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Keyword: governor hogan

“This plan ignores science and is like spraying a can of Raid on the surface of the water,” EPS Director says

Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) Director Vince Gardina responded today to the Governor’s unilateral decision to fund short-term treatments to target an infestation of midges, a non-biting nuisance insect, in the Back River area of the County. “The infestation of midges in the Back River is caused by the nutrient-rich bottom sediment in the river that has accumulated over a century. These impacts will not be negated by a Band-Aid approach which will result in a waste of taxpayer funding. Baltimore County chooses to use environmental restoration funding based on proven science and known results. Furthermore, Back River is a waterway of the State of Maryland and as such is the State’s responsibility to manage,” Gardina said. 

 “While Governor Hogan claims that Baltimore County should join the State by frivolously matching his $330,000 expenditure to test the efficacy of such an application, my staff and I have researched the science and feel that nutrient reduction at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant and removal of the pollutant-laden bottom sediment in the upper Back River is the only real answer to stop midge larvae. While this may be difficult and impractical, the solution proposed by Governor Hogan is completely political and will have no real results, setting unrealistic expectations for the public,” stated Gardina. “The Governor’s small-scale treatment of midge larva will have little effect on the midge population. It will leave most of the Back River untreated allowing midge populations to easily reproduce and continue to be a nuisance,” he said.

 The Governor’s suggestion that Baltimore County holds primary responsibility for the waters of the State is factually inaccurate. Last October, the Governor proposed that Baltimore County pay for half of a $1.3 million program for midge remediation in Back River. The County declined because even that level of spraying would not achieve a comprehensive solution and would not be an effective investment of taxpayer dollars.​

County Executive says a clever slogan does not make it true

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz testified before the Senate Committee on Budget and Taxation on February 22 opposing repeal of the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016. His testimony is reprinted below:

I am Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive, speaking against SB 307.   I speak not as the President of MACo but rather as the County Executive of the third largest county in the State, and a county that has 90% of the Baltimore Beltway within its borders.

A clever slogan – “Road Kill Bill” – does not make it true.

Nothing in the law keeps the Governor from building roads.  The Governor is simply not telling the truth. And let me suggest why.

The Governor cut the Red Line, without public discussion or legislative input.  He offered no Plan B, and the Baltimore region is still stuck in traffic. The Governor then diverted the money from the Red Line that was to be used for easing traffic congestion in the Baltimore region, to fund rural road projects that have significantly lower traffic counts. The Governor cut the tolls, but what he really cut was $54 million annually from the transportation budget. Now the Governor is facing a reduction in revenues due to the decrease of the price of gasoline.

Guess what?   The impact of all of these decisions is that the Governor can’t fund major transportation projects that alleviate traffic congestion and promote economic development.

That, I suggest, is the real truth behind this clever slogan.  We owe it to the public to have transparency in how and why we fund transportation projects.

Revised September 11, 2017