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  • MD Senate advances major climate bill by huge, bipartisan margin | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    percent by 2030 in line with what scientists say is necessary to avert the worst impacts of climate change The bill which renews and extends a landmark law first passed in 2009 now heads to the Maryland House of Delegates for final approval The new forty percent emission reduction goal was unanimously recommended by Maryland s bipartisan Commission on Climate Change last fall including union leaders business and environmental advocates and six Republican cabinet secretaries from the Hogan administration Mike Tidwell director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and a member of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change had the following statement in response This vote sends a resounding message that climate action is a bipartisan economic and health imperative in the state of Maryland Maryland is acting in line with the Pope with the world s leaders in Paris and with our proven best interests While solar and wind power take off so are the devastating impacts of climate disruption driven by our reliance on dirty energy By being a national leader in cutting carbon pollution Maryland can lead the nation in capturing the benefits of clean energy Our current carbon cutting programs are on track to create and

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/md-senate-advances-major-climate-bill-by-huge-bipartisan-margin/ (2016-05-02)
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  • In First Step of Legal Battle, Groups Challenge Cove Point LNG Export Project’s Federal Approval | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    of the details of the plan secret from the public claiming this information along with other details of their project is proprietary In statements to the press Dominion explained that it is planning on building a new evacuation route but has yet to provide the details to FERC In neglecting to prepare a thorough review of the environmental impacts of Dominion s controversial project FERC is prioritizing the desires of a powerful company over the health and safety of the people of Calvert County Marylanders and communities throughout the Marcellus shale region said Earthjustice Associate Attorney Jocelyn D Ambrosio who filed the legal papers on behalf of the coalition The public deserves far more from the people tasked with regulating the energy industry We are demanding that FERC go back and do the necessary review of this project and order Dominion to halt construction in the meantime If they refuse they should prepare to defend their reasons in federal court FERC is once again acting like it s above the law effectively hitting the on switch for Dominion s bulldozers before groups were able to exercise their legal right to challenge a widely contested ruling said Mike Tidwell director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Unless FERC hits the pause button on construction at Cove Point Calvert County residents will face immediate and likely permanent damage to their environment and quality of life all based on a fundamentally flawed review that could very well be overturned in the courts My neighbors and I are frankly appalled at the prospect of this project moving full speed ahead without a thorough review of the potentially catastrophic impacts to our community and environment And the fact that Dominion is concealing its emergency response plan from the public only adds to our concerns and solidifies our belief that they are hiding the truth about the dangers of this project said Tracey Eno a member of Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community We ve been blatantly ignored by most of our local state and federal elected leaders Now the people at FERC are acting as if we the citizens of Lusby are inconsequential and expendable Our only hope could rest in the courts In its haste to accommodate Dominion s sense of urgency FERC simply ignored and failed to consider numerous impacts of this massive construction project to the environment quality of life and safety of people and communities We as citizens are not only entitled to raise questions we are just as entitled to get answers said Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman From the outside it appears as if FERC was plainly designed and predestined to approve this project regardless of its impacts or implications Citizens are now asking for nothing more than what we were entitled to in the first place a fair hearing and due consideration of our claims and concerns FERC cannot allow this project to proceed until FERC addresses fundamental flaws in FERC s analysis said Sierra Club Staff Attorney Nathan

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/in-first-step-of-legal-battle-groups-challenge-cove-point-lng-export-projects-federal-approval/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Federal Regulators and Elected Leaders Declared ‘Guilty’ on Gas Exports | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    President Barack Obama Governor Martin O Malley Congressman Steny Hoyer U S Senators Barbara Mikulksi and Ben Cardin and the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners all received unanimous guilty verdicts 1 View the courtroom photos at https www flickr com photos chesapeakeclimate sets 72157647915257870 The Cove Point ruling is a massive failure of federal regulatory responsibility and of political leadership said Mike Tidwell director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network We re here to name names and to show our resolve to keep fighting in the streets and in the courts Later the same day members and supporters of Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community CCHC held a press conference and demonstration in the front yard of the family home that is Dominion s closest neighbor in Lusby Maryland The southern Maryland residents vowed to re double their opposition We are appalled that our government officials and agencies show such blatant disregard for the health and lives of fellow Americans by allowing this project to be the first LNG export facility in the history of the world to be built in such a highly populated residential area said CCHC members in a statement Without a complete Environmental Impact Statement EIS and Quantitative Risk Assessment QRA the hazards of this operation are not fully analyzed thus there is no way to adequately mitigate and prepare for all possible harm to residents and first responders At this point we have nothing to lose because we have everything to lose This is not a done deal it s merely the beginning of the next chapter said Tracey Eno a spokesperson for CCHC On Wednesday the Baltimore Sun reported on a clear concession by Dominion that the export project including the first large scale gas liquefaction train ever built in a residential neighborhood

