Invest in YOUR Community

When rain falls on roads, roofs, and parking lots it can’t soak into the ground, so instead it washes off those “impervious surfaces” and carries with it all sorts of nasty pollution – oil, chemicals, trash, and sediment that end up in our streams and the Chesapeake Bay. This “stormwater runoff” is one ofthe largest sources of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, and the only source that is still growing.

So, Maryland LCV staff are working with Choose Clean Water and dozens of local groups across the state this summer to ensure the 9 largest Counties and Baltimore City pass and implement strong polices that generate the revenue they need manage the stormwater runoff that causes localized flooding, damages parks and other public spaces, and pollutes our rivers and streams. We are also going to help citizens reach legislators and let them know not to make any changes to this vital program. Questions? Email to get involved today.

What You Need to Know about Maryland’s Proposed 10 year Exemption for Agriculture

Maryland LCV joins a united group of 23 national, state and regional environmental organizations in opposing Maryland Senate Bill 1029, which would grant participating agricultural operations a 10-year exemption from new state and local rules to protect water quality. This bill could undermine efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways and create a misguided precedent for an industry that has existing problems with transparency, enforcement and verification. This legislation is being rushed and deserves further study.

Clean Water Healthy Families

The Bay, a national treasure and regional economic resource, suffers from severely degraded water quality. This campaign is designed build on last session’s successes and further Maryland’s waterways and the Chesapeake Bay itself down the path of steady improvements in water quality and quality of life for those who live, recreate, and work on and near the Chesapeake. The suite of policies we are pursuing will build on last session’s successes by improving the stormwater pollution regulation, ensuring that funding sources are protected and secured, that beneficial regulations on septic systems and manure spreading are enacted, and significantly reduce the number of disposable bags used and entering the waste and litter stream.

Marcellus Shale – Hydraulic Fracturing

Fracking is a dangerous drilling method used to extract natural gas from shale rock. Around the country, natural gas fracking has attracted widespread attention as surrounding communities have been subjected to drinking and ground water contamination, climate pollution, and land scarring. In Ohio, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, the injection of wastewater from the fracking process caused tremors and earthquakes. Due to the threat of these consequences in Maryland, it is imperative that the General Assembly place a moratorium on fracking until careful, independent analyses are completed to determine whether the risky drilling practice makes sense for Maryland.

This bill is being heard in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs committee on February 26th and we’d love your support! We’re gathering in Annapolis on Tuesday, February 26th at 11:30am on Lawyer’s Mall in front of the State house to show our support. If you are interested in attending, please email me at

Smart on Pesticides: Maryland- For Safe Water and Healthy Kids

Smart on Pesticides Maryland – Pesticides pose a serious risk to our health, to the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, and to homeland security – but Maryland lacks the information we need about some pesticide use and the sales of restricted use pesticides. We need pesticide applicators, as well as sellers of restricted use pesticides, to report the information they are already required to maintain so research scientists and environmental and public health experts will have data they can use to determine if and when pesticides are affecting our health, our waters, and homeland security. This legislation would create a simple and cost-neutral, centralized online pesticide reporting database paid for by a modest fee increase for chemical manufacturers.

Offshore Wind

Environmental Challenge

Offshore wind power could supply up to one third of the Mid-Atlantic’s electricity load with zero emissions, creating thousands of jobs while locking in stable rates. If Maryland does not develop offshore wind power, we will be sending our renewable dollars out-of-state to satisfy our renewable portfolio standard of 20 percent clean electricity by 2022.

Maryland can begin tapping the tremendous energy of the wind blowing off our Atlantic coast by adopting policies to incentivize construction of offshore wind farms. As with any large power plant, a wind farm requires significant up-front capital, and developers need “revenue certainty” for their project in order to obtain financing. Most of our energy decisions today are made with an emphasis on a short- term outlook and limited priorities. This kind of thinking has led to choosing heavily subsidized and dirty fossil fuels. In fact, Maryland currently gets over half its electricity from dirty coal plants. When we look at the cost over a long-term period- and when our priorities include price stability, new jobs, and environmental and public health benefits – offshore wind power is a clear choice for Maryland.

Bill Framework

The 2013 offshore wind bill will establish a “carve-out” for offshore wind energy in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Maryland already has a solar carve-out in the RPS, which created solar renewable energy credits or SRECs. Similarly, the offshore carve-out would create offshore wind renewable energy credits or ORECs. Maryland’s electricity suppliers would be required to accumulate a certain amount of ORECs over time. The state’s Public Service Commission will oversee a process by which offshore wind developers will compete to provide ORECs. The winning bids will be determined by a set of legislated criteria including lowest price, long-term price stability, environmental and public health benefits, in-state jobs, and other factors

This legislation will:

  • Put Maryland businesses at the forefront of a new American industry – a moderate-sized offshore wind park would create over a thousand jobs
  • Provide zero-emission power for the state and reduce health-hazardous and heat-trapping pollution from fossil fuels
  • Lock in stable electricity rates for 20+ years as the fuel (wind) is free

For more information, please contact:

Tom Carlson, Chesapeake Climate Action Network: or 240-396-2035 or Christine Hill, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter: or 301-277-7111