Categories for Uncategorized

Benchmarked: A case study from Montgomery College

Benchmarked, a new energy blog series, examines local businesses who have used EPA’s Portfolio Manager to track energy use. Company/Property Name: Montgomery College (MC): Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus (Est. 1950), Rockville Campus (Est. 1965), Germantown Campus (Est. 1978)     Name and Title: Crissie Manfre, Utility Analyst   How many buildings do you manage? The College manages 49 buildings totaling 2.5

The Green Business Program has expanded with new businesses and an updated website

Montgomery County is seeking to stimulate growth in the green economy with the announcement that it has broadened the standards for its Green Business Certification Program to include business sectors previously ineligible. They include restaurants, cleaning companies, hotels and home-based businesses.  The program has also updated its website to be more user friendly and responsive. 
Tree Montgomery

DEP launches Tree Montgomery Program

The inaugural tree planting for the County’s newest environmental program, Tree Montgomery, took place today with the help of County Executive Ike Leggett, Councilmember Hans Riemer, County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Director Lisa Feldt, and community and business representatives.
Chrismai Storm Drain Art Winner

Storm drain art contest winners: Think further down the drain

To continue to educate the community of how our actions affect our local waters, on Tuesday, April 21 (the day before  Earth Day!) the Department of Environmental Protection along with volunteers from White Oak ShopRite Supermarket painted a storm drain with art from the inaugural art contest at the White Oak Community Center in Silver

Children’s art promotes protecting local waters

Throughout the year, outreach staff at the Department of Environmental Protection participate in a variety of activities such as presentations and festivals. As part of Earth Week activities, Watershed Outreach Planner Ana Arriaza participated in an after-school program sponsored by Identity, Inc. at Montgomery Village Middle School. About 30 sixth graders participated.
Screening at GreenFest

Thank you for an amazing Montgomery County GreenFest!

Despite the wind and cold weather, March 28, 2015 will be remembered as the successful launch of an annual tradition in the County.  The Montgomery County GreenFest was attended by more than 700 people (estimates of ~700-1000) who came together to share ideas, learn something new and inspire the next generation to take actions for

Westfield Wheaton gets wise to smart lighting

Widespread financial incentives and advancing technologies make lighting upgrades more cost-effective than ever for businesses around the world. But for parking areas, which require large amounts of energy, light bulbs are just the beginning. More than 1,400 new “smart lights” recently installed at the Westfield Wheaton shopping mall are already saving the mall thousands of

DC metro area #1 in ENERGY STAR buildings!

On March 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the DC metro area (including Montgomery County!) ranked first place on EPA’s 2015 Top Cities list, with 480 buildings in the region that earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR last year.

Announcing the winners of the storm drain art contest

We asked for art and we received it!  In January, the Department of Environmental Protection and Rock Creek Conservancy sought artwork for a storm drain art contest. We received 18 entries from County residents with great art and messages that inspire others to protect our waters.

Bring the whole family to the Montgomery County GreenFest

“The Montgomery County GreenFest is a celebration of our environment and an opportunity for County residents to learn about actions they can take to reduce their impact“, said Lisa Feldt, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. “Young people play an important role, because they are often the champions of green actions in

Join DEP in celebrating Earth Month 2015!

This year is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day and the Department of Environmental Protection along with partners across the County are celebrating the occasion with a variety of volunteer and outreach activities.  We hope you will attend events throughout April (Earth Month)!
Tree Climbing with Montgomery Parks

Montgomery County GreenFest schedule and website now live

The Montgomery County GreenFest has announced its event schedule and programming through its new website at Those interested in attending this free event can now start planning their day and make the most of the exciting schedule. The GreenFest will be held from 11a.m. to 4 the Cultural Arts Center at the Montgomery

A director’s welcome: A new adventure at DEP

Greetings! I’m Lisa Feldt, the new Director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. I have been at my post for a little more than a month now and I wanted to introduce myself to the residents of the County that I have the honor of serving. It is a great privilege to lead

Montgomery County Energy Summit unveils resources and research

On February 18th, 170 attendees convened for the 2nd Annual Montgomery County Energy Summit. Hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council – National Capital Region, Montgomery County Branch, the event offered policy insights from Cliff Majersik from the Institute for Market Transformation, county initiatives and goals from Councilmember Roger Berliner, an update on benchmarking resources

Net-zero energy homes: Yesterday’s dream, today’s reality

The terms “energy independence”, “off-the-grid”, and “net-zero energy” tend to summon images of a rural setting where being off-the-grid simply fits the picture of remoteness and self-sufficiency. Today, however, that landscape is changing. Designers, architects, builders, and owners are savvier than ever in finding ways to provide energy services, such as light, thermal comfort, and electric plugs,
Image of workshop attendees assembling a rain barrel.

Sign up for a RainScape Training

The RainScapes program offers low-cost trainings to residents of Montgomery County, MD who are interested in using their property to improve water quality and provide habitat for wildlife.  RainScapes, include rain barrels, rain gardens and conservation landscaping. The Spring 2015 Training Calendar is almost over!  Only two classes remain, so sign up fast if you don’t

Energy savings case study: Hollywood East Cafe

There’s a famous mantra in the real estate world that neatly summarizes, even predicts, the overarching key to success. People looking to increase energy efficiency or use more alternative energy in their home or business may have their own version: Incentives, incentives, incentives.
Natural Resources Career Camp Group photo

Apply now for this summer’s Natural Resources Careers Camp!

Are you a high school student interested in studying natural resources? If not, do you know a student who is? Then don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a week-long camp in Garrett County, MD, to explore careers and college programs in natural resources. This year’s camp will run from July 19 through July 25

Don’t miss the 2nd annual Montgomery County Energy Summit!

Hear from Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, the event’s Keynote Speaker, learn about the NIST Net-Zero Energy Homes project from Hunter Fanney, NIST Senior Research Scientist, and hear a special announcement from Michelle Vigen, DEP Senior Energy Planner, on new benchmarking resources and a recognition program for early benchmarkers.

Skating on Green Ice: Eco-friendly Ice Rinks

There’s a secret ingredient in the recipe for good skating rink ice: make it white. It’s more attractive and, because it reflects more sunlight, stays colder longer. The people who design, build and maintain ice rinks make a conscious effort to make their ice white and keep it that way. But now, a local company

Warning – Thin Ice!

Winter means colder temperatures and ice forming on water bodies in our area. People of all ages are tempted to venture out onto the ice, but it is not safe. The surfaces of ponds, lakes and creeks freeze first. But more often than not, the ice is not solid through and through, making it unsafe for

Green Purchasing Vendors’ Fair

The Green Purchasing Vendors Fair is designed to be a showcase of green products and services and training seminar for local governments in the Baltimore-Washington region.  The event is co-sponsored by the purchasing teams of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program.

Stormwater 101: Underground Inspection

DEP’s Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program is responsible for inspecting and ensuring maintenance of all public and private stormwater management facilities within Montgomery County.  DEP Planning Specialist Audra Lew guest blogs about the important role the inspectors play in the County:

Wrap it up this holiday season

According to the EPA, Americans generate about 1 million extra tons of waste during the holidays.1 That is a lot of tons. Wrapping paper makes up a big part of this. But it doesn’t have to.

The new home energy reports: How do you rank?

“I got TWO smiley faces!” “What?! I only got one!” Have you had a conversation like this yet?  This is what I overheard in my office recently as two of my colleagues tried to decipher what their new Pepco Energy Reports meant.

2014 Year in Review: Watershed Management

The Department of Environmental Protection is mandated with protecting the local waters of the County, from tiny neighborhood creeks to the Potomac River. Our local waterways are vitally important to the environment and economy of Montgomery County as well as our public health.

2014 Year in Review: Policy and Compliance

DEP’s smallest division is the Division of Policy and Compliance. Although small in size, it’s mighty in scope and the impact the division has on the community. It is divided into two sections: the Policy section and the Compliance section.

Happy World Soil Day!

‘Tis the season to celebrate…the soil!  December 5th is World Soil Day, making this the perfect time to learn more about this valuable living resource.  The folks at RainScapes have rounded up some great soil resources to get you started!

To tree or not to tree?: The green holiday question

For many, Christmas trees are a big part of being green, literally and figuratively, during the holidays. Real or artificial: What’s the best decision for those trying to get a little more eco-conscious this year? Instinct might dictate that saving a tree’s life is always the most responsible course. But not so when it comes

Commercial energy benchmarking forum video

On  Thursday, November 6th, 2014, the city of Rockville, the Montgomery County U.S. Green Building Council – National Capital Region and the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection hosted the Commercial Benchmarking Introductory Forum.  
Five volunteers standing next to all the trash they picked up from a stormwater facility.

Chesapeake Bay Awards Program accepting nominations

Less than 3 weeks remain to nominate someone for the 2015 Chesapeake Bay Trust awards program!  Each year, the Chesapeake Bay Trust recognizes outstanding achievements by educators, students, and individuals who work to restore the Chesapeake Bay and local waters. Currently, they are accepting applications and/or nominations for five awards outlined below including TWO $5,000

Everyone wins: Energy savings at Lee Development Group

Landlords and companies that lease space are always concerned with rising utility costs, to which the natural response is to explore opportunities in energy efficiency. Arranging who does what to save energy can get very challenging, if not downright confusing. Lee Development Group provides insight into their successes with tenant engagement and energy efficiency.

Grant opportunity for watershed restoration and outreach

A new grant program is being offered by the Montgomery County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to support watershed restoration and outreach throughout Montgomery County. The goal of this program is to reduce stormwater runoff and pollutants through community-based restoration implementation as well as projects focused on public engagement through education, outreach, and stewardship.

Rain gardens beautify local church

Last year, the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley received a $10,000 RainScapes rebate to design and construct a series of four rain gardens in a swale at the rear of the church.  Guest blogger Bill Renner, Chair of Property Operations at the Church, discusses the process and how the congregation has responded!