Environmental Protection Agency

msa.maryland.gov

The three states on the Delmarva Peninsula have joined 19 others in a suit against the easing of restrictions on coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put in a new rules that allows states more latitude in upgrading such facilities.

The suit argues that does not meaningfully replace the greenhouse gas emissions from the power plants as required under the Clean Air Act.

WBOC reports that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh chastised the administration saying that EPA is prioritizing the coal industry over clean, renewable energy.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The federal government has agreed to spend about $65 million to clean up land in Virginia's Hampton Roads region that was polluted by a wood treatment facility and used as a military dump site. 

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the agreement in a statement Thursday.

The area is located along the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth and sits near a U.S. Navy shipyard. It's been a federally designated Superfund site since 1990.  

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The school district serving Maryland's capital region says officials have found unacceptable levels of lead in 5 percent of all outlets that have undergone testing since March 2018.

The Capital reports that number represents 672 outlets with unacceptable levels of lead in Anne Arundel County. Consumable outlets with high levels represent less than 1 percent of the district's 13,322 outlets at 116 school sites.

A spokeswoman for the school system, Maneka Monk, says nine schools have yet to post results.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay will soon get a boost in funding.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that more than $13 million in grants are being awarded to bay restoration and conservation programs. 

The health of the nation's largest estuary is improving after decades of poor health caused by pollution. But the bay still faces challenges when it comes to preventing manure and storm water from flowing into the watershed.

EPA: Bay Making Progress

Jul 30, 2018
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency says Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts are mostly on track. But challenges remain when it comes to preventing manure and stormwater from flowing into the nation's largest estuary.

The EPA on Friday released an assessment of state efforts to reduce pollution. Last year marked a halfway point toward implementing a "pollution diet" for the bay by 2025.

Pollution mostly comes from sewage treatment plants and from farms and cities as run off. It leads to oxygen dead zones that limit plant and animal life.

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The House of Representatives has approved an amendment that would keep the Environmental Protection Agency from spending any money to impose penalties on states that did not meet goals for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

Eight years ago the EPA set up a framework for the amount of pollution allowed into the bay – known as the “Total Maximum Daily Load”.

Alan Girard with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation told the Salisbury Daily Times that the bay restoration effort under the plan has provided accountability for bay restoration.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Another lawsuit has been filed against an Arkansas-based poultry company accused of committing wastewater violations at a Delaware processing plant.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports the lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of more than 80 people primarily focuses on groundwater nitrate contamination near Mountaire Farms' neighbors in Sussex County. It seeks compensation and punitive damages for odors and water pollution it says is linked to near Mountaire's "illegal and reckless disposal of waste."

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal judge has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to respond to Maryland's request for a declaration that power plants in five upwind states are contributing to Maryland's air quality problems.

The judge on Wednesday ordered the EPA to take final action on Maryland's petition by Sept. 15.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Maryland officials last year after the EPA failed to meet the deadline for a response.

Don Rush

BLADES, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials say more chemical contamination has been found in private wells in a southern Delaware town where residents were advised last month not to drink the water.

Officials said Tuesday that elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds have been found in three more private wells in Blades.

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BLADES, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials say more contamination has been found in private wells in a southern Delaware town where residents were advised last month not to drink the water.

Officials say sampling of 41 private wells in Blades has found elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds in three of them.

A fourth well had a PFC concentration below the Environmental Protection Agency's health advisory of 70 parts per trillion, but close enough that the homeowner was provided with a carbon filtration system.

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Those living in the Delaware town of Blades can now drink the water.

Officials recently installed carbon-filtration system that has nearly cleared up the PFC’s found in the underground water supply.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that authorities say residents should flush out their homes of any lingering contaminated water.

The town water now contains 3.4 parts per trillion of PFC’s which is a far lower concentration than what was found earlier this month.

The Environmental Protection Agency limits PFC’s to 70 parts per trillion.

Don Rush

The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to put central Hockessin on its Superfund list after a toxic chemical plume was found under the streets of the city.

The plume is believed to be the likely source for the pollutant PCE found in the wells that supply drinking water for the area.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state regulators stress that the water provided by the Artesian Resources Corporation is safe but they do not have the funds to rid the underground aquifer of the pollutant.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland's secretary of the environment says states need federal support to handle climate challenges.

The Washington Post reports state Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles sent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt a letter Monday. It comes three months after Pruitt moved to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a regulation from former President Barack Obama's administration aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say they intend to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to rein in power plant emissions from other states that are blamed for air pollution in Delaware.

Officials said Monday that they intend to sue the EPA for not requiring power plants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to reduce air pollution.

