190910 CoE

Ben, Thomas, Melissa, Bill Hunt, self

No: Kristen, Jerry, Steve


Whitetail Solar

Testing “bi-facial” panels – may yield another 10-15%

Did a glare study

Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) is clearinghouse for DNR – will complete their own Environmental RD – to take to administrative law judge (as required by PSC);

While subject to State CPCSN – will go through County process; will submit for a conditional use in October; will submit to TEC;

Bill Hunt – on glare analysis – we work with the Navy – the last time – there was not a standard for a glare analysis; FAA uses “Forge” model for analysis; will met with the Base in the next few weeks; Brewer was next to XO at LSM and thinks it is not compatible with NVG and would probably be in their flight patterns; Bill has map that shows the AICUZ – where development on the ground is restricted; County GIS has the AICUZ on it;

Acquired this project from a previous developer who could not bring to fruition; half dozen horses graze on existing area;

Will mow grass when there is a loss of productivity; don’t generally wash (in this region), but only use water;

Do consider using pollinator friendly – always native seed mixes;

Have had hives before; PPRP has a pollinator friendly scorecard

1919 – Lightsail departs

Melissa reviewed environmental fee with Nick Zurkin; raised from $72 to $91 – and 2% yearly increase; fee should generate $4.1M; solid waste is expected to cost $5.8M;

Discussion about future of recycling;

1942 – done

Commission for Women run their own Facebook with PIO access – if Thomas can share the username / passwords, it could be updated;




171004 CoE


Attendees: Bill, Mike, Ben, James, Thomas, Mark, Jackie, Nicole


1903 starting discussing SMECO solar growth email from Mike, and then discussed EV vehicles/charging stations, and then “full cost” of alternative energy (waste and production energy) including externalities


COE Agenda 10-4-17

Written by Thomas Brewer, COE President


1919 – 2018 Workshop Ideas

    –While trying to think of a workshop that we could support for local residents, I thought about raising chickens in backyards. I believe that if done properly, raising chickens can be environmentally beneficial and provide an economic benefit to residents that enjoy eating eggs. Nicole is aware of a Western MD county that offers classes to residents interested in raising chickens. If we want to pursue this workshop idea, University of Maryland Extension (UME) may be a great partner, as they ran the rain barrel and compost bin workshops for us this year. Nicole is planning to attend this month’s meeting, and will let us know about our remaining inventory from this year’s workshops. If it was considered a success, we may want to consider supporting the same workshops for next year.

Nicole – 31 attendees, 14 attended both, 18 composting bins, 26 (55) gallon rain barrels; barrels are normally $75, residents can get barrel and parts for $30; this weekend – in conjunction with PRAD at CMM; Thomas asked about feedback and Nicole will follow up to get survey results; asking for homeowners to put information into “SMART” tool;


Discussions about chickens and having a workshop on how to raise them; may need to figure out HoA restrictions; Nicole will pass on idea;


Class on backyard vegetable growing;


Master Gardener Coordinator position (was Jennifer Horton) – part time faculty with UMD;



1942 – Upcoming UME programs

    -Nicole sent me an email regarding upcoming events being held by UME in the coming weeks. The first, which takes place this Saturday, October, 7th at Calvert Marine Museum, is a rain barrel workshop similar to the one that they did for us this year. The other event will be held on Saturday, October, 21st at the Agriculture Service Center in Leonardtown, and will be regarding well water. The clinic is intended to teach homeowners living on well water how to maintain their well and how to test their water for toxins.

Also one on the afternoon of the 21st for Calvert;


1945 – Discussion on Meeting Date

    –We have met on the first Wednesday of the month for as long as I have been with the Commission, but Mike had mentioned that they were not always convenient for him, so I think we should discuss and determine if there is a better time and place to meet that is convenient for everybody.

Discussion about moving to first Tuesday; next meeting is Tue, Nov 7th;


1951 – Reforestation in St. Mary’s County

    -We had discussed reforestation at a prior meeting, and following that meeting, James sent me an email with some links to Maryland’s DNR website. I did some reading, and it seems that if a state or local entity wants to clear more than one acre of forest, they are required to reforest the same amount, preferably in land that is between the cite and a tributary. First, they are supposed to seek out public land to reforest, but if that is not possible, they are required to contribute to the Reforestation Fund.


1953 – open discussion: impatiens have a fungus in Illinois; can compost kill in compost? Ask an expert on the HGIC; Nicole will check if Ag can check for fungus in soil testing;


2001 out;


170802 CoE

Attendees: Bill, James, Sheila (LUGM Office Manager), Thomas (1919)



Ben Mark, Guest, Guest

1907 – waiting for Mike & Jacquelyn

1910- getting started… James Hensley, 18 years old, applied and was accepted (Father was here as his driver);

1911- Jackie arrives


COE Agenda 8-2-17

Written by Thomas Brewer, COE President


1916 – Calvert County Public School Waste Management

    –While attending Calvert’s Environmental Commission meeting in June, I met Sheila Stevens, the Energy and Environmental Specialist for Calvert County Public Schools, and she has since informed me about their county’s public school recycling program. They have single stream recycling that goes to an MRF in Prince George’s County, which is owned by the County and operated by MES. Aside from normal recyclables, they also haul off a variety of other materials, from ink cartridges and electronics to landscaping debris and oil filters. She also sent me their Resource Management and Energy Conservation Plan, which can be viewed at the following link: http://www.calvertnet.k12.md.us/UserFiles/Servers/Server_123339/File/Departments/School%20Facilities/Energy%20Conservation/Resource%20Management%20and%20Energy%20Conservation%20Plan.pdf. I would like to contact our Public School system and determine whether or not we have a similar sustainability plan. I would also like to look into their hauling service to ensure that they are also sending single stream recycling to an MRF.

