

painaporo via flickr

In an "11th hour" move, Governor O'Malley put forth rules to tighten regulations on phosphorus that runs off into the Chesapeake Bay. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Tim Wheeler of the Baltimore Sun talk about what this means for farmers, the Bay, and why O'Malley made the decision when he did.

Chesapeake Bay Program via flickr

A coalition of mostly rural Eastern Shore counties has argued in recent months that dredging the silt trapped behind Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River would solve many of the Chesapeake Bay’s problems and save them the cost of an expensive clean-up.

Mary Rose Madden

Does it seem like every time you hear rain falling, you hear a flash flood warning?

Flooding is growing more and more common - and there are a few reasons for that.  A big one is that rain isn’t being absorbed - it falls on rooftops and streets, then gushes through the pipes and bursts into the streams like a fire hose.

The rain flows with such force and such volume that the stream beds erode, leaving even less earth to absorb the water.  The water levels in the Jones Falls, The Gwynns Falls, Herring Run, and the Inner Harbor rise and rise and eventually overflow the banks.

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