CURRENT ISSUES: ENVIRONMENT

Montgomery County Civic Federation, Inc.


STREAM RESTORATION GREENWASHING FROM MCCF MAY 2022 MEETING

Ken Bawer [Immediate Past President of the West Montgomery County Citizens Association, founder of the Coalition to Prevent Stream Destruction; member of the Montgomery County Water Quality Advisory Group appointed by County Executive Elrich] used this PowerPoint during his presentation on ‘Stream Restorations,’ The Inconvenient Truth OR Crimes Against Nature OR The Greenwashington of ‘Stream Restorations.’
VIEW PRESENTATION

MONTGOMERY COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

View a printable PDF version of the Public Draft of the Montgomery County Climate Action Plan:  Building a Healthy, Equitable, Resilient Community [258 pages, December 2020].
VIEW THE PUBLIC DRAFT

THE MARCH 2018 PROGRAM ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Videos of the March 12, 2018, MCCF program on the State of the Environment in Montgomery County are now available on YouTube:
PART 1 [59:59] PART 2 [12:22]
The PowerPoint slides used by Bailey Condrey in the latter portion of the program may be viewed here:
STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT

TREE CANOPY WORKSHOP IN AUGUST 2017

The first ever “Trees for All:  Chesapeake Regional Environmental Justice Workshop” will be held at the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge in Laurel, Maryland, on August 8 and 9, 2017.  This event will bring together diverse stakeholders working to retain and increase healthy tree canopy in their communities.  In-depth panel discussions with national and regional speakers and interactive sessions will outline how to address challenges to sustained community engagement and barriers to establishing healthy community canopy.
WORKSHOP WEBSITE

PRESENTATIONS FROM THE JUNE 2017 MEETING ON CELL PHONE TOWERS

■ Mitsuko R. Herrera, Director, ultraMontgomery Program, Dept. of Technology Services, Montgomery County, Md.
HERRERA PDF
■ Theodora Scarato, Director of Educational Programs and Resources, Environmental Health Trust
SCARATO PDF
■ Sue Present, a County resident who wrote a four-part series in the January–April issues of the MCCF newsletter regarding the regulatory review of cell tower applications in Montgomery County
PRESENT PDF

GREENING NEIGHBORHOODS

Presentations from the February 2016 meeting on Grass Roots Action for Greening Neighborhoods:
WOODMOOR GREEN TEAM
AMERICAN ELM PARK
WATER WATCHDOGS
NEIGHBORHOOD COMPOSTING

SUNDAY ARCHERY HUNTING FOR DEER

At the 12/14/15 General Members Meeting, a resolution was passed to “urge our state delegates and senators to introduce and pass legislation in 2016 allowing archery hunting for deer in Montgomery County on all Sundays during the season.”
VIEW THE RESOLUTION

STYROFOAM BAN

At the 10/13/14 General Members Meeting, the following emergency resolution to support Council Bill 41-14 to ban expanded polystyrene (styrofoam containers) passed with one abstention:
■ Whereas polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic which does not break down; is harmful to the aquatic community, and contributes significantly to the waste stream, and
■ Whereas there are alternatives to polystyrene that are recyclable and/or biodegradable and compostable;
■ Therefore, the Montgomery County Civic Federation supports Bill 41-14, a ban on expanded polystyrene, and we hope the Council will act expeditiously to enact this ban.

MANAGEMENT OF COUNTY DEER POPULATION

On 3/25/13 Councilmember Roger Berliner, T&E Committee Chair, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen sent a letter to the National Park Service requesting management of deer population in the County’s Federal park areas:
VIEW LETTER
■ “Federation Corner” column from 9/4/14 Sentinel on the issue:
READ SENTINEL COLUMN
■ Videotape of 9/8/14 MCCF program on “Management of County Deer Population”:
VIEW PART 1 [50] VIEW PART 2 [21]
■ A Citizens Guide to Safe Bow and Arrow Hunting in Residential Communities in Montgomery County:
VIEW CITIZENS GUIDE
■ Guidelines for Retrieving Deer That Run onto Parkland after Being Shot on Private Property in Montgomery County:
READ GUIDELINES
■ Bowhunter David Berk’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding archery hunting in suburban environment:
BOWHUNTER FAQS
■ Additional Resources on Deer Management:
LIST OF RESOURCES
■ General hunting regulations, including those for deer:
VIEW HUNTING REGULATIONS

EXEMPT WSSC FROM FOREST CONSERVATION ACT

Two 2014 General Assembly local bills to exempt WSSC from Forest Conservation Act and Local Street Tree Regulations have been withdrawn.  Go to our Legislation issues webpage to view synopses of the bills and to view MCCF testimony on MC/PG 104-14.
VIEW LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

COUNTY TO MEET STORMWATER STANDARDS

Council introduced two bills to enable county to meet standards in state 2007 Stormwater legislation by 7/1/13 deadline:  Bill 34-12 to impose a Water Quality Protection Charge on non-residential properties; and, Expedited Bill 1-13 on Erosion and Sediment Control.
■ On 3/19/13 Council approved Exedited Bill 1-13; deferred action on Bill 34-12, requested more information from Executive Branch on planned regulations to implement bill.
VIEW MCCF EMAIL SUPPORTING BILL 34-12
■ On 4/16/13, Council approved Bill 34-12 with amendment.

