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Spotlight on MDOT Environmental Programs

MDOT's 2018 Environmental Excellence Awards

On May 7, 2018, the 4th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony recognized noteworthy teams and individuals for outstanding achievement in Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) environmental projects. The MDOT Secretary presented three awards: Environmental Quality, Sustainability, and Environmental Hero. See further details regarding the winning projects below.


Environmental Quality Award:  MDOT SHA and MDOT MVA Broad Creek Stream Restoration

Pre-Restoration Conditions (Summer 2015)


Restored Conditions

The Broad Creek Stream Restoration project was a unique collaboration between MDOT SHA, MDOT MVA, the South River Federation, Century Engineering, and Diversified Site Works, LLC. The project was designed and built to offset the impacts of impervious surfaces in the watershed through restoration of three outfalls and 2,800 linear feet of stream channels.  The project created a stream and wetland complex that promotes frequent inundation of the newly created floodplain. The frequent interaction of stream flow with the floodplain and wetland areas is an innovative approach that successfully reduces discharges of sediment and nutrients to Broad Creek and the Chesapeake Bay by reducing on-site erosion and encouraging settling of upstream pollutants within the wetlands and floodplain. The most exceptional feature of the Broad Creek Stream Restoration project is the transformation of the project site from a severely degraded source of pollution to a functioning natural complex within an urban setting. Better resiliency is provided against watershed disturbances and potential impacts of climate change through this approach.


Sustainability Award:  MDOT MPA Innovative and Beneficial Reuse of Dredged Material


MDOT MPA Youtube Video above

Deep draft, ocean-going vessels that call the Port of Baltimore are dependent on navigational channels which allow access to the marine terminals. Regular dredging of the channels is required to maintain safe passage and MDOT MPA is responsible for the containment of the dredged material.  Finding adequate placement sites is a significant challenge given there are few large tracts of land available.  MDOT MPA has worked to find ways to recycle/reuse a significant percentage of the material annually dredged from Baltimore Harbor channels by developing an Innovative Reuse & Beneficial Use Strategy with a long-term goal to recycle 500,000 cubic yards per year.  The effort included the formation of an inter-agency Innovative and Beneficial Use Regulatory Workgroup with a mission to establish a clear, predictable, regulatory process that facilitates opportunities for innovative and beneficial reuse of dredged material in Maryland while protecting the environment and public health.  Certain uses of this material can be fully protective of public health and the environment, as well as being economically beneficial.  End uses of dredged material include: fill or brownfield redevelopment, construction and roadways, landfill daily cover, aquatic habitat restoration and creation, and manufactured topsoil.  Finding ways to recycle a significant percentage of material annually dredged from Baltimore's Harbor saves capacity from existing dredged material containment facilities and promotes long-term viability of the Port of Baltimore.


Environmental Hero Award:  Barbara McMahon, Manager of Safety, Environment and Risk Management (SERM) - MDOT MPA


MPA Environmental Team (Barbara McMahon, bottom left) 

Barbara joined MDOT MPA in 1994 from the steel industry where she was one of the few women with a safety engineering background.  Barbara has not only led the design and implementation of SERM’s cutting edge environmental programs, she has set the standard as a guiding force throughout the entire organization.  Barbara's leadership at SERM has resulted in many environmental achievements at MDOT MPA such as: implementation of an Environmental Management System, which led to the first Maryland State Agency to receive ISO 14001 certification, reduction in air emissions from port-related activities, increased recycling rates, improved water quality via proactive identification and implementation of innovative stormwater management technologies, application of compliance planning principles, and engaging with tenants to provide regulatory guidance and promote green practices.  Barbara's work in establishing trusted relationships with national, regional, and local environmental non-governmental organizations, public heath organizations and civic associations has raised awareness of MDOT MPA's excellent environmental management practices.  These efforts have made her a valuable and respected voice within the American Association of Port Authority's Environmental Committee. Barbara displays exemplary leadership, vision, creativity and motivation, advancing MDOT MPA's growing commitment to environmental stewardship.

Honorable Mention: Environmental Excellence Awards nominees

  • MDOT MPA Tree Reforestation Project at Hawkins Point and Masonville Cove
  • MDOT MPA  Dundalk Terminal - Lot 304 Drainage Improvements Project
  • MDOT OMBE and OTTS Electronic Online Application
  • MDTA JFK1/OEC TMDL Collaborative Tree Planting
  • MDOT SHA Environmental Compliance MD 404
  • MDTA Facility Environmental Coordinators

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  

See below for links to archived What's New articles:

Energy Efficiency Tips

Winter Operations Across MDOT

Recycling and What You Can Do