2014 MD Legislative Recap

The Maryland General Assembly passed three recycling-related bills this year. They were

  • SB 781 – Environment – Recycling – Special Events
  • HB 629 – Maryland Green Purchasing Committee
  • HB 878/SB814 – State Highway Administration – Compost and Compost-Based Products

See details below.

Though MRN supported all three, the board expressed reservations
regarding the implementation details prescribed by the bills and
requirements that each county’s solid waste management plan be amended
out of the update normal cycle. The implementation details often leave
the jurisdictions without the flexibility needed to execute the
requirements in a way that effectively accounts for the demographic
and/or economic conditions in the county or municipality. Additionally,
modification of the jurisdiction’s solid waste management plan out of
the normal update cycle results in an excessive number of staff hours
drawn away from implementation of recycling programs.

Every year, the Maryland General Assembly considers upwards of 2,500
bills of which as many as 700 or more may become law. And all this
happens during a 90 day session! MRN advocates on behalf of the Maryland
recycling community to ensure that legislative initiatives achieve
their stated goals in a cost- and time-effective manner without creating
unintended consequences that hobble our mission to promote a healthy,
sustainable environment. If you’re not a member, please support our
efforts by joining today. Click here to see membership options.

Status Report: 2014 Legislative Session (Click the Bill Number for Additional Details)

HB 1081Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Facilities – Yard Waste and Food Residuals
– Requiring a person to dispose of yard waste in a specified manner
under specified circumstances on or after October 1, 2015; requiring a
person to dispose of food residuals in a specified manner under
specified circumstances on or after October 1, 2015; requiring the
Department of the Environment to adopt specified regulations; etc.
MRN Position
: Support with Reservations re Implementation Details
MRN Statement
: 2014MRNResponseHB1081.pdf
Status: No Action Taken

SB 781 – Environment – Recycling – Special Events
– Requiring a county to address the collection and recycling of
recyclable materials from special events in the county’s recycling plan;
requiring a county to revise its recycling plan by October 1, 2015, to
address specified requirements of the Act; etc.|
MRN Position
: Support Concept, but with Strong Reservations re Implementation Details
MRN Statement: 2014MRNResponseSB781.pdf|
Status: Passed

HB 240/SB 56Maryland Recycling and Landfill Diversion Task Force
– Requiring each county and the Department of the Environment to adopt a
specified solid waste management hierarchy; declaring the intent of the
General Assembly that the State undertake specified actions relating to
recycling and landfill disposal rates; establishing the Maryland
Recycling and Landfill Diversion Task Force; requiring the Task Force to
determine the statewide recycling goal and a recycling and landfill
portfolio standard that will reduce the amount of solid waste being sent
to landfills; etc.
MRN Position: Do Not Support – See statement below.
MRN Statement: 2014MRNResponseHB240-SB56.pdf
Status: No Action Taken

HB 473Green Business Incentive Zones
– Authorizing the creation of green business incentive zones in the
State; establishing eligibility criteria and factors to be considered by
the Secretary of Business and Economic Development in designating the
zones; establishing procedures for applying for establishment of the
zones and the benefits available in the zones; establishing a State
income tax credit and real property tax credit available to specified
businesses located in a green business incentive zone; etc.
MRN Position: Support
Status: No Action Taken

HB 629Maryland Green Purchasing Committee
– Altering the membership of the Maryland Green Purchasing Committee;
requiring the Committee to develop and publish, and State units
thereafter to adopt, specifications that will enable implementation of
environmentally preferable purchasing; altering requirements concerning
State unit reporting of recycled content materials; defining
“environmentally preferable product or service”; etc.
MRN Position: Support with Offer to Participate
Status: Passed

SB 394Statewide Container Recycling Refund Program
– Requiring a beverage distributor operating within the State to
register with the Department of the Environment on or before April 1,
2015; requiring a redeemable beverage container sold in the State to
bear specified information indicating a refund value of 5 cents
beginning January 15, 2016; requiring the payment of specified deposits
by specified distributors, retailers, and consumers under specified
circumstances; etc.
MRN Position: Do Not Support
MRN Statement: 2014MRNResponseSB394.pdf
Status: No Action Taken

HB 878/SB814State Highway Administration – Compost and Compost-Based Products
– Specification – Establishing that the use of compost and
compost-based products in State highway construction projects is a best
management practice for specified pollution mitigation strategies;
requiring the State Highway Administration to establish a specification
for the acquisition and use of compost and compost-based products;
requiring the Administration to update the specification as necessary;
requiring the Administration to post the specification on its Web site;
etc.
MRN Position: Support
MRN Statement: 2014MRNResponseHB878-SB814.pdf
Status: Passed

SB 707/HB 718Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2014
– Authorizing a county to impose, by law, a specified fee on a store
for the use of disposable carryout bags; requiring a store to charge and
collect a specified fee for each disposable carryout bag the store
provides to a customer under specified circumstances and in accordance
with specified requirements; providing that the sales and use tax does
not apply to a specified amount of money retained by a store under
specified circumstances; requiring the operator of a store to remit a
specified amount of money to a county; etc.
Status: No Action Taken