Recent Environmental Legislation from Maryland

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The Baltimore Sun’s environmental blog, B’More Green, has two stories this week on recent and proposed legislation in Maryland.

The first deals with the development of wind farms across Maryland and the Chesapeake region: House OKs energy project on preserved farmlands.

The second is an attempt by Maryland senators to stall regulation limiting phosphorus, a pollutant for the Bay: Senators seek to stall pollution regulations.

The senators claim they’re protecting state farmers in delaying regulation. Maryland, and the Eastern Shore in particular, is home to many poultry farms, which contribute a significant amount of phosphorus to the Chesapeake Bay. Limits on phosphorus were proposed in 2011; implementation has been delayed to the current day.

The B’More Green article reminded me of a piece I heard on NPR earlier this year on the links between agriculture, phosphorus and pollution. The piece outlines the economic consequences of implementing limits on phosphorus: the impacts on Maryland farmers, and on consumers as well. But it also highlights how the continuation of large-scale agricultural activities in the region can pose a serious risk to water quality.

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