There are so many issues that affect Maryland’s environment, including the harmful effects of climate change, the challenges of single-use plastics, and the health of our precious waterways.
Maryland has made significant progress in reducing global warming pollution. But we can do much more. We need to transform how we produce and consume energy. I will support and expand programs that promote the use of clean energy sources, while also supporting programs that use energy more efficiently.
The Chesapeake Bay is one of Maryland’s most precious natural resources. And it is of significant importance to District 16, as the Potomac River is a major tributary of the Bay and supplies much of our drinking water. From the protection of oyster sanctuaries to targeting harmful human-made products that pollute our waterways to ensuring that federal programs like the Clean Water Act are fully funded and enforceable, I am committed to ensuring the health of our water.
I serve on the Environment and Transportation Committee. Every day we work to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, our families' health, and the places we love.
* Passed HB 507/SB 119, the Clean Water Commerce Act of 2021. This bill reauthorizes the Clean Water Commerce Act and allows the use of funds from the Bay Restoration Fund to further our efforts to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
* Passed my bill, HB 76/SB 334, to ensure that Maryland follows the federal Clean Water Act and allows citizens to intervene in State Clean Water Act enforcement actions.
* Addressed trees! Not only are they beautiful to look at, trees are also one of the best tools to combat climate change because they naturally capture carbon and are effective at reducing stormwater runoff. HB 991, the Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021, establishes a statewide goal of planting 5,000,000 trees, including at least 500,000 in underserved areas; requires a technical study of the forests in Maryland; and addresses forest mitigation banking under the Forest Conservation Act.
* Updated our outdated stormwater management data. Due to climate change, storms have become more frequent and more intense, yet the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is using rainfall data from the 1990s in our stormwater regulations. As a result, our infrastructure cannot handle the increased rainfall and we have massive flooding. I was proud to sponsor HB 295/SB 227 requiring MDE to use updated rainfall data for stormwater regulations.
* Instituted a composting program through HB 264. This bill requires facilities that have over two tons of food residuals each week and are within 30 miles of an organics recycling facility to separate their food residuals and ensure that they are diverted from the waste system by either donating serviceable foods, composting onsite, or sending them off-site for composting.
* Continued to encourage the use of electric vehicles through a number of bills. HB 44 extends the electric vehicle recharging rebate program. HB 110 establishes standards relating to the use and installation of electric vehicle charging stations in condominiums and homeowner associations. HB 784 requires builders of new housing units to provide owners the option of installing electric car charging units or a dedicated line for such a unit. SB137 requires the Maryland Transit Administration to purchase more zero-emission buses and to submit a report regarding transitioning its bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles.
* Began to address Environmental Justice in Maryland by passing HB 1207/SB 674 to reform and revitalize the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities. Among other duties, the Commission will: use data sets and mapping tools to review and analyze the impact of current State and local laws, permits, actions, and policies on the issue of environmental justice and sustainable communities, including cumulative impacts effects, and exposure; and recommend options to the General Assembly to address the issues raised by the Commission’s work.
* Created a pilot program in Montgomery County, the Community Choice Aggregation Pilot Program, which will allow Montgomery County to aggregate electricity loads of residents, small businesses, and government, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing prices, or both. (HB 768)
And there is much more to do! We did not pass legislation addressing single-use plastics.
Both the plastic bag ban (HB 314/SB 223 ) and my recycling task force bill (HB 807) got stuck in the Senate, and my single use plastic bill (HB 69) did not make it out of committee in the House. Nor were we able to pass the Climate Solutions Now Act (HB 583/SB 414), a comprehensive environmental bill.
"With our current President supporting rollbacks of clean water and air regulations, and denying climate change, it is important for Maryland’s legislature to stand strong for these protections. We appreciate your support more than ever....We need you in the legislature!"
- Sierra Club, Maryland Chapter
Maryland League of Conservation Voters is a leading legislative watchdog in Annapolis that uses political action and education to protect our air, land and water. As a state-wide, nonpartisan organization, Maryland LCV endorses and elects pro-conservation candidates.