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Showing 26 results

Katlyn Schmitt | March 1, 2021

Achieving Meaningful Accountability for Polluters in Maryland

Businesses that violate environmental laws and permits damage our air, land, and water, sometimes irreparably. Yet too often, these polluters aren't held accountable for harming the environment and public health. In Maryland, state officials don't respond to all violations, and, when they do, they aren't always successful. Even when they are successful, fines and other penalties don't necessarily result in behavior change. As a result, Maryland polluters are largely off the hook for the "externalities" of doing business.

David Flores, Katlyn Schmitt | February 16, 2021

Maryland Should Prevent Flood Loss on Public and Private Land

When it comes to addressing climate-related flooding, Maryland has made progress. However, its actions to this point don't come close to addressing the impact of flooding — in part because nearly all of the state's coastal land is private and exempt from "coast smart" regulations. Without proactive rules in place to prevent the harms of new development, the state will continue to dole out taxpayer dollars related to emergency response and recovery, and business owners and homeowners will continue to bear the brunt of the damage. Thankfully, there are solutions.

David Flores, Katlyn Schmitt | February 15, 2021

It’s Time to Update Maryland’s Outdated Water Pollution Laws

As a coastal state, Maryland is especially vulnerable to climate and ocean change — but important environmental protections are woefully out of date, endangering Marylanders' health, safety, economic welfare, and natural resources. Maryland could take a step to rectify that this year. State lawmakers are advancing important legislation that would bring outdated water pollution rules up to speed and protect Marylanders and the environment.

Katlyn Schmitt | February 4, 2021

Old Dominion Weighs Bills to Curb Climate Change, Protect Health and Environment

Virginia's General Assembly is more than halfway through its legislative session -- and state lawmakers are considering several important bills that would address environmental justice, pipelines, climate change, and public health. If passed, these bills will establish lasting environmental, health, and climate change protections for Virginia and its communities.

Katie Tracy, Katlyn Schmitt | January 27, 2021

Maryland Weighs Legislation to Protect Food and Farm Workers Amid Pandemic

The Maryland General Assembly is kicking into full gear -- and we at the Center for Progressive Reform are tracking bills that would protect the health and safety of Maryland workers in the food and farm sectors. These protections are urgently needed to protect these workers from COVID-19 infections and keep the public healthy and safe.

Katlyn Schmitt | January 22, 2021

Maryland Considers Bills to Protect Public, Environmental Health

The Maryland General Assembly is back in session -- and we at the Center for Progressive Reform are tracking a number of bills that, if passed, will have a lasting impact on the people of Maryland and their environment. Several could also spur other states to improve their own environmental and public health protections.

Katlyn Schmitt | December 10, 2020

Environmental Enforcement in the COVID-19 Era

Ever since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a dangerous (and now-rescinded) policy relaxing enforcement of environmental protections in March, the Center for Progressive Reform has watchdogged responses from state environmental agencies in three states in the Chesapeake Bay Region — Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. While the EPA essentially gave companies a free pass to hide pollution violations during the pandemic, most states set up processes to handle COVID-19-related noncompliance. Environmental agencies in the three states we monitored received dozens of waiver requests related to water, land, and air quality protections, pollution controls, sampling and monitoring, inspections, and critical infrastructure deadlines. A majority of these requests were related to the pandemic. But others, such as those seeking to delay important deadlines for construction projects, were not. This suggests that some polluters are using COVID-19 as an excuse to subvert or delay deadlines that prevent further air or water pollution.

Katlyn Schmitt | October 22, 2020

A Funding Win for Chesapeake Bay Clean Up Efforts

Earlier this month, Congress overwhelmingly passed America's Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE). The legislation's dozen-plus conservation initiatives include reauthorizations for important programs that help protect the Chesapeake Bay and wetlands across the country.

Darya Minovi, Katlyn Schmitt | October 21, 2020

New Report Finds Dangerous Nitrate Pollution in Maryland Drinking Water

Dangerous nitrate pollution has contaminated the groundwater that supplies private drinking water wells and public water utilities in several agricultural regions across the United States, posing a significant threat to people's health. A new report from the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) indicates that this problem has reached Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore, an area that's home to hundreds of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and millions of chickens.