COVID-19 testing numbers setting records in Maryland


SOMEONE THAT WAS POSITIVE. THAT’S WHY DID BUT I HAD TO DO. >> MORE AND MORE PEOPLE SHOWING UP FOR A COVID TEST AT T BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER FRIDAY AFTER A SURGE IN POSITI CASES AROUND THE STATE. >> I FELT LIKE INSIDE IT WAS RELATIVELY SAFE. THERE WAS RELATIVELY FEW PEOPLE SO I WASN’T CONCERNED. >> ACCORDING TO THE MARYLAND COVID-19 TESTING TASK FORCE THE STATE ISSUED A RECORD 55,939 TESTS ON WEDNESDAY. THE TASK FORCE’S DIRECTOR JON WEINSTEIN TOLD US THE RISE HAS TO DO WITH PEOPLE RETURNING FR TRIPS OVER THANKSGIVIN AND AS MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING TESTED WEINSTEIN SAYS THEY ARE INCREASING CAPACITY AT STATE RUN SITES AND GOING COUNTY BY COUNTY TO SEE WHAT’S NEEDED WHER >> WE ARE LOOKING AT THE AREAS WITH THE HIGHER POSITIVITY RATE AND COMPARING THAT TO THE ACCESSIBILITY OF TESTING IN THOSE AREAS. >> AND AS FAR AS REASONS TO GET A TEST DOCTOR JONATHAN THIERMAN WITH LIFEBRIDGE HEALTH SAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON IS TO HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD. TESTING EARLY DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU WILL GET CURATIVE MEDICINE EARLIER. IT MEANS YOU KNOW TO STAY AWAY FROM YOUR PARENTS OR GRANDPARENTS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD. FROM TODAY UNTIL THE END OF IS EXPECTING TO HAVE AN AVERAGE OF 50-55,000 TESTS PER DAY. I ASKED ABOUT CAPACITY, I WAS TOLD THERE ARE PLENTY OF TESTS TO GO AROUND. YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ON WHERE TO GET A TEST, GO TO O WEBSITE AND LOOK ON OUR MOBILE APP.

