Since November, Baltimore County has been convening a Solid Waste Work Group has been meeting to review how trash is managed in the county and make recommendations for improvements. Their final meeting is this Thursday, March 4, and the County's consultant, GBB (a company selected by the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority), will be presenting 18 Proposed Tactical Plan Strategies, followed by a public hearing.
Great news! On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council finally passed ZTA 20-01, the long-debated zoning amendment to open the Agricultural Reserve to non-accessory solar. Critically, six Council members - Craig Rice, Andrew Friedson, Gabe Albornoz, Nancy Navarro, Sidney Katz, and Will Jawando - stood firm in favor of amendments supported by agricultural, environmental, and food security stakeholders to protect the Ag Reserve's highest-quality soils that are actually farmed and the legal structure that protects it as a whole.
Tonight, the Howard County Council is holding a hearing on Council Bill 13-2021, to eliminate a range of single-use plastic food products. Here's our testimony on why that's a great idea.
February 15, 2021
Dear Howard County County Council,
Today, the House Economic Matters Committee is holding a hearing on HB0332, legislation to reform Maryland's Renewable Portfolio Standard - a program intended when it was created in 2004 to promote new wind and solar development.
Today, the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on SB0412; last week, the House Economic Matters Committee held a hearing on its parallel bill, HB0084. These bills would establish a consumer's Right to Repair products they buy, from cell phones to tractors. Here is the testimony we submitted on behalf of 22 organizations.
SB0412: Consumer Protection: Right to Repair
Senate Finance Committee
62 environmental, land preservation, food security, and agricultural groups - alongside 137 individuals - have signed on to this letter demanding that the Montgomery County Council amend ZTA 20-01 to make solar power a Conditional Use in the Agricultural Reserve. Here's why.
MAINTAIN AGRICULTURE AS THE PRIMARY USE OF LAND IN THE AGRICULTURAL RESERVE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Maryland’s legislative session ended early for the first time since the Civil War this year, because of COVID-19. This meant that the only piece of legislation we were working on that passed was the ban on chlorpyrifos. Governor Hogan vetoed the chlorpyrifos ban, opting for regulations instead. Regulations can be undone with the stroke of a single pen, which is why Clean Water likes strong legislative language!
On December 1, the Montgomery County Council held a hearing on Zoning Text Amendment 20-04, a bill to increase the amount of organic waste that farms can bring in from off-site for composting or mulching. While this is a small piece of the zero waste puzzle, measures like this across Maryland will help keep organic waste out of landfills and incinerators, sequester carbon and build healthy soils, and even help support Maryland's agricultural economy.
Update: both Bill 32-20 and 33-20 have passed and been signed into law! For more about our work to move Maryland beyond incineration and toward zero waste, click here.
Here is our testimony in support of Montgomery County Council Bills 32-20 and 33-20, to ban unrecyclable plastics in Montgomery County:
Ballots are arriving in mailboxes across Baltimore City as we speak, and as a country we face enormous challenges and choices between now and the November elections. But whatever happens at the federal level, Baltimore will be more equipped to face it with leadership in City Hall that prioritizes protecting public health, dismantling inequitable city policy, working closely with constituents, and building community power. That's why Clean Water Action proudly endorses Franca Muller Paz for Baltimore City Council District 12.