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County Executive Pittman Announces New Efforts to Reduce Sediment Pollution from Construction Sites

Annapolis, Md. (November 17, 2020) -- Today, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced new guidance aimed at reducing sediment pollution from construction sites. The new guidance, released by the County’s Department of Inspections and Permits, calls for more sediment and erosion controls on construction sites in advance of wet weather, and increased enforcement of all sites near the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

“We all see the water coming off some construction sites looking like chocolate milk, and we know that water carries pollution that harms our streams and puts our Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts at risk,” said County Executive Pittman. “This guidance is a common sense and targeted approach that simply asks construction crews to cover bare ground before the rains wash it away. It also sends a message that we will hold folks accountable for pollution to our streams and the Chesapeake Bay.”

The guidance notifies contractors and property owners that the Department of Inspections and Permits may require additional stabilization of exposed soils in advance of wet weather through the use of straw or wood mulch, or other similar practices. It encourages all sites to employ these additional practices in advance of wet weather even if contractors aren’t contacted by the Department. The guidance explains that these additional strategies should be implemented to avoid violating County law and causing offsite erosion or deposition of sediment. Finally, it directs inspectors to prioritize enforcement actions near the Chesapeake Bay and all tidal and non-tidal waters.

“This is the right strategy at the right time of year,” said Director of Inspections and Permits, Greg Africa. “As the weather gets colder, it is harder to establish grass on these construction sites, but that doesn’t relieve anyone of their responsibilities under the law. This new guidance sets the right expectations: cover the soil and protect the environment.”

Residents can help by reporting suspected sediment deposition or erosion through the 3-1-1 app available at: https://www.aacounty.org/services-and-programs/report-a-concern. Users of the app can select “grading violation” and submit a location and notes which will be used by inspectors to investigate the complaint.

The guidance is available at: https://www.aacounty.org/departments/inspections-and-permits/blue-notices/. Questions can be forwarded to Eva Kerchner, Assistant Director, at 410-222-7790.

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