REGIONAL NEWS

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CEPA
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Chesapeake Environmental Protection Association


Articles of Interest from Newsletters and other sources
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TOPICS


AQUIFERS

GROUND WATER FOR SOUTHERN MARYLAND AND THE EASTERN SHORE(0.5 Mb - PDF)
by Bill Klepczynski from the Spring 2017 Newsletter

The Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) and US Geological Survey (USGS) [Ref. 1] has recently added another sequel to their papers presenting potentiometric-surface maps and water-level difference maps that they wrote in 2014 and 2013. Their current paper analyzes water levels measured from 1975-2015. These papers are a critical tool in helping communities to evaluate and meet their future needs for potable water. A main purpose of these papers is to assess the regional effects of groundwater withdrawals on the water levels in Southern Maryland and Maryland's Eastern Shore.


WILL ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY RUN DRY OF WATER? (0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Bill Klepczynski and Al Tucker from the Winter 2016-2017 Newsletter

Many of us have read or heard about the problems that California is having with its potable water supplies. Many sections of the state have gone to rationing or are having to pay excessive fees for their water. Will that happen here? Ground water is the only source of potable water in Anne Arundel County (AAC), Maryland. Ground water pumped from individual wells tapping the Aquia aquifer supplied a population of 26,400 in 2000. Total water demand in Southern Anne Arundel County may increase from about 2 Mgal/d in 2000 to 2.8 Mgal/d by 2020 to support a population of 32,750. The Aquia and Magothy aquifers are the most likely sources for future withdrawals. The natural water quality of the Aquia is generally acceptable for self-supplied domestic use. However, the Magothy aquifer contains iron concentrations at levels requiring additional procedures that add to the cost of the water.


AQUIFER RECHARGE - A BRIEF INTRODUCTION(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Bill Klepczynski from the Fall 2015 Newsletter

This article is intended to be a brief introduction to understanding aquifers and how they relate to water shortages.


BIOFUELS and ENERGY

FUTURE OF COAL(0.5 Mb - PDF)
by Gary Antonides from the Spring 2017 Newsletter

President Trump has issued an executive order to "review" the Clean Power Plan (CPP) along with other environmental regulations. This article looks at the use of coal in this country and how technology could be used to clean up the use of coal. Coal provides 40 percent of the world's electricity and produces 39 percent of global CO? emissions. It kills thousands a year in mines and many more with polluted air. In 2011 the average daily consumption of coal was 18 pounds per person in the U.S. In West Virginia, mountain peaks have been knocked into valleys and streams run orange with acidic water. Can it ever be clean enough to prevent local disasters and a radical change in global climate?


NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN BIOFUELS(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Gary Antonides from the Winter 2015-2016 Newsletter

A few years ago, almost all the ethanol in gasoline was produced from edible corn, but there was an expectation that cellulosic ethanol would become a major source as production techniques improved. This was eagerly anticipated by conservationists because producing ethanol from corn has many problems. It uses a lot of land that could be used for other food production. Corn uses a lot of water and fertilizer to produce, depleting aquifers and polluting streams and rivers. It uses almost as much energy to produce as it yields in combustion. Now the situation is quite different than what was anticipated. The U.S. is producing lots of oil domestically, but consumers are using less.


ENERGY STORAGE(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Rich Romer from the Fall 2016 Newsletter

Energy comes in multiple forms including radiation, chemical, gravitational potential, electrical potential, electricity, elevated temperature, latent heat and kinetic. Energy storage involves converting energy from forms that are difficult to store to more conveniently or economically storable forms. In the recent past, fossil fuels-coal, oil, and gas-as well as atomic energy have been the predominant source of energy. The intermittent nature of wind and solar energy necessitates developing various energy storage technologies.


CHICKEN MANURE

ALL ABOUT CHICKEN MANURE(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Gary Antonides from the Winter 2015-2016 Newsletter

The excess amount of chicken manure generated by Maryland's chicken farms has been an issue with many twists and turns in the last several years. When used as a fertilizer, too much of it runs off into the Bay, resulting in, among other things, excessive amounts of phosphorous in the Bay. New requirements, especially those to reduce the amount of phosphorous in the Bay, have led to efforts to build manure-to-energy systems in Maryland.


ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

ALLIANCE FOR LIVABLE COMMUNITIES - UPDATE(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Mike Lofton from the Spring 2017 Newsletter

The Alliance for Livable Communities, born out of last fall's CEPA Forum on Unsustainable Growth, is beginning to have an impact and is refining a plan for its next steps. A resolution calling on the County Executive to begin planning now for the General Development Plan (GDP), http://www.aacounty.org/departments/county-council/legislation/bills-and-resolutions/Resolution%20No.%2018-17%20FINAL2.pdf, was supported by Growth Action Network (GAN) and the Alliance for Livable Communities(ALC) with emails, phone calls and testimony and the resolution passed 7 to 0.


WILL THESE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS SURVIVE? (0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Gary Antonides from the Winter 2016-2017 Newsletter

Donald Trump has promised to do away with many regulations, which is supposed to unburden businesses from the costs associated with the regulations. However, he has not, in general, indicated why the original purposes of the regulations are not justifiable. Nor has he been very specific or consistent in his comments. For example, he said climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, then said he was joking, and then said he would not do away with any regulations that have to do with safety or the environment. He has also vowed to dismantle the EPA in almost every form. As far as the environment is concerned, it seems to be the consensus that at least three major initiatives may be revoked, changed, or ignored: (a) Paris Climate Change Agreement; (b) Clean Power Plan; (c) Waters of the U.S. Rule.


FALL 2016 CEPA FORUM - NEXT STEPS(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Mike Lofton from the Winter 2016-2017 Newsletter

Last October CEPA hosted a public forum at Anne Arundel Community College to examine "The Unsustainable Spiral of Growth". Among the findings: (1) The Chesapeake region has experienced explosive growth since World War II; (2) Increases in population and employment foster an expanded local economy. But taxes and fees do not recover the cost of building infrastructure and services or their maintenance and eventual replacement. When those costs are realized local governments often look to additional new growth for revenues; (3) Growth results in consumption of natural resources including productive farmland, clean water, animal habitat, forest, and open space; (4) When revenues are not adequate to meet the total costs of growth, the burden is distributed to all residents in the form of additional payments, inadequate services, congested roads, and deteriorating quality of life; (5) This self-driven spiral of growth is detrimental to all residents and is unsustainable.


DRUGS IN THE ENVIRONMENT(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Sally Hornor from the Spring 2016 Newsletter

We have all heard discussions about the impact of sewage effluents on nutrients in the Bay, but there are many more chemicals in sewage that are of concern. Consider all the pharmaceutical products and personal care products (PPCP) that end up going down the toilet or drains in households all around the world. Products in sewage may end up in receiving waters or they may be deposited on land via sludge application. Many prescriptions for mediations that have expired end up going down the drain.


GRAY WATER

RESIDENTIAL GRAY WATER SYSTEMS(0.2 Mb - PDF)
by Gary Antonides from the Fall 2015 Newsletter

In order to conserve our water resources, one action that would be practical for individual homeowners to take is the use of gray water. Gray water is water from washing machines, showers, bathtubs, and bathroom sinks.


OCEAN POLLUTANTS

PLASTICS IN THE OCEANS(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Gary Antonides from the Spring 2016 Newsletter

Kamilo Beach is an isolated stretch of shoreline on the southern tip of the island chain of Hawaii. Just a few hundred yards from shore, humpback whales rise up from the depths, colorful fish fill the reefs and rare sea turtles swim in to nest on the beach. But even in this remote place, toothbrushes, combs, plastic bottles and other garbage wash ashore each day. Old Hawaiian sayings have described the bay as a place where people went looking for loved ones if they got lost at sea. Historically that area has accumulated all manner of things that float in the ocean. Now, the main thing that washes ashore is a lot of plastic. It's happening all around the world.


EFFECT OF PLASTICS ON MARINE WILDLIFE(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Gary Antonides from the Fall 2016 Newsletter

In our last newsletter, we discussed the magnitude of plastic pollution in our oceans, how it accumulates in certain locations, and how it breaks down into microplastics over time. In this article, we discuss the effects of plastics in our oceans on marine wildlife. In addition to wildlife getting caught in plastic, or eating plastic, there are devastating chemical consequences. Plastics leach damaging chemicals but also absorb chemcals from the seawater, which get in the food chain when eaten.


