Watershed Protection and Restoration Act (HB 1064):
Stormwater runoff is the only major source of Chesapeake Bay pollution that is still increasing every year. Clean Water Action, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Riverkeeper Alliance, the Sierra Club and others pushed hard for this bill, which would have required each local government to have a stormwater management fund just as Montgomery County, Rockville and Takoma Park have. Unfortunately, the bill was not voted upon this year because of a desire to roll stormwater into a summer study of a related issue, septic systems, which the Governor had unsuccessfully chosen as an environmental priority this year. But grassroots support will get this bill passed in the future. In February, the Montgomery Stormwater Partners hosted the Community Clean Water Summit at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Seeing over two hundred clean water activists there strengthened my resolve to come back next year and pass strong legislation to address stormwater pollution.
Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act of 2011 (HB 1034):
This session, I was the lead cosponsor of Delegate Al Carr’s HB 1034, The Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act of 2011. Emulating DC’s successful bag fee program, this bill was written to significantly reduce the number of plastic bags in our rivers, streams, and the Bay. After the District of Columbia instituted its program, there was an 86% reduction in the number of plastic bags used. If instituted here in Maryland, it would have an even more positive impact on the health of streams and our Bay.
Electricity – Electric Vehicle Charging Program (HB 1044):
I worked with Silver Spring’s environmental activist Charlie Garlow to introduce HB 1044 to require each utility company to participate in an electric car recharging program. I also cosponsored the Governor’s similar but weaker bill, HB 164, which passed and requires the Public Service Commission to establish a pilot program for charging electric vehicles by June 30, 2013. In future legislative sessions, environmental advocates will push to accelerate the initial progress created by HB 164.