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County Executive Leopold Orders Environmental Protection Actions for Capital Projects

Annapolis (April 9, 2008)-County Executive John R. Leopold announced today that he has taken steps to require county officials to conduct a full environmental impact review of any potential property acquisitions or capital projects, prior to the county’s acquisition of the property or acceptance of gifts of real property.

"The problem dates back to March 2002 when the previous Administration failed to conduct the required environmental review for the WB&A Trail Extension in Odenton, and then failed to correct it," said County Executive Leopold. "My first priority was to get this area cleaned up, and my Administration will proactively take steps to ensure that the previous Administration’s errors will not be repeated on my watch."

The County Executive has:

  1. Ordered that, in any case where the actual or potential environmental impact of pending property acquisitions (purchase, gift, dedication, long term lease) has not already been determined, a determination of such impact must be made prior to a decision regarding acquisition. County Executive Leopold has asked, in particular, that the pending Sun Valley project be reviewed; this project is a 99-year lease agreement for the Sun Valley Recreation area.
  2. Directed the Chief Administrative Officer to confirm that all departments are complying with the relevant provisions of the County Code with respect to acceptance of gifts of real property and that the Department of Public Works fully complies with all policies and procedures for environmental review of capital projects.

On February 20, 2008, the County requested the cooperation and assistance of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Solid Waste Program in coordinating the response to the discovery of the non-hazardous waste on the WB&A Trail Extension. MDE is aware of the County’s efforts to remove this waste in an environmentally sensitive manner, given the proximity of the site to the Little Patuxent River. The County’s effort includes hand removal of the waste and adding wood chips to the area for stabilization.

MDE will coordinate with the County in any further removal efforts on the WB&A Trail Extension that could involve either removal of the waste or ensuring that any remaining wastes that are left in place do not impact the environment or future uses of the property.


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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000