: News

MD Legislature Kicks The Bay Can Down the Road

Play associated audio
It wasn't a big year for environmental legislation in Annapolis.  Looming EPA rules may mean lawmakers will make up for lost time next year.
It wasn't a big year for environmental legislation in Annapolis. Looming EPA rules may mean lawmakers will make up for lost time next year.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Maryland's General Assembly adjourns it's session today. Despite the everpresent problems with the health of the Chesapeake Bay, it wasn't a big year for environmental legislation.

It's not as if legislators ignored the problem of the Bay this year - they adopted some regulations on rainwater runoff, and they offered up some grant money for farmers to be less polluting.

But environmentalists such as Brad Heavner with advocacy group Environment Maryland say legislators didn't address the bottom line.

"We need strict standards on pollution and other policy changes that will make sure that everyone is reducing their pollution. Right now we're not getting that," Heavner says.

That may change next year. The Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of setting strict limits on how much pollution states can let into the bay - they'll be finalized in December.

The EPA is also developing expensive consequences for states that don't meet them -- possibly withholding development permits or even federal funding.

Ann Swanson is Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

"It's very likely that Maryland along with the other states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed will face very large decisions in the near future as they try to implent nutrient and sediment reductions," she says.

So, for example, states will have to make investments - costly investments - in stormwater infrastructure upgrades.

Farmers will likely have to change their planting habits or find innovative uses for manure. And we may see fees or tax incentives to discourage paved surfaces that don't absorb rainwater.


'NeuroTribes' Examines The History — And Myths — Of The Autism Spectrum

Steve Silberman talks about how Nazi extermination plans and a discredited scientific paper about childhood vaccines shaped our current understanding of autism.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner (Rebroadcast)

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.


Hillary Clinton's Fight For Gefilte Fish

Among the thousands Hillary Clinton's emails released this week, there was a particularly fishy one.
WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: How To Build Smarter Transportation And More Livable Cities

A new report says traffic in the U.S. is worse than it's been in years. But some say there are reasons to be optimistic. For this month's Environmental Outlook: How revitalized urban centers and new modes of transportation are changing how we get around our cities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.