Maryland Governor Signs Slate of Environment Laws

Maryland Governor Signs Slate of Environment Laws

Governor Martin O'Malley this week signed 173 bills into law, including key environmental legislation to reduce automobile emissions and oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay.

"Very early on in the campaign last summer, we came together to announce an Environmental Bill of Rights for the people of our state =- understanding that we must do all that we can to preserve our natural resources," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "I am proud that working together this session we were able to pass legislation to make Maryland a national leader in protecting the environment."

Among the key environmental initiatives signed into law this week are:
  • Maryland Clean Cars Act: Implements stronger emissions regulations for cars sold and registered in Maryland, and creates a Clean Car and Energy Policy Task Force.

  • Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration: Establishes an Oyster Advisory Commission in the Department of Natural Resources and allows for the leasing of parcels of underwater land to restore vulnerable oyster populations.

  • Maryland Green Building Council: Establishes the Maryland Green Building Council, which will advise the Governor and General Assembly on how they can best use green building technologies in future state construction projects.

  • Diamondback Terrapin Take and Possession: Prohibits the commercial harvest of diamondback terrapins, and limits the recreational harvest to 3 per person.

  • Stormwater Management Act of 2007: Requires the Department of the Environment to adopt new regulations and a model ordinance to manage stormwater runoff.
In addition, last week, Governor O’Malley brought Maryland into line with ten neighboring states by joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The Governor also signed an Executive Order that establishes a Climate Change Commission charged with developing an action plan to address climate change in Maryland and rising sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay.