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2016 Maryland Climate Legislation

SB 323/HB 610 - March 18: PASSED; awaits Gov. Hogan's signature. Article here.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act – Reauthorization - SB 323 (Pinsky plus 26). HB 610 (Barve plus 29). These bills reauthorize the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA) of 2009, which is due to expire on Dec. 31, 2016. They require that MDE submit a new Plan to the Governor and the General Assembly by Dec. 31, 2018 that reduces statewide GHG emissions by 40 percent from 2006 levels by 2030. MDE is also required to adopt the final new plan by the end of 2019.

The bills also provide for public comment on the Plan and require appointment of a task force to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change to oversee an independent study of the economic impact of requiring GHG emission

reductions from the State’s manufacturing sector. The Reauthorization will take effect October 1, 2016.

SB 921/HB 1106 Clean Energy Jobs Act

Vote on HB 1106 in House of Delegates could happen as soon as March 18. Details and action here. (House Economic Matters Committee advanced the bill Thursday, March 17.)

This bill will increase the renewable energy portfolio in Maryland to 25 percent of its electricity by 2020 is expected by Feb. 8. These bills are also expected to include a substantial financial commitment to clean renewable energy jobs training and support for minority and women owned clean energy businesses. 

Hearings were in Senate Finance 3/8 1pm and House Economic Matters 3/3 1pm

Support this bill through email here.

HB 440 Electric Companies - Installation of Solar Electric Generating Facility - Completion of Interconnection

(Kramer and Fraser–Hidalgo) This bill is to facilitate solar installations by reducing delays in getting solar systems approved and connected. This bill outlines how approvals are handled. The primary change is to require that an electric company complete interconnection of a customer-generator's solar electric generating facility with the electric company's distribution facilities within 20 business days after receiving notice of the completion of the solar installation

process. Hrg, 2/11, 1 p.m. EM

SB 398/HB 820 Reducing Environmental Degradation for the Underserved Through Community Engagement

(The REDUCE Act) (Ramirez plus 4/Lam plus 18) This bill requires disclosure of the diesel truck impacts from new industrial development in communities with high poverty or non-white populations. Diesel trucks in overburdened

communities may result in many adverse health impacts including infant development, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancers and more. It is hoped that encouraging community feedback will result in better decisions to improve the health of these communities. Hrg, 2/16, 1 p.m. EHEA; 2/24, 1 p.m. House E&T

SB 361 Civil Actions – Hydraulic Fracturing Liability Act (Raskin and Zirkin) This bill holds those with permits for hydraulic fracking strictly liable for for injury, death, or loss to person or property from their hydraulic fracturing activities. A similar bill introduced by Zirkin passed the Senate in 2015, and had a hearing in EHEA. Hrg, 2/16, 1 p.m. Judicial Proceedings

Fiscal note:

Listen to hearing at this link and click on SB361

Engage Mountain Md (EMM) signon to support bill:!fracking-liability/c21ju

EMM event Feb 27 -

HB 394 Public Health – Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals – Information and Fund (Morheim and 6) This bill requires that those with a permit for the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration or production of natural gas to submit information on chemicals used in the fracking process. It establishes the Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Education and Impact Fund to address the potential health risks associated with chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.  Finally, it sets a maximum civil penalty of $100,000 for each specified violation of the Act.  This bill was introduced in 2104 and received a House hearing but no action was taken. It was introduced in 2015, received a House hearing, but was withdrawn after an unfavorable E&T report.  Hrg, 2/17, 1 p.m. Environment and Transportation

Hearing link -

HB1112 Environment - Gas Storage Wells and Facilities - Safety Regulations  

This bill creates inspection requirements for natural gas storage wells in Maryland.  Currently, the Department of the Environment does not require the owner or operator of a natural gas storage well to inspect the gas well or the well’s machinery. There is only one such Maryland facility in a town call Accident Maryland.   The concern is that it is similar to the well in  Aliso Canyon in California that spewed methane and caused much damage for a long time until recently capped. Sponsor is Del. Platt Hearing is 3/2 at 1 pm in E&T (Environment & Transportation)

Fact Sheet on Platt Gas Storage bill

Plastic bag bill, HB 31 and SB 57 Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2016 - hearings already held SB 367/HB862 Maryland Redeemable Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Act Hearing EHEA 2/18; House E&T 3/4