Environment | WYPR

Environment

A bill introduced in the Baltimore City Council Monday night would prohibit the expansion of the city's two crude oil terminals, and forbid the building of new ones.

Rachel Baye

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Environmental Protection Agency. State officials say the EPA is not enforcing the Clean Air Act in five upwind states, and that creates an unhealthy level of smog in Maryland, particularly in the Washington and Baltimore metro areas.

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers plan to introduce legislation requiring the state to get all of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2035. The bill is expected to be introduced when the General Assembly returns to Annapolis in January.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration warned the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday that it will sue if the federal agency does not stop coal-fired power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia from contributing pollution to Maryland’s air.

The Baltimore City Council has approved a resolution upholding the Paris Climate Accord -- an agreement President Trump backed the US out of earlier this month. WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi shares the details with Nathan Sterner.

Rachel Baye

“Ta da!”

Senate President Mike Miller opened debate Monday on a bill banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, with gusto.

The Senate’s debate and subsequent approval of the ban came just over a week after Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement that he supports banning the controversial drilling practice.

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State lawmakers are questioning the decision by Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration to fire the long-time manager of the state’s blue crab program. State House and Senate committees grilled administration officials over the dismissal at a joint hearing Monday.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The state Senate voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill requiring the state to increase the portion of its electricity that comes from renewable sources. The House voted to overturn the veto on Tuesday, so the bill now becomes law.

The bill requires Maryland to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020, increasing existing requirements.

The measure passed on party lines.

Democrats say the measure helps the environment while creating jobs.

Rachel Baye

If Maryland lawmakers want to pass a fracking ban during the General Assembly’s current session, they need to get it past Baltimore Sen. Joan Carter Conway, chairman of the Senate committee that oversees environmental legislation. And as Conway told a room full of environmental activists in Annapolis on Thursday, that that’s not likely.

Rachel Baye

A group of 59 local and state elected officials, including 21 members of the General Assembly, have signed a letter urging Gov. Larry Hogan and state legislators to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Rachel Baye

The Baltimore City Council gave initial approval Monday to a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The move coincided with a resolution pushing for a statewide ban and is largely symbolic. The ban will effectively be repealed when the state’s drilling moratorium ends next year.

Rachel Baye

A poll released Monday by Goucher College found that Marylanders are increasingly divided over whether the state should ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

The state’s moratorium on the practice is set to end in October 2017, when the Department of the Environment plans to begin issuing drilling licenses.

Rachel Baye

On sunny days, you might have to look a little harder to find evidence of sewage overflows on the Jones Falls Trail. But it’s there.

heipei / Flickr via Creative Commons

A green lawn is as American as apple pie, and for many of us, just as comforting. But as more people move to urban areas, lawns and other manicured spaces are beginning to dominate the landscape. Lawns already cover more land in the United States than any other irrigated crop, and a lawn in Phoenix looks much like a lawn in Boston. Why do we love lawns so? How do they impact the environment? And what could we do differently? Soil scientist and urban ecologist Peter Groffman joins us to discuss. Groffman has studied the ecology of Baltimore and other cities for decades, including their lawns. 

Back in the 80s, the Environmental Protection Agency began requiring power companies to install "scrubbers" in the smokestacks of their coal fired plants to capture pollutants before they got into the air. And that did a reasonable job of cleaning up the air we breathe.

But it damaged the water we drink because all that lead and arsenic and selenium trapped in the smokestacks had to go somewhere. It went, unregulated, into thousands of miles of rivers and streams, making power plants the worst water polluters in the nation.