After decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.

Maryland Clean Water Legislation Awaits Committee Votes

(Posted by Gerald Winegrad)

Maryland’s 2012 General Assembly Session is now more than halfway over, and while elected officials are currently focused on the state’s budget, several pieces of important Chesapeake Bay legislation that would help clean up our waters await committee votes.

Today the Executive Council of the Senior Scientists and Policymakers for the Bay delivered this letter to key legislators in support of the following legislation that is in line with our 25-step “action plan,”  specifically with respect to science-based recommendations to control agricultural pollution, foster clean development, upgrade septic systems, and improve wastewater treatment plants:

  • Reduce pollution from the spreading of animal waste on farm fields (Senate Bill 594)–See my recent Baltimore Sun op-ed and Will Morrow’s letter to the editor on the need for this legislation.
  • Finish upgrading the wastewater treatment plants that Maryland has already committed to upgrade with enhanced revenues from the Bay Restoration Fund (Senate Bill 240 / House Bill 446)
  • Ensure that local governments have resources to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and that they implement their local clean water plans (Senate Bill 614 / House Bill 987)
  • Reduce pollution from poorly planned development by limiting new septic systems (Senate Bill 236 / House Bill 445)
  • Require that all wastewater discharges, including septic systems, are treated at the level of best available technology to protect public health and ensure clean water (Through Amendments to Senate Bill 236 / House Bill 445 or by Regulation)

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