Town of Bel Air Election – HCCA Q&A

The candidates for the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners are listed below in alphabetical order.  Harford County Climate Action (HCCA) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the climate crisis through local action.  We can’t endorse any candidates, but we can encourage you to vote and help to get you information about the candidates! The election will be held on Tuesday, November 5, from 7:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. at Bel Air Town Hall, 39 N. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, MD.  There are three pending vacancies on the Board. Turn out is typically embarrassingly low.  Our government is a representative democracy only if we participate, so please vote!

We are sharing background information about each candidate and why they are running for office.  This information was copied from the Aegis. We also asked each candidate if they would answer two questions:

  1. Do you feel that the town of Bel Air has a responsibility to reduce its carbon emissions in order to help to slow climate disruption?  If “yes”, what steps do you think should be taken?
  2. The city of Havre de Grace, i.e. all government divisions such as City Hall, Police, Water Treatment, etc., sources 100% of its electricity from solar energy is produced in Maryland (not in Havre de Grace).  The city has saved money by doing this. Would you support sourcing 100% of Bel Air government’s energy needs from clean sources, also? (Clean sources=solar, wind, and geothermal.)

Here are their answers: Candidates_for_Bel_Air_Board_of_Town_Commissioners


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Town of Bel Air Candidates speak to HCCA

Harford County Climate Action invited Candidates running for the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners to speak to interested members of the community at the Harford County Climate Action monthly meeting on Sept 16 2019.

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Woods not Warehouses, Ecosystems not Enterprise Zones! People over Profits!

Woods not Warehouses, Ecosystems not Enterprise Zones! People over Profits!

Since January when a sign placed in the woods alerted nearby residents of a plan to convert the 326 acre wetland forest area to a warehouse business park, the community has been attending meetings, speaking at public hearings and opposing the plan.  In September they took to the streets outside the Harford County Administration building on Main Street in Bel Air.

Listen to the voices of the community uniting to protect the wetlands, the wildlife and the surrounding neighborhoods.


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Harford County Climate Action – Partnering with Neighborhood Sun

Harford County Climate Action is working with Neighborhood Sun to ensure that ALL Harford County residents have access to clean energy!  I have signed up, thereby guaranteeing that  my energy bills will remain below those charged by BG&E.  Neighborhood Sun is looking for more people to sign up in order to build local solar projects.  Please consider becoming a part of this innovative method of getting solar energy to renters and those who have a house but aren’t yet ready to put panels on it.   There are special incentives for low income households.  Please visit our special page on the Neighborhood Sun website by using the link below.  And thank-you so much for helping to save the planet!

Follow this link for information on what you would save by switching to electricity from Neighborhood Sun’s community solar projects.

Join the green, sustainable, energy revolution with Harford County Climate Action and Neighborhood Sun

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Sign the Petition to Stop Abingdon Business Park!

This petition is for all Harford County residents!  If our largest remaining forests are developed, we will ALL suffer from the loss of green space, boost to the climate crisis, loss of wildlife, and negative impact on our neighbors, who can only conclude that their wishes, health and properties don’t matter to the Harford County government.  Sign at this link if you oppose the building of over 2,000,000 square feet of warehouse space on what is now forest and wetlands.

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Stop Abingdon Business Park

Harford County Climate Action is a member of a coalition of parties opposed to the destruction of Abingdon Woods, i.e. to the “Abingdon Business Park” plan.  We are partnering with Friends of Harford and neighborhood associations, such as Autumn Run, Medley Estates, and Philadephia Station to stop this terrible plan.  Why terrible?  Because it involves destroying wetlands at a time when we need wetlands.  Because it involves destroying 326 acres of mature forest at a time when we need forests to stop climate change, clean our air, and safeguard our mental and physical well-being.  Because there are already many vacant warehouses near Route 40.  Because the neighbors don’t want it!  Because traffic is already a problem!

Abindgon Woods is located within the rectangle formed by Rt 7, Rt 24, I95, and Abingdon Rd.  If you live within this rectangle or in a bordering neighborhood, we would appreciate it if you would complete this survey which allows us to summarize all of the existing water problems in the area.  These problems are yet another reason why paving over forest and wetlands is not a good idea.

Thank-you for your time!


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2019 bills HCCA supported

In 2019, Harford County Climate Action supported 9 bills in the Maryland State Legislature.  View PDF: 2019 Bills Supported by HCCA

The first three listed here passed.

  1. HB 1453/Senate Bill 732, the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act (Renewable Energy and Job Development), which increases renewable energy production to 50% by 2030, and requires a plan for getting to 100% by 2050.
  2. HB 0109/Senate Bill 0285, “Environment-Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Products Prohibition. This bill prohibits disposable food containers made of expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam).
  3. SB 0573/ HB 0650, Energy Storage Pilot Project Act, which requires the PSC to establish a pilot program to use battery power for electricity backup in lieu of gas “peakers” – power plants that generally run only when there is a high demand, known as peak demand, for electricity.

No-Styrofoam-stickers-for-outside-1100x890   cg-youthclimate-2 batterysolar

This is how your Harford County Representatives voted:

Senator Bob Cassilly Sen. Gallion Sen. Jennings Delegate Arikan Del Andrew Cassilly Del Imprallaria Del Johnson Del Lisanti Del McComas Del Szeliga
  Energy Storage Yes Yes Yes No Yes Absent Yes Yes Yes Yes
Polystyrene No No No No Yes No Yes Yes No No
Clean Energy Jobs Act No No No No No No Yes Yes No No

The next 6 bills made it only 25-50% of the way through the process, and were held up or voted “No” in committees. 

  1. HB 669/Senate Bill 387, the Maryland Pipeline and Water Protection Act,which would have closed a loophole in environmental review of new pipelines proposed in the state.
  2. HB 0117/SB 0003: Smart Growth Investment Fund, which would have disincentivized sprawl development. (R. Cassilly, Jennings, Gallion voted “NO.”)
  3. HB 0120/SB 0203: Natural Resources – No Net Loss of Forest, which would have protected state coverage of forest land. (R. Cassilly, Jennings, Gallion voted “NO”)
  4. HB 0472, the Green Amendment, which would have added Marylanders’ right to breathable air, uncontaminated water and a clean environment to the state constitution, along with current rights, such as free speech and freedom of religion.
  5. HB 0275/SB 0270, Pesticides – Use of Chlorpyrifos – Prohibition, which would have banned chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos is a toxic nerve agent pesticide proven to cause brain damage in children, contaminate waterways, and harm wildlife. After years of study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that chlorpyrifos is unsafe at any detectable level.
  6. SB 0788/ HB 0695 The Transportation Accountability Act, which would have required a comprehensive study of the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution of any highway project, both state-funded or built through a public-private partnership.
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