Read Past Columns:

by Jack Lynch, Editor


"Don't Bury me Among the Damn Yankees Here!" - The Goldsboroughs, Richfield, Thomas Johnson and Frederick

Groff A Bit on Frederick’s Early Days of the Civil War 1861-1862

Once Upon a Stream, Tom's Creek, Pennsylvania

A Tale of Two Walmarts

Commentary from Frederick News Post, March 31, 2013: "Voting for a Different Approach to Planning"

Faw Grave of Jacob Pfauw, Birth of the Faw Brethren Churches

Commentary from Frederick News Post, July 15, 2012: "Unconvinced by optimism of (Downtown Frederick, MD) hotel report" Link

Commentary from Frederick News Post, May 27, 2012: "Charter rule (Frederick County, MD) will be no better than today's government" Link

Birely Tannery 1760 - 1960, Carroll Creek in Frederick

City Limits

Discovering the Descendants of Abraham Faw

Finding a Two Hundred and Eighty Year Old House Ruin Admidst Suburban Sprawl?

To Save a Stream - Abraham Faw Run

Adolphus Fearhake of Frederick, Maryland

Plan Maryland

Bulldozer Blaine Young

Remembering my Revolutionary Ancestor - Abraham Faw

Why Not the Best?

A Tree Grows in Frederick for Anne Frank

The Tragedy of Kai Hagen

Frederick County's Gunslinger Slate, Fire from the Lip, shoot from the Hip!

A Visit to Tangier Island

Historic Snowfall, Road Salt, Watershed Protection and the Chesapeake Bay

Will It be Progress or Retrenchment in Frederick County?

Is This the End of Frederick Smart Growth?

A Series of Links Follows from the Air It Out with George political commentary website:

Chesapeake Blues on Tangier Island

July 4, 2008

Mass Burn

Appalachian Blues on Hillbilly Highway

Buying a Congressional Seat in Maryland's First District - Coming to the Sixth District?

Democratic Candidates on American Foreign Policy

All the King's Horses!

Campaign in Song: Bushie Head Out the Mixing Bowl

Democratic Campaign's Vertical Treadmill on Space Mission

A Bit of Olympic Political History

Obama for the Chesapeake Bay?

Politics is Personal: Repeat Three Times

Prediction: Bad News for Obama, The End of Post-Racial Politics

American Exceptionalism on the World Stage

Obama Speaking on March 18th - Political Equinox

Yee Haw! On to Pennsyltuckey!

American Blackface: Tragic Octoroon

Key to Success - Lesson for Frederick:

Republicrats Yes, Middlecrats No

Too Many Promises ...Loaves and Fishes

Identity Black and White in Frederick

Mashup 1968 - 2008: On to Texas, Out with Clinton?

Fat Tuesday!

Symbol, Sense and Substance

Eight More Years

The Dollar Bubble

Judging a Candidate By Their Website

Baby, We Were Born to Bun!

The subsequent links are again from older dates of The Frederick Citizen:

A Rememebrance: Beijing Spring, Interrupted

County Officials and Public Communications

The Snallygaster in Frederick County

Fourth Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Frederick City Growth

American Promised Land - American All

Black Frederick and Matters of Race and Politics

Dumping on the Chesapeake Bay

Common Sense Writ Large

The Next Mayor of Frederick

Democracy in Action!

Ottawa: About a Greenbelt, Transit Oriented Development and Government FiatCountering Alderman Imhoff's Growth Beliefs

An Alternate View of Frederick CityGrowth Policy

An Acorn in the Bucket

Monocacy River Part II

Monocacy River Part I

New Market Regional Plan Affirmation

43 More!

Fish and Life

Talking Trash

Strike Three, Smoking Out!

A Green Fund Too Far, Or Not Far Enough?

Growth Back to the Future

Revisiting an Iraq War Opinion Four Years Later

Second Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Unrepentant Cady

Sour Grapes and Fine Wine

There's Hope for Good Government

The Democratic Fifth

The County of Feel Good

Hypocrisy Indeed

The Alliance

The Growth Machine Slate

"The Issues are Bipartisan" - David Gray

The Importance of Jan Gardner's Campaign

Form Follows Function

Route 15 Scenic Walmart

Frederick Blue

The Curtain Rises

Housing Growth, Not Smart Growth, Not Progressive Planning

Understanding Lennie Thompson

Frederick's Tale of Two Rabbi's

Wellhead Protection

Make Believe, or Desperate Duncan?

A Progressive Concept Approved...then Defeated!

Hog Wild

Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

We're No Gwinnett County

"An Election, Not a Selection...!"  Indeed!

A Potpourri of Thoughts and Issues...

Now That the Smoke Has Cleared


How am I to Decide on Mayor of Frederick?

Doomed To Repeat It

Frantic Orthodoxy

Stealth Candidate

Another Perfect Day for Bananafish

This Summer Election

Building Issues

Just Powers

Death Defying Election?