1919 Thomas arrives; Thomas thought only Waste Management took items to MRF’s – and they only ones that run them; seven in MD, four by WM; three by MES; St. Mary’s has MoA with MES (although not for recycling);

1920 Bill arrives (was tied up in METCOM meeting);

In Calvert, the County runs most of the recycling program;

“Solid Waste and Recycling in Maryland” on Maryland.gov (revised 2017) has lots of good info; 77% of our waste goes to Virginia; http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/LegisLegal/2017-Waste-Management.pdf

Discussion about article: http://www.somdnews.com/enterprise/news/local/trash-agreement-with-calvert-renewed/article_de14e535-8268-5cf1-a5e1-75129fda079f.html

Calvert schools: Single stream, and pickup for lamps/tubes/ink cartridges/other… bins out for outside sporting events and bins in every rooms in the entire school; Thomas will follow up on what is going on single stream; costs in St. Mary’s are about the same for recyclable and non-recyclables;

Thomas still has passion for composting since it could help the situation, but realizes this is political in nature; the start for him was finding out about the $2.5M accumulated debt for closing the landfill;

James asked about Hogan cancelling OMalley “zero waste” initiative and how it would affect our Solid Waste; Thomas believes St. Mary’s is way ahead of its required recycling rate;


Thomas wants to follow up with our schools to find out who their hauler is and where their materials go (MRF? Non Waste Management MRF? Covanta?)


1948: Soil Amendments

    -I recently emailed Bruce Young, the District Manager for the St. Mary’s County Soil Conservation District regarding two topics that we discussed previously. First, I asked him about agricultural buffer trees. We discussed trees with root systems that act as buffers to agricultural runoff at our last meeting, and I asked if there were any programs or initiatives that he was aware of that included planting trees around agricultural land for this purpose. I also inquired about any possible uses for pulverized glass with regards to soil amendments in the county. I informed him that we are trying to work with Chaney Enterprises to incorporate glass from local bars and restaurants into concrete production. I called and left a message with Chaney Enterprises, but have not yet received a call back from them.

    Upon reading the agenda outline, Ben informed me about an NPR story regarding the end of sand mining in the U.S. I found a transcript of the interview at the following link: http://www.npr.org/2017/07/21/538472671/world-faces-global-sand-shortage. They discuss the black market sand industry that has evolved over the years since beach sand mining has been shut down by governments around the world. They describe how recycling sand is not as easy as other materials, because it is intended to be used in more permanent materials, not one-time-use materials like paper or plastic. With the last sand mine in the U.S. being closed recently, this resource may become very important in the future.


1957 Environmental Summit

    -At the last meeting, we discussed the possibility of organizing an environmental summit similar to the one held in Calvert County last year. I asked for a list of organizations that were sought after by their county’s Environmental Commission, and they sent a list that they put together when they were preparing their summit, which I will send as an attachment along with this agenda. If we are interested, this list will be a good starting point for researching appropriate organizations to invite for a summit in our county.







(compiled by the Calvert County Environmental Commission, November 2016)






Mission Statements

Year Founded* 

Approximate number of members* 

Contact Person 

Contact Email Address 

American Chestnut Land Trust 

To promote land conservation throughout Calvert County, To provide sustainable public access to our preserved properties, To protect the natural and cultural resources of the Parkers Creek and Governors Run watersheds.



Greg Bowen 


Association of Southern Maryland Beekeepers 

Dedicated to the free exchange of ideas, opinions, and information resources to support beekeepers in St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles counties



Walt Williams 



Calvert Citizens Green Team 

Work to promote sustainable lifestyles by identifying and sharing innovative green technologies, hosting a Green Expo and encouraging environmental stewardship among county citizens in their homes, workplaces and communities.



Dawn Balinski 


Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Buliding 

To maintain or improve the quality of life for county residents by providing quality planning, zoning and code enforcement services to Calvert County at the direction of the Board of County Commissioners



Mark Willis  


Calvert County Division of Solid Waste & Recycling 

To provide all customers with efficient, cost effective, reliable and safe management of Calvert County’s solid waste and recycling activities. 



William Teter 


Calvert County Environmental Commission 

To make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners of Calvert County after thorough study and deliberation concerning matters of environmental impact to the residents of Calvert County on any and all matters pertaining to the environment of said County, pertaining to, but not limited to, aesthetic impact, socio-economic impact, and the general health and welfare of the said resident



Scott Sinex 


Calvert County Forestry Board 

The Calvert Forestry Board is a group of citizens who serve as advocates for forestry in Calvert County.



Autumn Phillips 


Calvert County Health Department 

To promote and protect the health of all county residents by preventing illness and eliminating hazards to health 



Bill Haygood 


Calvert County Master Gardeners 

To educate Maryland (Calvert County) residents about safe, effective and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes and communities, thereby reducing fertilizer and pesticide use, and improving our soil and water quality.

2002 (Calvert) UMD (1979) 


Judy Kay 


Calvert County Mosquito Control 

Calvert County Mosquito Control provides countywide integrated pest abatement of nuisance and vector (disease carrier) mosquitoes. The Mosquito Control Program is totally committed to an integrated approach that includes physical, biological, and chemical control options to reduce the mosquito population throughout Calvert County. 



William Clay 


Calvert County Natural Resources Division 

To preserve, manage and operate natural resource areas to provide compatible outdoor recreation and educational opportunities for the public.



Karyn Molines 


Calvert County Public Schools 

Public education  



Sheila Stevens 



Calvert Eats Local 

A citizen organization dedicated to the support of sustainable agriculture and community in Southern Maryland.



Holly Budd 


Calvert Environmental Protection Association 

Environmental protection of bay watershed 



Albert Tucker 



Calvert Marine Museum 

Preservation of natural, maritime and geological history of Calvert County.



David Moyer 


Calvert Nature Society 

Calvert Nature Society is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Calvert County’s natural heritage and the creation of an environmentally literate and aware community. We provide opportunities for appreciation and understanding of our natural world through our outreach initiatives and in support of the mission of the Calvert County Natural Resources Division.



Anne Sundermann 


Chesapeake Bay Commission 

To advise the general assemblies of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia on matters of Baywide concerns 



Bernie Fowler 


Chesapeake Beach Oyster Cultivation Society 

To raise 100,000 oyster spat for one year prior to planting in Chesapeake Bay; conduct educational field trips for the Calvert County School System so students can view the oyster growth cycle; monitor water quality in Fishing Creek for oyster health; offer outreach programs for civic, church and youth groups; and enhance the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail



John Bacon 


Chesapeake Ranch Estates Lake Preservation Committee 

CRE lake preservation  



Andy Rogers 



Citizens Climate Lobby

To create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power. 

National Group 2007 


Audrey Butler 


Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust

To preserve and protect ecologically sensitive sites in the vicinity of Cove Point through land conservation, scientific research, and environmental education



Bob Boxwell

Mike Rudy 



Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Assoc, SOMD Chapter

Promote the fisheries in the Bay, Bay conservation and fisheries conservation 



Jerry Gaff 


Morgan State University 

The mission of the Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL) is to provide society with the knowledge to solve its environmental challenges through research, education and economic development.



Kelton Clark 


Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust 

Land preservation 



Frank Allen 



Sierra Club, Southern Maryland Group, Maryland Chapter 

To protect the State’s and County’s natural wildlife resources by monitoring legislation, sponsoring outings, and educating the public about pressing environmental issues 



Bob Boxwell 


Southern Calvert Land Trust 

To preserve open space lands in southern Calvert County, to acquire land or conservation easements, to promote wise land use, and to enrich the lives of southern Calvert County residents through preservation of ecologically important open space and wetlands



Curt Larsen 



Southern Maryland Audubon Society 

To promote appreciation, conservation, and protection of birds, other wildlife, and their natural habitats through education, research, and outreach



Lynne Wheeler 


Sustainable Calvert Network 

To share information and offer support among Network members; to achieve a future for Calvert County that fully integrates farming, fishing, natural and cultural resources along with economic and societal needs.



Greg Bowen 


University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory 

To be a research, education, and service institution of the University System of Maryland (USM) and a world leader in the science of coastal environments and their watersheds. The Center’s faculty advances knowledge through scientific discovery, integration, application, and teaching that results in a comprehensive understanding of our environment and natural resources, helping to guide the State and world toward a more sustainable future.



Tom Miller 


University of Maryland Extension, 4-H 

Non-formal education system providing assistance to citizens in agriculture, environment & natural resources, food & nutrition, health & wellness, water & Chesapeake Bay, and home gardening



Chris Seubert 



* Responses provided by organization representatives in November 2016 Environmental Summit Survey or available on public website


Thomas is considering trying to identify environmental groups in St. Mary’s; knows of Watershed Association; Bill mentioned that NAS Pax River has an environmental department; talked about looking at Earth Day on the Square vendors;

2005 – Mike saw and article about Frederick County/Frederick Md – Tree City city; https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/standards.cfm

Thomas might reach out to Seafood/Ag committee – and various gardener groups;

2017 5th grade Maryland Arbor Day poster winner is from Lexington Park: http://dnr.maryland.gov/forests/Pages/2017-Arbor-Day-Poster-Contest-Winners.aspx

Mike shared that some 48% of St. Mary’s County is forested – but there is little attention to it as a subject; there is apparently more trees now than there was 100 years ago;

2019 Thomas saw an article about solar shingles will be available in 2018 and within a few years, they will be cheaper than regular shingles;

Talked about Volvo stopping internal combustion in the near future;

Talked about EV charging stations in St. Mary’s (plugshare and chargepoint): Holiday Inn Express, Tom Hodges, Wildewood Apartments

2038 adjouned

170503 CoE

: Nicole, Ben Cohen, Thomas, Bill, Joe (community member) Mark, absent: Jackie, Kim, Mike

1912 starting


COE agenda 5-3-17

Written by Thomas Brewer, COE President


1912: Compost bin and rain barrel workshops

    -We are moving forward with our workshops. We have set the date as May 20th, and the location has been locked down at the Fairgrounds. The rain barrels are already on site, and the compost bins are being acquired. The University of Maryland Extension Program is handling the registration and payment from residents and they have added the event to their website. Now, we can all spread the word and try to attract attention to the workshops!

Two sessions: 0900-1000 and 1000-1100; discussed using County Fair sign and Enterprise / County Times


1919: Tire Amnesty

    -At the last meeting, there was a question about tire amnesty. I contacted Nick Zurkan, and he replied with the following information: the tire amnesty program is state-sponsored and the state contacts counties as to when the event can be held, but our county has not been notified of any such event this year. The county policy on tires is that a resident can bring 5 passenger tires at a time to the landfill at no cost. Bringing more than 5 passenger tires at one time comes with a charge of $158/ton.


1921: Glass downcycling

    –At the last meeting, we discussed glass recycling and downcycling, which is when a product is recycled into something of lesser value. Concrete production is an example of an opportunity to downcycle used glass, and we have concrete companies in our county, so we thought we should try to connect bars and restaurants without recycling contracts with their waste hauler to local concrete producers. Kim provided me with contact information for an employee at Chaney Enterprises. I recently emailed the employee and I am waiting on a response.

Talked about recycling at bars and the “sand” making recycling machine (from last time)


1928: Annual Report

    -I emailed Diane Gleissner, Coordinator to the County Commissioners, regarding our annual report. I asked if the Commissioners had comments regarding our Annual Report, and specified if they had any thoughts on the recommendation to pursue a composting operation in the area, and I am awaiting a response.


1929: Calvert County CoE

    -A member of Calvert County’s Environmental Commission contacted me recently and asked that I attend one of their meetings to exchange thoughts and ideas and try to create a connection between our two commissions. I think this is a great idea, and mentioned that I think a meeting between the three counties (St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles) could be beneficial. I plan to attend their June meeting on Monday, June 26th in the County Services Plaza, 3rd floor, Department of Community Planning & Building conference room, 150 Main St., Prince Frederick MD 20678. Their meetings are open to the public like ours, and all are welcome to attend.

Thomas’ idea is use composting to leverage all thee counties for input; discussed the MPO (www.calvert-stmarysmpo.com/AgendaCenter) Bill recommended reaching out to the Tri-County Council (Hartline)


1938: Nicole mentioned following up with Calvert County COE about their palnning summit (lessons learned);


1944: talking with Joe (community member here for a boy scout effort); discussed budget for CoE;


1951: SMCM Bay-to-Bay mended some HSMC fences to help pen cows; weeded garden plot;


1959: adjourned



170705 CoE

Attendees: Bill, Thomas, Ben Mark, Guest, Guest

1907 – waiting for Mike & Jacquelyn

1910- getting started… James Hensley, 18 years old, applied and was accepted (Father was here as his driver);

1911- Jackie arrives


COE agenda 7-5-17

Written by Thomas Brewer, COE President


1912: Introductions for new member: Mark (Leonardtown – two years), Jackie (Lexington Park – four months), Ben (support staff since Feb), Thomas (three years, President, joined SMCM college alumni council and aiding in So Md food network), Bill Hunt (works for LUGM); Lewis Hicks (driver and dad);


1914: two forms: one for agenda, one for notes;


1914: Calvert County’s Environmental Commission

    -I attended their monthly meeting on June 26th. We discussed collaborating in the future and exchanged information regarding recent and future projects. Their meeting was not unlike our own, but they have a slightly larger group. I observed presentations by a guest speaker about reforestation and floodplains, and feel that we should discuss doing the same at some of our meetings.

Mark asked about Charles County – Thomas believes so since we have mimicked their Rain Barrel workshop; discussed alliance for tri-county (e.g. for composting); likes idea of having presentations three or four times year and use half the CoE meeting;


1919: Guest speakers

    -After observing Calvert’s guest speaker presentation, I met a salesman for Solar City, and he expressed interest in attending one of our meetings and providing a small presentation about solar panels and the services offered by Solar City. I feel that this could be a good first guest speaker presentation, as we have discussed solar at a number of meetings, and he could offer some answers to questions that the group may have regarding solar panels.

Group agree to invite to future meeting;


1920: Sea rise article

    -The article that Mike disseminated discussed the increasing level of concern regarding sea levels rising. Richard A. Clarke, former counter-terrorism czar, recently said that a scientist has been running numbers that point to a much greater sea level rise than previously predicted, noting that rather than the 1-3 foot rise by the year 2100 that is widely accepted among scientists at present is about a third of what his models are predicting, which he claims could be between 6 and 9 feet, essentially putting Florida beneath water. He also made a note of the fact that the Department of Defense has said that global warming and sea level rise are the single greatest threat to our nation’s security.


