The environmental issue with the health of the Chesapeake Bay is a complex one. Just understanding what's going from a science point of view is beyond our current capability. In any system as large and complex as the Bay you are only making educated guesses on what to do. Clearly you can't make controlled experiments, at least of the size needed to influence much change. Every improvement helps and Maryland's Dept. of Environment has had some successes. But so much is completely out of man's control. That combined with the political reality of multiple state drainage into the bay defies a significant improvement. Maryland has done a lot with it's regulations, all expensive to both businesses and citizens, i.e. poultry farming practices to the "flush tax" on septic systems. Unfortunately, a very significant part of the environmental damage flows in from out of state. While the federal government could help by forcing other states in the watershed to do more, it's largely just had delay after delay of inaction. Like with all complex issues there is no clear answer and the opponents of any restrictions seize on the opportunity to interject their political views.
The sediment trapped behind the Conowingo Dam Hydroelectric Plant is a big problem. Federal approval and likely funding will be required for any fix. Eventually nature will have a fix, a failure of the power plant when there is too much sediment for the generators to function. An out and out failure of the dam structure would be devastating. It's largely a problem of where the money will come from to dredge and store the sediment. Like many of our nation's infrastructure problems it's cheaper now that it will be in the future. But we still kick the can down the road.
My Maryland county, Carroll County, required residential sprinkler systems in all new construction a few years ago. Even on homes with wells. A very hotly debated topic at the time. It came down to cost. It was judged to be less government cost to require sprinklers. All of the county is serviced by volunteer fire companies. Getting people to volunteer and even fund raise is difficult. So, long term the fire companies will need to become government provided, this will be very, very expensive compared to the existing volunteer fire companies. Sprinkler systems do greatly reduce the size of a fire. When the fire company does arrive it has a smaller fire to deal with. Proven fact. Therefore, the requirement for sprinklers was a way on putting the cost on the new home buyers, those who are increasing the demand for fire services. Some of the justification was the fact that their fire insurance premium would be less with a sprinkler system.