This is a cross-post from the Anacostia Watershed Society’s website about the stormwater showdown happening right now in Annapolis. I blogged about the lousy compromise the Maryland House passed. It’s up to the Senate to say no and ensure Maryland Dept of Environment enforces the existing law.
This past Friday, March 26, 127 Maryland state delegates took a vote that is bad for the Anacostia and bad for the Bay when they passed the Holmes bill, HB1125. In the rush to get the bill to pass the House of Delegates, the potential impact on clean water was greatly understated. AWS is working with a number of partners to counter the misinformation so that the Senate does not make the same mistake as the House. The bottom line is that the bill undermines key protections for our waterways and therefore should not be passed.
Please, if you live in Maryland the time to speak out for the Anacostia is now. Please take a moment to send an email to your Senator, and copy the chair of the Senate environment committee, Joan Carter Conway, and the Senate President Mike Miller.
There are four Senators on the Senate environment committee that represent Anacostia districts. Each of them have been strong advocates for clean water, but the pressure to let the bill will be intense. If someone else is your Senator, write these four and tell them that you stand with them as a citizen of the Anacostia and an advocate for clean water. We need to make it clear that there is a large constituency for clean water in Maryland! If someone else is your Senator, write these four as a citizen of the Anacostia and ask them to stand up for our river.
Senator Mike Lenett, District 19 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senator James Rosapepe, District 21 (email@example.com)
Senator Paul Pinsky, District 22 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senator David Harrington, District 47 (email@example.com)
Also CC: these Senate leaders to make clear to them that there is widespread opposition to HB1125.
Senator Joan Carter Conway of Baltimore city, Senate Environment chair (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senate President Mike Miller (email@example.com)
Key points to make in your letter:
The standards proposed under the 2007 Act are fair and the existing regulations provide developers with adequate guidance. There is no need to make concessions.
We have asked many sectors of the economy to pitch in for clean water – industry, agriculture, and wastewater treatment. It is the developers’ turn to do their part. If they continue building without adequate controls taxpayers will continue to bear the burden of damaged infrastructure, polluted waterways, and reduced fishing and tourism.
The 2007 Stormwater Management Act was passed with broad support in the General Assembly and among the development community. For three years the developers have known what is coming, so crying that the sky is falling at the eleventh hour is disingenuous at best. What has changed in the past three years that the House of Delegates would reverse itself so completely? The development community is facing hard times because of the larger economic conditions, not because of stormwater standards.
The best time to get a handle on polluted runoff was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. If not now, when?