Help Us Save Abingdon Woods

Dear Friends of Abingdon Woods,

Item #1

We recently got notice that Maryland Department of the Environment has opened a public comment period of 30 days regarding two aspects of the Wetlands and Waterways Permit for what is now being called the “BTC III I-95 Logistics Center.” We have known it as the “Abingdon Business Park.” You’ll recall that BTC III (Build-to-Core) is the new developer. However, it’s interesting that on the MDE website, Chesapeake Real Estate Group and Westport, the old developers, are also still listed.

The announcement is at: https://mde.maryland.gov/…/Pages/CREG_Westport_I.aspx

On that page you will find the developer’s “Socioeconomic Justification” and the “Tier II Antidegredation Review.” Please read these documents and write up any thoughts you have and send in your letter to MDE before October 15, 2021. Instructions on exactly where to send your letter is on the announcement page.

Getting this opportunity to make comments has been hardwon. It is the result of the courtcase by Chesapeake Legal Alliance and the Gunpowder Riverkeeper in Harford County Courts that was recently won, leading the court to send the Wetlands and Waterways Permit back to MDE and forcing MDE to open this new public comment period.

Item #2

Bad news is that two more permits (grading permits) were approved last week. The project needs 21 permits. Now, 15 have been approved. ONLY ONE GRADING PERMIT remains to be approved. Four road permits remain to be approved. One stormwater management permit remains to be approved.

Item #3

We still have “Save Abingdon Woods” yard signs. They are available for a donation of $8, which is what they cost us.  If you want one, please give me a call.

Item #4

Call, email or write your representative in the Harford County Council and demand that the Council revoke the “Edgewood Joppa Enterprise Zone Expansion”. Also, ask them to stop this project. It is important that we reach EVERY county councilman.

Item #5

Ask every politician on a local and state level if they would be willing to take some step towards stopping this project and if so, what exactly they are willing to do.

Item #6

Let’s make sure parents of students at William Paca and Old Post Road Elementary Schools understand what is being proposed and how it will affect their children. Please see the Letter to the Editor of the 9/15/21 Aegis by William Graham, Harford County Climate Action Board Member, which contains information on impacts to children’s health by diesel emissions.

Item #7

It would be helpful if we had evidence of an endangered species in Abingdon Woods.  The woods is “Private Property,” so trespassing is not allowed.  This doesn’t mean you can’t photograph and identify species that have emerged from the woods into neighboring yards or even plants you can photograph from the property’s border.

Item #8

Support stronger forest conservation law in Harford County and support more power to citizens in stopping bad zoning and development decisions for the future.

As always, we can do more when we work together. Your caring matters!

Warm Regards,

Tracey Waite, Chair, Save Abingdon Woods Coalition

(443) 243-3363

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The Bel Air FIVE Kick-Off Event and Native Plant Sale on Wed, Sept 8 went very well! Now, join the whole town of Bel Air by planting native plants, especially the host and pollinator plants for the 4 butterflies and a moth we’re trying to protect. Fall is a great time to plant! Then, download the iNaturalist app so you can identify the butterflies and caterpillars that come to your garden or planter. Insects and plants identified upload automatically to the Maryland Biodiversity Project, so we can see the impact of our efforts. Thank-you for caring about wildlife! (Insect/Host Plant: 1) Monarch/Milkweed or Butterfly weed; 2) Silvery Checkerspot/Ten-Petal Sunflower; 3) Pipevine Swallowtail/Virginia Snakeroot; 4) Great Spangled Fritillary/Arrow-leaved Violet, Common Blue Violet, etc.; 5) Unicorn Caterpillar Moth/New Jersey Tea Plant or Hawthorn Trees.

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Sample Letters about Abingdon Woods

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2019 review of Harford County Climate Action

In 2019 Harford County Climate Action was active on several fronts, working to oppose drilling off Maryland shores, campaign to protect Abingdon Woods from planned warehouse development, advocate for legislation, express solidarity with global struggles for environmental justice and act locally to keep Harford County beautiful.

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Kathy Tunney: County should help purchase Abingdon Woods

Kathy Tunney recommends to the county council that they look into a way to purchase the Abingdon Woods property and preserve it as a recreational park for the public.
17 Dec 2019 – Harford County Council meeting – Public Comment

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“Extinction is forever” -Fawn Palmer alerts Council to endangered species in Abingdon Woods

Fawn Palmer, senior naturalist, remindes the Harford County Council that extinction is forever and alerts them to endangered status of the Spongy Arrowhead, Sagittaria spatulata which grows in the freshwater, tidal mud flats in the HaHa Branch where it empties into Otter Point Creek. She calls for an environmental impact assessmentt o determine the presence of other endangered species.
10 December 2019 meeting of Harford County Council.

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Veronica Cassilly to council – our kids deserve better from you.

Veronica Cassilly tells the Council that Harford County’s children and grandchildren deserve better than to see the quality of the land and water decline even though we have been warned and can prevent further damage. Though she is aware that developers have contributed to council members she says “I personally cannot believe that you would sell me out.”
Meeting of Harford County Council Dec 10 2019

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Dont let Abingdon become a “Toxic Tour” site – Aravinda Pillalamarri

Aravinda Pillalamarri asks County Council to protect Abingdon Woods so that the site does not in the future become a site of air and water pollution, flooding and other environmental damage. She warns that it may become the site of a “Toxic Tour,” serving as a cautionary tale for others in a position to prevent such disasters before it is too late.
10 December 2019 meeting of Harford County Council.

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Tell Gov. Hogan to Fix the Bad Deal with Exelon on Conowingo Dam!

Chesapeake Waterkeepers are calling for help.  Here is their action alert, excerpted from Tell Gov. Hogan to Fix the Bad Deal with Exelon on Conowingo Dam!

We need your help! There are 3 things you can do:

1. Tell Governor Hogan to withdraw the current settlement immediately. We need a settlement that is transparent, fair and doesn’t set a bad precedent by waiving the state’s authority to protect local waterways. Use our form below or click here to send an email today!

2. Sign our petition, and we will submit your comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The comment period ends January 19, 2020.

3. Submit your own comments directly to FERC at this link. You can copy and paste our template and add additional comments. You will need to open an account and search for Docket # P-405-106.

For further information please read:

Tell Gov. Hogan to Fix the Bad Deal with Exelon on Conowingo Dam!

 

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Tracey Waite Brings Receipts

Tracey Waite calls out campaign contributions and asks if they have influenced council votes on the Abingdon Business Park which would destroy 300+ acres of wetlands in Abingdon Woods.

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