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Keyword: white marsh

Through Partnership with EPP, Baltimore County to Significantly Reduce Methane Emissions While Generating Renewable Energy Directly to the County

Baltimore County today announced it has entered a new agreement with Energy Power Partners (EPP), a clean power-focused firm to participate in a landfill gas-to-energy system at the County’s Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh.

The two-phase project is the first large-scale renewable energy venture in Baltimore County’s history. “Climate change poses one of the most significant threats to our state’s long-term health and prosperity. This new project will reduce Baltimore County’s carbon footprint and help meet critical renewable energy goals,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Baltimore County can and should be a leader in environmental sustainability and my administration will continue to innovate as we work to protect our shared environment for this generation—and the next.”

In 2019, EPP purchased the gas-to-energy facility located on the Eastern Sanitary Landfill, previously owned by Exelon Generation, and worked to restore and repurpose the site’s engines to more efficiently generate electricity from the produced methane.

“This is a great example of a public-private initiative that helps protect the environment while providing a reliable energy source,” said Steve Gabrielle, partner for Energy Power Partners. “We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Baltimore County, and we appreciate their vision.”

Beginning in June 2020, the County entered into a power purchase agreement with EPP where the facility captures methane gas produced by the County’s 375-acre Eastern Sanitary Landfill to power two engine generators, providing energy directly to the local utility grid.

Through the utility net metering process, the County will purchase the energy produced to offset the power needs of County-owned facilities.

Project Anticipated to Save $285,000

The methane capture generators will power the equivalent of 1,600 homes and prevent the equivalent of 10,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. According to the EPA, the reduction of emissions is equivalent to any one of the below annual environmental benefits:

  • Removing 2,000 cars from the road, or
  • Planting 12,300 acres of forest, or
  • Reducing consumption of 1 million gallons of gasoline

The project is anticipated to save the County $285,000 in FY21.

Under this first phase, the project is expected to generate 13 million kWh annually. The second phase of the project will add a third engine to increase energy production to 20 million kWh annually. Phase two of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

“With this project, Baltimore County is taking an important step towards embracing a vision for using our own renewable energy sources,” said Baltimore County Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Lafferty. “The challenges presented by climate change will grow in the years ahead and so we must continue to aggressively pursue sustainable solutions like this project to create a greener and cleaner future.”

Promoting Environmental Sustainability

According to the EPA, landfill waste accounts for the third-largest man-made source of methane in the country and reducing methane emissions from landfills is one of the best ways to provide an immediate and beneficial impact in combatting the impacts of climate change.

In 2016, the previous administration announced a goal to generate or displace at least 20 percent of the County’s electric demand from renewable energy sources by 2022. As of December 2018, little progress had been made to meet this goal.

Since taking office, the Olszewski administration has made the expansion of renewable energy a priority. Through this project, Baltimore County is expected to offset at least 11 percent of the County’s total energy consumption and continues to explore additional efforts to help the County meet or exceed the 2022 goal.

This is the latest effort from the Administration to promote environmental sustainability.

In 2019, Olszewski created Baltimore County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer who is leading the development of a county-wide Climate Action Plan, covering topics such as reduced energy consumption, promotion of green infrastructure and sustainable growth policy.

Earlier this year, Olszewski convened a Youth Climate Working Group to ensure youth voices and recommendations are included in the County’s Climate Action Plan and other sustainability efforts.

Last month, Baltimore County announced a new effort to expand the County’s marketable recycling program by restarting glass recycling—which had been sidelined since 2013.


Long Awaited East-West Connection to Make Continuous Circuit from Route 40 to White Marsh Boulevard 

Baltimore County today announced the completion of the latest phase of the Campbell Boulevard project, which runs between Bird River Road and Windlass Run in Middle River.

The new road completes a continuous circuit between Route 40 to Route 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) and will open to traffic Tuesday, July 7.

“This long-awaited project is a major gain for eastern Baltimore County and will provide a convenient connection for residents that will reduce congestion, expand bike access, and improve street safety,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said.

 

Started in the fall of 2018, the 0.7 mile stretch of Campbell Boulevard will provide two travel lanes, a center turn lane and two, seven-foot wide bike lanes. The project cost approximately $5 million.

This newly completed segment fulfills a longtime need for an East-West connection first identified in the 1980s.

“I’m glad to see this latest investment in our community,” Council Chair and District 6 Councilmember Cathy Bevins said. “This new stretch of road will better connect our neighborhoods and help improve quality of life for our residents.”

