CEPA’s objectives are to concentrate on public awareness and education on Bay issues and encourage public activism and involvement in both legislation and enforcement of environmental policy. CEPA publishes a newsletter in conjunction with another environmental organization, GAN (See “Partners” below), several times a year. CEPA also provides educational information and awareness materials.
Since 1970, CEPA has been involved with many Bay issues, such as nuclear power, the depletion of our aquifers, farm preservation, and ground water contamination. CEPA has worked with a number of government and academic institutions, as well as other environmental organizations. Here are some of our key accomplishments:
- AQUIFERS – Maryland’s aquifers have been continuously depleted over a period of at least 30 years, and no government agency is actively managing the use of our water resources. The aquifers cover more than one county, and sometimes more than one state, but there is no coordination between the jurisdictions. In 2001, CEPA drafted a proposal to establish a statewide Water Resources Commission to study the depletion of the aquifers and to make recommendations regarding the management of our water resources. As a result, the Water Resources Committee was appointed by the Governor and is pursuing these issues.
- PST LANDFILL – At the request of the Harwood Civic Association, CEPA applied for and was awarded a grant from Anne Arundel County for the purpose of monitoring the groundwater in the vicinity of the now closed PST Landfill in Harwood. There is more than the usual concern that toxic material will leach into the groundwater because this landfill was not required to have a liner. The present owner is required to monitor the groundwater for five years, so the grant will initially be used to evaluate the adequacy of their monitoring. After that, CEPA will be responsible for the monitoring, which could last for five or more years. The funds will be used solely for technical support and expenses.
- STORMWATER – CEPA has worked with other area environmental organizations to establish a stormwater utility fund to pay for the approximately $1 billion required to upgrade existing Anne Arundel County stormwater management infrastructure to a level that would promote restoration of the Bay. This has involved sponsoring a public forum and giving testimony at County Council hearings.
Board of Trustees
In order to achieve the stated objectives CEPA is dependent on membership, funding, and its Board of Trustees. CEPA‘s Board of Trustees consists of 15 members. CEPA’s role in education and public involvement requires experienced, knowledgeable, and committed individuals serving on the Board. Qualifications and experience are considered in the selection and nomination process. Since legal interpretation and opinion is a necessary to achieve our objectives, and since participation in legal action is a possible avenue, the Board normally includes at least one lawyer.
The Growth Action Network of Anne Arundel County is a coalition of community and civic associations, environmental groups, green businesses, and individuals involved in advocacy and citizen education with the goal of assuring that growth and development in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, is well planned and will not harm current neighborhoods or the environment, is fiscally sound and will enhance the quality of life for current residents.
GAN provides information and a networking forum for its members and others in the County who support aligning growth with adequate public facilities, protection of natural resources and enhancement of quality of life.
GAN has about 55 individual members and 30 member organizations (including CEPA). Its member organizations have a total membership exceeding 20,000 Anne Arundel County citizens.
The Anne Arundel Alliance for Livable Communities is a non-partisan coalition of local and state organizations (including CEPA) advocating for well-managed growth and environmental protection to safeguard and enhance residents’ quality of life.
To achieve its vision for Anne Arundel County, ALC focuses its efforts on the Anne Arundel County General Development Plan (GDP), Regional Plans, Master Plans and the City of Annapolis Comprehensive Plan updates, especially in five key areas:
- Fostering citizen awareness and engagement on growth issues
- Increasing transparency and public participation in the county’s planning and development processes
- Advising decision makers on fiscally and environmentally acceptable growth, and holding them accountable
- Speaking out for drinkable, swimmable, fishable water and clean air
- Promoting communities that are livable, workable, walkable, and bikeable
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center has provided a venue for our Board of Trustees to meet for over 50 years, and also for some of our forums. The Director of SERC is one of our Trustees. We are fortunate to be able to get their input on issues that we address.
Riverkeepers in the Anne Arundel County area, notably the Severn Riverkeeper, Arundel Rivers Federation (for the South, West, and Rhode Rivers) and the Patuxent Riverkeeper. CEPA has invited the riverkeepers to meet with our Board of Trustees and membership to discuss relevant issues, and often consults with them on issues of common concern. CEPA also provided some financial support to the West/Rhode Riverkeeper years ago when it was founded.
CEPA is an outgrowth of a group formed when BG&E proposed a 500-foot right of way for a power transmission line from Calvert Cliffs to Odenton. This line was not designed to national standards for power lines regarding property rights, esthetic design, etc. Many of the issues were resolved by negotiating with BG&E.
In 1970 the organization became CEPA when the trustees became involved with the nuclear power plant to be built at Calvert Cliffs. The cooling system would use bay water, and the amount of the flow of warmed water would exceed that of all but three of the rivers emptying into the bay. Because this plant was under license by the Atomic Energy Commission, some aspects of the design could not be controlled by local authorities. Members of CEPA, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and other environmental groups challenged the “war time” status claimed by the Atomic Energy Commission under which they would not have to satisfy the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). After a legal action and negotiation, many design changes were made in order to meet the requirements of NEPA.
Since then, CEPA has been involved with many other Bay issues, such as the depletion of our aquifers, farm preservation, and ground water contamination.
CEPA’s mission is to raise public awareness, educate, and encourage activism to protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Who We Are
CEPA is an environmental organization of private citizens working to influence environmental policies that affect the Chesapeake Bay.
Join CEPA and support the Bay.