When I first moved to Rhode Island from New Jersey I didn’t know what to expect. I quickly learned that Providence was vibrant and lively with something to do on every corner. Despite its urban nature, I also learned that the people here cared deeply about the environment.
This past Monday, Governor Hogan’s Administration circulated a press release praising local governments for having "met their requirements under state law to develop financing plans to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and protect and restore local waters and the Chesapeake Bay." But most of these plans don't actually meet the requirements of the law.
“Generally, they’re getting worse.” That was the verdict on Frederick County’s local streams at last night’s public hearing on the County’s Financial Assurance Plan, a document that should outline how the County government will pay for stormwater restoration projects mandated by the Chesapeake Bay Plan.
I had a relative who told me when I was growing up: “If you want to make sure it rains, plan an event that must be held outside.”
I’m pleased to say that wisdom proved correct when our tour of green infrastructure projects at Providence College was held in a light, steady rainfall.
The fact that Mother Nature sent us a little precipitation served to better illustrate how the network of campus bioswales helps direct and infiltrate storm water runoff.
Stormwater runoff is one of the leading contributors to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. After big storms, the water carries whatever is on the ground and in the streets into our waterways. Impervious surfaces, such as the roads and pavement that cover densely populated areas, don’t allow rain to seep into the ground, causing more polluted stormwater to enter the Bay.
On Monday, July 4th, a sinkhole formed on West Mulberry Street in Baltimore City. Located between Greene and Paca Streets, this sinkhole will block traffic on Mulberry street for weeks and has already caused transportation officials to close a ramp off of U.S. Route 40 that led to downtown Baltimore. Not only is this sinkhole an inconvenience for traffic, but it is also unsafe. An inspector from the Department of Public Works (DPW) was injured as he examined the sinkhole when the ground collapsed under him, which widened the sinkhole.