This week I'll talk about privatization of all of our public utilities and services----looking at water and waste.
Once we understand political philosophy broadly----global politics----we know what the goals are with public policy locally and we know when these pols are lying....posing progressive. The goal of Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons is global corporate tribunal rule that will call itself Libertarian Marxism----it will be corporate fascism. Think about the experiment with Marxism in today's Russia that started as a socialist Lenninism and ended a fascist Stalinism. Global corporate rule will look like Stalinism. Clinton, Obama, Warren are all globalists neo-liberals posing progressive. I am hoping Bernie Sanders will walk the talk---he is most likely to be a REAL social progressive liberal Democrat.
Socialism does not always end with fascism----it is not supposed to----but we can see where global corporate tribunal rule will lead and it is not to egalitarianism.
Stalinism From Wikipedia,
Stalinism is the means of governing and related policies implemented by Joseph Stalin. Stalinist policies in the Soviet Union included: state terror, rapid industrialization, the theory of socialism in one country, a centralized state, collectivization of agriculture, cult of personality, and subordination of interests of foreign communist parties to those of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union—deemed by Stalinism to be the most forefront vanguard party of communist revolution at the time.
Stalinism promoted the escalation of class conflict, utilizing state violence to forcibly purge society of claimed supporters of the bourgeoisie, regarding them as threats to the pursuit of the communist revolution that resulted in substantial political violence and persecution of such people. These included not only bourgeois people but also working-class people accused of counter-revolutionary sympathies.
Below you see what is a summary of a Master Plan for Baltimore City water and waste management. Note that these plans must have existed two decades ago when an aging water and waste infrastructure really needed to be addressed with the rate and tax revenue collected from Baltimore City residents in their water and waste bills. Where did all of that revenue collected through the 1960s before the migration out of the city----and where did it go as city residents saw increase after increase in water and waste rates? Just as with the Maryland Transportation Fund that had all of the funds needed to maintain roads, bridges, and rail lines----it went to super-size connected corporations. Building global corporations and markets for a few took all of what was Maryland and Baltimore's public service and utility maintenance funds. Now, we are told citizens must have rates doubled and tripled to collect these funds again---
TAKE A LOOK AT THESE MASTER PLANS----ASK YOURSELF----WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE FACES IN WATER ACCESS. THE ANSWER IS CONTAMINATION OF OUR MARCELLUS AQUIFER AND RIVERS WITH FRACKING CHEMICALS AND CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING/MINING AND DENSITY GROWTH TO URBAN BALTIMORE FROM RURAL COUNTIES.
Then look below and see how none of this is addressed in these Master Plans. Building high-rise apartment and office buildings with projected high density at a time when fresh water is being depleted is not SUSTAINABILITY. Do you really think that a very global corporate market-oriented Maryland will not bottle and export our fresh water overseas for profit? REALLY????? Does a city that allows for massive water main breakage with flooding of water into storm drains for weeks on end ----allowing this to go on for years and a decade before addressing infrastructure really care about sustainability? OF COURSE NOT. WATER WILL BE MADE MARKET-BASED AND PROFIT-DRIVEN. Meanwhile, main street citizens will be hounded to an inch of their lives to conserve---complete with SMART METERS that penalize us into autocratic water use.
Planning / Comprehensive Master Plan / Water Resources Element / Water and Wastewater Supply and Capacity
The combination of water conservation efforts; design and planned construction of the Fullerton Water Treatment Plant; wastewater collection system improvements as a result of the Wet Weather Consent Decree Program; Enhanced Nutrient Reduction designs and planned construction of the Back River and Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plants; and increased NPDES Permit capacity of the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant, the City of Baltimore is projecting both water system and wastewater system capacities will meet the growth demands beyond the year 2030. The following table summarizes system capacities:
*(Note: Projected capacity includes Fullerton WTP operational by 2016.)
**(Note: Projected capacity includes Patapsco capacity at 81 MGD by 2013.)
Current Capacity Projected Capacity *Water System: 360 MGD 480 MGD **Wastewater System 253 MGD 261 MGD In the City’s 2009 Sustainability Plan (See Appendix XXX), resource conservation is one of the main goals that the strategies in the plan aim to achieve. Although Baltimore enjoys relatively plentiful rainfall and water sources, population increases, climate change, and global demand for water resources threaten to challenge the existing levels of water supply. Improving the efficiency of Baltimore’s water treatment and delivery system has the potential to significantly reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions from water and wastewater processing.
Resource Conservation Goal #2: Reduce Baltimore’s water use while supporting system maintenance
The Baltimore City Bureau of Water and Wastewater operates and maintains three reservoirs and three water filtration plants to distribute an average of 265 million gallons of drinking water in Baltimore City and surrounding counties daily. Not only does excessive water use deplete our freshwater supplies, it also requires significant amounts of energy to treat and deliver water and then to collect and treat wastewater. According to the EPA, letting a faucet run for five minutes requires as much energy as lighting a 60-watt bulb for 14 hours. Proper protection and wise use of our water resources, along with maintenance of the City’s water supply system, will help sustain this system so that Baltimore residents can continue to have clean, readily-available water.
Strategy A: Conduct public education program on reducing water consumption
Develop programs to inform and educate Baltimore residents about water use for purposes like landscaping, clothes and car washing, and bathing, to help promote more sustainable behavior. Seemingly minor choices made everyday can culminate into substantial water savings.
