Baltimore County Announces Plans For A Sustainable Future
BALTIMORE COUNTY - Baltimore County announced its plans for a more sustainable future on Wednesday, awarding nearly $2 million in federal funding to support climate resilience efforts in Turner Station.
Environmental protection and sustainability have already become big themes for Baltimore County in 2023, with the county considering a plastic bag ban this week. This latest initiative plans to develop a framework for a Resilience Authority that will finance and support sustainable infrastructure projects to protect Baltimore County's shorelines, communities, and residents from climate threats.
In his announcement of the program, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said we have an obligation to take action against climate change for future generations.
"We are already seeing the consequences of climate change – both environmental and financial – in Baltimore County, and we have an obligation to take action now to reduce future impacts," Olszewski said. "A Resilience Authority will allow Baltimore County to proactively research and establish dedicated financial resources for projects to reduce flooding and damage to county and community infrastructure, and I thank the members of the County Council for approving this important contract."
The proliferation of "resilience infrastructure projects" in Maryland started in 2020 when the Maryland General Assembly authorized local jurisdictions in Maryland to establish Resilience Authorities.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines climate resilient infrastructure as any infrastructure that is planned, designed, built, and operated in a way that anticipates, prepares for, and adapts to changing climate conditions.
Resilience authorities are tasked with undertaking and funding infrastructure projects such as living shorelines and improved stormwater management.
On December 5, the Baltimore County Council approved an agreement with Throwe Environmental, LLC, to help quantify Baltimore County's climate resilience needs.
Throwe Environmental will develop a comprehensive climate resilience financing system and deliver a final report in the fall of 2023.
Baltimore County would be the third county in Maryland to establish this type of organization, following Anne Arundel and Charles counties.
"Improving Maryland's resilience to climate change and severe weather will better protect our residents' lives and livelihoods. These resources will ultimately help strengthen stormwater infrastructure in Turner Station, which is essential for homes and businesses facing increasingly frequent flooding. Projects like this help protect our neighborhoods from the harmful and costly impacts of the climate crisis, which is exactly why we fought for this federal funding," U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen said.