Prince George's County will be voting on ballot question F which is completely vague and intentionally uninformative, and reads as follows:
Charter Required Referendum
Environmental Facilities Bonds
An Act enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $28,675,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Environmental Facilities, as defined therein.
Prince George's County Maryland is deciding whether to spend more money then planned on a waste transfer facility right next to the Patuxent River adjacent to significant wildlife wetlands. Our political elite which always knows better than the rest of us and whose vision is to pave our way to prosperity is oblivious to long term costs and damages that here attempt to hide their real intentions will being to the county. In order to solve a bad management process, poor political leadership and to hide their own accountability they have decided to sacrifice long term ecosystem services for short term political expediencies.
Prince George's County has decided that placing a waste transfer station at or near a "stronghold watershed" is a strong statement of county stewardship and a clear signal of the county's long term commitment to the environment. The clear unique properties of the site and the surrounding land and water is ignored as the the one of a kind site is proposed for intensive industrial use. This is the county's idea of protecting the environment. No matter the significant endangered species, Prince George's County has decided that there would be no impact.
"Nearly every person in Maryland lives within one mile of a headwater stream. Successful protection and restoration of Maryland's rivers and the Chesapeake Bay require protection and restoration of the thousands of miles of headwater streams that drain our mountains and upland areas. A "stronghold watershed", the Western Branch, a tributary to the Patuxent River, is one of a few unique watersheds in the State with special ecological landmarks. "Stronghold watersheds" are like no other places in Maryland because of the species that live within the watershed. Three state-endangered fish species, including the stripeback darter (which lives no where else in the State) live in the Western Branch. The Western Branch watershed ranked 8 th out of 84 watersheds in Maryland for its unique contribution to Maryland's biodiversity. With the help of more than 700 stream waders, the Maryland Biological Stream Survey monitors the health of more than 10,000 miles of streams to provide critical information needed to protect and restore our aquatic resources, including the Chesapeake Ba.y"
In addition, the county blithely tells its residents that there is adequate protection for building on or near wetlands and that there is no need to be concerned about polluting the Patuxent river. The facts of the current inappropriate use are quickly swept away as is the current trash and debris.
"First we felt the effect of last summer's severe drought, followed bybelow-average rainfall throughout the winter and spring. Low groundwater levels affected trees and other plants, as well as the hydrology of ponds, vernal pools, and river flow.Then, in early May, nearly 10 inches of rain fell in five days. The resulting Patuxent River flood was reminiscent of Tropical Storm Isabel: water levels rose eight feet upstream near Bowie, and 16 feet in Western Branch. At the Sanctuary, the Railroad Bed Trail and River Pier were under water. The swiftly moving, sediment-laden water reached a volume of 25,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) in Western Branch, overwhelming the Western Branch wastewater treatment plant. The plant's 30-million-gallon per day capacity was flooded by 80 million gallons on May 9 when only 20% of the rainfall had occurred. In the end, 16 million gallons of sewage flowed into river—a result of Combined Sewer Overflows. These are common conduits that carry both sewage and stormwater.When heavy storms occur, the pipes containing sewage flood and bypass the wastewater treatment facility. The result: raw sewage in Western Branch and the river. After the storm, we witnessed logs from hundred-year-old trees sailing swiftly down the river, like canoes with no passengers. An entire floating dock with pontoons washed up against the Sanctuary's small pier by the boardwalk. And a pile of debris a half an acre wide and five feet deep, dotted with plastic bottles and a variety of snakes escaping the rapid waters, was shoved up against the river pier. At last, the vernal pools filled to maximum capacity. (See Spadefoots Toads, p. 5) "
The message that the political elite of the county do not want you to know, the true intent of ballot question F is to quickly move our trash to a place where it will do the maximum harm to the Patuxent River. We are externalizing the bad judgment and rash decisions of our county leadership onto the unique irreplaceable resource that is the Patuxent River. We CAN have 21st century development and preserve the ecological systems that we need to support world class development. Unlike what our politicians seem to suggest this is not an either or situation. That said, however, the placement of the site which is now turning into a funding boondoggle and costly cash overrun project, must no go forward.
We should vote NO on Prince George's County Maryland ballot Question F
Friday, October 30, 2009 Land-use, Leadership, Elections, and Prince George's County
Monday, July 20, 2009 Prince George's County Council invades the rural tier with intens zoning change at last minute
Thursday, March 26, 2009 Prince George's County's 19th century land use plan
Sunday, March 22, 2009 Does Prince George's County have a Plan - that means anything?
Friday, September 19, 2008 Endangered Species of the Western Branch of the Patuxent River also:Upper Marlboro development to feature a hotel with trash site over look
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 Prince George's County proudly decides:A waste transfer station in the county seat also: Waste transfer station on the Patuxent River
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 Upper Marlboro's New Development Center Piece
Saturday, August 14, 2010Prince George's County Dumps $19 Million More on Bad Idea