Tuesday Tidbits

Progress equates to changes and what better changes could be without initiatives. The Charm City, just like any other communities, is subject to circumstances– either man-made or natural. But good thing is everyone always have initiatives to counter and ease these issues.

Lessening Emissions

When we hear the word emission, what we would immediately think are cars– smoke-belching vehicles  that are continuing to pile up on  our streets. While most car manufacturers are already rolling out hybrid cars or pure electric cars, our problem with emission wouldn’t stop there. As a matter of fact, cars aren’t the only ones releasing emissions. Industrial plants, factories, and any other transportation that use petroleum do!

 

The Wheelabrator Incinerator. Photo courtesy of Lloyd Fox/ Baltimore Sun

Maryland environmental regulators are demanding that a Baltimore trash incinerator cut its emissions of one harmful air pollutant by about one-fifth and study whether it can clean its exhaust even more aggressively.

 

The Wheelabrator Baltimore incinerator, the city’s single largest source of industrial air pollution, would be required to reduce its output of nitrogen oxides by about 200 tons a year under a  proposed regulation.

The compounds contribute to smog and irritate the respiratory system, increasing the likelihood of lung diseases and stroke.

But the incinerator, which burns most of the region’s trash, is not being held to as stringent a standard as a similar facility in Montgomery County because it’s older and less sophisticated. The state is not requiring Wheelabrator to install more modern pollution controls, instead allowing it to tinker with its existing technology at an expected cost of about $250,000 a year to its owner, New Hampshire-based Wheelabrator Technologies.

State environmental regulators and Wheelabrator officials have been in talks about nitrogen oxide emissions for the past three years, as the Maryland Department of the Environment works to bring the Baltimore region into compliance with federal limits on ozone pollution. Chemical reactions in the air involving nitrogen oxides create ozone, a form of oxygen found naturally in higher levels of the atmosphere, but which creates smog when present closer to the ground. Full article by Scott Dance.

On to Affordability!

Healthcare is expensive. That’s a fact. Not just the hospitalization itself but the post-admission medication do also add up to the budget.

After reports of huge increases in the prices of certain generic drugs, Maryland banned “price gouging,” defined as an unconscionable increase in the price of any “essential off-patent or generic drug.”

A drug company that flouts the law could be fined $10,000 and be required to pay refunds to consumers.

Fines are one-offs. Price hikes persist.
Image courtesy of Fortune

The lobby for generic drug companies, the Association for Accessible Medicines, filed suit to block the law, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., struck down the law, saying it interfered with interstate commerce in violation of the Constitution.

Under the law, it said, Maryland would regulate prices in transactions that occur wholly outside its borders — prices charged by drug makers to wholesalers — regardless of whether any pills were ever shipped to Maryland.

In a lengthy dissent, Judge James A. Wynn Jr. said that Maryland should be able to protect the health and welfare of its citizens. The court, he said, was accepting the drug companies’ view that they were “constitutionally entitled to impose conscience-shocking price increases” on consumers. Full article by Healthcare For All.

Protecting Yourself in the Floodplain

While we can consider our civilization to be progressive and advanced, nothing can completely stop mother nature, still.

Locating Your Property on the Flood Map

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) produces Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), allowing citizens to identify areas that are at risk for flooding. Check your property today!

Obtaining Flood Insurance

Image result for baltimore md flood
Flooded Baltimore Inner Harbor during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Image courtesy of Jerry Jackson

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. To learn more about Flood Insurance and it’s coverage, visit our Flood Insurance Page

Preparing for a Flood

Ensure that you are prepared for a flood BEFORE a flood happens. Do you have an emergency kit? A communication plan? Do you know where the closest emergency shelter locations are? Prepare yourself today!

Full article here. Courtesy of Baltimore Sustainability Organization.

 

Schools for the Future!

The youth are the future of the nation. Our own home is considered to be our first school but the need in the long run, there is really the need for us to go to a community school. Over the years, the population have grown and so is the need for more school!

Through the 21st Century Schools Initiative, Baltimore City Public Schools, in partnership with the Maryland Stadium Authority, Baltimore City, and the State of Maryland, will be investing nearly one billion dollars to renovate or replace schools over the next several years. New and renovated schools will help transform student opportunities and achievement, provide resources to families, and help revitalize neighborhoods.

These new and renovated school buildings will support excellence in teaching and learning with flexible and adaptable space, learning areas designed for interaction and collaboration, and technology-equipped classrooms, enabling students to meet today’s—and tomorrow’s—high standards, and will provide communities with a shared public resource that will enrich their neighborhoods.

INSPIRE logo
Photo courtesy of Baltimore City Government

To leverage this investment, and to enhance the connection between the schools and the surrounding neighborhood, the Department of Planning launched a program called INSPIRE, which stands for Investing in Neighborhoods and Schools to Promote Improvement, Revitalization, and Excellence. This planning program focuses on the neighborhoods immediately surrounding each of the modernized schools that are part of the 21st Century program, specifically  the quarter-mile surrounding each school.  Full article here.

Having to contribute to the society is not a requirement but in the Charm City, everyone is encouraged for the greater good and that’s why the city has lived since 1729! Thinking of some initiatives or just wanting to sell your property for any reason? Let Dependable Homebuyers help you!

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