Strategy B: Study methods to fund the construction and maintenance of Baltimore’s water supply System
Examine Baltimore City’s current rate structure to assure that sufficient funding is available to maintain and manage the existing system while also encouraging conservation through tiered use rates or other methods. This is critical because safe and available drinking water depends on adequate source protection, treatment, and distribution systems.
Strategy C: Maintain a comprehensive water facilities master plan
Develop and implement a long term strategy to protect the water supply system cost effectively. This would include identification of areas where growth requires expansion and creation of a strategy for pipe replacement due to age. A comprehensive strategy will also help explain the costs of creating the water rate structure and maintaining a public document explaining long-term system maintenance issues.
2006 Water Wastewater Master Plan, Adopted November 2006
The Plan is organized into four main chapters: Objectives and Organization; Baltimore City Profile; Water Supply and Distribution; and Wastewater Collection and Treatment. Four appendices are included to provide a list of projects from the Six Year Capital Improvement Program, a Water Distribution map, a Sewage System map, and appropriate references to interjurisdictional water and wastewater agreements.
The Maryland Department of Planning has nine guiding principals for inclusion in the comprehensive plans.
- Support Smart Growth: Baltimore City is a Priority Funding Area. Development within the City is usually redevelopment or infill projects. Hydraulic analyses generally show no adverse impact to existing water and wastewater systems, and rarely require increased capacity. These analyses include taking into account the age and condition of facilities, existing flows and pressures at the treatment plants, pumping stations and storage facilities, and future flow evaluations, including future capacities and commitments from other jurisdictions. Expansion of systems in Baltimore County are guided by long range plans and the limits of the Metropolitan District and the Urban Rural Demarcation Line.
- Maintain and Improve Existing Systems: Significant investment in the condition of the water and wastewater systems is reflected in the Capital Improvement Program. The current six year program dedicates more than $645 million in improvements to the water system, as well as a Consent Decree commitment to $900 million worth of improvements to the sewer system.
- Manage Service Area Expansions: It is expected that the service needs of the City will remain the same over the ten years covered by this Plan. Baltimore provides treated water to Baltimore, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties, and raw water to Carroll and Harford Counties. Baltimore County is the largest jurisdiction using City water and sewer facilities. Any expansion requests for these services from Baltimore County must be able to be adequately served by the existing system, or served as a result of a serious health threat. As previously mentioned, the Metropolitan District and Urban Rural Demarcation Line limits public water and sewer service to within these areas.
- Expand System Capacity Based on Demonstrated Need: Early development plans for the water and sewer systems took into consideration the capacity needed by adjacent counties. Zoning and jurisdictional regulations have controlled growth within expected service areas and expansion needs in the future can be accommodated. The City has control over the expansions and the conditions for available capacity and funding through existing interjurisdictional agreements. Future water demands can be met by expanding the Montebello filtration plant, construction of a new filtration plant in Fullerton (Baltimore County), and use of Susquehanna River water as a regular raw water source. Existing wastewater treatment facilities are able to handle the anticipated flows, but enhanced nutrient removal facilities will need to be built at both facilities.
- Present a Capital Program Based on Demonstrated Need: Long range engineering studies and analyses of the condition of existing systems form the basis for the water and wastewater capital programs. Projects that benefit the entire system and its users are coordinated with participating counties and jointly funded. Where possible, sewer line work is combined with stream restoration to minimize disruptions.
- Allocate Capacity to Support Smart Growth: Baltimore City is a designated Priority Funding Area. Water and sewer allocations in participating counties are based on interjurisdictional agreements. The agreements’ calculations are based on land use, growth projections, and zoning restrictions within specific service areas.
- Protect Water Quality and Water Supply Sources: A 1984 Reservoir Management Agreement was signed by Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The most recent reaffirmation of the agreement was signed in 2003. The agreement commits the signatories to protecting the water quality of the City’s three reservoirs. The City-owned lands surrounding the reservoirs are an important water quality buffer. A Forest Management Plan was developed for the City by DNR and completed in 2002 that analyzed the conditions of these forested areas and made recommendations for their further protection. A Drinking Water Regulations Compliance Study is underway to ensure continued and future compliance with federal regulations. A draft Comprehensive Wastewater Facilities Master Plan determined that current nutrient removal facilities at the City’s two wastewater treatment plants may not be capable of achieving limits for enhanced nutrient removal. The City is developing projects for each of the facilities to ensure compliance with the nutrient limits.
- Assure Adequate User Structure Rate: The purpose of establishing water and wastewater enterprise funds was to ensure consistent revenue to allow for the improvements and maintenance of the two systems, and to operate these systems without profit or loss to other funds of the City. The City’s rate structure provides the funding necessary for capital investments, costs to operate and maintain the two systems, and debt service.
- Incorporate Subsidiary Plans: As previously noted, the City’s water and sewer system is a metropolitan system. These systems serve a large portion of Baltimore County (within a defined area), eastern portions of Howard County, and northern portions of Anne Arundel County. Both Carroll and Harford County receive raw water from the City’s system. The water and wastewater plans for these counties are prepared and reflect the cooperative planning processes, agreements, allocations and service and growth areas for the metropolitan system.