In the Heat

Horse Sense for Frederick County?

Kudzu and Million Dollar Homes

Bartlett's Ozone Trip

Let the Games Begin

Blood in the Water

Coffee Klatch

Archaeology in Frederick

Bizarro World

Mr. O'Malley's March

Playing All the Cards

Who are Your Friends New Market?

Mixed Use

Beijing Spring, Interrupted

Passion, People and Politics in Frederick City

Millennium project

A Frederick Leader of Distinction

APFO Under Attack

State Lands Sale

Frederick Water Sourcing

Frederick Water










The Frederick Citizen Logo jack lynch alderman candidate

Campaign Ad By Authority of

Eric Winnette, Treasurer


July 2, 2013

Frederick County, a Penny for Your Water Quality

by Jack Lynch

Recent commentary by Frederick County Commissioner Paul Smith (“$25,000 membership in Clean Chesapeake Coalition is well worth it”, Frederick News-Post June 23, 2013) exposes the simplistic political logic of the current BOCC and of the state-wide Chesapeake Coalition. 

Worse, our County Commissioners have chosed to adhere to Maryland storm water runoff utility fee requirements by taxing each household a penny, thus collecting about $600, which costs more than that to collect and record at Winchester Hall.

At its base, it rejects firm science and portrays the problem as an out of state boogeyman to deflect attention from our real life issues and responsibility for cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.  The citizens of Frederick County, and of Maryland, deserve better from our local elected leaders.  As one dedicated over many years towards the careful practice of environmental stewardship and water quality while respecting history and economics and sustainability, I demand better deliberation, thought and action in these responsibilities from us all.

Our own recent study (“Water Study Finds Many County Streams in Poor Health”, Frederick News-Post June 18, 2013) of the Frederick County streams indicates that their health rates poorly as reflected by the continuing assignment of Total Maximum Daily Load requirements by the Maryland Department of the Environment.  If you observe the Monocacy River after a rainfall, you’ll see the problem, muddy water, meaning that erosion and sedimentation are strong.  In fact, basic biological measures, such as bentic organisms are mostly lacking because the soil washed into the river and streams are suffocating the bottom.

As agricultural sources improve their practices with no-till and cover crops, our growth of impervious surfaces has increased our runoff, its speed and temperature, and added contaminants from those surfaces to our waterways.

For an organization to shelter its raw politics by pointing to a nearly ninety year old dam technology at Conowingo, is at best hyperbole.  A quick look at USGS sediment source maps and research shows that Frederick County is in the upper tier of contributions of sediment to our watersheds and of greater proportional impact than most of the state of Pennsylvania.  And this impact occurs even with the county study showing considerable riparian buffers along seventy percent of its streams!  It is partly a result of geology, highly erodible soils and geography just west of the Fall line.  Only places such as Lancaster County have more extreme impacts on sedimentation.

Commissioner Smith also hopes we’ll not consider the responsibility for mitigating the impacts of hundred year old storm water technology in place throughout Frederick County.  All those expensive water control methods simply move water away or at times hold it awhile, rather than insure its natural absorption into our groundwater systems.

When he suggests that the Bay’s natural systems of cleansing the waters, the submerged vegetation and oyster reefs are being smothered by sediment from Conowingo Dam, he’s talking about natural systems that comprise at best twenty percent of pristine state for grasses and only one percent for oysters.  You can’t count on their functions to absorb the impacts of several hundred fold increase in runoff degradation of our waterways end point.

Even extreme efforts to deflect past sediment build up in Conowingo will not improve the even greater multitude of local impacts.  Only a number of concerted efforts in many arenas will do so.  Frederick County must do its part.  I for one am glad to see the state finally exerting administrative power over the actions that can either make us do our part in water quality, or pay in both costs and environment for generations to come after us.

If Commissioner Smith believes that Frederick County has a difficult task before it in cleaning up our waterways, then he needs to visit leaders in Anne Arundel County where projections of full cleanup costs have been four Billion dollars over twenty years.  Intense development, critical areas of thirty percent, and failing septic systems all loom over it, but planners say that while expensive, the need for progress is great, and the costs “doable.”  The costs are doable here too.  When the paradigm of building practices and water management change, we’ll all benefit, and the benefits will yield long term returns on investments.

If only we could expect a more balanced approach and direction from our county leaders and their supporters within the development community.

There was a time when we had a national leader from Frederick promoting the Bay cleanup efforts and adding to our stature in Congressional representation.  Now we’re lessened as a community by the tenor of the fractured national politics and mindless nay-saying that seem to have accompanied our recent national debate.

The real costs of failure in regard to our water pollution improvements would be Frederick penny wise, but for our common future pound foolish. 

We can’t march backward when the obvious need to respond to our self-generated problem is standing right before us.



facebook Like TheFrederick Citizen on Facebook