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Smart Growth and Smart Sites Are Smart for Baltimore - First City, State, Federal Partnership Agreement Signed Pledging Support for Smart Urban Growth

Release Date: 9/25/2002
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today joined with other federal agencies to support the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore in smart growth efforts. This is the first such agreement in the mid-Atlantic region that specifically promotes urban development.

EPA and nine other federal agencies are members of the Mid-Atlantic Federal Partners for the Environment (MAFPE). They have signed an agreement with the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore focused on smart growth and sustainable development while addressing growth and redevelopment in the city.

“Maryland is a national leader in smart growth. Baltimore’s redevelopment strategy is a shining example of how smart growth can help create healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. EPA, and its federal partners, are enthusiastic about working together in Baltimore to revitalize the urban community,” said Donald S. Welsh, U.S. EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

The ceremony at Baltimore’s waterfront brings federal partners’ support to Baltimore’s smart growth efforts and its Smart Sites project in particular.

Mayor Martin O’Malley commented.,“Baltimore is again at the forefront of urban redevelopment, as the first city to receive the support of ten federal agencies and the State of Maryland, who are joining together in the MAFPE agreement. Our Digital Harbor campaign to re-position the City’s economy for future growth now has a powerful ally, supporter, and potential source of funds through this unique and forward-looking partnership.”

Signers of the agreement include EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh, Baltimore’s Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs Jeanne Hitchcock, Jessica Kogan from the Governor’s Office on Smart Growth, Deputy Secretary Maryland Department of the Environment Merrylin Zaw-Mon, and from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources Lauren Wenzel.

The other federal partners who participated in the ceremony are Colonel Charles J. Fiala, Jr. (Baltimore District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Laura E. Joss (Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine), Kathryn Maloney (U.S. Forest Service), Harold Young (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), David Russ (U.S. Geological Survey), Mike Nedd (U.S. Bureau of Land Management), Paul Raetsch (Economic Development Agency), Richard Swenson (Natural Resources Conservation Service), and John Wolflin (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

To advance the goals of the agreement, Welsh also presented a grant of $45,000 to the Baltimore Development Corporation to identify high priority brownfields. These are sites that have the potential, if redeveloped, to generate both environmental and economic benefit are considered to be Smart Sites.

Baltimore has a successful brownfields program, operated through the Baltimore Development Corporation, which has been nationally recognized.

Promotion of brownfields development encourages land recycling, while reducing development pressures. This helps protect air and water quality by reducing the amount of vehicle-miles traveled and the amount of land paved over by greenfield development. The Smart Sites approach includes a website to publicize financial incentives for developing brownfields and serves a model for other communities on how to inventory, manage, and promote the reuse of brownfield sites. For more information visit

Smart Sites is one of the city’s top smart growth goals. Other goals in which this partnership can make progress together include redeveloping of Baltimore’s waterfront,
enhancing city and infrastructure, redeveloping brownfields, advancing technology education
to meet the needs of new high tech companies, and redevelopment with a green design.