The Patapsco and Susquehanna Rivers are the two major water sources outside of reservoirs for the City of Baltimore.Looking below to see the source of Susquehanna we see it travelling from New York's Catskills----through Pennsylvania----and into Maryland right at the border of West Virginia. Harper's Ferry is where two mighty rivers merge.
What do we know about the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia?
THEY ARE FRACKING THE HECK OUT OF THEIR LAND AND FRACKING CONTAMINATION IS RAMPANT.
So, we already know that the Susquehanna River will become contaminated by fracking. What is coming to the International Economic Zone that is Baltimore City and surroundings where the Patapsco River runs?
WE ARE GOING TO SEE TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH INDUSTRY (PHARMA) FOXCONN FACTORY GROWTH.
What does China look like after a few decades of technology and Pharma manufacturing under naked neo-liberal capitalism?
IT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL WASTELAND WITH ALL WATER-WAYS CONTAMINATED BY CHEMICALS.
So, we are reading about a Master Plan for Baltimore City's water and waste that does not even mention all of the above----or the goal of high-density population growth over a few decades.
Susquehanna River from Source to Sea
December 1, 2010 / darntoughvermont
Being the longest waterway in the northeast United States, the 460-mile Susquehanna River runs from the foothills of New York’s Catskill Mountains to Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Along the way it spills across all types of topography, giving paddlers a selection of conditions only found on long rivers. From soothing flat water to seething class III rapids, the Susquehanna delivers diversity.
With long-distance hiking and mountain climbing – the two sports I most often practice – being unappealing in November (the month when it is cold enough to freeze your butt off but when there is no snow to make it fun), long-distance canoeing seemed like a fine way to pass the month. Besides, once in my canoe I would be heading towards warmer climes, as one of my students put it, “like a bird.” As chilly as it really got though, my toes stayed warm and cozy in my Darn Tough Mountaineering Extra Cushion socks.
Below is a chronological photo journey from source to sea on the Susquehanna.
What state has deregulated and dismantled all oversight and accountability just as PA and WVA has? MARYLAND. So, do we really think that Maryland and especially Baltimore City will have a fresh water source from our major rivers like Susquehanna and Patapsco?
OF COURSE WE WON'T BECAUSE MARYLAND HAS FAILED TO PASS ANY LAWS IN THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY TO ACT TO STOP THE DAMAGES OF FRACKING AND CHEMICALS IN PA AND WVA----AND MARYLAND IS POSED TO ACT JUST LIKE THESE STATES.
The University of Pennsylvania is controlled by the fracking industry just as the University of Maryland has been allowed to be controlled by corporations and as such-----they do not produce data that allow the public to know the damage from corporate actions----they produce data that hides the damage. So, Maryland universities -----all corporatized by Erhlich and O'Malley are as ready as University of PA to deny and hide the contamination coming our way. Johns Hopkins has been in that business for decades----
So, if our Baltimore City water and waste falls into the hands of global corporate VEOLA as this coming bond market collapse and economic crash has planned----WE WILL NOT KNOW AS THE PUBLIC WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING WITH OUR WATER SUPPLY. You can bet----they will send it our way until people are visibly dying from chemical contamination. Keep in mind---this will hit very soon---as health care access disappears-----chemical contamination that can kill grows.
MAKE NO MISTAKE-----ALL OF THESE FINDINGS WERE KNOWN DECADES AGO AND NO ATTEMPT BY POLITICIANS WERE MADE TO STOP IT----JUST AS IS HAPPENING IN THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY AND CORPORATE GOVERNORS.
Your Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City pols know this is what is coming to our water supply!
Fracking linked to radioactive river water in Pa.
Wendy Koch, USA TODAY 4:25 p.m. EDT October 2, 2013
Has fracking contaminated water supplies? A Duke University study says its wastewater wasn't adequately treated before being released into a Pennsylvania river, causing elevated levels of radioactivity.
(Photo: MLADEN ANTONOV AFP/Getty Images)
River water in western Pennsylvania has elevated levels of radioactivity, some of it from fluids discharged after natural gas extraction, says a Duke University study today that's likely to stir more controversy over the booming business of "fracking."
Radium levels were about 200 times greater in sediment from a creek where wastewater was discharged from a treatment plant than in sediment upstream, according to the peer-reviewed study in the Environmental Science & Technology journal. The amount exceeded thresholds for safe disposal of radioactive waste.
"We were surprised by the magnitude of radioactivity," says co-author Avner Vengosh, geochemistry professor at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. "It's unusual to find this level," he says, urging that other sites be investigated and that such water not discharged.
Treatment plants can remove much of the radioactivity and chemicals -- but not all, the Duke study says. Between August 2010 and November 2012, researchers sampled sediment from Blacklick Creek, where wastewater was discharged by the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility about an hour east of Pittsburgh, and compared it with stream water above and below the disposal site. It found that some of the effluent came from Marcellus Shale fluids, which are naturally high in salinity and radioactivity.
The study is the latest in a bevy of research into the environmental impacts -- both water and the air -- of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. In this process, which has contributed to a surge in U.S. natural gas production, water mixed with sand and potentially toxic chemicals is blasted underground to break apart shale rock and release the gas.