While the number of coronavirus cases increases, Maryland is also setting records on the number of people who are being tested.|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||According to the Maryland COVID-19 Testing Task Force, Maryland issued a record 55,939 tests Wednesday at state facilities.Urgent care clinics are also seeing a huge uptick in testing as people continue to search for the fastest place to get one.”I decided to get a test just because I’m a medical student, so better safe than sorry, and it was very smooth,” said David Poloway, who got tested Friday.”Someone that I was work with was positive. I work with them, and that’s why I did what I had to do,” said Delroy Matthews, who got tested Friday.More people also took the opportunity to get a COVID-19 test Friday at the Baltimore Convention Center.”Despite the number of cases, I felt like, inside, it was relatively safe. Everyone was 6 feet apart, everyone had their masks on and there (were) relatively few people. So I wasn’t concerned,” said Catherine Ward, who got tested Friday.Jon Weinstein, the director of the state testing task force, told 11 News the rise of testing has to do with people returning from trips over Thanksgiving.”If you travel and you’re with other folks, then you should consider getting tested five days after you return, that’s what we were expecting and that’s what we’re seeing around the state,” Weinstein said.As more people get tested, Weinstein said state-run testing sites are increasing capacity and officials are going county by county to see what’s needed and where.”We’re looking at all the data that comes in. We’re looking at the areas with the higher case rates and the higher positivity rates. We’re also comparing that to the accessibility of testing in those areas,” Weinstein said.Dr. Jonathan Thierman, chief medical information officer at LifeBridge Health, said the most important reason to get tested for the coronavirus is to help prevent the spread.”Testing early doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be cured of medicine earlier — most people don’t even need to come to the hospital — but it certainly you know to stay away from your parents and your grandparents and prevent the spread,” Thierman said.The state COVID-19 task force expects to average of 55,000 tests to be administered a day until the end of the year, and they have plenty of tests.WHERE TO GET A COVID-19 TEST IN MARYLAND THIS WEEKNo Appointment or Doctor’s Order Required at the following locationsMaryland Department of Health sitesAnnapolis – Calvert and Bladen streets (Anne Arundel County) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, both days. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to schedule.Baltimore Convention Center (Baltimore City/NOW INDOORS) NEW HOURS – Open Monday, Nov. 30, Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., each day. Also open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., both days. Appointments are not required but are strongly encouraged. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to schedule.Six Flags America (Prince George’s County) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (SITE CLOSED MONDAY due to tornado watch in effect); and Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, both days. Patients now have the option of pre-registering at the Six Flags site here. The Six Flags site also continues to accept patients without appointments.Allegany County Health Department site:Allegany County Fairgrounds Ag Pavilion (11400 Moss Ave., Cumberland) — Monday, Nov. 30, from 2 to 7 p.m., and on Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., both days.Anne Arundel County Department of Health site:Deale Elks Lodge (6022 Drum Point Road, Deale) — Open Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., both days.Hanover — Joe Cannon Stadium (Teague Road) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, both days.Anne Arundel County’s no-appointment sites operate on a “first come, first served” basis while test kits are available. Visit AAHealth.org/COVID19-Testing to find hours of operation and other information about Anne Arundel County testing sites.Baltimore City Health Department sitesConcord Baptist Church (5204 Liberty Heights Ave.) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days, weather permitting.NOTE: The Pimlico Race Course testing site has closed for the winter season. Additional testing locations in Baltimore City can be found at the city’s website.Montgomery County Department of Health sitesGermantown Recreation Center (Kingsview Drive) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 1; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., each day.Silver Spring Civic Building (Fenton Street) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 1; and Thursday, Dec. 3, from noon to 6 p.m., each day.Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center (Georgia Avenue) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days.White Oak Community Center (April Lane) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days.Appointments are currently not required. Online scheduling to resume in the future. Visit MoCoCOVIDTesting.org for hours of operation and more information about Montgomery County testing sites.Prince George’s County Health Department sitesCheverly Health Center (Hospital Drive) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Thursday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., each day.Clinton-D. Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center (Piscataway Road) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., each day.First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville (Belcrest Road) — Open Thursday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., both days.Fort Washington – Adventist Medical Group (Indian Head Highway) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 1; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., each day.For updates on PGCHD’s testing sites and a testing site locator, visit Health.MyPGC.us/CovidTesting.Somerset County Health Department siteWashington High School (10902 Old Princess Anne Road, Princess Anne) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Walk-in, indoor events, masks are required.)Schedule Online: Appointment Required – Doctor’s Order Not Required at the following locationsAnne Arundel County Department of Health sites6701 Baymeadow Drive, Glen Burnie (parking lot) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., each day. Additional hours Tuesday, Dec. 1: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.Department of Health Annex (1 Harry S. Truman Pkwy., Annapolis) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day; and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.Patients are asked to pre-register for all appointments for both sites here. Visit AAHealth.org/COVID19-Testing to find hours of operation and other information about Anne Arundel County testing sites.Baltimore County Department of Health sitesLiberty Family Resource Center (Resource Drive) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Wednesday, Dec. 3; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day.Timonium Fairgrounds (York Road) — Open Monday, Nov, 30, Tuesday, Dec. 1, Thursday, Dec. 3, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day.To accommodate increased demand, testing at Timonium Fairgrounds will be offered on Nov. 30. Effective immediately, registration is required for testing at all Baltimore County health center locations. Schedule online at BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/CovidTest.Carroll County Department of Health siteWestminster – Carroll County Agricultural Center (Agricultural Center Drive) – Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, Thursday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day.For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit https://cchd.maryland.gov/covidtesting/.Charles County Department of Health siteWaldorf – Blue Crab Stadium (St. Linus Drive).Visit the COVIDtest.Maryland.gov to schedule.Harford County Health Department siteAberdeen – University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (McHenry Road), NEW HOURS — Open Monday, Nov. 30, Tuesday, Dec. 1, Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, each day, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.Visit the COVIDtest.Maryland.gov to schedule.Howard County Health Department sitesHoward County General Hospital and the Howard County Health Department will offer free COVID-19 testing in neighborhoods throughout Howard County this fall. To schedule an appointment, visit Johns Hopkins Medicine’s online portal. For more information, visit the hospital’s website or call 410-740-7601.University of Maryland Shore Regional Health siteWye Mills – Chesapeake College (Queen Anne’s County) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., both days.Schedule via Phone: Appointment Required – Doctor’s Order Not RequiredKent County Health Department site514 Washington Ave., Chestertown — Open Monday, Nov. 30, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., both days. Call KCHD at 410-778-1350 to schedule.Schedule via Physician: appointment and doctor’s order required at the following locations:Calvert County Health Department sitePrince Frederick – College of Southern Maryland (J.W. Williams Road) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.NOTE: There are several testing sites throughout the state that are operated by organizations other than MDH and its partners. The above list is not an exhaustive list of all testing sites in the state. Patients are always encouraged to verify site hours by calling ahead when planning to take a test.For more information on testing sites across the state, visit COVIDtest.Maryland.gov.

