MDE Resumes Air Pollution Cumulative Impact Workgroup

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has reactivated a stakeholders workgroup charged with making recommendations on how to address the cumulative pollution impacts caused by concentrating structures requiring an MDE air permit.  The workgroup was formed in response to legislation introduced in the General Assembly during the 2014 and 2015 legislative sessions that sought to address cumulative impact concerns.

The workgroup will consider how to identify “at risk” neighborhoods, what types of facilities should be considered under the scope of a cumulative impact law, and what additional actions or requirements such facilities will face when seeking to locate in an at risk area. MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp and Jim Hubbard from the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment are workgroup members but any interested county official can attend meetings.

The full workgroup has not met and a schedule of planned workgroup meetings is not yet available. A portion of workgroup members met on June 16 for a pre-meeting to consider what facilities should be subject to a cumulative impact requirement (MDE currently regulates 60 sources of air pollution).  Additional pre-meetings with other workgroup members are also planned to consider how to identify at risk areas and what requirements or prohibitions a new facility that generates air pollution would face if locating in an at risk area.  The full workgroup will review the initial work of pre-meeting participants and accept or reject their work as a starting point for discussion.

For additional information please contact Les Knapp at 410.269.0043 or lknapp@mdcounties.org.

Prior MACo Coverage of Cumulative Impact Workgroup

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