Cardin Chesapeake Bay Bill Amended in Senate Committee

Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin’s Chesapeake Bay legislation, S. 1816, which includes a funding component for local government stormwater renovation projects, was approved in Senate committee after it was amended to remove provisions codifying the total maximum daily load targets and address concerns from the agricultural community.  From a June 30 Baltimore Sun article:

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin’s proposal to strengthen cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay won the approval Wednesday of the Senate Environment Committee after the Maryland Democrat made concessions to Republican opponents.

Cardin agreed to drop a long-sought goal of environmentalists: writing into law a baywide pollution limit. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce a specific target — which it calls a “pollution diet” for the bay — later this year.

And to address concerns of agricultural interests, the revised proposal would not allow the federal government to impose new restrictions on farmers if the EPA is forced to step in and assume responsibility for a state program that fails to meet its cleanup target.

Despite the latest action, the bill faces long odds. A companion measure, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore, has yet to advance in the House, and the Senate calendar is crowded with must-pass measures in an election-shortened year.

June 30 Carroll County Times Article (AP)

June 30 Conduit Street Post (additional background)

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