While the number of coronavirus cases increases, Maryland is also setting records on the number of people who are being tested.

|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||

According to the Maryland COVID-19 Testing Task Force, Maryland issued a record 55,939 tests Wednesday at state facilities.

Urgent care clinics are also seeing a huge uptick in testing as people continue to search for the fastest place to get one.

“I decided to get a test just because I’m a medical student, so better safe than sorry, and it was very smooth,” said David Poloway, who got tested Friday.

“Someone that I was work with was positive. I work with them, and that’s why I did what I had to do,” said Delroy Matthews, who got tested Friday.

More people also took the opportunity to get a COVID-19 test Friday at the Baltimore Convention Center.

“Despite the number of cases, I felt like, inside, it was relatively safe. Everyone was 6 feet apart, everyone had their masks on and there (were) relatively few people. So I wasn’t concerned,” said Catherine Ward, who got tested Friday.

Jon Weinstein, the director of the state testing task force, told 11 News the rise of testing has to do with people returning from trips over Thanksgiving.

“If you travel and you’re with other folks, then you should consider getting tested five days after you return, that’s what we were expecting and that’s what we’re seeing around the state,” Weinstein said.

As more people get tested, Weinstein said state-run testing sites are increasing capacity and officials are going county by county to see what’s needed and where.

“We’re looking at all the data that comes in. We’re looking at the areas with the higher case rates and the higher positivity rates. We’re also comparing that to the accessibility of testing in those areas,” Weinstein said.

Dr. Jonathan Thierman, chief medical information officer at LifeBridge Health, said the most important reason to get tested for the coronavirus is to help prevent the spread.

“Testing early doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be cured of medicine earlier — most people don’t even need to come to the hospital — but it certainly you know to stay away from your parents and your grandparents and prevent the spread,” Thierman said.

The state COVID-19 task force expects to average of 55,000 tests to be administered a day until the end of the year, and they have plenty of tests.


WHERE TO GET A COVID-19 TEST IN MARYLAND THIS WEEK

No Appointment or Doctor’s Order Required at the following locations

Maryland Department of Health sites

Annapolis – Calvert and Bladen streets (Anne Arundel County) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, both days. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to schedule.

Baltimore Convention Center (Baltimore City/NOW INDOORS) NEW HOURS – Open Monday, Nov. 30, Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., each day. Also open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., both days. Appointments are not required but are strongly encouraged. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to schedule.

Six Flags America (Prince George’s County) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (SITE CLOSED MONDAY due to tornado watch in effect); and Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, both days. Patients now have the option of pre-registering at the Six Flags site here. The Six Flags site also continues to accept patients without appointments.

Allegany County Health Department site:

Allegany County Fairgrounds Ag Pavilion (11400 Moss Ave., Cumberland) — Monday, Nov. 30, from 2 to 7 p.m., and on Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., both days.

Anne Arundel County Department of Health site:

Deale Elks Lodge (6022 Drum Point Road, Deale) — Open Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., both days.

Hanover — Joe Cannon Stadium (Teague Road) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, both days.

Anne Arundel County’s no-appointment sites operate on a “first come, first served” basis while test kits are available. Visit AAHealth.org/COVID19-Testing to find hours of operation and other information about Anne Arundel County testing sites.

Baltimore City Health Department sites

Concord Baptist Church (5204 Liberty Heights Ave.) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days, weather permitting.

NOTE: The Pimlico Race Course testing site has closed for the winter season. Additional testing locations in Baltimore City can be found at the city’s website.

Montgomery County Department of Health sites

Germantown Recreation Center (Kingsview Drive) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 1; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., each day.

Silver Spring Civic Building (Fenton Street) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 1; and Thursday, Dec. 3, from noon to 6 p.m., each day.

Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center (Georgia Avenue) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days.

White Oak Community Center (April Lane) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days.

Appointments are currently not required. Online scheduling to resume in the future. Visit MoCoCOVIDTesting.org for hours of operation and more information about Montgomery County testing sites.

Prince George’s County Health Department sites

Cheverly Health Center (Hospital Drive) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Thursday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., each day.

Clinton-D. Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center (Piscataway Road) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., each day.

First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville (Belcrest Road) — Open Thursday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., both days.

Fort Washington – Adventist Medical Group (Indian Head Highway) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 1; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., each day.