An earlier Duke study, released in June by some of the same authors, found that drinking water wells near fracking sites in northeastern Pennsylvania were six times more likely to be contaminated than other wells. Other research has linked earthquakes to wells where fracking's wastewater is injected deep underground.
But other research has found little harm from fracking. Duke and federal scientists, in a study released earlier this year, found no evidence that shale gas production in Arkansas caused groundwater contamination. A Department of Energy study this year also found no proof that fracking chemicals tainted drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site.
Scientists attribute the mixed research results to varying geology and industry practices nationwide. Fracking fluids are sometimes reused or disposed of in deep injection wells, but in some cases, they are treated and released into public waterways.
Years of such disposal have created "potential environmental risks for thousands of years to come," says Vengosh, adding that the water will need to be cleaned.
An industry group faults the Duke study as outdated and biased. "The shale industry has not taken flow-back water to this treatment facility, or any similar facility in Pennsylvania, since May 2011," says Patrick Creighton, spokesman of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. He cites 2011 tests by state environment officials that showed no radioactive contaminants in the water used and produced at 12 of 14 water suppliers in western Pennsylvania.
Creighton says the study's partial funding from New York-based Park Foundation, which has supported some anti-fracking projects, raises questions about impartiality.
"We're scientists. We don't have an agenda," Vengosh says, noting that the foundation provided only minimal funding -- $70,000 -- for field work. He says the study, like prior Duke research that hasn't found evidence of fracking-related water problems, was reviewed by an independent group of scientists prior to publication.
In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined Fluid Recovery Services, which acquired the Josephine plant in a merger, $83,000 for discharge violations from that facility and two others in Pennsylvania. It required the company, which was bought this year by Aquatech International, to invest $30 million in upgrades before it can discharge more fracking wastewater. The EPA said the facilities stopped such discharges in September. 2011.
"What's lacking is enforced monitoring," Vengosh says, noting that the samples collected by Duke suggest that radioactive water was still being discharged in 2012. He says more research is needed.
Scott Anderson,a drilling expert with the Environmental Defense Fund, a research and advocacy group, agrees. "The real problem," he says, "is we don't have a good handle on the full range of risks posed by treatment and discharge" of water from oil and gas fields.
Next year, the EPA is expected to release a draft of its own study on fracking's potential impact on drinking water supplies.
What you see above in PA is mirrored out in California and elsewhere across the US in these last two decades. It is the picture of what will come with Trans Pacific Trade Pact and the bringing of global corporations to the US operating as the do in developing nations. That is what TPP and global corporate tribunal rule looks like as the US becomes simply an International Economic Zone.
Make no mistake-----Asian citizens are glad to come to the US to escape China's environmental disasters from US global corporate neo-liberalism.....but the goal is to bring the US to this point and the world's rich do not care about the future of America's environment! Neither do Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons!
So, look at the Master Plan for water and waste in your neck of the woods----and look at what these industrial FoxConn International Economic Zone development will bring and think----ARE THESE POLS REALLY PLANNING FOR OUR FUTURE ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES?
China's Rivers: Frontlines for Chemical Wastes
Three months after a chemical plant explosion contaminated northeastern China's Songhua River, a second large spill occurred on the upper reaches of the Yuexi River in southeastern Sichuan province, releasing toxins into a 100-kilometer stretch near the city of Yibin on February 14 and disrupting the water supply of some 20,000 people. China Watch Home About China Watch Three months after a chemical plant explosion contaminated northeastern China's Songhua River, a second large spill occurred on the upper reaches of the Yuexi River in southeastern Sichuan province, releasing toxins into a 100-kilometer stretch near the city of Yibin on February 14 and disrupting the water supply of some 20,000 people. The frequency of such incidents provides a powerful example of the pollution challenges the Chinese government increasingly faces, and has led authorities to reconsider the longtime trend of locating industries along rivers.
Riverside chemical and power plants, along with paper, textile, and food production facilities, are a leading source of pollution of China's rivers and lakes, an estimated 70 percent of which are now contaminated. A recent survey by the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) showed that more than half of the country's 21,000-plus chemical plants are located along the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. Many have not conducted environmental impact assessments and were built in locations that directly threaten drinking water supplies, groundwater, and coastal waters.
Jilin Petrochemical, the company responsible for the Songhua incident in November and China's largest producer of aniline, a benzene derivative, has discharged more than 150 tons of mercury into the river since the plant was built in the 1950s. China's paper industry, meanwhile, discharged 3.18 billion tons of wastewater into water bodies in 2004 alone, accounting for 14.4 percent of total releases. Such discharges have directly affected water quality in the nation: the tap water in downtown Chongqing, one of China's largest industrial cities, has been found to contain 80 of the 101 pollutants recently banned from drinking water under new national regulations.
Heavy industries are the primary vehicle behind China's 9.9 percent annual economic growth and are held up as the so-called "industrial pillars of the river valley." Riverside cities, keen to attract business investments, have frequently approved factories and industrial projects while ignoring the ability of riparian sites to handle the pollution. Many of these factories, including chemical plants and oil refineries, are producing above capacity as a result of surging market demand, increasing the risk of workplace incidents. The lack of pollution early-warning systems and emergency response mechanisms has also intensified the negative impact of plant accidents.