This is the latest component of the County’s three-phase Campbell Boulevard Extended Project, a 3.1 mile long project which, when completed, will connect Route 7 (Philadelphia Road) to Route 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) to help relieve congestion at key intersections and improve road safety.

The project’s completed second phase runs from Route 40 to Bird River Road and intersects with the newly completed portion of Campbell Boulevard. The final stage of the project will run from Philadelphia Road to Route 40 and will include the reconstruction of the Mohrs Lane Bridge. This final phase of the project is anticipated to begin in 2023.


Cites Modern Facility with Top-Performing Employees and Superior Results

County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. reached out to the head of General Motors (GM) to emphasize the value of the state-of-the-art White Marsh manufacturing facility, both to GM and to the Baltimore region. In a letter sent yesterday afternoon, he called on GM Chairman and CEO Mary Teresa Barra to find a product or alternate use for the plant that will keep all of its 300 high-performing employees working.

“We know that Eastern Baltimore County is one of the most competitive areas for manufacturing on the East Coast with our highly skilled workforce and proximity to transportation networks,” Olszewski said. “I wanted to make sure that the leadership at GM understands the importance and value of this facility to their bottom line and to Baltimore County.” 

The full text of his letter is below:

                                        December 11, 2018

Ms. Mary Teresa Barra

Chairman and CEO

General Motors Company

300 Renaissance Center

Detroit, Michigan 48243

Dear Ms. Barra,

As the newly-elected County Executive of Baltimore County, I was shocked to learn about General Motors’ (GM) decision to cease production at GM’s White Marsh facility. This facility has been an anchor and source of pride within our County since it opened in 2000.  The facility’s importance to the region became even more significant upon the opening of the $245 million electric motor facility in 2012. Hundreds of millions of federal, state, and local dollars have been invested since its opening and it has been lauded as a “state of the art” facility that embodied American resiliency in the wake of the great recession.

As you know, our region has strong and deep roots in manufacturing. Our proximity to major highway and rail networks and the Port of Baltimore has made eastern Baltimore County one of the most significant areas for logistics and manufacturing – and we continue to remain competitive. We attract talented and qualified workers and have demonstrated our commitment to embracing 21st century workforce solutions through bolstering trades, job training and workforce development. And we will continue to do so.

Therefore I respectfully request that GM find a product or alternative use for the plant that will keep all 300 of those employees working in Baltimore County. I understand that according to GM’s own corporate metrics, the employees at White Marsh are among the top performers across the entire company. Furthermore, I understand these employees have had very few grievances with GM management. The facility is both modern and effective, and I know these hard-working men and women remain committed to achieving high performance standards.

If GM does not reverse the decision to cease production in White Marsh, we must work collectively with our state and federal partners to do everything we can for the employees and families impacted.  As such, I have asked my team to immediately engage with local GM and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 239 in an effort to protect the career-paths of affected GM workers. At my direction, Baltimore County’s Department of Workforce and Economic Development will serve as the central agency responsible for communications, coordination with area employers interested in recruiting GM workers, and hosting career fairs.  We will also offer workshops and direct career counseling, assist with resume development, interview preparation, and other unemployment essentials.

Earlier this week, a team of economic and workforce development professionals from my administration met with GM’s human resource manager, Erin Spitzer, to discuss collaboration on these efforts. I have every confidence that we will continue to have GM’s cooperation and partnership in these efforts. 

While we are bracing for a possible closure, I would like to reiterate my strong request to maintain operations at the White Marsh facility. As soon as possible, I invite you and/or members of your senior leadership team to join me in a tour of the White Marsh operation to observe the world-class operation there firsthand. I am available to discuss this matter at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

John Olszewski, Jr.

County Executive

cc:

Eric Shelhorn, Plant Manager, GM White Marsh

Erin Spitzer, HR Manager, GM White Marsh

John Blanchard, Director of Local Government Relations, GM

Will Anderson, Director of Economic & Workforce Development, Baltimore County

Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce

The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor of Maryland

The Honorable Katherine Klausmeier, Senate of Maryland District 8

The Honorable Eric Bromwell, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

The Honorable Joe Cluster, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

The Honorable Christian Miele, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

The Honorable Cathy Bevins, Baltimore County Council District 6

Harry Bhandari, Delegate-Elect, District 8

Joseph Boteler, Delegate-Elect, District 8


 
 
Revised October 16, 2020               
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