For updates on PGCHD’s testing sites and a testing site locator, visit Health.MyPGC.us/CovidTesting.

Somerset County Health Department site

Washington High School (10902 Old Princess Anne Road, Princess Anne) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Walk-in, indoor events, masks are required.)


Schedule Online: Appointment Required – Doctor’s Order Not Required at the following locations

Anne Arundel County Department of Health sites

6701 Baymeadow Drive, Glen Burnie (parking lot) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., each day. Additional hours Tuesday, Dec. 1: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Department of Health Annex (1 Harry S. Truman Pkwy., Annapolis) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day; and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Patients are asked to pre-register for all appointments for both sites here. Visit AAHealth.org/COVID19-Testing to find hours of operation and other information about Anne Arundel County testing sites.

Baltimore County Department of Health sites

Liberty Family Resource Center (Resource Drive) — Open Monday, Nov. 30; Wednesday, Dec. 3; and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day.

Timonium Fairgrounds (York Road) — Open Monday, Nov, 30, Tuesday, Dec. 1, Thursday, Dec. 3, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day.

To accommodate increased demand, testing at Timonium Fairgrounds will be offered on Nov. 30. Effective immediately, registration is required for testing at all Baltimore County health center locations. Schedule online at BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/CovidTest.

Carroll County Department of Health site

Westminster – Carroll County Agricultural Center (Agricultural Center Drive) – Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, Thursday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon, each day.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit https://cchd.maryland.gov/covidtesting/.

Charles County Department of Health site

Waldorf – Blue Crab Stadium (St. Linus Drive).

Visit the COVIDtest.Maryland.gov to schedule.

Harford County Health Department site

Aberdeen – University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (McHenry Road), NEW HOURS — Open Monday, Nov. 30, Tuesday, Dec. 1, Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, each day, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Visit the COVIDtest.Maryland.gov to schedule.

Howard County Health Department sites

Howard County General Hospital and the Howard County Health Department will offer free COVID-19 testing in neighborhoods throughout Howard County this fall. To schedule an appointment, visit Johns Hopkins Medicine’s online portal. For more information, visit the hospital’s website or call 410-740-7601.

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health site

Wye Mills – Chesapeake College (Queen Anne’s County) — Open Monday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., both days.


Schedule via Phone: Appointment Required – Doctor’s Order Not Required

Kent County Health Department site

514 Washington Ave., Chestertown — Open Monday, Nov. 30, and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., both days. Call KCHD at 410-778-1350 to schedule.


Schedule via Physician: appointment and doctor’s order required at the following locations:

Calvert County Health Department site

Prince Frederick – College of Southern Maryland (J.W. Williams Road) — Open Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Thursday, Dec. 3, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


NOTE: There are several testing sites throughout the state that are operated by organizations other than MDH and its partners. The above list is not an exhaustive list of all testing sites in the state. Patients are always encouraged to verify site hours by calling ahead when planning to take a test.

For more information on testing sites across the state, visit COVIDtest.Maryland.gov.



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Nelma Stassfort Julian, | Southern Maryland News Net


Nelma Stassfort Julian, devoted wife of Lt. Col. (Ret) Paul R. Julian, Jr. crossed over the river to lay under the shade tree on November 30, 2020. She was the loving mother of Carol Julian Kross, of New Bern, North Carolina, Paul Derrick Julian, of Staunton, Virginia and Charles Bruce Julian, of Leonardtown, Maryland. She was the proud grandmother and great grandmother of ten grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren.

Born on April 23, 1925 in Suffolk, Virginia, she was the daughter of Derrick Herman Stassfort and Ophelia Wertley Stassfort. She was preceded in death by her sister Anne Stassfort Dickson and brother Derrick Herman Stassfort, Jr. She was a devoted Episcopalian. She enjoyed flower gardening and arranging flowers. She served on the Alter Guild of several churches arranging flowers for the alter and around the church. She also enjoyed crafting ceramics and created several memorable pieces. Family trips and gatherings were always special to her and she always enjoyed having all the family together. She and her husband could often be seen dancing at weddings and other Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and birthdays were always memorable gatherings at “Grandma’s”. One could always count on her sitting down for a meal and jump up and say “John Brown it”, I forgot the rolls in the oven! Though always tasty they had a slight darkened bottom. As youths, she always coached and educated us in the fine tradition of southern manners and character.

At this time, due to the Covid restrictions, no arrangements have been made for a service. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Cards and notes of condolences may be sent to Lt. Col (Ret) Paul R. Julian, Jr./C/o Charles Julian, 20413 Scarlet Tanager Way, Leonardtown, MD 20650. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148.