Prompted by the spate of recent chemical spills, SEPA issued a notice in February ordering that environmental accidents must be reported directly to the Agency or to the State Council (China's parliament) within one hour after being discovered. After receiving a notification, authorities must launch an immediate investigation into the incident. The disclosure system aims to provide the public with the latest and most accurate reporting, in an effort to avoid the misinformation and widespread panic that occurred following the Songhua spill in November.
Although China has stepped up efforts to clean up its rivers and crack down on plants that pose obvious environmental safety risks, progress has stalled due to a lack of funds and professional personnel. By mid-2004, for example, a five-year cleanup plan launched by SEPA in 2001 had received only one-third of the US$7.25 billion in planned investments. China has also invested $2.4 billion since 1994 to clean up the Huai River, the country's third largest and the primary water source for a sixth of the population. However, SEPA recently deemed the project a failure after a 2004 inspection showed that 31.5 percent of industrial polluters exceeded the maximum permitted discharge and 56.7 percent of water treatment plants were out of service. Moving forward with cleanup remains difficult because huge sums are also needed to relocate or shut down polluting plants.
Pollution treatment infrastructure, another key to preventing and alleviating serious contamination, has lagged in China as well. Due to lack of funds, some 85 water treatment plants along the Huai River, slated for operation by the end of 2005, have not yet been built. Wastewater processing is ineffective at several urban wastewater treatment plants, and some are not even operating. Across China, the government is keen to attract foreign technology and innovations to build and operate new water supply and sewage projects. Official statistics show that the potential commercial opportunity from these efforts could top $37 billion.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2006
Here is just a piece of the Maryland fracking development plan that tells us Maryland is a responsible fracker and the export terminal in Maryland that will make fracking soar is all done while Maryland and Governor O'Malley is a leading environmental Clinton neo-liberal.
Fracking not only creates chemical contamination-----it releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide---YES, GREENHOUSE GASES that Clinton neo-liberals pretend they are fighting. Calling NATURAL GAS a green energy is the biggest lie in the world----and it is allowed to happen because of corporate control of our government and universities. There is no safe way to frack and exporting natural gas shouts
WE ARE NOT GOING TO PROTECT MARYLAND'S ENVIRONMENT. LET THE CHINESE ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION BEGIN!
So, as Baltimore City Master Plan for water and waste is written----it does not mention the loss of all of Maryland's aquifers-----Marcellus being the last aquifer resource for Maryland. Now, we water our crops with aquifers and rivers as well, so, as with California right now----having had all fresh water sources deccimated by corporations and BIG AG----they are now bringing it to Maryland to super-size our fresh water shortage. Can you image the State of Maryland rigorously enforcing laws and providing oversight and accountability to anything?
TRUST US SAYS THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY RUNNING ON GLOBAL CORPORATE STEROIDS---WE WILL PROTECT YOUR WATER SOURCES!
GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS!
That is the first step to conserving fresh water for all Maryland citizens.
Maryland Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initative
Draft Final Report Recommends Permitting Natural Gas Development Under New Comprehensive Health and Environmental Safety Rules Posted by adiaczok on November 25, 2014 in Marcellus Shale No Comments MEDIA CONTACTS:
MDE: Jay Apperson
DNR: Karis King
MARYLAND MARCELLUS SHALE SAFE DRILLING INITIATIVE DRAFT FINAL REPORT RECOMMENDS PERMITTING NATURAL GAS DEVELOPMENT UNDER NEW COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY RULES
Science-based proposal recommends adoption of strongest, most comprehensive protection rules in the nation
BALTIMORE, MD (November 25, 2014) – Reflecting extensive consultation with scientists, public health professionals, economists, industry experts, environmental and community advocates, and the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, today the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources presented a draft Final Report on Marcellus Shale drilling. The three-year-long study recommends that Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling be permitted provided that stringent comprehensive best practices are followed.
The draft Final Report – required by Governor Martin O’Malley’s Executive Order establishing the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative – concludes that the risks of Marcellus shale development can be managed to an acceptable level, similar to other industrial activities, provided that the State rigorously inspects sites and enforces compliance with applicable regulations and stands prepared to adjust policies and regulations as needed in the future. The report recommends best management practices that, taken as a whole, are at least as stringent, if not more stringent, than those required anywhere else in the nation.
“After three years of exhaustive study, we’ve compiled what many believe to be the gold standard for best management practices in the country,” said Governor O’Malley. “We’re committed to ensuring that Marylanders have access to the economic opportunities associated with fracking while also putting the most complete practices into place to ensure the highest level of protection for Maryland residents.”
“This report strikes the right balance, ensuring that Allegany and Garrett counties realize the economic benefits of fracking without sacrificing public health, the environment or the vibrant tourist economy of Western Maryland,” said MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers. “With these highly protective standards, and working with local governments to maximize investment opportunities and review Comprehensive Gas Development Plans, Maryland is better positioned to manage this new frontier in energy development.”
The Marcellus Shale is a black shale, or rock formation, found throughout the northern Appalachian Basin, including Allegany and Garrett Counties in Maryland.
In 2011, Governor O’Malley signed an Executive Order establishing the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative to assist State policymakers and regulators in determining whether and how gas production from the Marcellus shale in Maryland can be accomplished without unacceptable risks of adverse impacts to public health, safety, the environment and natural resources. The Order requires MDE and DNR, in consultation with an advisory commission made up of a broad array of stakeholders, to undertake the study and prepare three reports.
