Impacts of policy on streams in Frederick County

The Young Board of Commissioners has given thumbs up to rezoning over 15,000 acres, much of it for development on well and septic.  Clearing of woodlands, wetlands, grading rolling hills and paving over what were healthy infiltration areas, will add sediment and nutrients to our ground and surface waters.  Read more…

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Good legislation

Frederick News Post  

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 2:00 am

Many Marylanders weren’t too keen on some of the important legislation that came out of Annapolis during this year’s session of the General Assembly. Successful bills dealing with taxes, same-sex marriage and gun control were among those that lots of residents viewed with dismay.

We hope those same folks feel as we do about two new laws that were subjects of recent News-Post stories — the Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program and the Ann Sue Metz Law.

Let’s hear it for good legislation.

The Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program is aptly named, as it will give farmers something they have often lacked in the past — long-term assurance about exactly what their responsibilities are under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Improvement Program and Total Maximum Daily Load.  Read full article.

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New laws benefit Maryland’s $2.1 billion ag industry

Frederick News Post

By Ike Wilson News-Post Staff | Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013 2:00 am

The General Assembly passed several laws that benefit the Old Line State’s $2.1 billion agriculture industry in its last session, but for several local farmers, Senate Bill 1029 seems to be most appreciated.

SB 1029 — the Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program — establishes a voluntary program to accelerate the implementation of best management practices to meet the state’s agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment reduction goals.

The bill creates an opportunity for farms to be exempt for 10 years from any new regulations created for Maryland to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Improvement Program and Total Maximum Daily Load — the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still safely meet water quality standards, said Frederick County Agriculture Development Specialist Colby Ferguson, who was instrumental in crafting the bills.

“It is no secret that the current requirements continue to change as the data becomes more detailed,” Ferguson said. “This (bill) will allow farmers to be exempt from these ongoing changes as the water improvement program requirements continue to change.”  Read full article.