In addition to implementing large scale projects to capture pollutants from roadways and impervious areas, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) provides resources to members of the transportation community interested in reducing pollutants. See below for more ways you can reduce stormwater pollution in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
Erosion on construction sites can be a significant source of sediment pollution to nearby streams and the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) offers a Responsible Personnel Certification Course to individuals interested in learning about Maryland’s erosion and sediment control program and how it protects local water resources and the Chesapeake Bay. You can help by understanding erosion and sediment-control practices, and by reporting violations.
Used motor oil and brake fluid contain toxins that harm humans and the environment. Just half a gallon of oil can contaminate millions of gallons of fresh water. Recycle used motor oil and brake fluid, and reuse them for better purposes.
A great way to help members of your community remember that storm drains are the entryways to our local waters and the Chesapeake Bay is by writing "Don't Dump" on storm drains in your area.
Dumping waste materials along the side of the road is illegal and harmful. It also results in clean-up costs and unattractive roadways. Report illegal dumping along MDOT SHA roadways.
Litter collection throughout the MDOT SHA right-of-way costs millions of dollars each year. This money would otherwise be spent on providing safer bridges and cleaner water to the Chesapeake Bay. Cover materials when transporting them in open air vehicles and cover trash and recycling containers. This can reduce the abundance of trash that reaches the Bay each year.
Idling — leaving the engine of a car running while it’s not moving — leads to excessive personal cost, pollution, threatened health, and violation of the law. After just 10 seconds of idling, more fuel is wasted than if you turned off and restarted the engine. In Maryland, it is illegal to leave your car idling except under certain conditions. Idling typically occurs in public places, such as schools, malls, and restaurants, where people congregate. Exhaust gases increase asthma, cancer, and heart disease.
Using alternative modes of transportation reduces fuel consumption, air pollution, and traffic. MDOT SHA supports alternate work schedules and carpooling for employees, as well as establishing HOV lanes on major roadways. MDOT SHA also promotes National Bike to Work Day, National Bike to School Day, and International Walk to School Day to reduce the pollution entering the waterways.
Performing regular car maintenance, including tune-ups, oil changes, air filter maintenance, and proper tire inflation, saves gas consumption and pollutes less. Proper car washing improves water conservation and the quality of water going to the Chesapeake Bay.
Pet waste contains bacteria and parasites that harm humans and aquatic life. During storms, pet waste washes into storm drains and ends up in streams, in waterways, and on public beaches. By picking up after your pet, you improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and waterways.
Learn more about Chesapeake Bay program requirements and objectives.
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