environment

Md. Senate passes bee-killing pesticide ban

Mar 9, 2016
Rachel Baye

The state Senate on Wednesday passed a ban on pesticides that are believed to endanger bee populations. The measure would prevent stores from selling certain products that contain the chemical, known as neonicotinoids.

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.

Beekeepers Raise Alarm Over Nicotine-Derived Pesticides

Feb 17, 2015
Photo by Sue Boo, interlab spy, via USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Beekeepers turned up in Annapolis on Tuesday to raise concerns about pesticides linked to beehive collapse and support a bill that would limit access to those chemicals. But Hogan administration officials voiced doubt on the science and the practicality of the proposed legislation.

Are Baltimore’s Illegal Dumping Laws Working?

Nov 26, 2014
Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

    

Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works says it spends $ 16 million a year picking up trash from illegal dumping.  The city’s Department of Housing and Community Development Permits and Code Enforcement Division, the department that is responsible for tracking violations, says it handed out 840 citations for dumping and littering in the last year.

Julie Lawson from the advocacy group Trash Free Maryland Alliance, says there is far more illegal dumping than that number of citations would suggest. She compares Baltimore’s citations with Philadelphia’s. 

“(Philadelphia] gave out 120,000 citations for dumping and littering last year,” says Lawson, who met last week with Donald Carlton, the deputy commissioner of that city’s streets department.

Part of the reason for Baltimore’s lower number of citations could be that authorities are unclear on how to enforce the laws.

What Proposed Phosphorus Rules Mean For Marylanders

Nov 21, 2014
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.

Courtesy of Dominion Energy

Federal regulators gave a final go-ahead to Virginia-based Dominion Energy to build a natural gas export terminal in Southern Maryland this week. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved plans to retrofit Dominion’s Cove Point facility in Lusby that would allow the company to liquefy and export natural gas. Local and state agencies had already approved the $3.8 billion project despite strong opposition from local residents and environmentalists. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Christopher Connelly talk about what that means for Maryland and the concerns raised by the project's opponents.

Three years ago, Governor Martin O'Malley established a commission to study whether natural gas can be safely extracted from the Marcellus Shale, which runs under Garrett and Allegheny Counties. WYPR's Christopher Connelly talks with Fraser Smith about the study and the accompanying politics, as Maryland's next governor will decide whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Thanet Wind Farm in the English Channel, London to Italy Flight, 24/07/2012 taken by DG Jones via flickr

Energy company US Wind Inc, a subsidiary of the Italian company Renexia, won Tuesday's auction to develop wind farms on federal waters ten nautical miles off the coast of Ocean City.

Courtesy of Dominion Energy

Opponents of a proposed natural gas export facility in Southern Maryland are claiming a win in a Monday court ruling that may delay the project. But the company behind the $3.8 billion retrofit says that they don’t foresee any delays caused by the ruling.

Fight Over Southern Maryland Wind Farm Not Over

Aug 6, 2014

WYPR's Joel McCord and Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post talk about the ongoing clash between Governor Martin O'Malley and several members of Maryland's Congressional delegation over a proposed wind farm in Somerset County.

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