Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

Manure hour graces Midday on the Bay

This Thursday, Midday on the Bay returns to the airwaves with something I like to call the Manure Hour.

We will devote the entire hour to talking about phosphorus, the management tools for it, the way other states are controlling it and…

What’s that? I’ve lost you? You mean there are people out there who don’t want to hear me explain the different consistencies of manure and...

Poll finds Marylanders confused over ‘rain tax’

Half of all Marylanders polled in a recent survey believe that the required stormwater management fees mean that they will be taxed every time it rains.

When told that the so called “rain tax” had nothing to do with taxing the rain and was a charge to curb and treat polluted runoff, 46 percent of those respondents said they would support the fees, and only one-third insisted...

Mikulski seeks oyster permit speed up from Army Corps of Engineers

Sen. Barbara Mikulski is wading into an old fight: oyster farmers vs. the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District.

In a sharply worded letter earlier this month, Maryland’s senior senator says that the Baltimore District has been “dragging its feet” on issuing permits for oyster farmers to lease bottom in the Chesapeake Bay, the Coastal Bays and their tributaries.

Legislature, Governor start debating a fix for phosphorus overload

You could call it the battle of the PMTs.

That’s phosphorus management tools. But these days, a lot of us probably know way more about this acronym - and manure - than we ever thought we would.

The problem: Many fields on the Eastern Shore have too much phosphorus, and farmers should apply no more. The phosphorus came from decades of applications of poultry manure, which...

Mark Belton named new DNR secretary

A 1983 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mark Belton achieved the rank of rear admiral after serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy for more than seven years and in the U.S. Navy Reserve for over two decades. He served in Kosovo in 2001 and in Baghdad from 2009 to 2010. In Baghdad, he was the senior force representative to the Iraqi Ministries of Oil and Electricity...

UPDATE: Bills would open bay to power dredging for oysters; restrict aquaculture leases

Two bills have been introduced in Maryland’s General Assembly in the past 24 hours that, if passed, could change the way Maryland watermen harvest oysters and the way aquaculture farmers plant them.
It’s unclear what the chances are the bills will pass.  Every year, for as long as I can remember, watermen have asked legislators to introduce bills to allow them to catch more...

The first rule of the Phosphorus Symposium: No one talks about the PMT.

PMT -- that would be Maryland’s phosphorus management tool, the science-based calculation and proposed regulation that would force farmers with soils saturated in phosphorus to apply no more. That meant farmers, particularly those on the Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore, would not be able to spread manure if a complex set of calculations showed their soil phosphorus levels were too...

EPA sued over inaction on factory farm air pollution

A coalition of environment, animal-welfare and community health organizations filed two lawsuits against EPA today, claiming the agency has failed to address air pollution from factory farms.

The Humane Society of the United States and the Environmental Integrity Project are leading the charge, claiming the EPA has not fulfilled its duty to protect citizens. The groups filed...

Washington reporters outline environmental stories they expect

On Friday, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program hosted a panel titled The Year Ahead in Environment and Energy at the Center’s Washington, D.C., headquarters., The panel featured some of D.C.’s top environmental writers and editors talking about what we could expect from Congress and the President this...

From black liquor to phosphorus to transparency, issues confront Assembly

The Maryland General Assembly is seated.

Maryland Lawmakers returned to Annapolis last week to meet as the General Assembly, with a full agenda and some different faces. Perhaps the most noticeable one will be Larry Hogan, the state’s new governor, and only the third Republican in the last 50 years to hold the office. His former boss, Robert Ehrlich, was the second, and before...

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About Rona Kobell

Rona Kobell's avatar

Rona Kobell is a staff writer for the Bay Journal. She has began her journalism career at The Jerusalem Post, then moved to Washington, D.C., to become a writer and editor for Public Risk, a trade journal. She worked for newspapers in St. Joseph, Mo., and her hometown of Pittsburgh before joining The Baltimore Sun in 2000 where she became its Chesapeake Bay reporter in 2004. Her work has won numerous awards and in 2008, she was selected as a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying the use of economic incentives in environmental policy.

How Global Warming Will Transform Our Cities, Shorelines, and Forests   by Stephen Nash
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