Sustainable Frederick County
Quarterly Newsletter

September 2022

Solar Panel Array at the Bourne Building in Frederick, Maryland 

Frederick County General Government Buildings 100% Powered by Renewable Energy

County Executive Jan Gardner

Solar field at the Reichs Ford Road Landfill

On July 28, 2022, County Executive Jan Gardner announced that Frederick County's general government buildings were entirely powered by renewable energy over the past year. The County reached the 100% milestone by generating solar power and purchasing wind energy credits. Since 2016, Frederick County Government has installed several solar projects. The largest, a solar array on a closed portion of the Reichs Ford Road landfill, generates enough energy to power seven County facilities including charging stations for all-electric TransIT buses.  


The County sold Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and uses the proceeds to purchase wind energy. The move to renewable energy sources is part of an overall plan that the Division of Energy and Environment is implementing to make County operations more resilient and energy efficient.


“I am proud that Frederick County relies 100% on clean energy,” County Executive Jan Gardner said. “The goal is to reduce our energy costs as we do our part to slow the rate of climate change. We save green by going green.”  

OSER Expands to Division of Energy and Environment

We are excited to share that the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources is now the Division of Energy and Environment (DEE)! This expansion was approved by the County Council as part of the FY23 budget package, based on a proposal by County Executive Gardner.  We have grown into two departments: Stormwater and Climate & Energy and will increase our staff by 9 members. Dawn Ashbacher has been promoted to the position of Manager of the Department of Climate and Energy and Donald Dorsey has been promoted to the position of Manager of the Department of Stormwater. 


Key initiatives of these departments will include the Climate and Energy Action Plan, Clean Fleet and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, Building Energy and Resiliency Program, Clean Energy Procurement Program and developing resiliency to stormwater flooding. 

Welcome to the DEE Team!

Bob Cramer

Bob Cramer recently joined the DEE Deparment of Stormwater team as our new Stormwater Environmental Inspector. Bob brings over 20 years of sediment control inspection, plan review and stormwater management inspection experience with him. As part of the stormwater team, Bob will be inspecting stream restorations, grass swales, outfalls and reforestation projects for our Creek ReLeaf Program.


Bob is a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where he majored in Geography. 


Welcome to the team Bob!

Emily Gorsky

DEE welcomed Emily Gorsky as our new Administrative Specialist for the Department of Stormwater. Emily previously worked as a store manager and brings years of organizational, customer service, and leadership experience to our team. Emily is focused on leading by example and enjoys being engaged with her team. She is eager to learn more about environmental conservation to develop awareness, not just for her, but for the Frederick County community.


Emily enjoys spending time with her daughter and is an avid nature explorer. She loves to visit state parks and can often be found pulling over just to admire nature in the truest form, from peering into a river bend to watching the sunset. Emily previously attended community college and she is looking forward to continuing to advance her career.  Welcome Emily!

Lindsey Humphrey

DEE welcomes Lindsey Humphrey to the team as our new Program Administrator for the Climate & Energy department. Lindsey previously worked with our office in 2019 as an intern while finishing her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science & Policy with a minor in Biology at Hood College.  She is excited to dive into her new role working with the Power Saver Retrofit program while also assisting with community wide climate and energy initiatives. Lindsey is currently taking classes to complete her master’s from Virginia Tech in Agriculture and Life Sciences.


Most recently, Lindsey worked for the USDA- Farm Service Agency assisting Frederick, Montgomery, and Howard County farmers with federal program funding. Lindsey and her husband Ben live with their two cats, Finnegan & Beau. Some of Lindsey’s favorite things include sunflowers, cacti, ice-cream cake, and spending time with her family, friends and cats!  Welcome back, Lindsey!

Logan McSherry

Logan McSherry recently joined our team as our new Climate and Energy Project Manager. An outdoor enthusiast, Logan has had a passion for environmental protection, natural resource conservation, and sustainable living.


Logan is a graduate of Salisbury University, where he majored in Earth Science and Geography with a concentration in Environmental Planning. 


Logan looks forward to combining his interests, education, and previous work experience to help the DEE team advance the County's climate and energy efforts. 


In his free time, Logan can be found hiking and playing sports like golf, tennis and pickleball. He also enjoys traveling and hopes to visit all 50 states. So far, he's checked 41 off that list!


Welcome to the team, Logan!

