Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

It Is Green If They Say It’s Green: Sustainability -VS- Remington Walmart Complex

It Is Green If They Say It’s Green

Is Baltimore’s Green Building Code Just A Bunch Of Hot Air?

Baltimore’s new building code states –

From July 1, 2009: All buildings (City-owned, City-subsidized, and private) applying for a building permit after this date must be equivalent to a LEED “Silver” level.

LEED “Silver” is a minimum national standard set by the United States Green Building Council for sustainable development.

Baltimore’s Green Building Code sounds like a promising step forward, but residents learned in a recent Baltimore City Planning Commission hearing, that there will be no enforcement of the new code.

At the highly attended hearing on August 5th for the proposed controversial Walmart complex in Remington, developers, city officials, community groups and residents had the opportunity to weigh in on the “25th Street Station” big box project.  In the four hour + hearing, many concerns were raised, ranging from traffic, to parking, to sustainability and beyond.

During community testimony at the hearing, the Planning Commission was presented with concern that the developers were not applying for LEED “Silver” certification for the project and that the proposed development appears to be failing in its method for waste water management of the site.  Despite the developer’s assertions, the project may, in fact, be ineligible for LEED “Silver” standards set by the city.

So, how did the commission respond?

They said there was nothing they could do.  Wilbur Cunningham, the Baltimore Planning Commission chairman, explained that the city is not requiring certification under the newly “imposed” Green Building Standards.

From the “Green Building Requirements FAQ’s” on the Baltimore Planning/Office of Sustainability site:

Will covered buildings be expected to earn certification from the U.S. Green Building Council?

No. The new Baltimore City Green Building Standards are intended to require that covered buildings be designed and built to a certain energy and environmental standard. While it is not necessary for buildings to go through the U.S. Green Building Council’s official Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Project Certification process for the Baltimore requirements, this is a step that building owners may want to pursue. For more information on the LEED Project Certification process, visit the U.S. Green Building Council’s website at

In other words, if the developers say it is green, then it is green -at least according to Baltimore City government.  Since 2007, Baltimore City officials have been working on the new Baltimore Green Building Standards.  The result, it appears, is that for the past several years (on taxpayer dollars) the city has worked to craft and tweak and retweak a plan that, in the end, has no enforcement.


What can you do in regards to the proposed 25th Street Station project?

Contact your Baltimore City Council Member and demand an amendment to the 25th Street Station PUD (Planned Unit Development) that includes a LEED “Silver” Certification requirement for the project.  This will not be a big concession for the developers –if the project meets the Baltimore Green Building Standards as they say it does.

If this is a matter of great importance to you, consider explaining to your city council person how this could affect your support for them in the upcoming election.  To do a search for your city council person, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about efforts to include a Community Benefits Agreement in the 25th Street Station PUD, CLICK HERE.


Green Job – Sell Green Power To Baltimore Residents

Sell Green Power To Baltimore Residents

Baltimore Sales Representative

Clean Currents, LLC

Clean Currents Sales Representative
We’re looking for an energetic, articulate, smart communicator to broker clean energy deals for small to large businesses in Maryland and DC. You don’t need to know the energy industry, but you must be willing to learn. A passion for clean energy is a big plus. Get in on the ground floor of a fast growing company!

Position Description:
Research and compile lists of likely prospects in an assigned territory. Work with prospects to identify their electricity costs, determine the terms they want, and their energy needs. Provide information on solar energy installation, or energy purchasing, or Renewable Energy Credit purchases. Participate in Clean Currents sales calls and training sessions. Supervise part time sales representatives. Coordinate all sales leads and sales transactions.

A base salary of $15,000 a year plus commissions on sales.

For more information about selling clean energy to Baltimore residents for Clean Currents, CLICK HERE.


Herring Run Watershed Is Asking You To Disconnect

Herring Run Watershed Is Asking You To Disconnect

-From your downspout that is!

From the Herring Run Watershed Association:

Disconnected Yet?

Roughly 35,000 gallons of water drains from the average-sized Baltimore roof annually, most which then runs across our driveways and streets where it picks up pollutants, sediment and trash. This contaminated water then enters the storm drain system where it flows untreated to Herring Run and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Why not put the water to better use and help our streams?
That’s where downspout disconnection comes in. The Herring Run Watershed Association, in partnership with the Jones Falls Watershed Association, will redirect your downspouts into your yard or garden for FREE!

We can redirect the downspout, build a rain barrel or install a rain garden. Call today to register for this great new program! Contact Dana at  410-746-4170 or visit the HRWA website to learn more and request an appointment.

Downspout Disconnection Program
Program Goals:

We secured a three year and grant and hope to accomplish the following by autumn of 2012.  We need lots of residential participation to meet our goals, so register to participate today! Below are a few of our goals:

  • Disconnect 4,000 downspouts
  • Install 400 rain barrels
  • Install 28 rain gardens

Save The Date – Maryland Clean Energy Summit In Baltimore
August 8, 2010, 8:38 pm
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Save The Date: October 4th, 2010

Maryland Clean Energy Summit In Baltimore

Thought leaders from industry, academia and government will come together on Monday, October 4th at the Hilton Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland to focus on job creation and business development opportunities inherent in addressing the climate change challenge.  Participants will identify options, issues, and action strategies to obtain winning outcomes for Maryland.

Morning panelists will build a foundation for change, covering the topics of energy as a national security concern, challenges of project finance and the policy landscape, in addition to cutting edge research – some taking place right in Maryland! Participation in afternoon breakout strategy sessions will focus on implementation of specific technologies in the areas of Transportation, Renewables, Alternative Fuels & Biomass, and Energy Management & Built Environment.

Consumer trade exhibits will be free and open to the public from 9:00am – 9:00pm.
An awards dinner caps the evening with eight categories of special recognition to honor deserving individuals and organizations.

For more information about the Maryland Clean Energy Summit, CLICK HERE.

Free Class On City Composting
August 8, 2010, 9:02 am
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Learn How To Compost In The City

Composting In the City
Sponsered by The Baltimore Free Farm
August 12, 2010, 6 – 7:30 pm
Ash Street Garden, 3519 Ash St.

This event is free.

Afraid that starting a compost pile will attract rats or other pests? Not sure exactly what you can and can’t add to your pile? Join Master Composter Angela Smith to learn how to compost in your garden. For more information or to RSVP: 410-448-5663 x128,

ZipCar Explained…
August 7, 2010, 4:47 pm
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Free ZipCar Informational Classes

ZipCar, a national car sharing program, has recently become open to the public in Baltimore.

Learn about the 4 simple steps to Zipcar freedom and learn how to become a member and receive $50 in FREE driving at The Enoch Pratt Free Library:

Central Library Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 (12 – 2 p.m.), Main Hall
Light Street Branch Monday, Aug 16, 2010 (6 – 7pm)
Orleans Street Branch Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 (5:30 6:30 pm)