**SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE** Maryland Department of the Environment highlights best practices in stormwater management at Baltimore Community ToolBank
BALTIMORE, MD (October 29, 2014) – Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Robert M. Summers kicked off the first stop of the Stormwater Innovations Roadshow at Baltimore Community ToolBank today in southwest Baltimore City. Over the next month Secretary Summers will visit stormwater remediation projects throughout Maryland to highlight where government, communities and citizens are working together to find better solutions to managing stormwater runoff in their own backyards. To learn more about stormwater and its impact on The Chesapeake Bay, please visit MDE’s stormwater 101 webpage.
The Baltimore Community ToolBank offers an inventory of tools – shovels, rakes, drills and more – to help nonprofit organizations, religious and educational institutions, and community groups and their volunteers increase their impact. For pennies on the dollar, the ToolBank offers organizations the ability to borrow tools and other items for events and service projects.
In 2013, the Baltimore Community ToolBank secured more than $115,000 in funding to enable the design and construction of two critical environmental features at their warehouse facility in the Carroll-Camden Industrial Park. The funding was made possible through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and is administered by Parks & People Foundation.
The first feature, rain gardens, has been constructed and is thriving. The rain gardens repurpose rooftop runoff to water a range of local tree and plant varieties. This has multiple environmental benefits, including creation of habitat for local bees and bats and it increases the green canopy in an industrial neighborhood in Baltimore City. All water that is used to fuel plants in the garden will naturally filter into the water table instead of running unfiltered into Baltimore waterways.
Construction is to begin in summer 2015 on the second feature, a “stormwater factory.” The factory includes a cistern system to capture over 12,000 gallons of rainwater in the rear of the facility. This will allow staff to clean every ToolBank tool with captured rainwater.
Taken together, these projects will house and repurpose over 400,000 gallons of stormwater runoff from the facility roof every year. If left untreated, this rain water would otherwise contribute to urban runoff, polluting the Baltimore Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay.
- Through the monitoring and accountability efforts implemented under Baystat, Maryland has led the Chesapeake Bay watershed states by meeting 100 percent of the two-year milestones set for 2010-2011 and 2012-2013.
- Urban and suburban stormwater pollution accounts for 20 percent of the pollution into our rivers, streams, lakes and drinking water reservoirs.
- Under the federal Clean Water Act, the State and federal governments work together with local jurisdictions to curb this large polluting sector by setting targets for stormwater pollution reduction that the jurisdictions must reach.
- During the 2012 Maryland General Assembly session, lawmakers passed House Bill 987 to give local jurisdictions the flexibility needed to set fees that would work for each jurisdiction and a way to fund the pollution reduction projects needed to meet the goals set under the Clean Water Act.
- Maryland is 41 percent of the way toward meeting its 2025 federal pollution limits requirement for nitrogen and 62 percent of the way toward meeting its requirement for reducing phosphorus.
- Most jurisdictions have discounts and rebates to stormwater fees available for those businesses and residents that have taken steps to reduce stormwater runoff on their properties.
“Under the leadership of the O’Malley-Brown Administration, Maryland continues to make great strides in improving water quality, but there is still more that needs to be done. We need to shift the spotlight from the rain and focus on what we put on the land that pollutes our waters and causes erosion and flooding. The importance of clean water to our health and quality of life cannot be underestimated. Stormwater management and projects like the ones at Baltimore Community ToolBank are a great example of how collaboration among government, non-profits and communities can improve water quality, making our waterways swimmable, fishable and livable for future generations of Marylanders.”
– Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment
“Local governments, watershed groups, businesses and citizens are all important partners in our Bay restoration efforts and projects like this are key to our success. Through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund*, we have directed $256 million to support our partners through this fiscal year.”
*To date, Trust Fund projects have prevented an estimated 2.2 million pounds of nitrogen, 240,000 pounds of phosphorus and 17,500 tons of sediment from entering Maryland waterways.
– Frank Dawson, Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
“The Baltimore Community ToolBank is a shared resource for community work in the region. This is the key reason why the rain garden and stormwater factory projects are located here: we can share best practices in design and construction and serve as an example of how others can manage stormwater runoff in almost any environment. Here we are in the Carroll-Camden Industrial Park with large trucks roaring by and old B&O train tracks running up to our front door and we’ve built these gardens that are absolutely thriving and hosting an abundance of wildlife. Our gardens are proof that the interests of industry and our habitat are not on a collision course.”
– Noah Smock, Executive Director, Baltimore Community ToolBank
See photos from today’s event on MDE’s Flickr page.
MDE’s Stormwater 101
Baltimore Community ToolBank
Reclaim the Bay
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland’s air, water and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.
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