Clean Chesapeake Coalition faces challenges changing minds

Carroll County Times
Timothy Sandoval
09/22/2013
The Clean Chesapeake Coalition, which Carroll County joined last year, includes six other rural counties in Maryland, and attempts to change conventional wisdom on the Chesapeake Bay cleanup and restoration efforts. The coalition advocates for cost-effective policies that will help the bay, pointing out the issues concerning the Conowingo Dam, which they say releases the largest amount of pollution into the bay. They argue the dam should be the priority, downplaying the effectiveness of environmental polices handed down by the state. But some have questioned the effectiveness of such a coalition, including one commissioner in Carroll County. Commissioner Haven Shoemaker, R-District 2, who voted against joining the coalition, said at the time of the vote that he was unsure the state would stop its focus on septic system regulations and other mandates it is looking to impose.

‘Coalitions’ an ineffective way to spend taxpayer money

Frederick News Post
06/17/2013
t's hard not to see the $25,000 the Frederick County Commissioners have allocated to a coalition of rural counties to resist the so-called, state imposed "rain tax" as a waste of money. It's understandable the county board is agog at the total cost to Frederick County for its part in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay -- a staggering $1.88 billion by 2025. But in light of how tight the commissioners have repeatedly protested the budget is -- the maintenance of effort allocation to schools, the cuts and gradual attrition to zero of grants to emergency need nonprofits, the aggressive push to sell Citizens and Montevue because of the money it will free up -- the $25,000 to pursue a purely political lobbying effort is a questionable investment.

'Coalitions' an ineffective way to spend taxpayer money

Frederick News Post
06/17/2013
t's hard not to see the $25,000 the Frederick County Commissioners have allocated to a coalition of rural counties to resist the so-called, state imposed "rain tax" as a waste of money. It's understandable the county board is agog at the total cost to Frederick County for its part in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay -- a staggering $1.88 billion by 2025. But in light of how tight the commissioners have repeatedly protested the budget is -- the maintenance of effort allocation to schools, the cuts and gradual attrition to zero of grants to emergency need nonprofits, the aggressive push to sell Citizens and Montevue because of the money it will free up -- the $25,000 to pursue a purely political lobbying effort is a questionable investment.

County allocates $25,000 to challenge cleanup plan

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
06/14/2013
Frederick County will contribute another $25,000 to a partnership that is challenging a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The money comes from the county's fiscal 2013 budget and will help pay for the Clean Chesapeake Coalition's legal counsel and public outreach about the expenses of following a state-prescribed pollution diet.

Commissioners set 1-cent rain tax

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
05/31/2013
County commissioners Thursday decided to start charging eligible properties an annual fee of one penny, enough to net the county a grand total of $487.81 each year, according to staff estimates. For county leaders, though, the goal is not to drum up funds but to do the bare minimum to comply with a state mandate. Legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2012 requires 10 jurisdictions, including Frederick County, to craft a stormwater remediation fee by July 1, 2013. The law gave local leaders freedom to design the fee, known by its critics as a “rain tax,” but stipulated that proceeds should pay for watershed restoration and preservation.

Pay now, or pay later for Frederick County development

Gazette
01/24/2013
The legal costs of the battles that could take place in the future over inadequate roads and schools, public safety and irresponsible decision-making make current litigation look like a minor inconvenience. So, let the debate run its course. Let the courts get involved; that’s why we have them. If we don’t, we could end up losing the very place everyone is trying to save in their own way — without having asked all the tough questions in the first place.

Opposition threatens Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan

Washington Post
Darryl Fears
11/11/2012
The embattled Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan is being hit by opponents from both the left and right. A pair of liberal watchdog groups struck it with a lawsuit last month seeking to erase one of the plan’s key programs — nutrient trading. They support the overall cleanup plan but call nutrient trading a “pay to pollute” program that departs from the spirit of the Clean Water Act, enacted 40 years ago this fall.