The Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) held a hearing on April 6 on emergency regulations that would enact the stormwater compromise agreement. At the conclusion of the three-hour hearing, the AELR Committee voted to adopt the regulations.
Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, MACo Associate Director Les Knapp, and a panel of county representatives from Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s Counties testified in support of the regulations, arguing that they did not alter the environmental requirements of the existing regulations, but rather provided a limited grandfathering process for projects “already in the pipeline” and needed clarification on the use of alternative measures and partial waivers.
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), the Maryland Municipal League, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 1000 Friends of Maryland, and various builders and developers also testified in support, with MDE Secretary Shari Wilson explaining the regulations.
Delegate Marvin Holmes, whose HB 1125 has been amended to reflect to the compromise agreement also supported the regulations. HB 1125 was set to be heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on Thursday but with the passage of the regulations, that hearing will likely be canceled.
Various environmental groups opposed the regulations.