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/federal-regulators-and-elected-leaders-declared-guilty-on-gas-exports/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community Responds to Federal Ruling on Cove Point | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    equipment is even added From the start the people living near the DCP facility have not been represented or protected by elected and appointed officials responsible for ensuring their health and safety from the county to state to federal levels a The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners BOCC signed a non disclosure agreement with Dominion on August 21 2012 completely shutting out the public from the process which would ultimately affect them What s more the BOCC decided not to tell the public that the agreement even EXISTED Commissioner Susan Shaw was quoted in a DC Media Group as saying They re the public are never privy to all the information Do you think we d let the public know what we re doing b The BOCC exempted DCP s expansion from local zoning ordinances A judge has since ruled that action to be a violation of the Maryland Constitution c The BOCC dismissed the expertise of their own Calvert County Environmental Commission the one group whose mission is to provide unbiased scientific information on specific local environmental issues The Environmental Commission was told to not concern itself with the Dominion Cove Point project and instead directed to focus on another less urgent and much less impactful topic d The Maryland Public Service Commission approved construction of a power plant that will not provide any energy to citizens of Maryland and delegated any further fact finding and decisions to FERC The PSC accepted DCP s purchase of emission reduction credits from elsewhere in the state without acknowledging that Lusby residents will be forced to bear the burden of increased pollution in their own lungs e The Maryland Board of Public Works including Governor Martin O Malley voted to approve a wetlands license for construction of a large temporary pier from which DCP will off load large equipment to be carried over small county roads to the DCP site At the hearing Governor O Malley quite literally fell asleep and then approved what appeared to be a pre determined conclusion with little or no concern for local citizens f Now with this decision FERC joins the other governmental bodies in blithely dismissing the harmful effects both ongoing and threats of major leaks explosions and fires due to dangerous propane LNG aqueous ammonia and other chemicals on site In May 2014 members of CCHC and scores of others appeared at the sole FERC meeting in Maryland and waited from 7am until early evening to state their concerns For all the hours of waiting they then learned that not one FERC commissioner was present and that their voices were unlikely to reach the decision makers in any meaningful way A transcript of more than seven hours of testimony could not capture the real personal expert and intense concerns of people who live near the proposed refinery export facility The CCHC demands have been simple and reasonable Before granting approval FERC should A Conduct an Environmental Impact Study EIS in order to have

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/calvert-citizens-for-a-healthy-community-responds-to-federal-ruling-on-cove-point/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Moving Maryland Past Dirty Coal | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    fired power plants located in Montgomery and Prince George s Counties respectively in May 2017 Enforcing strict pollution standards CCAN works on strengthening and enforcing air and water pollution regulations on coal plants through permits and enforcement actions In order to operate coal plants have to obtain both air and water pollution permits that outline minimum standards for discharges of toxins into the environment These permits are renewed every 5 to 10 years and go through a rigorous review process that includes stakeholders and local community members As part of the process the state agencies issuing the permits must provide the public a meaningful opportunity to review the permits and comment on them They also host a public hearing to engage face to face and hear concerns from impacted community members Public participation makes a big impact on the development of a strong pollution permit therefore CCAN is committed to helping facilitate community involvement in the permitting process Cleaning Up Coal Ash in Maryland Burning coal leaves behind a toxic by product called coal combustion waste or what is more commonly known as coal ash Coal ash contains high levels of heavy metals like arsenic lead and mercury and has been linked to numerous health impacts including cancer lung disease respiratory distress and neurological damage Coal ash has a history of leaching heavy metals into drinking water supplies and neighboring water bodies This is no small problem the EPA estimates that 140 million tons of coal ash is generated annually the second largest industrial waste stream in the U S In Maryland CCAN has been fighting to force the clean up of three coal ash landfills tied to the pollution of groundwater and nearby streams the Brandywine landfill in Prince George s County the Faulkner landfill in Charles County and