Don Rush (file photo)

BALTIMORE (AP) - Environmental groups are calling for tighter laws to prevent stormwater runoff pollution at Maryland industrial sites.

The Center for Progressive Reform and the Environmental Integrity Project on Thursday cited state records showing more than a third of the industrial facilities required to report results of runoff pollution testing to the state are discharging toxic materials beyond acceptable levels.

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Representatives from oil refineries, union leaders and Governor John Carney gathered at the Delaware City Refinery to protest a federal rule requiring the purchase of renewable energy credits.

PBF Energy which owns the refinery says those rules which are resulting in ballooning costs.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the oil refineries can either blend biofuels like ethanol or they can purchase the credits.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Maryland's attorney general says the state is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to act on a petition requiring power plants in five upwind states to reduce pollution.

Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Brian Frosh, told The Associated Press the lawsuit will be filed Wednesday after weeks of preparation.

Gov. Larry Hogan directed the attorney general to sue the EPA Wednesday morning. The Hogan administration says 70 percent of Maryland's ozone problem originates in upwind states.

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The Environmental Protection Agency could be coming to the aid of businesses and residents near Newark to clean up some polluted groundwater.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there are two plumes of polluted water near the Delaware Route 72 corridor.

Along with local businesses there is also a city well-water plant in the area.

Delaware environmental officials say the water has been polluted with tetrachloroethylene which the federal government says is carcinogenic.

Don Rush (File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration has announced plans to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to take required action under the Clean Air Act.

Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles notified the agency of the state's plans in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday.

Don Rush

NASA and local Chincoteague officials are monitoring the drinking water for a firefighting foam chemicals.

It was discovered in wells near a former fire training site at the Wallops Flight Facility.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that town manager Jim West said that there is a potential for contamination because the facility had been used for years.

The follow up tests of the wells found that chemicals known as PFAS were below levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (AP) - President Trump's budget proposal would slash funding by 25 percent at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Associate Dean Mark Luckenbach says the impact would be felt throughout the Tidewater region.

For instance, VIMS gives guidance to communities trying to comply with Chesapeake Bay pollution standards. It also provides significant support to the growing oyster industry, including its breeding program.

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President Trump’s federal budget would eliminate cleanup funds for the Chesapeake Bay.

The fund had been at $73 million

And last year Virginia and Maryland along with local governments got $9 million each from the program.

Said one environmental group without the money there is no cleanup.

The states in the Chesapeake Bay region and the District of Columbia use the money to upgrade sewer facilities and limit runoff from agriculture.

EPA

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has approved Gov. John Carney's nominee to lead Delaware's environmental agency, more than a month after a vote was postponed amid Republican opposition.

Shawn Garvin, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency was confirmed on a 14-to-5 vote Wednesday to lead Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

A proposed budget by the Trump administration would slash funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration by 93 percent. But environmentalists a confident that the proposal by the Office of Management and Budget will not stand. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Kim Coble, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, about the the push back against such a spending cut. 

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Senator Ben Cardin blasted the Trump administration on a broad range of foreign policy issues.

They ranged from a failure to take a tough stand on Russia and building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border to trying to impose a travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries.

The Maryland Democrat made his remarks during an appearance at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy on the eve of the President’s address to a joint session of congress tonight.

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Senator Ben Cardin says he will oppose the nomination of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Maryland Democrat says that he is concerned about whether Pruitt truly believes in the EPA’s mission to protect the public health and environment.

Cardin said he does not understand why Pruitt would want to head the agency after repeatedly suing and criticizing it.

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Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons denounced President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees in fiercely worded statements.

Carper, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, questioned Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Delaware Democrat noted that as Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt eliminated the environmental protection unit and raised millions of dollar from the fossil fuel industry.

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Senator Chris Van Hollen says he will vote against three of President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations.

The Maryland Democrat says he will oppose Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General saying that he is trouble by his record on voting rights and the rights of women, minorities and the LGBT community.

He also said he did not believe that Sessions would provide an independent check on Trump’s push to bar Muslims from coming into the country.

Maryland’s Junior Senator said he opposed Chris Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Maryland's First Congressional District will see incumbent Republican Andy Harris seek a fourth term in this year's election after being swept into office during the Tea Party wave of 2010. His rival is Harford County Democrat Joe Werner who won a surprising victory over former Salisbury Mayor and now council member Jim Ireton. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with the congressman to talk about the issues and the possibility that Washington could once again see divided government.

Don Rush

The Environmental Working Group has been raising questions about the levels of the possible cancer causing chemical Chromium 6 in the nation’s drinking water.

In Salisbury the chemical which is used in industries ranging from paint to plastic is listed among those found in the city’s drinking water.

WBOC reports that local officials were quick to downplay any health significance to the finding.            

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