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Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs: Energy Assistance

Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs: Energy Assistance: The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) provides bill assistance to low-income households in the State of Maryland to make energy costs more affordable and ensure the stability of home energy services through several programs. The OHEP houses four grants to contribute energy assistance: the Maryland Energy Assistance Program; the Electrical Universal Service Program; the Utility Service Protection Program; and Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Services.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Maryland GreenPrint and Program Open Space

Through GreenPrint and Program Open Space, the State of Maryland has established a set of land conservation and acquisition data tools and programs to protect open space, environmental resources, and rural lands to meet statewide ecological objectives. The tools and programs are used to help the state adapt to climate change by removing barriers to the inland migration of coastal ecosystems in response to impacts like sea-level rise and land loss. Specifically, a statewide mapping tool called Maryland GreenPrint, which displays lands and watersheds of high ecological value, supports prioritized and transparent decision making, and increased resilience for vulnerable coastal habitats.

Related Organizations: State of Maryland

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Maryland Senate Bill 457: Resilience Authorities

May 8, 2020

Passed on May 8, 2020, Maryland’s Senate Bill 457 authorizes local governments to establish and fund a Resilience Authority under local law, outlines the requirements to do so, and specifies the powers local governments may grant to an Authority. A Resilience Authority enables a local jurisdiction to flexibly organize funding structures for and manage large-scale infrastructure projects specifically aimed at addressing the effects of climate change, including sea-level rise, flooding, increased precipitation, erosion, and heatwaves.

Related Organizations: State of Maryland

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project

The Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) was established through funding from the U.S. Government’s Office of Economic Opportunity in the 1960s. The Project helps low-income rural communities in the mid-Atlantic and the Southeastern U.S. obtain water and wastewater infrastructure for running water, indoor plumbing, and wastewater treatment. Water utilities in these rural areas often lack funding to provide such infrastructure. Households that are not supplied with drinking water tend to rely on wells and septic tanks, which can get contaminated by pollution from agricultural activity and the lack of suitable wastewater treatment. SERCAP assists both individuals and municipalities, and its services include installing infrastructure, providing financing and loans, and offering technical support. In addition to providing services related to water, SERCAP also provides support on housing issues.

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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Baltimore Shines - Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Shines is a Baltimore City initiative that helps low-income residents access solar energy through either rooftop installations or community solar projects in Baltimore, Maryland. The program also expands workforce development opportunities in the solar installation industry. Baltimore Shines pilot projects were used to learn about barriers preventing solar installation in low-income communities and to inform the development of a sustainable financing model to increase access to solar energy. As the initial step to teaching energy affordability awareness, Baltimore Shines had community residents’ homes retrofitted by its close affiliate, Civic Works, which installed energy and water conservation equipment in homes. This program was not income restricted and is open to any Baltimore City homeowner or tenant residing in a house or apartment. Baltimore Shines also incorporated the development of workforce opportunities for underemployed and unemployed Baltimore residents through job-training and job placement. Additionally, Baltimore Shines leveraged a state funding program - the Maryland Community Solar Pilot program - that supported investments in renewable energy projects benefiting low- and moderate- income customers and encouraged private investment in the state’s solar industry with incentives for the investors. The program ultimately lowered bills, increased wages for some of the City’s low-income, under-employed or unemployed residents, and enhanced access to solar for many throughout the city. 

Related Organizations: City of Baltimore, Maryland

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Maryland Plan to Adapt to Saltwater Intrusion and Salinization

December 2019

The Maryland Department of Planning developed the first state-level plan to address saltwater intrusion and salinization of freshwater resources in Maryland’s coastal areas. Saltwater intrusion in the region is expected to worsen over time due to climate change, and the report describes which of the state’s resources are at greatest risk, adaptation measures that are currently in use and recommended, and what additional research is needed for adequate adaptation and resilience. The plan offers adaptation strategies specifically for Aquifers, Surface Water, Agriculture, Coastal Wetlands, Coastal Forests, and Infrastructure.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Planning

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Prince George's County, Maryland Environmental Justice Commission

April 2019

In 2018, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Maryland House Bill 183 (HB183) establishing the Environmental Justice Commission to address the environmental and public health concerns in Prince George's County. HB 183 lists the composition of the Commission, outlines the missions and duties of the Commission, mandates a findings and recommendations report along with a plan of action within two years and a month. Enacting the commission to facilitate environmental justice in Prince George's County can help improve inequities of low-income and minority residents in the area impacted by climate change. After the Commission had submitted the first final report in February 2019, the General Assembly further acknowledged the Commission’s work and passed HB 1362 in April 2019 to extend the termination date of the Commission to June 30th, 2020. The final report was submitted on January 10th, 2020.

 

Related Organizations: State of Maryland, Prince George's County, Maryland

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Ellicott City, Maryland Safe and Sound Plan

2019

Following two devastating floods in 2016 and 2018 in Ellicott City, Maryland, the Safe and Sound Plan was developed for the city to implement a multi-phase, comprehensive flood mitigation plan and resilience program. It aims to prepare the region for climate change and guide resilient recovery and rebuilding of the flood-prone areas of Ellicott City through a community-driven process. 

Related Organizations: Howard County, Maryland

Author or Affiliated User: Calvin Ball

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Mainstreaming Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Local Planning and Policy on Maryland's Eastern Shore

January 2019

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy partnered with the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC), the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative, and the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center for this analysis on sea level rise preparedness in Maryland’s Eastern Shore region. GCC offers a discussion of strategies related to floodplain, zoning and regulatory standards to support sea level rise and coastal flooding resilience policies and decision making.

 

Related Organizations: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Environmental Finance Center, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative, Georgetown Climate Center

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Higher Standards: Opportunities for Enhancing Flood Resilience in the Eastern Shore of Maryland

January 2019

Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) prepared this report to help the Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership (ESCAP) identify strategies for adapting to increasing sea-level rise and flood risk in the Eastern Shore region of Maryland. This publication is a part of a series of reports assessing the sea-level rise vulnerability of communities in Maryland's Eastern Shore, as well as potential adaptation responses. ESCAP worked with the Eastern Shore Regional GIS cooperative to assess sea-level rise vulnerabilities in the six counties and two municipalities that participate in ESCAP.

Related Organizations: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jessica Grannis, Katie Spidalieri, Jennifer Li

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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