Friday, April 1, 2016

Montgomery County Celebrates the 10-Year Anniversary of the Watershed Trash Treaty at the Transforming Communities Summit

In March, County Executive Ike Leggett participated as a keynote lunch speaker at the Transforming Communities:Trash-Free Solutions for Healthy Lives, Clean Land, Safe Water Summit sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. This summit marked the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Potomac River Watershed Trash Treaty, an agreement between regional leaders, businesses and governments who are committed to working towards a cleaner community. 

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, Montgomery County Executive, Ike Leggett, Tommy Wells on behalf of District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Lori Arguelles, Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. 
Joining Leggett was Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, Tommy Wells on behalf of District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and other community leaders who shared policy and community outreach successes over the past decade as well as actions for the future. A closing panel discussion included Lisa Feldt, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection; Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of Energy & Environment; and Adam Ortiz, Director of the Department of the Environment for Prince George's County. The event opened with a photographic journey along the Anacostia River from the lens of award-winning photographer and author Krista Schlyer.

“I am very proud of the innovative work Montgomery County does to keep our community trash-free and our streams and waterways clean including banning Styrofoam and promoting the importance of reusable bags,” said Leggett. “Trash hurts our neighborhoods and streams, blocks our storm drains causing our streets and basements to flood, carries impurities into our drinking water supplies and destroys our water habitat.”

“We are working on a number of initiatives, including reducing trash in the Anacostia watershed and collaborating with our neighboring jurisdictions to implement innovative and sustainable approaches to improve our streams and address our environmental challenges,” said Feldt. “DEP has embraced our leadership role to work to protect our natural resources and reduce as much waste as possible.”
The Potomac River Watershed Trash Treaty identified the impact of trash on the quality of life in communities around the region, including the Anacostia River, which is a shared waterway. It is estimated that the storm water management practices implemented in the Montgomery County portion of the Anacostia River capture over 11,000 pounds of trash each year.

Montgomery County is recognized, regionally and nationally, as a leader of environmental stewardship. Recent legislation has included the 2012 carryout bag law requiring retailers to charge five cents per bag to deter the use of disposable bags and the passing of Bill 41-14, commonly known as the “Styrofoam ban” to ban the use ofnon-recyclable Styrofoam in the County.