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Baltimore County News

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Date: Jan 3, 2020

Olszewski Increases Funding to Expedite Pollution Reductions

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced today that the County has recently completed six large-scale stream restoration projects in four severely compromised waterways in order to address erosion, reduce pollutant and sediment loads, and improve water quality and aquatic habitat locally, and in the Chesapeake Bay.

“We have significantly increased funding to our Capital Waterway Improvement Program to address issues like streambank erosion and channel degradation that lead to major problems with water quality, loss of habitat and property damage,” County Executive Olszewski said. The County’s FY 2020 capital budget includes a total of $22.5 million to fund watershed restoration projects.

Project Details

The recently completed stream restoration projects total approximately 4.5 miles and include:

  • White Marsh Run, West Branch North Fork—Located in Perry Hall from Silver Meadow Lane to Perry Hall Boulevard, this project involved the stabilization of degraded natural channel along several tributaries. Improvements include:
    • Reconnection to adjacent floodplains
    • Stabilization of eroded banks
    • Sanitary sewer line protection
    • Improved water quality
  • White Marsh Run Tributary at Upton Road—Located in Parkville near Upton Road, this stream restoration regraded and stabilized highly eroded stream banks, added step pools for in-channel energy dissipation and repaired several damaged stormwater outfalls. 
  • Slaughterhouse Branch—Located in a residential area of Pikesville just north of the Baltimore Beltway between Stevenson Avenue and Greenspring Avenue, this project stabilized steep slopes, allowed storm flows to access the natural floodplain and protected vital infrastructure, including sanitary sewers and utility poles that were compromised by erosion.
  • Roland Run at Greenspring Drive—Located in Lutherville from Business Park Drive to Spring Avenue, this project includes tributaries east of the Ridgely Road MTA Park and Ride. Eroded streambanks and stormwater outfalls were stabilized, trash and debris were removed and extensive landscaping was planted to better filter overland runoff.
  • Cooper Branch—Located in Catonsville along the popular Number Nine Trolley Line Trail between Stonewall Road and Oella Avenue, this project used natural channel stabilization techniques, including rock step pools and cascades, to address widespread stream degradation, protecting private properties and sanitary sewer and storm drain infrastructure that were compromised by erosion.
  • Scotts Level Branch at Marriottsville Road—Located in Randallstown between Marriottsville Road and Tiverton Road, this suburban stream channel was modified to address erosion and allow storm event flows access to the adjacent floodplain. This project also stabilized nine storm drain outfall channels.  

Broad Benefits of Investing in Healthy Streams

Many of the County’s stream systems have become impaired due to historical land-use changes, poor development practices prior to stormwater management regulations and the pressures of increased urbanization. Challenges include increased impervious surface, such as pavement and roofs; diminished buffer areas where trees and vegetation help shade the stream, slow runoff, and reduce pollutants; as well as outmoded efforts to channelize streams and contain flood flows.

Baltimore County’s nationally-recognized watershed restoration and stream stabilization program improves the ecological and hydrologic function of degraded streams using an adaptive natural channel design approach. The projects help the County meet state and federal mandates for the overall water quality improvement and health of the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, using methods that include:

  • Stabilizing stream banks to reduce the downstream flow of sediments
  • Creating riffles and pools to slow the damaging rush of water
  • Providing essential habitat and promoting the proper exchange of microorganisms, dissolved gasses and particles that are necessary for healthy streams
  • Restoring long-term natural stream functioning by replacing outdated, deteriorated channels with natural, native materials like rock, logs and vegetation
  • Planting and enhancing vegetative buffers to reduce nutrient pollution and provide habitat

Listening Sessions Scheduled in January and February

Baltimore County’s Workgroup on Equitable Policing today announced details for two forthcoming community listening sessions seeking public comment around efforts to ensure equitable policing in Baltimore County.

In November 2019, County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued an executive order announcing the formation of the Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing in order to examine current policies, practices, and training related to policing and offer recommendations to ensure equitable practices and to bring greater transparency and accountability to law enforcement.

As part of their efforts, the Workgroup will host two community listening sessions across Baltimore County. The details for the community listening sessions are as follows:

West County Listening Sessions
Date: Thursday, January 9, 2020
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Randallstown Community Center, 3505 Resource Drive, Randallstown, Maryland 21133

East County Listening Sessions
Date: Thursday, February 13, 2020
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Sollers Point Community Center, 323 Sollers Point Road, Dundalk, Maryland 21222

Please check the Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing website for the latest on any potential weather-related scheduling adjustments.

Public comments may also be submitted by emailing equitablepolicing@baltimorecountymd.gov.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017