eMDE- Going green at the ballpark




Going Green at the Ballpark

Opening Day for baseball is just around the corner, and the lush infield turf isn’t all that’s greening at the stadiums that are home to two of Maryland’s pro teams.

Recognizing the environmental initiatives that have been put into place at big-league facilities such as Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, the Maryland Department of the Environment helped two minor league stadiums take steps to protect and improve the environment – and save money.

The two participating facilities were Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, home of the IronBirds, (a Class A-Short Season Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) and Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, home of the Frederick Keys (a Class A-Advanced Affiliate of the Orioles). The department worked with the sustainability specialists at Reduction In Motion over several months to:

  • establish a green team at each stadium.
  • establish baselines for energy and water use and create an Energy Star Portfolio Manager account to track usage.
  • conduct energy efficiency and waste audits to identify opportunities to reduce environmental impacts and save money.
  • help prioritize and implement environmental improvements.

Ripken Stadium

Ripken StadiumlighterThe focus of the project at Ripken Baseball’s sports complex in Aberdeen was the 6,300-seat Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. Two large heating, ventilation and air conditioning units were replaced with high-efficiency units. A new waste contract was negotiated to include recycling, and all trash cans are now paired with recycling bins. In the 2015 season 18 percent of the stadium’s waste was diverted from the landfill. The goal is to increase that rate to 30 percent through increased signage, training and awareness. The facility is also exploring the diversion of cardboard from the single-stream recycling stream, which will create a revenue stream (combined with cost savings) of up to $7,000 annually.

An energy audit focused on building insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, the refrigeration and kitchen area, building automation controls, electric and lighting and hot water. The audit identified opportunities with potential annual energy savings of $34,850, including many low-cost or no-cost measures. The options will be reviewed and prioritized along with other measures to reduce the stadium operating costs.

Harry Grove Stadium


Sorting materials (Reduction In Motion)

Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium, where a Go Green Night helped kick off the 2015 season, has an active recycling program. The 5,500-seat stadium is currently diverting 31 percent of its waste to recycling. To ensure that recycling potential was being maximized, a game-day waste audit was conducted. The audit analyzed all waste from set up, game time and post-game clean up. Trash and recycling were separated by bag color, weighed and hand-sorted into the appropriate waste stream. The waste profile was 30 percent recycling and 70 percent trash – and 20 percent of the items collected as trash could have been recycled. The Frederick Keys organization has established a goal of maintaining its recycling rate through employee engagement while also exploring opportunities for organics collection for composting.

The stadium also received an energy audit, which identified and prioritized opportunities with potential annual energy savings of $53,990. As with Ripken Stadium, the audit identified a number of low-cost or no-cost measures. The list provides a blueprint for the Frederick Keys and City of Frederick to analyze and prioritize for future improvements.

Stepping up to the plate

Energy and waste audits can reveal opportunities for greater efficiency and cost savings at facilities of all types and sizes. The greening of sports venues has the added benefit of bringing this important environmental message to fans across the community. The Department of the Environment thanks the Frederick Keys and Ripken Baseball for their leadership and for opening their doors and sharing their environmental practices through this program.

The department’s website includes tips and resources for greening your business, along with information on recycling. The department also encourages organizations to join theMaryland Green Registry, a free, voluntary program offering tips and resources to help businesses and other organizations set and meet their own goals on the path to sustainability.


Bay Journal: Maryland stormwater permits upheld, rejecting complaints they’re not tough enough
Environmental regulators acted within the law in giving Maryland’s largest localities some leeway in deciding how to reduce polluted runoff from their streets, buildings and parking lots, the state’s highest court has ruled.

In a unanimous 100-page opinion, the Court of Appeals dismissed complaints by several environmental groups that stormwater pollution discharge permits issued by the state were not sufficiently stringent and had been drafted without adequate public input.

Read more


Victory for the Chesapeake Bay

baybridgelighterOn leap year day Feb. 29, the Chesapeake Bay’s cleanup plan got a “positive leap forward” as the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review a lower court’s affirmation of the pollution budget to protect the State’s famous waterway.
The American Farm Bureau Federation filed suit five years ago challenging EPA’s establishment of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan for managing levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment in the Bay. The Farm Bureau was joined by the National Association of Homebuilders and agricultural trade associations while the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, other environmental groups and trade associations representing municipal wastewater dischargers intervened on EPA’s side.

