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Commissioners Send WIP-related Letter to State
Prince Frederick, MD - 6/20/2012
By Marty Madden
A letter signed by Calvert County Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark [R] is on its way to the desk of Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Science Services Administration Director Richard Eskin. The missive informs the state official that Calvert County’s leaders are going to need more time before they submit a finalized Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).
The commissioners voted unanimously during their Tuesday, June 19 meeting to send the letter drafted by Department of Planning and Zoning staff.
The letter to MDE follows the board’s approval during its June 12 meeting of county government staff’s request to submit an application for a technical assistance grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The foundation’s grant would allow the county to hire the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center (EFC) to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of Calvert’s WIP Phase II plan.
“We anticipate that EFC’s analysis will provide the county with more cost effective means to achieve its Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) loading targets,” stated Principal Environmental Planner Dr. David Brownlee in a memo to the commissioners. “During this grant period, county staff will continue to work with MDE to gain a better understanding of the underlying data used to determine the Calvert County nutrient loadings.”
“The county has issues with the goals and process,” Department of Planning and Zoning Director Charles Johnston noted prior to the board’s vote.
The commissioners have expressed frustration at the estimated cost of implementing a WIP that would satisfy the state’s nutrient reduction allocations for Calvert County. The cost per resident for Calvert is one of the highest in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
“It [the letter] states exactly where we are at,” said Commissioner Susan Shaw [R], who added she does not believe the state “has taken into account the amount of land we’ve preserved. What has happened is very arbitrary.”
Johnston estimated the grant application process would take from six to nine months.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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