Now, call me a sceptic as with these local residents around one Baltimore City Reservoir-----but, with the scenario I paint above with fresh water aquifers and rivers being allowed to become contaminated----this leaves the reservoirs
- Three Reservoir Watersheds:
- Loch Raven, Liberty and Prettyboy
- Three Water Filtration Plants:Montebello I, Montebello II, and Ashburton
Now, think of how these reservoirs will be able to service a growing urban population with densities like Manhattan----which is the long-term plan for Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Development. Think again, as FOXCONN manufacturing grows how much water do these industries take to operate? LOTS.
What we see is a growing crisis in water and what we see as the future of addressing this is buried fresh water and SMART METERS ready to tell main street to ration water like you never thought possible. What about low-income citizens in Baltimore?
WE ALREADY SEE HOW WATER SHUTDOWNS FROM UNPAID WATER BILLS HANDLE THE LOW-INCOME IN BALTIMORE!
Neighbors Leery of City Plan to Repurpose Drinking Water Reservoir
Posted by Suzanne Kashnow on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 · 1 Comment
In 2006, the EPA mandated more stringent regulations for finished drinking water storage in order to ensure public health and safety. As the Baltimore City Department of Public Works designs the project plan for Druid Hill Reservoir, one of several sites in the city that must come under compliance by the June 25, 2018 deadline, public outcries have challenged them every step of the way.
At the February 13th informational meeting, Shonte Eldridge (Director of Communications and Community Affairs for DPW) summarized the preliminary project plan to a room filled with over 40 concerned citizens and the Vice President of Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP – one of two engineering firms contracted as a consultant to the project. The Friends of Druid Hill Park, a nonprofit association dedicated to maintaining and protecting the park, was also in attendance to promote preserving the historic character of the lake and its surrounding environment.
Currently, water is delivered from the Montebello treatment plant to Druid Hill Reservoir as finished drinking water, which then undergoes one final chlorination phase on its way into the water mains for distribution. The Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2) mandates that open-air reservoirs for drinking water now be protected, either by covering them or adding an additional treatment phase using ultraviolet radiation to kill certain bacteria. DPW initially proposed a UV treatment site to the southeast of Druid Hill Reservoir, which Reservoir Hill residents spoke out against and successfully vetoed. Aside from the public’s disapproval of the plan, the City maintains that the UV option is now off the table due to predictions that in the near future the Feds will update regulations once again to make storage tanks the only option, thus making it the most practical option (from a long-term fiscal standpoint) to install the tanks now. Under Baltimore’s latest plan for compliance with LT2, the lake at Druid Hill Park will no longer be part of the water supply.
The concept map shared at the informational meeting showed two underground storage tanks to the west of the lake, with slight reshaping of the northwestern lakeshore to accommodate the tanks. With the reservoir no longer a part of the drinking water system, new opportunities for its use will arise. Although recreation is currently prohibited on the reservoir, Eldridge emphasized that community input would be sought at future discussions hosted by the Department of Parks & Recreation to consider options such as fishing, boating, paddleboats, and even swimming.
Citizens voiced many concerns, from “how will you keep the lake from drying up?” to what may happen to Taylor’s Grove and a newly commissioned art sculpture that lies in the path of construction. Eldridge made it clear that the precise impact of the project on the tree canopy will remain unknown until they enter the design phase. She also advised that scientists are investigating evaporation rates to determine whether there is an actual risk that the water level cannot be maintained naturally and via the stormwater system from the nearby Maryland Zoo, which funnels into the lake.
Many citizens are afraid that once the lake becomes a recreation asset, funding will be limited – especially considering that the entire project is a regional partnership among stakeholders without a vested interest a Baltimore City park, despite its historic significance. When Eldridge mentioned the possibility of rerouting finished drinking water from the proposed adjacent holding tanks in order to compensate for evaporation in the lake, community members immediately questioned how DPW would convince regional partners to agree to using drinking water to keep a Baltimore City lake filled for recreational purposes. There was a palpable air of skepticism among the audience that the proposed scenarios would come to fruition and that they wouldn’t be left with a dried up lakebed and a ravaged landscape within their beloved park.
Karen Moran of WRA, LLP volunteered to explain why certain areas – what the community may consider to be more desirable locations– were simply not an option for the site of the two underground tanks. Drinking water will be fed by gravity from the Montebello treatment plant to the Druid Hill tanks. The tank capacities will be 18 million gallons (400 foot diameter) and 35 million gallons (550 foot diameter). Because the ground and the bedrock below rises significantly to the west of the existing lake, there is a finite area that is at the proper depth to adequately accept the water flowing downstream into the Druid Hill system.
In response, community members proposed using pumps to move the water through the system in order to overcome the limitations of geology and gravity, in the hopes that the proposed site could be relocated. However this would significantly increase the price tag of the project, already estimated at $112 million, in addition to adding the unwanted eyesore of buildings associated with a pumping station. Others asked if the tanks could be moved to various areas where installation may be less disruptive to current recreational uses and aesthetics of the historic park. Eldridge concluded the exchange by summarizing, “the engineers are telling us, this is where they gotta go.”
