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A Better Way to Restore the Chesapeake Bay

October 27, 2014

Maryland officials expect to spend over $14 billion in the next decade to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pollution mitigation targets for the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. The EPA intends to require other states in the Bay watershed to undertake similar efforts. The efforts will focus on pollution sources thought to be “controllable”: agricultural runoff, septic effluent, storm water runoff, and waste water treatment plant discharge, and will target nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediments.

Puzzlingly, these efforts ignore one of the most significant sources of these pollutants. The Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River near Rising Sun, Md., holds an enormous deposit of sediment rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. Periodic storms cause massive discharges of that sediment, dwarfing the pollution reduction amounts targeted by the EPA. Dredging the dam to reduce that sediment would be costly, but it would be far more efficient than the policy actions currently being implemented in Maryland and expected in other states.

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Maryland Shift of Pension Cash to Wall Street Delivered Below-Median Results

by David Sirota | International Business Times

Maryland has joined a not-very-exclusive club: States that have moved pension funds into riskier Wall Street investments and received, in return, below-median results. That underperformance by Maryland's $40 billion public pension fund cost state taxpayers more than $1 billion in unrealized returns in fiscal year 2014 alone, according to a new study by Jeffrey Hooke, a former investment banker, and the Maryland Public Policy Institute's John Walters. 

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