1923: Seafood, Ag, and Forestry Commission

    -During the reforestation presentation, it occurred to me that planting trees strategically around agricultural land could effectively reduce chemical runoff from farms. Certain trees have roots that absorb nutrients and chemicals and prevent them from entering waterways. With seafood being affected by these chemicals, and agriculture playing a role in water pollution, it seems fitting that this Commission should be thinking about this. I would like to send a letter or attend a meeting to address this issue, and would like some feedback before doing so.

Discussion about possible questions for Seafood Commission led to a discussion for roadway runoff and storm water management; part of St. Mary’s getting better is the requirement for a Federal “MS-4” permit since we are now over 100,000 population; Ben has a list of acceptable plants that can be used for Critical Areas;


1936 Environmental Summit

    -Calvert held an environmental summit in which they brought together a number of groups that were all involved in some way with environmentalism. The summit seemed to go well from what the commission stated, and I believe a similar event in our county could facilitate the gathering of groups that may be more productive working together.

Discussion about who would be invited… Chesapeake Bay Foundation… St. Mary’s Watershed Association..


1938: Compost bin/rain barrel workshop

    -The workshop that we helped the University of Maryland Extension Program to organize went very well from what I observed. Both classes of each workshop were well attended and the residents seemed to appreciate the presentations and service provided by the Extension Program. I believe that this could become an annual workshop, and because we ordered extra bins, we have less to spend on the next set of workshops.

Asked Fairgrounds to put on banner sign – this worked very well; bins still available for full purchase price;


Actions from tonight: contact Bruce Young about buffer trees; never received feedback from Cheney Recycling about glass recycling (down; looki into plants metabolizing chemicals; look into Calvert Commission attendees; suggestion from Jason to look into Canadian / Toronto “yellow bag” organic and composting program (since discontinued) – could University of Maryland start something like that? Thomas gave an overview of plastic bag recycling in Maryland / MRF; pilot program for independent bars/restaurants mentioned by George Erichsen (former DPWT)


Jackie is trying to get Dr. Tracy Stohler who has worked with the students (like planting trees) – but she wants to attend a future meeting; she has been recognized by the President of the College of Southern Maryland for environmental efforts (she is a biologist);


Mark suggested viewing a Trex video; e.g. collection issues and uses;


Planning a trip to the MRF for those that are interested;


Adjourned 1957 – next meeting is 02 August;


151104 CoE


1900: Larry, Gordon, Mary, Bill, Thomas, Brad, Mike


1904: called to order

1904: last month’s minutes approved



COE agenda 11-4-15


1904 – waiting for updated from Kim/Sue (Thomas will email, maybe starts 15 Nov?); Brad contacted his HoA and they are interested (Charter School is part of the Trex program and integrated into curriculum);


Non-recyclable plastics

    -Are there any updates to the Trex competitions for schools or communities in the area?


Maryland Food Charter

    -I attended the statewide summit on October 15th that was organized by the Institute for Public Health Innovation. Experts and representatives from all over the state convened to discuss the important components of the first Food Charter in the state’s history. Topics of most importance were access to healthy and local food, organizing a local food distribution center, and recovering food waste. I broke off into the small group that discussed the latter. We came up with statements describing the most pressing issues regarding food waste, and ours concluded that we should try to recover edible food from farms (ugly produce), grocery stores, restaurants/catering companies, etc. and make it available to those that are food insecure, and establish composting facilities to properly process the inedible food waste. This charter will have strong influence on DC/MD/VA legislation and agendas, and I felt that they are moving in the right direction. More information can be found at the IPHI website: (http://www.institutephi.org/our-work-in-action/policy-health-systems-improvement/mobilizing-food-policy-councils-maryland/)



Volunteer Training Night

    –I plan to attend the Volunteer Training Night tomorrow in the Chesapeake Building at 5:30pm, just before our meeting. It should provide some clarity on what is expected of us as a commission, as well as the appropriate way to make effective change.

Thomas asked how to properly bring issues to the BoCC; was told, research and prepare a report; vote on it; if passes, submit to the BoCC with cover page documenting that follow up is available; from there BoCC would vote to move it forward; part of the field trip will help; college student is still working financial issues with Nick Zurkin for analysis; analysis will be checked off by college professor; it is not a profitable venture, but with increased tipping fees and having our base closed, we can make the case that this is “cost neutral” (how???) Part of the idea is that food waste is the largest component of the waste fees, should reduce the tipping fees;



Creative Financing for Sustainability Projects

    -I plan to attend this leadership training event on Wednesday, November 18th in College Park. This is put on by Sustainable Maryland, and should provide some great information on developing and implementing sustainable initiatives. Sue had mentioned that there may be funding to cover the registration.

Put on by the same group that help certify Leonardtown; Mike H is coming down to do a “Green Team” meeting with the College to try and get others interested; Thomas is waiting for that meeting to happen before taking on the Green Team;




STS buses

    –I noticed the other day that the STS buses have diesel engines. Would there be any interest in proposing a pilot program to collect waste vegetable oil and process it using a BioPro, utilizing the biodiesel for STS buses in the county. If successful, this pilot program could evolve into providing biodiesel for county school buses.