With threats of a stop order and requests for a field trip to show them exactly where the tanks would be buried, the conversation with the community is far from over. The design phase for the plan is scheduled to be complete by February 28, 2014, and the mandated deadline for federal compliance with LT2 is June 25, 2018. There is a $37,500 fine per day for each day that project completion is delayed. DPW has not offered an earlier target deadline for the project.
Do you think the community’s concerns are legitimate in the face of a federal mandate to secure drinking water? The Reservoir Hill neighborhood successfully vetoed the UV option, with its lesser pricetag ($42 million) and more sustainable water treatment method. Does the greater community deserve the same concessions if they are dissatisfied with the current proposal? What options does the City of Baltimore have, when faced with a fixed deadline and stiff penalty fines, to please the community while taking action that is both environmentally and fiscally responsible?
Baltimore is officially a third world city when the United Nations and Amnesty International make Baltimore their focus. These water shut-offs for what is peanuts to the billions lost in Detroit and Baltimore in fraud and corruption is a development tool first------this is yet another way to capture people's real estate in communities Baltimore Development and Johns Hopkins wants to develop----so, owe a few hundred in water bills and lose your home. If subprime mortgage fraud doesn't get you----this crime against humanity will. Keep in mind that $10 million is lost in Baltimore with a single public works contract bid award on one day------
These policies have more than real estate as a goal-----this sets the stage for SMART METER rationing being used selectively to get rid of citizens and the rationing under the guise of water shortages will be the excuse for ever-higher water rates.
Baltimore, Detroit threaten thousands with water shut-off Despite a UN warning, two of America’s poorest cities turn off taps on residents with unpaid water bills
OurWindsor.Ca By Daniel Dale BALTIMORE — A drought has forced Californians to ask themselves how much water their lawns and gardens truly need.
A money shortage has Baltimore and Detroit pondering a different water question: whether the poor are entitled to any at all.
Both cities are among America’s poorest. Both have hiked water rates sharply--42 per cent over three years in Baltimore. But both are now cracking down on households with unpaid bills, issuing public threats to turn off the taps on tens of thousands of people.
They are proceeding despite a scolding from the United Nations, which called Detroit’s mass shut-off last year “a violation of the most basic human rights,” and an outcry from local advocates, who say bills are going unpaid only because residents don’t have the cash.
Charly Carter, executive director of the political group Maryland Working Families, said Baltimore risks turning itself into “Calcutta on the bay.”
“We don’t want this to be a tale of two cities where the poorest and the most vulnerable are living in squalor because they have no means of flushing their waste and no means of cleaning themselves. It’s a humanitarian nightmare waiting to happen,” Carter said.
Baltimore is giving residents just 10 days notice before cutting service. Julie Gouldener, an organizer for Food and Water Watch, said the advocacy group has spoken to parents “really scared” they will lose not only their water but their children.
“If they’re not able to wash or bathe their kids or flush their toilets, in low-income areas, if a social worker gets called and sees those conditions — lack of running water is a major red flag for a social worker to declare a home unfit,” Gouldener said.
In downtown Baltimore on Tuesday, door-to-door marketer Sierra Pervine called the crackdown “absolutely crazy.” Hotel concierge Rosemary Connolly called it “inhumane.” But the city needs the money to fix its crumbling infrastructure, and its leaders say they are seeking simple fairness. Nonpayers force the authorities to raise water rates for everyone else.
“If you don’t pay your (gas and electric) bill, they cut you off. If you don’t pay your cable bill, they cut you off. We can’t continue to allow people to not pay their water bills,” city council president Jack Young told the Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore has shown no sympathy for tenants whose landlords are at fault. Briana Lacey-King, a catering co-ordinator and bartender, had to do her own research to learn that the owner of her eight-unit building owes the water authority $24,000.
She works 15-hour days. On her breaks, she calls the authority for updates. She is told her apartment could go dry any day now — and that there is nothing she can do, since it is not her name on the billing account.
“When I come home today, am I going to be able to wash my hands? Am I going to be able to cook food? Or take a shower? Or flush my toilet?” she said Tuesday. “That’s all I want to know. They don’t really have any information for me.”
Toronto hardly ever shuts off water because of nonpayment. Instead, the government adds the unpaid fees to property tax bills.
Baltimore and Detroit, like other U.S. cities, have conducted shut-offs on a regular basis. Never before, though, have so many households there been threatened with the loss of water at once.
Baltimore usually cuts off 3,000 homes per year, according to Food and Water Watch. More than 20,000 homes could be sent shut-off notices in May alone. In Detroit, 28,000 homes may soon get notices. More than 30,000 lost service at least temporarily in 2014.
Both cities offer financial assistance and payment plans. But the small grants have proven inadequate, and most of the people who signed up for Detroit payment plans last year have defaulted. The city announced Tuesday that low-income residents can now get up to half of their water debt forgiven — a major concession that is little comfort to the long-term unemployed.
The Detroit crackdown has produced the kind of water charity more common to the developing world. The Detroit Water Brigade hands out free bottled water to people who have lost service. The Detroit Water Project allows international donors to cover the bills of local families.
Baltimore groups are pushing for a moratorium on shut-offs, forgiveness for tenants whose landlords are to blame, hearings for residents to plead their cases, and the adoption of an income-based billing system. The city has held firm.