PHRAGMITES

PHRAGMITES - INVASION OF THE COMMON WEED(0.4 Mb - PDF)
by Jerry Hill from the Fall 2015 Newsletter

You may have noticed stands of tall green reeds growing in our area along shorelines, in wetlands, inland marshes, ditches, and alongside roads. Phragmites australis is a perennial grass growing 6-15 feet tall that remains standing through all seasons and is fairly easily recognized by its plume-like flower head.


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGES

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE (HAVE WE REACHED THE CARRYING CAPACITY OF OUR ENVIRONMENT?)(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Al Tucker from the Spring 2017 Newsletter

In the last half-century, land use in Anne Arundel County has been changing rapidly from agriculture to suburban and exurban sprawl. This sprawl has degraded the ability of the environment to absorb and mitigate its adverse effects. Currently, we are focused on reducing the nutrient and sediment loading in the Bay so that the Bay's natural ecosystems can return to a sustainable balance. The carrying capacity of the Bay has been exceeded. Has the carrying capacity of the surrounding land, the watershed, also been exceeded?


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Al Tucker from the Winter 2016-2017 Newsletter

The first newsletter of the New Year offers the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and to project CEPA's plans for environmental advocacy for the upcoming year. During the past year we concentrated our efforts on three main topics: (1) CEPA Forum: "The Unsustainable Spiral of Growth" (2) PST-Harwood Landfill: Obtaining commitments from MDE to hold WMI accountable for maintaining wastewater discharge quality and for mitigating toxic contaminants emanating from the landfill. (3) Alliance For Livable Communities: CEPA took a leadership role in the establishment of this steering group that will advocate for growth regulations that promote sustainability in Anne Arundel. The forum was held last October 16th at the Anne Arundel Community College; over eighty participants attended. There were three expert presentations: new paradigms for Smart Growth in Maryland [Prof. Gerrit Knaap], the economic impacts of growth on ecosystems [Dr. Elliott Campbell], and planning for sustainable growth [Kimberly Brandt].


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Al Tucker from the Fall 2016 Newsletter

Attempting to limit population growth in the Bay region will become a more difficult task as the national economy improves. The environmental impact of an additional person not only subtracts from the passive natural ecosystem services provided by open space, forests and wetlands, but it also adds to infrastructure services and costs that local governments must actively provide. That leads to more traffic, loss of agricultural land, forests and wetlands, etc. Worse, tax revenues are often do not cover the long term costs of providing public services.


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Al Tucker from the Spring 2016 Newsletter

The future of drinking water has been on my mind for the past few months, but it's been on CEPA's agenda now for more than two decades. Without water, life is not possible, but as we have seen in California, even a moderate lack of water causes havoc in everyday modern life. Other cities and countries facing similar problems are implementing technologies and water saving strategies to face the uncertainties of climate change and population growth.


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Al Tucker from the Winter 2015-2016 Newsletter

Broadly speaking, CEPA's core interests remain the declining availability of source water resources (both quality and quantity), nutrient and pollutant infusion into the Bay, marine life sustainability, invasive species, effects of climate change, and effects resulting from unchecked population growth and irresponsible land development. For this year's forum topic we have chosen to re-examine the policies that impact growth and their influence on the environment.


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE(0.3 Mb - PDF)
by Al Tucker from the Fall 2015 Newsletter

Over the summer, the CEPA planning committee met to consider the activities to be undertaken for the upcoming year. As a result, the committee agreed that CEPA should continue its focus on the two signature issues in Maryland: 1. The future of our drinking water; 2. The limits of population growth.


TRUSTEE PROFILES

Richard Dunn(0.2 Mb - PDF)
from the Spring 2016 Newsletter

Bill Klepczynski(0.15 Mb - PDF)
from the Winter 2015-2016 Newsletter

Lloyd Lewis(0.15 Mb - PDF)
from the Spring 2017 Newsletter

Joan Turek(0.15 Mb - PDF)
from the Winter 2016-2017 Newsletter


 

Updated June 6, 2017.

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