Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® 2017 Year End Review and Appeal

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Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the Gunpowder River! We could not have been successful without your generous support. Our work links and protects the forests, the fish and the faucet. Riverkeeper respects the varied economic, recreational and biological aspects of the River. Clean water in the Gunpowder watershed is everyone’s right and as a shared resource must be protected for all.

Unfortunately, we are faced with many environmental threats that harm people’s ability to enjoy the River. The organization works collaboratively and proactively to find solutions to pollution problems and represent member’s interests in protecting the Gunpowder River and its watershed.

We are asking for your support again in 2018 to address these environmental threats:
In the upper Gunpowder, we filed a petition for judicial review in Circuit Court on the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) discharge permit for the Hampstead Waste Water Treatment Plant. The conditions of the permit were weaker than the previous permit allowing water temperatures higher than state water quality standards that protect wild trout streams. This facility discharges directly into Piney Run that joins McGill Run and forms the Western Run, notably one of the best wild trout streams in Baltimore County.

In the lower Gunpowder, we are tracking a proposed Tire Pyrolis Plant after being approached by a number of members and residents who are very concerned about the potential for impacts in their backyards. We are currently working with concerned citizens and the relevant companies to increase public engagement and knowledge about this proposed project.
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A few highlights of our work in 2017 include:
Our legal research for the Hampstead Waste Water Treatment plant uncovered 119 violations of its discharge permit for various pollutants including temperature, phosphorous, nitrogen bacteria and ammonia all upstream of Baltimore City’s drinking reservoir, Loch Raven.

We testified before the Harford County Development Advisory Committee against a Royal Farms project that would allow tanks with the capacity of 60,000 gallons of fuel to be placed within the critical area of the Chesapeake Bay despite concerns about the potential for community and environmental impacts.

We protected Bush Cabin Run, a known Brook trout tributary by identifying an out of compliance in-stream construction project. Approximately 9, 925 square feet of area in, along and upland of the stream was disturbed which resulted in the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issuing and enforcement letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) which has since stabilized and replanted the impacted area.

We identified invasive New Zealand Mudsnails in the Upper Gunpowder River and DNR fisheries issued an alert about cleaning and disinfection methods to contain the snails.

We sponsored an Eagle Scout project that provided outreach maps across 18 miles of River that highlighted fishing regulations, recreational interests and drinking water supply information. Riverkeeper hosted 65 Brownies on a streamwalk to connect wild trout habitat with drinking water for a Wonders of Water Journey.

Riverkeeper testified at EPA headquarters opposing the rollback of the Effluent Limit Guidelines, “Fly Ash Rule” that regulates the discharge of these known carcinogenic materials in the Lower Gunpowder.

Our work in asking for stronger permit conditions for the MDE permit on C.P. Crane Powerplant was featured in the Wilderness Society’s, “False Promises, Why Coal Isn’t Coming Back” study and may have led to the facility filing a deactivation notice to the grid for plant operations.
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A few highlights of our work in 2016 include:
We reviewed the Lower River fish kill study by MDE and DNR and asked the agencies to conduct more baseline monitoring to assess actual pollutant loads prior to these events.

Signed on to important regulatory letters that:
Opposed changes to the Endangered Species Act that would leave implementation to the states, relax the “best available science” standard, while delaying judicial review; Opposed Maryland SB314 that proposed to siphon up to $10 million annually from the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) that has supported upgrades to 49 major wastewater facilities in order to purchase undefined nitrogen and phosphorus credits; and Opposed Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” that would have revoked or significantly altered protective environmental regulations.

The Gunpowder supports varied recreational interests, habitat for native and wild trout, drinking water for 1.8 million Baltimore-Metro Area residents and important tidal habitat for Rockfish, Perch and crabs. Additionally water touches all of our lives-our brains are 75% water! Riverkeeper protects drinking water, property interests, sensitive species, recreational and aesthetic values.

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We need your financial support to keep the River protected now and in the future. Please consider a year-end donation of support to amplify our outreach and advocacy. You may donate at: http://www.gunpowderriverkeeper.org/#support or by sending a check to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111

Thank you for your support,

Theaux M. Le Gardeur

GRK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit categorized by the IRS under Natural Resource Conservation and Protection. Your charitable contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of the current financial statement of GRK is available by writing P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111 or calling 410-967-3526. Documents submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from: The MD Sec. of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401 (410) 974-5534