Baltimore County has implemented sustainability initiatives—with input from County employees, residents and advocates for the environment—to help:
- Decrease costs for County operations
- Reduce waste
- Increase energy efficiency
- Promote alternative, green lifestyle choices
Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Action Plan
As one of the largest counties in the state, Baltimore County plays a pivotal role in leading the community and in helping the State of Maryland advance climate goals, such as reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent below 2006 levels, by 2030. Baltimore County Government developed this climate action plan (CAP) (PDF) of County government operations to serve as the foundation for the County’s GHG reduction efforts and support the State’s climate goals. The CAP was developed by characterizing and modeling current sources of GHG emissions from County operations and potential GHG reduction opportunities. This report contains two sections:
- GHG Inventory and Projections—Discusses the County’s current GHG emissions for the baseline year of 2017 and projects future emissions through 2030 under a business-as-usual (BAU) trajectory, forecasting what GHG emissions would occur if no additional actions were taken to reduce emissions by the County beyond what is happening today.
- GHG Mitigation Analysis—Describes opportunities for further reducing GHG emissions within County operations through strategies in the energy, transportation and waste sectors. The County is in the process of implementing recommended emission reduction strategies throughout operations.
Energy Performance Contracts
An Energy Performance Contract (EPC) is a budget-neutral approach to make building improvements, in which the guaranteed savings pay for the energy improvements by reducing energy use and increasing operational efficiency. These are “turnkey” projects where design, financing, construction, maintenance and measurable outcome are all inclusive. In 2020, the County developed an EPC with an energy services company for a full range of energy-related services and capital improvements to the Glen Arm Maintenance Facility and Drumcastle Government Center, both of which will be included in phase one of the EPC.
The County is looking to determine the feasibility of a complete conversion of the County’s vehicle fleet to electric/hybrid vehicle technology, supported by a sufficient vehicle charging system. Replacement options will consider direct tailpipe CO2 emissions, supply chain scalability and performance reliability. This evaluation will help the County determine which internal-combustion engine vehicles to replace with plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in the coming years, to reduce pollution and save costs.
The County has banned on the use of glyphosates (RoundUp)—the widely-used active ingredient in common pesticides that has consistently been linked to a variety of serious health concerns—on its properties with the exception that the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) may continue usage in its reforestation and afforestation projects through FY22. EPS has been directed to develop alternative approaches for addressing weeds and other vegetation without using glyphosate.
Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Action Plan
The County has developed a climate action plan to:
- Address the vulnerability and resiliency of its assets and resources to climate change
- Identify the ranges of future climate change on the County’s infrastructure
- Assess potential impacts
- Recommend adaptation options for improving County resilience for a planning horizon of 2050 and 2080
The Youth Climate Working Group has also provided recommendations about how the County should address the impacts of climate change.
Read the Climate Action Plan
Read the climate action plan (PDF) and appendices (PDFs) below.
- Appendix A—Adaptation Catalog
- Appendix B—Decision Memo
- Appendix C—GIS Sources
- Appendix D—Park Structures
- Appendix E—Asset Listing
- Appendix F—Tidal Outfalls
- Appendix G—Historic Streams
- Appendix H—Nuisance Flooding
- Appendix I—Sewer Pump Station Risk Rankings
- Appendix J—Transportation Analysis
- Appendix K—Sea Level Rise Technical Appendix
Ecological Pest Management
The Property Management division follows the practice of ecological pest management (EPM) in the control and eradication of pests inside (and within a 25-foot perimeter outside) of all County buildings. EPM uses a preventative approach to pest control with a goal of minimizing the impact on the environment, people and property; and includes a heavy focus on inspection, identifying pests, monitoring activity, and eliminating issues such as access points and food sources.
Civic Works Retrofit Baltimore provides homeowners with information regarding solar and energy efficiency upgrades and benefits, as well as personalized assistance, step-by-step guidance, and access to vetted and screened contractors.