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Bd. of Public Works Should Reject Controversial Pipeline Proposals – Maryland Matters


Out-of-state fracked gas would be used to power the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover under a proposal before the Maryland Board of Public Works. Photo by Diane F. Evartt/Maryland Manual.

The Del-Mar Pipeline and Chesapeake Utilities Project Pipeline proposals for the Eastern Shore have been getting a great deal of attention lately — and rightly so.

Building fracked gas pipelines on the Eastern Shore would be detrimental to the communities involved. These two pipelines will only make low-income Eastern Shore communities even more reliant on outdated and harmful energy sources. They threaten 1,239 square feet of streams and more than 16,000 square feet of wetlands on the Eastern Shore. Gas pipelines can cause disastrous impacts on the environment and devastating explosions.

Citing climate, environmental, and social justice impacts, many groups oppose fracked gas pipeline expansion on the Eastern Shore, including Wicomico Environmental Trust, NAACP branches, Food & Water Watch, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and Sierra Club.

If built, the Del-Mar pipeline would pump fracked gas from Delaware through Wicomico and Somerset counties to Virginia. The Chesapeake Utilities Project would carry the fracked gas from the pipeline to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Eastern Correctional Institution.

The Eastern Shore is suffering a great deal from climate change. Dorchester County, close to Somerset County, is considered the “canary in the coal mine” for our state. It is a harbinger of disasters we can expect if we do not eliminate fossil fuel emissions as quickly as possible; “sunny day flooding,” cemeteries falling into the sea, people having to elevate their houses to protect themselves from flooding, and more. None of these examples are unique to Dorchester County.

Fracked gas pipelines leak methane, a greenhouse gas over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat over a 20-year period, which accelerates global warming. To avoid making the climate crisis any worse, we need to get our energy from clean, renewable resources like wind and solar and implementing electrification of buildings. We have less than 10 years before the climate damage to our planet is irreversible.

Fortunately, our state has passed legislation that can protect us to some extent. In 2019, Maryland passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which requires that our state be utilizing 50% renewable energy by 2030 and have a plan to implement 100% renewable energy by 2040. In addition, the state has passed several emissions standards that would help us reach our energy goals.

Failing to transition to 100% clean energy would result in an increase in flooding and other intrusive events such as hurricanes. The result from leaks of methane from a pipeline is only going to make the situation worse.

Since extreme weather would cause the pipes to shift and leak, the increase of methane into the atmosphere will further increase global warming, which will in turn increase disastrous weather conditions. Yet Governor Hogan plans to spend $6.5 million this year to “kickstart” a gas expansion across Maryland.

This is part of $30 million he is planning to spend on expanding gas infrastructure. At an Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce virtual meeting recently, a spokesperson for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation even stated that the Del-Mar Pipeline and Chesapeake Utilities Project will lead to more pipelines being built.

We must eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels within 10 years, according to our own government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment. The Del-Mar Pipeline and Chesapeake Utilities Project are a 30-year commitment. In other words, expanding the use of fracked gas in Maryland would either make it impossible to end our dependence on fossil fuels in time or the pipelines would have to be abandoned just one third of the way through their expected service.

Clearly these pipelines are a bad investment. For example, fracking entities are already going bankrupt in other places in the country, with 250 oil and gas companies expected to go bankrupt next year. That’s a greater number of bankruptcies than the sector saw in the previous five years combined; and as these fracked gas companies go out of business, taxpayers could end up holding the bag for plugging the leaking gas wells they leave behind.

It is not hard to imagine that the fracking operation in Delaware that supplies the Del-Mar Pipeline will follow suit and this pipeline project will fall apart, leaving stranded assets for which Maryland ratepayers must compensate.

What is the solution? Instead of the pipeline, we should be looking at renewable energy. For years, Governor Hogan and the fossil fuel companies have called gas a “bridge fuel.” We do not need a bridge — renewable energy is affordable and abundant right now.

The Maryland’s Board of Public Works is scheduled to vote on Wednesday to determine whether these fracked gas pipelines will cut through our communities or be thrown on the scrap heap of history. Marylanders should contact the three members of this board, Governor Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and tell them to vote no on the Del-Mar and Chesapeake Utilities Project pipelines and that clean, renewable energy is a much better plan.

— SUSAN OLSEN

The writer is chair of the Sierra Club Lower Eastern Shore Group.



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