Discussion about changing fleet purchase requirements; Thomas will research with Public Works / Charter School;


Composting facility

    -Bill has arranged a van for transportation to the Alpha Ridge Landfill this Saturday, November 7th to visit Howard County’s composting pilot program. I confirmed with the project manager, and he will be expecting us at 10am. That would mean we would have to leave here around 8am for those that are interested in joining. At the meeting, those interested can discuss our plan of action further.

    I spoke with Priscilla Wentworth, a SMADC employee and friend of mine. She knows about my interest in composting and at the Maryland Food Charter Summit, she informed me that she was going to visit the LeafGro facility at Western Branch in Prince George’s County. After the visit, she told me about the operation that they have going, which now includes food scraps. This 2013 pilot program uses a Goretex composting system that completes the process in 8 weeks (then 10-12 weeks of curing before complete). LeafGro is a widely distributed soil amendment sold all over the state that comes from yard clippings in Prince George’s. Their new product, LeafGro Gold, is being sold to the University of MD and used on their vegetable farm, which feeds the students. So, the University gives Western Branch their food scraps, and then purchases LeafGro Gold to produce more vegetables for the students. Their model seems to be working very well, and I intend to contact the MES employee in charge of the operation, Steven Birchfield, in the near future. For more information, I found the following article very informative: http://www.biocycle.net/2015/05/13/food-scraps-composting-at-county-yard-trimmings-site/



151007 CoE

COE agenda 8-5-15


1911 – call to action: Thomas, Gordon, Mary, me, Kim, Mark, Mike (1921), Bill



Advisory Board Changes

    –Was anybody able to determine the nature of the repeals made by the Commissioners?

1911 – Thomas will follow up with Sue;


Non-recyclable plastics

    –I still have to research the Montgomery County plastic bag fee program and determine whether Trex works with Materials Recovery Facilities to obtain plastic bags and film packaging.

1914 – Thomas to follow up on “non-recyclable” plastics; Montgomery: 5 cents: 4 cents to county, 1 cents to store; will follow up with Trex who takes film plastic; will follow up with Brenda (sustainable plastics); Mark followed up with Nick to find out if transfer stations collect bags: not now as customers are asked to throw in with the rest of recyclables; Kim tried to find these answers to find out whom will take what when she worked with the schools; she wants to get info for schools and share info (CAUTION: schools used to have a separate contract from County); was told to “put it in there” and we will figure it out later; schools send out single stream; so current model looks good for school since material moves out of schools as recyclables; but she would like to know if it is really being recycled; Thomas thought rounded numbers from Waste Management was suspect; Green School program is critical to local effort; also ambiguous what is allowed in the single stream;



Facility Tours/CoE Field Trips!

    –At the last meeting, we discussed touring a recycling facility, and after the meeting, Brad and Gordon sent me the following link: http://publicworks.baltimorecity.gov/Recycling/RecyclingFacilityTours.aspx

These would be tours of the recycling plants at Capital Heights and Elkridge, noting that Baltimore’s single stream material is processed at the Elkridge facility. George Erichsen mentioned a composting facility in Howard County, and upon researching this more, I found a link with more tours: http://www.howardcountymd.gov/toursandpresentations.htm

    We can discuss which facilities we would like to tour at the meeting.

1929 – Field Trips – last meeting discussed touring a recycling facility; tour for what is acceptable, what is not, and what happens to residual; Brad and Gordon sent link to Baltimore tours: included Elkridge and Capitol Heights; Baltimore sends to Elkridge; George Erichsen who had previously mentioned composting facility in Howard County which also has tours (Alpha Ridge Landfill);

will send out email for interest for tours; possible tour Elkridge and composting operation; discussed fact sheet:



Howard County Food Scrap and Yard Trim

Composting Program


What is happening:

Howard County is opening an $800,000 pilot composting facility

at the Alpha Ridge landfill in Marriottsville.

Built to best-practice standards for odor and run-off control, the

facility will process yard trim and food scraps, and turn it into a

valuable commodity that will be sold on-site.

The Alpha Ridge Composting Facility allows the county to double

the size of its curbside collection program, which is the most

extensive and most successful in the State of Maryland. Later

this year, food scrap collection will be expanded so that 10,000

homes in Elkridge and Columbia will be able to participate in the

innovative program.

Howard County estimates that 10,000 pounds of food scraps per week will soon be

diverted from the waste stream.

Benefits of food scrap and yard trim recycling:

Saves money:

The cost of disposing of residential household waste is $41.50 per ton. A private

contractor plans to charge Howard County $65 per ton to haul food scrap and yard trim

to a processing center in Delaware.

By comparison, the net cost of transporting and processing food scraps and yard trim at

the Howard County processing facility will be about $38.50 per ton. (Net cost means cost

of collections, transport and processing, minus revenues from sale of finished product.)

Additionally, food scraps that are ground in residential garbage disposals and sent

through the sanitary sewer system for processing are expensive to remove – costing

about $350 per ton.

Food scrap collection will also raise public awareness about the amount of food that

families throw away every year. Estimates show that U.S. families dispose of $2,275 in

food every year which they do not eat before it spoils.

Protects the environment:

Potential to reduce household waste stream by 25 percent.

Reduces greenhouse gases created when food scraps decompose in landfills and

produce methane.