WATERSHED HEALTH

The Planning Board discussed The Role of Imperviousness in Watershed Health on 9/15/11.
VIEW STAFF MEMO

TREE CANOPY CONSERVATION | ROADSIDE TREE PROTECTION

On 11/27/12 Council introduced Bill 35-12, Tree Canopy Conservation, at request of the County Executive.  On 12/11/12, the Council introduced Bill 41-12, Roadside Tree Protection legislation.  Council hearing scheduled for Thursday, 1/17/13, at 7:30 p.m. on both bills; T&E Committee worksessions on both bills tentatively scheduled for 1/28/13 and 2/25/13.

TREE CANOPY REPORT

On 1/14/11, M-NCPPC released its Tree Canopy Report for Montgomery County.  The contracted study used USDA Forestry Service standards and parcel-specific satellite data from 2009 to analyze tree canopy coverage, providing breakdowns by planning areas, parks, etc.

PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL TREES

Members of the civic community are working with building industry representative on drafting a legislative proposal to protect individual trees (especially important to preserving the urban tree canopy); civic work is being coordinated by Conservation Montgomery, a group of which the Civic Federation is a member.
VIEW THE ISSUE WEBPAGE

FOREST CONSERVATION

Expedited Bill 53-10, Forest Conservation – conforming amendments, introduced 10/26/10.  Bill would change county FC law to conform to tighter standards recently enacted in State law.
MCCF TESTIMONY TO COUNCIL 10/23/10 TEXT OF BILL APPROVED BY COUNCIL 10/30/10

COMPREHENSIVE FOREST/TREE CONSERVATION LAW

Legislation: County Department of Environmental Protection released its draft proposal for legislation in November 2010.
DEP DRAFT LEGISLATION
MATRIX COMPARING DRAFT TO CURRENT LAW

RECTANGULAR STADIUM FIELDS

On 4/13/11, draft “Review of Benefits and Issues Associated with Natural and Artificial Turf Rectangular Stadium Fields,” was released by Staff Work Group from MCPS, Department of Parks, and county Departments of Environmental Protection and Health & Human Services.  Public comments were due by 3 June 2011.  [Since artificial turf fields are proposed for all county high schools, the MCCF Education Committee took the lead on this issue.]
VIEW EDUCATION ISSUES

DRAFT MS-4 STRATEGY

The week of 2/14/11, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection submitted its draft MS-4 strategy to the Maryland Department of the Environment.  Watershed restoration is a regulatory requirement of the County’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit, which is issued by the State.  The Countywide Coordinated Implementation Strategy document presents the restoration strategies that are needed to meet the watershed-specific restoration goals and water quality standards as specified in the current MS4 permit.
VIEW COUNTYWIDE IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY
VIEW INDIVIDUAL WATERSHED PLANS
■ On 10/10/11, Council T&E (Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment) Committee received an update on implementation of the county’s NPDES MS4 Permit.
VIEW STAFF PACKET ON UPDATE

IMPLEMENTING ENVIRONMENTAL SITE DESIGN

The final report, Implementing Environmental Site Design in Montgomery County, was released 11/23/10 by the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP).  The report summarizes how the county’s codes, regulations, programs, and policies may need to be updated to allow the use of Environmental Site Design (ESD) and low impact development techniques to the maximum extent practicable (MEP).  In early 2011, DEP will begin coordination with the appropriate county agencies to begin to draft legislation changes, and the effort will be coordinated with the M-NCPPC Zoning Code Rewrite project currently underway.
VIEW ENVIRONMENTAL SITE DESIGN REPORT

SEDIMENT CONTROL VIOLATIONS FINE $1K

Bill 60-10, Sediment Control Violations Fine bill is to tighten the county’s enforcement of regulations aimed at preventing the discharge of sediment pollution from construction sites.  The bill would increase the fine for violations from $500 for an initial offense and $750 for subsequent offenses to $1,000 for any offense, the largest fine allowed under Maryland’s policy for enforcing such controls.  The $500 maximum fine has not been increased since 1992, and in these two decades there has been a decline in water quality locally and throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.  In addition, during this period the annual number of observed violations of the county’s sediment regulations, the number of stop work orders issued, and the level of citations given out have fluctuated somewhat, but on the average stayed about the same, regardless — it appears — of the number of inspectors and the state of the economy.
■ County Council held hearing on bill 18 January 2011.
VIEW INTRODUCED BILL
■ Council approved on 15 February 2011, setting the maximum penalty at $1,000 for an initial or repeat offense.

NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAYS PROGRAM

On 2/2/11, the Montgomery County Rustic Roads Advisory Committee and Heritage Montgomery hosted a workshop about the National Scenic Byways Program and, specifically, Montgomery County’s two scenic byways:  the Antietam Campaign Byway and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Byway.  These byways are located on both state and county rustic roads in the northern and western portions of the county.  The workshop was designed to provide an overview of the program to community organizations located along the byways and to organizations involved in tourism, planning, maintenance, traffic operations, construction, and historic preservation.  Terry Maxwell, Scenic Byways Program Coordinator with the Maryland State Highway Administration, lead the presentation at the workshop, which was held at the historic Glenview Mansion in Rockville.  Sarah Navid, Rustic Roads Advisory Committee Coordinator with the county Dept. of Permitting Services, was the contact person.


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