This week on the Environment

Some good news, some bad news, still time to make phone calls:

Bad news: 100% renewable energy bill died in committee
50% renewable about to die in the senate : call Reilly so he knows we are not pleased!
carbon pricing bill died in committee
Potomac pipeline was approved by Hogan
Good news: All 6 Democratic gubernatorial candidates support clean energy – Hogan does not! Soon we will focus on candidates!
The DNR will not sell the fairgrounds to the county. Schuh had hoped to buy the fair grounds but many local groups were worried he will sell the grounds to the owners of the Bayhawks whose proposal for a stadium, retail space, a hotel and more caused alarm.  Phew!
And now for some action!
1.)Still time for phone calls:  see below
 2).Still time to join We Are Cove Point every week outside governors mansion (go to wearecovepoint.com for details). Still time to protest dirty energy infrastructure all over this state and call out Governor Hogan for being duplicitous about his ban on fracking while he supports dirty pipelines and terminals.
 3). Big Upcoming Environment Event:  Let’s get out to this event in Baltimore. Please advertise widely to all your environmental friends! This is an effort by the League or Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Maryland Matters. I told these great folks we’d get the word out.
 
 
WE should be turning people out for the environment/climate-focused forum on April 19 in Baltimore.  (As of now we are supporting, not “co-sponsoring.”)  For obvious reasons, it’s hugely important that there be a big turnout for this event.  To that end, please:
 
 
Other Environment Bill crossing over or dead.  Keep up calls on FCA, Fix it, Fund it, Complete Streets,
 

An important date is coming up this Monday in Maryland’s legislative session: crossover! At crossover, bills have to pass through one of the chambers and make it over to the other chamber. Bills that have not made it through one chamber by Monday will be effectively done for this year (of course, there are always exceptions to the rule).

Here is the status of our priority bills:

Forest Conservation Act: Maryland is losing forest and HB766/SB610 will stem this tide. The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs voted a compromise bill out – it’s now on the Senate Floor and will be voted on Monday! The House Environment and Transportation Committee has not brought the House version to a vote.  Tell our representatives you want more trees, please!

Fix it, Fund it: This bill would create long-term and dedicated funding to the DC metropolitan-area Metro transit system and increase funding for MTA’s capital and operating budgets. The House version (HB372) has crossed over into the Senate!

Community Healthy Air Act: This bill would have created a study of air quality around large chicken houses, but the bill will not be voted out of committee in either the House or Senate. Boo Hiss!!

Septic System Pollution: HB1765, a bill that incentivizes local jurisdictions to create Septic Stewardship Plans, to better manage their septic systems and related nitrogen and bacteria pollution. This bill will reach the House floor for its vote today!

Complete Streets: There are two Complete Street bills getting ready to crossover. SB407 creates a program to help local jurisdictions create and implement Complete Streets programs that include green stormwater infrastructure and is currently on the Senate floor. HB744 applies Complete Streets on Maryland Department of Transportation agencies and also includes green stormwater infrastructure. The House Environment and Transportation Committee voted favorably on HB744 and the bill will be introduced on the House floor.

a prohibition on the use of chlorpyrifos, SB500, failed on the Senate floor this year. The Senate will now consider legislation to study this pesticide that the EPA had been in the process of banning for agricultural use.

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