Creates a valuable end-product and jobs: A study shows that composting creates twice

as many jobs than landfills, and four times as many jobs as trash incinerators.

The end product, compost, is a great soil amendment that returns nutrients to the soil,

produces healthy plants, and reduces reliance on fossil-fuel based fertilizers, pesticides

and herbicides. Compost can also absorb four to five times its weight in water, reducing

Chesapeake Bay run-off.

How it works:

Residents provided with separate bin for fruits, vegetables, bread and baked goods, egg

shells, pasta, rice, coffee grounds, tea bags, paper towels, pizza boxes.

Not allowed: meat and fish; fats oils and grease; pet waste; diapers.

Bin set out weekly, same day as yard trim pickup and regular recycling.

Food scraps and yard waste taken to Composting Facility and debagged and put through


The ground materials is placed in piles, with a state-of-the-art odor control system.

Piles are covered and turned.

In 75 days, end product is fully cured, stable, ready to be put on garden

Compost to be sold for $19/cubic yard; mulch will be sold for $20/cubic yard and topsoil

will be sold for $23/cubic yard.

Can accommodate 10,000 homes – with an estimated diversion of 10,000 pounds of

food waste per week, based on current participation rate

Kim would want to find out what members of the community are already doing this on a larger scale; or check with organic farmer; is there a community partnership to start grass roots support; concerned about hauling costs? (thought we going to process locally?) Most important to find a site to show people how; (disconnect – will be discussed in composting item); may be possible if we could knock out two tours in one day;

Green Team

    –I will be meeting with college students in the near future to recruit members for the Sustainable MD Green Team. Once we have some more members, we will move forward with the certification process.

1939 – will be happening soon; will try to have Green Team present to the college; SMCM moving to “Environmental Studies” as a major (previously only a minor); Laschelle McKay is interested (Mary had called her – Hayden is trying to get off boards right now);


Long Range Transportation Plan

    –Is it too late to turn in the questionnaire? If not, where can I turn it in?

1941 – Bill says you can still turn in questionnaire (email to him); need a bicycle advocate (left at Mike’s Bike, and Thomas will get in touch with Jesse Carrington as the lead of Pax Velo); County is finishing the Lexington Park Development plan which includes complete streets; need somebody to advocate; Thomas may contact Mark Dale of World Gym of Wildewood; Thomas is suggesting increase number of buses and parking; car pooling is lacking even for close neighbors with similar schedules; try to increase car pooling (create incentive); parking garage (three stories); we have a lot of people from Charles and Calvert;

Composting facility

    –I have been corresponding with George Erichsen, Director of PW&T for St. Mary’s County, and Brett Darcey, a VP for a local defense contractor. George indentified the aforementioned Howard County facility at Alpha Ridge Landfill as a good model for our county. I was not aware of this facility, but it seems like exactly what we want to see here. They compost yard trimmings and food waste using aerated, covered static piles, similar to the facility in Vermont that originally peaked my interest.

    I will be meeting with the student that plans to research the feasibility of having a composting facility in our area and producing a cost-benefit analysis. I plan to have her read the following reports that Brenda Platt sent me:


I will also have her research the Howard County facility and compare and contrast Howard and St. Mary’s Counties.

Brett Darcey is on the BRAC committee and feels that having support from the Base could prove beneficial for our project as well as for the Base. He interned for John Bohanan and has remained close with him since. We will be meeting with Mr. Bohanan to discuss strategies for moving forward, but in the meantime, he recommended forming a task force to provide political coverage for the Commissioners and spread awareness to residents. I asked George Erichsen about the process, and he said that the CoE could act as the task force rather than having the Commissioners formalize one. I am not sure when I should announce this to the Commissioners, but will determine that soon.

1950 – been back and forth with George Erichsen; came in a few meetings ago to discuss short/medium/long goals for BoCC; got him to bump up composting research from long term to short term; George had identified the Howard County program; Prince Georges is making “Leaf Gro” which is sold throughout the state; Howard is using the model like the one he toured in Vermont; he likes this model vice the giant machines and air blowers which use fossil fuels; wants research by college student to compare models; he will meet with her next Tuesday and he will turn over reports; one report includes Maryland specific information; will also take up Brenda Platt of the Institute to present; Howard County is on ¾ acres but able to produce a lot for a low cost of $800,000; can handle 10,000 homes in Elkridge; save money by reducing cost by lowering waste transfer rates; will not make money but will save money on landfill costs; George mentioned that there is an unused lot “c” at St. Andrews Landfill; should be road accessible; St. Mary’s has between 35,000 – 40,000; the County had considered doing a pickup of food and yard waste (similar to Howard County – but need to investigate the actual model); Howard County waste money comes out of the taxes and runs a pretty hard program; having a composting facility might be motivation to start the household pickup; was trying to estimate the collection of the existing yard waste (seemed very small); looking for other sources of “brown” waste (maybe tree trimming companies like SMECO); so Thomas explained that Brenda Platt would help St. Mary’s start small and local; most farmers tend to keep things on the farm; not sure if individuals compost for their own use; Kim and Mike both think farmers are well versed with conservation; may need to check with large farmers to see what their needs or experience could yield; Base is another source (buddy Brett is looking into it); Thomas started food waste at St. Mary’s College; and Public Schools; and grocery stores and restaurants; one of the shortfalls could be too much food waste; place in Vermont purchases some 1500 yards of wood chips a year to supplement; Kim wants to know if other programs are mandatory; talked about restaurant oil recycling; Thomas talked about Valley Proteins; used to charge for the oil pickup and now they pay for a small fee; could be County wide to be successful; needs to be something that is a big ticket items; total new train of thoughts; students did projects to measure how much was thrown out in a restaurant in a single day; single stream is lulling us into laziness; Germany is a great example; good place to start is mandatory recycling is for local businesses; College sends vans up to Green Door on large party nights; Thomas would like to setup recycling bins and the last pickup would pick up bins; Thomas will follow up with BoCC about formalizing a “task force”; Bill recommended contact the Department directory, Phil Shire; Mark recommended that college student do basic research before forwarding request for “task force”; discussion about how to present to Commissioners and general Commission goals; Gordon – why do you want to do this?

2059 – Kim asked about other major topics??? Other than composting… plastic bags and shrink wrap.. and long range recycling plan.. any impact for “rain tax”; what is the other purview?




Wheelabrator Incinerator in Baltimore

    Gordon sent me this link:
http://www.wtienergy.com/plants/waste-to-energy/wheelabrator-baltimore/index.html, which discusses the incinerator in Baltimore. While the fish-raising seems to be beneficial, I read up and found that the incinerator produces more mercury, lead, and Greenhouse gases than either of the 4 largest coal plants in the state.

111102 Meeting

COE Agenda 11-2011.docx
1906 meeting started
1907 review of minutes
1911 minutes approved with corrections
1912 Sue Veith – Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP)
Phase I was general; Phase II is more specific to establish two year milestones – 10-11 is documenting what has been done; 12-13 is getting ready to be started; along with plan to take us out until 2017; self-selected local committee – sue leads, soil conservation, METCOCM, Health Dept, NAS / Webster field, SMCM, Leonardtown, some citizens, Jackie Tackas (from SMCM), DPW, LUGM, Parks & Rec, State Highway invited (only participating with larger counties)
First: analyzed capacity, what is already in the Capital Improvement program, how we are already managing or not managing storm water, septic systems, wastewater treatment programs, agriculture – looked for gaps – where to enhance existing programs – and where programs need to be created. Product is a 27 page laundry list of things that need to be done. Trying to plug into a spreadsheet tool which calculates expected reduction.
At state level: December deadline for first draft of WIP; Nov 18 is the deadline for Counties to submit draft; from Nov 18th to Jan 2 – county can review state draft; between Jan and June – Counties will go through a public review and come to some final local commitment;
Whole thing must be done by Aug (Oct?) 12th?
Team is recommending: continue existing efforts at existing levels; where money available, ramp up efforts (e.g. tree planting); looking at programmatic changes for gaps (e.g. best available technology for critical areas, proposal to triple bay restoration fund;) ramp up ability to track what we are doing;
Also need to figure out what to do with the gap; agricultural has a 70,000 lbs “gap” nitrogen to meet 2017 goals; this is being worked at a tributary project and the County is not currently working this issue; handled at State level – Dept of Agriculture through Soil Conservation;
Looking at urban loads – and we pretty close; separate than forest loads;
St. Mary’s County does not have control over Federal lands; Navy has huge effort underway as we speak; getting a lot of bang from the Federal facilities;
County looking at connecting major concentration areas to existing sewage systems;
Nov 15th – 1100 – presentation to BoCC on plan
1936 – open for questions? (Sue will copy COE on info on the status plan – maybe tomorrow?)
Each jurisdiction (County) to provide 10 page summary of the plan (description, what has been accomplished, what is expected to be accomplished, and gap to 2020 goal)
Looking at 11 areas of growth for sewer growth;
Meet on last Wednesday of the month, from 0930-1130 at new Soil Conservation Building;
St. Mary’s is a net importer of manure
EPA goal is for 2025; Maryland is targeting 2020;
Sue done at 2010
Facebook – person to contact is Caroline King (email address is passed to Steve Tripp)
Updates on website – Larry Hartwick is now updating website if Barne is not available;
2012 Planning next expo – coming in March; need to engage Jada if we want her to take care of everything again (group agrees!); Larry purchased poster board and materials to make a new display – looking for ways to fill the board and way for people to interact;
2020 Larry Hartwick to send out first draft letter to BoCC
Marta: Sherriff’s office is collecting outdate prescription drugs (Hospice makes you flush the drugs!) ; could we put on Facebook and/or Website? St. John’s Pharmacy does this as well; Does CVS?
Barne to make note in minutes about attendance;
Heather Moritz – filling in for Daryl for at least the next year; administers the Grant program (for wells) ; discussion about Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) Onsite Sewage Disposal System (OSDS) Advanced Treatment Unit (ATU) grant program; there is very * few * applicants this year; CoE asked if information was available online and it is not; packet was handed out;
(I am posting here!!!)
Bay Restoration Fund Onsite Sewage Disposal System Advanced Treatment Unit Grant.pdf