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/maryland/coal/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Fighting Toxic Waste-to-Energy Incinerators | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    emissions it could also release ultra fine particulate matter one of the most dangerous known pollutants to human health Installing even the most cutting edge pollution control technology does not eliminate toxins it can only collect them into concentrated forms that must be land filled Also waste incineration is terrible for climate change per unit of energy MWh trash incineration produces more carbon dioxide than burning coal Waste to Energy Incineration in Maryland Proponents of incineration claim that this technology will move Maryland towards zero waste but this simply isn t true Instead it will create an energy generation process that demands the continued production of trash and the importation of trash from other states and Maryland citizens will be burdened with the resulting pollution Waste incineration also undermines the strong clean energy laws that Maryland already has on the books The state boasts a robust mandatory renewable energy portfolio standard RPS which requires that the state get 20 of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2022 This important legislation was passed with the hope of encouraging the development of clean renewable energy throughout the state Renewable energy sources are classified using a tiered system so that the cleanest energy sources count toward the RPS goals more than others Trash incinerators were classified as a Tier Two energy source under Maryland s RPS until 2011 when new legislation moved incinerators up to Tier One As a Tier One energy source burning trash competes with legitimate renewable energy sources like wind and solar The passage of this bill further paved the way for incinerators to flood Maryland s RPS which could ultimately prevent the RPS from doing its job of encouraging development of new sources of truly clean energy like solar or wind power Waste to Energy Incinerators Proposed

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/maryland/incinerators/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Victory Alert: Solar Net Metering Bill Passes the Virginia Legislature! | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    a concrete step to grow Virginia s clean energy economy Here are the details of the bill Doubles Virginia s Cap to 1MW The bill raised the non residential project cap for solar net metering customers from 500 kilowatts to 1 megawatts Thanks to the bills sponsors Senator Rosalyn Dance and Delegate Jennifer McClellan for leading the way and carrying this critical legislation and thank you to CCAN s volunteers across the state who called in and emailed the legislature to help make this bill a reality Virginia is now comparable in terms of its non residential solar cap with neighboring North Carolina also 1MW cap This legislation means that businesses across the state can now increase their solar usage Another victory came from HB 2267 introduced by Del Tim Hugo that will establish a Solar Development Authority for Virginia The authority will smooth the way for the solar industry to expand in Virginia Most importantly the authority is tasked to bring online at least 400 megawatts of solar by 2020 enough to power at least 100 000 homes We have more work to do to continue to expand the use of solar in Virginia Reach out to Lauren Virginia

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/victory-alert-solar-net-metering-bill-passes-the-virginia-legislature/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Exposé Shows Dominion’s Influence Clouds Top Levels of Coal Ash Decision-Making in Virginia | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    ethics laws He is now the top state official responsible for regulating Dominion s coal ash disposal plans Dominion s influence over Virginia s General Assembly has been apparent for years but now it appears to extend to the same regulators entrusted to police the company s pollution said Mike Tidwell director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network David Paylor vacationed on Dominion s dime while he was simultaneously entrusted with protecting the public from Dominion s pollution This is a stunning conflict of interest Even before today s revelations Paylor had come under increasing fire for lax oversight of Dominion For months Paylor misinformed the public about Dominion s secretive and potentially illegal dumping of nearly 30 million gallons of untreated coal ash wastewater into Quantico Creek a tributary of the Potomac River in May 2015 Paylor had repeatedly claimed that no water was discharged a claim that was later proven false by Dominion and DEQ s own admission The Potomac Riverkeeper Network has called for a criminal investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency In January DEQ signed off on permits that allow Dominion to release millions of gallons of coal ash wastewater into the Potomac and James Rivers without requiring the use of best available technology to first remove harmful toxins The permits originally allowed Dominion to discharge toxins like arsenic at levels that far exceed limits set by regulators in neighboring North Carolina Dominion has since voluntarily agreed to stronger treatment plans following numerous protests and legal challenges The Potomac Riverkeeper Network represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center and the state of Maryland continue to challenge the Potomac permit in court Meanwhile for decades Virginia regulators have looked the other way while coal ash pollution has leaked from Dominion s Possum Point Power Plant along Quantico

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/expose-shows-dominions-influence-clouds-top-levels-of-coal-ash-decision-making-in-virginia/ (2016-05-02)
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