Baltimore Sun: New report faults Maryland for failing to plan for stormwater pollution in Chesapeake Bay

New report faults Maryland for failing to plan for stormwater pollution in Chesapeake Bay, Hallie Miller, August 17, 2020

Betsy Nicholas, executive director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a water advocacy organization, said Virginia, which borders the Bay along with Maryland, has been moving in a better direction than its neighbors. She said development permits in Maryland and Pennsylvania contain outdated language that do little to account for the current threat of climate change when they should require vegetative buffers and more green infrastructure.

“We are never going to get the improvements we need if we do not correct the standards exacerbated by climate change,” Nicholas said. “Unless we make some drastic changes, we’re not going to like the consequences.”

Nicholas said while some struggle to understand the scope and severity of climate change, officials in Maryland and Pennsylvania must address it head on by divesting in coal-fired power plants, shifting away from using dams as pollution mitigation tools and building more parks and vegetative rooftops in urban areas.

“Climate change is real, it’s here, and it’s in our watershed,” she said.