Baltimore has been plagued for years by billing errors. Damian Henson, a homeowner and restaurant general manager, received a shut-off notice over a $3,700 tab he says is the result of wild and unexplained spikes.
Henson has been paying $250 to $300 per bill, not the $550 to $600 the city claims he owes, and fighting the charges. He will eventually give in, he said, if he runs out of options.
“I don’t want my service cut off,” he said. “I can’t live without water.”
Think about the corporate destruction of fresh water sources around the world and in the US and think----is this really about being green or sustainable? OF COURSE NOT. It is about control and as we see below-----the consolidation of this industry will happen in no time----giving one or two global corporations complete control of our energy grid----HOW GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNAL OF THEM!
Whether the worry of tyrants controlling our energy sources----or terrorists seeking to wage cyber war against our energy sources, all of this is clearly very, very, very bad and it is happening because the American people will not
ENGAGE AND BE THE CANDIDATES IN ALL DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTIONS AGAINST CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS----OR IN BALTIMORE'S CASE-----RUN AGAINST HOPKINS' NEO-CONSERVATIVES SERVING AS DEMOCRATS!
Smart grid wins: 10 companies that hit it big
Doug PeeplesWednesday, August 7, 2013 - 4:00am Power lines image by Lisa S. via Shutterstock Summertime may be a slow time of year in some industries, but not for smart grid. There are plenty of wins to report this week, from metering and a substation pilot to an advanced smart grid network for New Zealand.
Itron completed installation of its automated gas metering solution for ATCO Gas, provider of natural gas service to more than one million customers in Alberta, marking the largest gas automation project in Canada to date. Itron’s gas metering solution included 1.1 million gas communication modules, mobile and handheld collectors and associated software. Also, as part of Pennsylvania utility Duquesne Light’s smart meter program, Itron will replace the utility’s existing 625,000 electricity meters with Itron smart meters, implement sophisticated back-office data collection software, supply critical network communications infrastructure and provide professional services.
EnerNex Smart Grid Labs (SGL) and MET Laboratories announced an arrangement for collaboration on testing, analysis and training services for their energy industry clients. SGL and MET Labs work with a similar client base, offering complementary sets of services. Through this partnership, clients will benefit from the efficiencies gained in the combined resources of both companies. Capabilities include testing in distribution automation systems, cyber and physical security testing, AMI infrastructure, meter accuracy and reliability, and EVs and charging stations.
Capgemini reached an agreement, estimated at approximately $40 million, to support a comprehensive smart meter program with Consumers Energy Company (CE) in Michigan. For part of the $750 million Smart Energy Program, Capgemini will implement smart metering technology and associated network and computing infrastructure essential to the installation of approximately 1.8 million electric and 600,000 gas AMI endpoints throughout Consumer Energy’s service territory.
ABB has been selected by China’s leading power utility, State Grid of China Corporation (SGCC), to supply high-voltage products for its 220-kilovolt smart substation demonstration project, aimed at deploying and integrating intelligent solutions to enhance the efficiency and reliability of the electricity network. It is the first time that ABB’s innovative high-voltage disconnecting circuit breaker is being installed in China. ABB also confirmed it completed its acquisition of Australian solar inverter manufacturer Power-One.
Silver Spring Networks was selected by SmartCo to deploy an advanced smart grid network across New Zealand. SmartCo is pursuing an innovative new business model in New Zealand’s disaggregated market, where retailers are responsible for deploying smart meters. SmartCo and its lines company members will use Silver Spring’s platform to generate incremental revenue by providing smart metering services to energy retailers. The lines companies also will leverage the same platform to improve services for consumers, such as faster outage detection and restoration, and improved power quality.
Ambient was chosen by ConEd of New York to provide application development and communications equipment to replace discontinued technology for commercial and industrial metering. Following a year of testing and a successful pilot, this contract award signals the acceptance of the Ambient solution for a roll-out to further locations across the New York City area.
Comverge is expanding its international presence by establishing a regional R&D operation in Japan. The presence will be partially funded by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which selected Comverge to be part of its Subsidy Program for Projects Promoting Japan. This program supports global companies' establishment of new high-value-added business locations in Japan.
EnerNOC reports that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the company its third patent. “Apparatus and Method for Demand Coordination Network” focuses on the technology, tools and processes the company uses to dynamically and reliably deploy demand response resources. EnerNOC now holds five patents globally for its technology. “We're focused on serving our customers with the best possible technology and business processes,” said Tim Healy, chairman and CEO of EnerNOC. “In many cases we have been able to deliver that through proprietary IP. This patent enables us to protect our technology leadership in the demand response market.”
Honors and milestones
GE’s Digital Energy Solutions as a Service business received the Best Smart Grid Solution award at the Municipal Smart Grid Summit (MSGS) for its innovative Grid IQTM Connect services offering. At MSGS, more than 40 cutting-edge smart grid technology and consulting industry companies presented their smart grid products and solutions to 100 or more municipal utility executives for review and consideration.
British Gas reached the milestone of 1 million smart meters installed. The installations are part of a program that will see all current gas and electricity meters replaced by 2020. British Gas has taken the lead on the government-mandated rollout, and it is bringing the benefits of smart meters to its customers early. “The millionth smart meter installation represents a major milestone for our customers and for Britain on the road to a smarter energy future,” said Stuart Rolland, managing director of British Gas Smart Metering.