 Kristin Mielcarek 

Kristin Mielcarek joined DEE as our Grants Manager. Kristin comes to us with over 15 years of experience in overseeing grant funded environmental restoration work. As former Executive Director of Canaan Valley Institute, Kristin worked to improve water resources by helping communities identify their unique needs. Her professional experience highlights her passion for working with communities to ensure that everyone has access to clean water and healthy environments, now and for future generations.


Kristin enjoys traveling, boating, scuba diving and spending time with her husband, son and 3 dogs. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science where she majored in Ecology. 


Welcome to the DEE team, Kristin! 

EV Charging Infrastructure Community Input Session

Own an electric vehicle? Thinking about buying one? Join us for a virtual input session on Wednesday, November 9 at 6:30 PM to help evaluate priorities and opportunities for public and private investment in EV charging infrastructure in Frederick County.

 

As transportation options transition from reliance upon conventionally fueled vehicles to alternative fuel vehicles, it is important to anticipate and plan for the EV charging infrastructure needs and considerations of County residents, workforce members, and visitors. Frederick County, in partnership with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and consultant ICF, is developing an EV Readiness Plan as EV adoption increases and federal EV infrastructure funds become available. This project is a critical element of the Frederick County program to advance its Livable Frederick goals.


Questions? Contact Logan McSherry, Frederick County Division of Energy and Environment, by email.

 

Business Energy Saving Tune-Ups (BEST)

In May 2022, the County launched an incentive program for businesses that take steps toward energy efficiency. The Business Energy Saving Tune-Ups (BEST) program, in partnership with Potomac Edison’s Small Business Direct Install and Building Tune-Up Programs, offers grants to help Frederick County businesses offset the upfront costs for energy saving improvements. 


Up to $10,000 in grant funding is available to businesses that make energy efficient retrofits such as HVAC, lighting, and commercial refrigeration upgrades. Once installed, these energy efficiency measures lead to lower energy costs, helping businesses save money. Since its inception, 21 businesses haven take advantage of the program, saving a projected average of $2,300 annually on their electric bills. 


Participating projects must be in existing non-residential buildings and in Potomac Edison’s Maryland service territory. For more information, visit https://energysavemd-tuneup.com/ or contact Willdan at energysavemd@willdan.com / 800-880-3808.


Power Saver Retrofits Program

Green Business - Linganore Wine Cellars

Congratulations to Linganore Winecellars who received the Maryland Green Registry Sustainability Leadership Award from the Maryland Department of the Environment. This award is given to five member organizations for their strong commitment to sustainable practices. The environmental achievements of the family-operated vineyard  located on 230 acres near New Market, Maryland, include the installment of 724 solar panels that provide enough energy to power their entire operation, solar-connected EV charging stations and Tesla EV chargers, skylights in the processing room and switching to high efficiency LEDs throughout.  Linganore Winecellars also collects and reuses water in the bottling line, and reduced the weight of their wine bottles by 20% which lowered shipping impacts. Grape pulp from their processing is repurposed or composted, and  repurposed barn wood was used to build their tasting room. 

Septic System Pump-Out Rebate Program

Do you own a septic system? As a best management practice, it is recommended that homeowners inspect their system yearly, and pump out their system every five years. A well-maintained septic system is important for efficient operation and protects the ground water and drinking water supply.


The Septic System Pump-Out Rebate Program offers rebates in the amount of $75 to homeowners who pump-out their septic systems. Rebates are available on a first come first served basis due to funding availability.  


To apply, please visit our website for more information.  For information on septic systems and maintenance tips, download our tip sheet. 

Be a Power Saver and Renewable Star!

Taking proactive action to make your home more energy efficient is a great way to lower your utility bills, and it also helps our nation by reducing the amount of energy that needs to be produced. This can lead to fewer fossil fuel power plants, cleaner air, and lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The Green Homes Challenge "Power Saver" and "Renewable Star" Challenges are fun and easy ways to learn about all of the different actions you can take to make your home more energy efficient!


Our Certified Households will be celebrated at our annual recognition event in October 2022. There is still time to certify! Get started today by visiting FrederickGreenChallenge.org! 

 

Where We Will Be!

Team DEE will be participating in the 2022 "In the Streets" festival in downtown Frederick on September 10, 2022! In The Streets has been a Frederick tradition held along Market Street and Carroll Creek Urban Park for over thirty years.


The festival starts at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Our booth will be located in the "Going Green Block".  Stop by our booth and mention this article for a free giveaway item! 


Frederick County Government

Division of Energy and Environment

SustainableFrederickCounty.org


Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram