EPA

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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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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Ralph Northam has proposed a package of environmental legislation aimed at safely disposing of coal ash, helping coastal communities deal with flooding caused by climate change and continuing the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

The legislative agenda unveiled Thursday includes the Coastal Protection Act. The law would allow the state to use an estimated $50 million in revenue from the sale of carbon pollution credits for coastal resilience projects.  It also would dedicate funds for economic transition for coal communities.

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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.

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.

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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.

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 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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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.

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GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report on the health of coastal wetlands in the nation, with the five-year effort revealing that wetlands in the coastal plains region, which includes Virginia, are slightly healthier than the nation overall.

The Daily Press reports that the EPA's survey shows that 50 percent of all wetland types in the region were in good health, 21 percent were in fair condition and 29 percent were in poor condition.

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Local Chincoteague officials are expressing concerns over the new beach plans for Assateague Island.

The plans for the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge produced by federal officials would move Assateague’s recreational beach to the north.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that former Chincoteague Planning Director William Neville told local town officials that there are concerns about the resiliency.

Neville is moving on to take a job with Ocean City.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia and West Virginia each are receiving $1 million in federal funding for their roles in restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

The funding from the U.S. Department of Education is intended to help farmland owners plant trees along rivers and streams to reduce runoff into waters that feed the bay.

EPA

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with 16 companies for cleaning up the Central Chemical Superfund site in Hagerstown.

The EPA said in a news release Monday that the agency and the state of Maryland have reached agreement with the companies for more than $14.3 million contain contaminated soils and waste on site of the Central Chemical Corp. facility.

The companies will reimburse EPA $945,000 for past costs and additional funds for future costs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State Republican lawmakers say they want oversight of how Virginia implements a federal plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Republicans said Monday they will introduce legislation in the 2016 legislative session requiring General Assembly approval of a state plan to abide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Environmentalists are criticizing an official from Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration for supporting federal legislation they say will hurt efforts to curb pollution from coal ash, a coal combustion byproduct.

Several environmental groups said they were upset that a McAuliffe administration official testified Wednesday before a U.S. House subcommittee in favor of a bill backed by electric utilities. Republican U.S. Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia is the bill's sponsor.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say an Obama administration plan for reducing pollutants blamed for global warming mirrors steps that Delaware already has taken to improve air quality.

The proposed rules released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency call for cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent over the next 15 years.

Delaware environmental secretary Collin O'Mara says the proposed rules simply echo what Delaware already has done on its own and as part of a regional greenhouse gas initiative with eight other states.

epa.gov

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it wants to learn the extent of groundwater pollution from a Superfund site in Hagerstown.

The agency is asking the mayor and City Council on Tuesday to let it install detector devices in surface water at several city parks.

The EPA would then inject a non-toxic dye at the Central Chemical Superfund site and look for it the dye at the monitoring locations.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says conservation practices by farmers have reduced runoff into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

A report released Thursday shows farmers have made significant progress reducing sediments, pesticides and other pollutants that flow into the bay. More than 15 million tons of sediment have been reduced annually. That's enough to fill 150,000 cars on a train that would stretch from Washington, D.C., to Albuquerque, N.M.

The Natural Resources Defense Council has restored its five-star rating for water quality for Rehoboth Beach.

In its report last month the environmental group had given the resort four stars for cleanliness and monitoring.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that water samples never showed any harmful levels of bacteria but the NRDC said not enough samples were taken to qualify for the top ranking.

But DNREC officials who monitor the water said there had been a mistake finding that some of Delaware’s records did not make it from the EPA to the NRDC.