In 2001, the Anne Arundel County (MD) stormwater inspection staff was inexplicably reduced from seven to one. As a result of a dramatic decline in inspections and maintenance, half of the County’s 11,000+ stormwater ponds and other Best Management Practices failed over the next decade. This was the finding from a 2011 Watershed Audit of the Severn River system by CEDS. In 2012, a coalition of watershed groups began urging the County Executive and Council to restore inspection staffing. Recently we learned that the County plans to increase staff from first one to four inspectors and eventually as many as seven. Of all the ways that tax dollars might be used to improve water quality, inspections are the most cost-effective. For every $20 spent on inspections nutrient loads are reduced by a pound per year. Most other approaches, like building new BMPs or stream restoration, require $200 to $600 to achieve the same result. Many thanks to County Executive Laura A. Neuman and County Council members: Jamie Benoit, Derek Fink, John Grasso, Dick Ladd, Peter Smith, Chris Trumbauer and Jerry Walker.
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News From The Frontlines
Following are summaries of projects folks have recently contacted CEDS about.
Northeast, PA organizations are seeking to protect 25,000 acres of forest, which includes a nationally renown hiking trail, from gas drilling impacts.
Odenton, MD historic preservation advocates have appealed a decision by the County to approve a housing project despite significant unresolved impacts.
Smith Mountain Lake, VA residents are struggling to halt sedimentation robbing them of open water in front of their homes.
Moyock, NC residents are concerned about flooding and other impacts from a residential development project proposed for the Outer Banks.
New Haven, MI residents are threatened by a proposed municipal waste landfill.
Buckeye, AZ residents are concerned about the impact of annexation on desert mountains and farmland.
Columbia, MD: Giant Food was denied a conditional use permit to add a gasoline bar in one of their existing shopping centers in Howard County. Their proposal was defeated due to a number of pedestrian and vehicular safety issues.
Tennesseans Against Forced Annexation is seeking to change laws in their state to provide citizens with the right to protect their quality of life from the impact of poorly conceived annexations.
Highmount, NY residents are concerned about a golf course and resort proposed for a steep mountainside in the Catskills.