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Maryland's New Environmental Laws

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

Maryland's General Assembly wraps up its 2010 session Monday. Lawmakers this session have considered some important pieces of legislation affecting the Chesapeake Bay.

One of the major things to come out of this session was money: $22.5 million for the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund. The money will fund grants to prevent pollution from runoff to, for example, help farmers grow cover crops that will keep nutrients and soil from washing into rivers.

"This money is really important to reduce a really difficult type of pollution in the Bay, so that was fabulous," says Kim Coble, Maryland director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

One of the more controversial pieces of regulation this year deals with storm water runoff. Developers will be required to severely limit how much rainwater runs off from new projects.

Some environmental groups are upset that the rules won't apply to projects currently in the works. Overall though, it's been a light legislative session as far as the Bay goes, mostly due to budget problems.

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