2023 Legislative Priorities

Maryland LCV remains committed to leading Maryland towards a future powered by 100% clean energy by 2035.

Our 2024 priorities include advances in solar across the state, environmental justice, and sustainable land and water conservation. These initiatives are integral to our work of advocating for clean water, healthy air, and climate-resilient communities for everyone in Maryland.

Download our 2024 Priorities sheet

Solar Incentives

(Senate Bill 783) Maryland’s commitment to achieving 100% clean energy by 2035 calls for an accelerated and strategic focus on solar energy. The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard supports Maryland reaching 50% renewable energy by 2030, including 14.% from solar. We are behind in meeting these targets, so this year’s legislation is designed to tackle the challenges in solar deployment by enhancing incentives.

  • Enhancing incentives for solar energy projects to encourage development across diverse settings and in the residential, community, and utility-scale sectors
  • Reducing farmland pressure by incentivizing preferred solar sites like brownfields and
    parking lots

MDE Permitting Authority

(House Bill 24 / Senate Bill 96) New legislation takes a targeted approach to embedding equity in the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)’s the permitting process, building on the 2022 Climate Solutions Now Act’s definitions of overburdened and underserved communities and the MDE Environmental Justice Screen mapping tool. Current laws and permitting practices for polluting industries are insufficient in preventing new pollution or addressing the state’s history of structural racism in pollution distribution. Maryland LCV is looking closely at this bill to expand the list of permits an environmental justice analysis would apply to, to include air pollution permits.

  • Enhancing Maryland’s permitting infrastructure to prevent and reverse inequitable pollution distribution.
  • Empowering MDE to use existing tools to make informed permitting decisions.

Whole Watershed Approach

(House Bill 1165 / Senate Bill 969) The Whole Watershed Act is set to transform Maryland’s strategy for watershed restoration through a coordinated, science-based strategy for water quality improvement. This pilot program will reverse course on less effective piecemeal efforts, using a focused remediation program, similar to the one that found success in Pennsylvania. This method will emphasize shallow waters, habitats, and efforts that provide co-benefits for people.

  • Coordinating efforts in up to five Maryland watersheds, employing a unified and science-driven approach to their restoration and protection.
  • Addressing diverse geographies, urbanization, and agriculture in managing non- point source stormwater more effectively and prioritizing Environmental Justice (EJ) communities.
  • Assessing whether focused efforts in specific watersheds can significantly enhance restoration success and water quality improvements.

Key Issues

EmPOWER Reform

Setting explicit GHG reduction goals, enabling fuel switching, and ensuring EmPOWER delivers long-term, sustainable benefits.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Reforming the RPS to remove municipal solid waste, allowing the state to invest in truly renewable energy.

Vehicle Miles Traveled

Promoting policies that reduce the amount of vehicle miles traveled in Maryland in support of emissions reductions goals.