The lower court rejected the claims by the plaintiffs that the Bay TMDL could not legally include source allocations, target dates and reasonable assurances and concluded the TMDL was reasonable and reflects a legitimate policy choice by EPA, adding that EPA’s role was “critical” in coordinating efforts.

“This is a major victory because it upholds the TMDL and demonstrates EPA did not overstep its authority here. It also means continued implementation and accountability under the Watershed Implementation Plans,” said Lee Currey, director of MDE’s Science Services Administration. “It also shows the benefit of partnerships. EPA can set the overall pollution limits and the six states and Washington, D.C., in the Chesapeake Bay watershed can set the specific action plans in action.”

Read more

Nominations being accepted for 39th annual Tawes, Coulter Awards for a Clean Environment

Nominations are being accepted for the 2016 Tawes Award for a Clean Environment and for the James B. Coulter Government Employee Award.


Fountaindale Elementary School in Hagerstown won the 2015 Tawes Award in the youth category

The Tawes Award recognizes individuals, civic, community and nonprofit groups that have demonstrated outstanding efforts to enhance Maryland’s environment over a period of time or with a single project. There are separate categories for youth and adults.

The James B. Coulter Award acknowledges outstanding environmental contributions by a government employee. The Maryland Petroleum Council will donate $300 each in the names of the Tawes youth and adult winners to the nonprofit group of their choice.

The deadline for nominations is April 14. Nomination forms are available on MDE’s website and may be submitted by email to TAWES.AWARD@maryland.gov or by mail to: Maryland Department of the Environment, Office of Communications, 7th Floor, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230, Attention: Adrienne Diaczok – Tawes Award.

Read more 

Green Registry Leadership Award application period opens

Apply now for a Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award and help your organization gain the recognition it deserves. These awards recognize businesses and organizations of all types and sizes for their strong commitment to sustainable practices and measurable results. Applications are due April 27, and the winners will be announced at the seventh annual Maryland Green Registry Membership and Awards event on June 16 in Baltimore.

Not a member of the Registry? Join today and announce your membership for Earth Day!


The Rebate Race is on

mgr_greenregistry_rebaterace_large-01Has your organization taken advantage of the generous rebates and services offered by Maryland utility companies? If so, let the Maryland Green Registry know and your organization will be entered into a prize drawing. If not, now is the time to check with your utility company to learn how easy it is to participate.

 Read more  

Department of the Environment accepting applications for 2016 Environmental Science Student Award

The Maryland Department of the Environment is now accepting applications for the 2016 Environmental Science Student Award and Internship Program.

The award recognizes high school seniors who have excelled in environmental science both inside and outside the classroom. Students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and participation in environmental projects in school or their community such as recycling drives, school beautification projects, stream or litter cleanups and other types of environmental projects are encouraged to apply. The grand prize winner will receive a paid internship at the Department of the Environment during summer 2016 (valued at about $3,000). The second-place winner will receive $500 and the third-place winner will receive $250. All three will receive a certificate for their efforts.

“Our future relies on the student environmental leaders of today,” said Secretary Ben Grumbles. “It is my hope that our Environmental Science Student Award and Internship Program will encourage those who are interested in science, technology, and engineering to continue their education and proactively participate in activities that support the environment. This internship program provides students with many opportunities to learn new skills and hone their strengths in a real world situation. We are excited to nurture the next generation of environmental scientists here at Department of the Environment.”

The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2016. Application forms and instructions are available on the Department’s website and may be submitted by email to Nadine.Jackson-Bey@maryland.gov or by mail to: Maryland Department of the Environment, Office of Human Resources, 1800 Washington Boulevard, 5th Floor, Baltimore MD 21230, Attention: Nadine Jackson-Bey. Winners will be notified via email and U.S. Postal Service on or beforeJune 1, 2016.


Email the Editor

We’re always looking for ways to make eMDE even better. Here’s a chance to tell us what you think. Have some thoughts on what we can do better or things you’d like to see more of? An idea for a specific story? We want to hear from you. Contact us!


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.