Sustainable Maryland Certified (SMC) is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland (EFC) designed to support Maryland’s 157 municipalities as they look for cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their natural assets and revitalize their communities.
For additional information on the Sustainable Maryland Certified Program please view the website at www.sustainablemaryland.com.
Maryland Smart Energy Communities (MSEC) is a great opportunity for Maryland city, county, and local governments to take control of their energy future. By adopting a set of policies related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and/or transportation, a community will be designated a Smart Energy Community and receive grant funding for energy projects.
FY 13 funding saw 34 communities participate with grant awards ranging from $35,000 (for smaller towns) to $500,000 (for large counties). This funding will annually yield 4.1 million kWh in electricity savings, 816,000 kWh in new distributed renewable energy generation, and 55,000 gallons of gasoline equivalent reduced. Through energy cost savings already being realized across Maryland local governments, MSEC FY 13 funding yielded a 4.2 year payback, leveraged approximately $500,000 in outside funding, and will reduce 2,418 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
In order to create a clearer picture of the environmental health related programs, tools, and resources available to Region 3 schools to assist them in becoming green and healthy, the EFC is compiling an inventory of existing K-12 green and healthy schools efforts in Region 3 states and the District of Columbia.
The Environmental Finance Center and Institute for Governmental Service and Research at UMD collaborated to offer a new, free virtual course, Sustainable Community Development. This five-lesson course is designed for people who want to engage with neighbors and fellow residents through their local government to make their community a more sustainable place. It provides a path for Maryland’s municipalities to become certified as sustainable jurisdictions by emphasizing community-level decisions to solve sustainability problems.
In October 2011, the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the University of Maryland was asked to investigate the feasibility of a beverage container deposit program in the state of Maryland. The objective of the study was to quantify a beverage container deposit program’s contribution to Maryland’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and stormwater related trash. In addition, the EFC project team was asked to determine what monies might be available to the state as a result of unredeemed beverage container deposits.