2015 MD Legislative Recap

MRN stated its position on six bills impacting the Maryland recycling
community. While MRN supported several of the bills in concept, the Board took the opportunity to express concerns on key items and make recommendations as applicable. 

MRN was also the contributing factor to the withdrawal of HB0603
– Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Facilities – Yard Waste and Food Residuals.

While MRN did not oppose the intent of the bill, there was concern over how it
would fit with the final regulations implementing the 2013
Composting Bill (HB1440)
, a bill MRN strongly
supported
. The Bill was replaced with a call, at MRN’s suggestion, for a
multi-stakeholder task force to review the issue and develop a strategy to
divert yard waste and food residuals in a more effective manner. 

Below are details on each bill as well as MRN’s position and current status.

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: 2015 Legislative Session (Click the Bill Name for Additional Details. Click the Bill Number for a PDF of the Actual Bill)

Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2015

Prohibiting a store from distributing plastic disposable carryout
bags to a customer at the point of sale; requiring a store to charge and
collect a 10-cent fee for each paper disposable carryout bag the store
provides to a customer; authorizing a store to retain a specified amount
of a specified fee under specified circumstances; prohibiting a store
from advertising or stating specified information under specified
circumstances; requiring a store to include specified information on
specified receipts; etc.

PDF of Bill – SB0620 and HB0551

MRN Position: Support with recommendations re implementation details
MRN Statement
: 2015MRNResponse-CommunityCleanupAndGreeningAct.pdf
Status: In the House – Unfavorable Report by Environment and Transportation; Withdrawn

Maryland Redeemable Beverage Container and Litter Reduction Program

Establishing the Maryland Redeemable Beverage Container and Litter
Reduction Program; stating the purpose of the Program; establishing the
Maryland Beverage Recycling Organization; establishing the structure and
purpose of the Organization; specifying the membership of the
Organization; establishing a Board of Directors for the Organization;
specifying the composition of the Board; specifying the election,
duration of term, and term limits of members of the Board; etc.

PDF of Bill – SB0684 and HB0982

MRN Position: Opposed
Status: In committee hearings but very unlikely to move further

Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Facilities – Yard Waste and Food Residuals

Requiring a person to ensure yard waste is recycled in a specified
manner beginning on January 1, 2016; requiring a person to ensure food
residuals are diverted from the solid waste stream in a specified manner
beginning on January 1, 2016; requiring the Department of the
Environment to adopt specified regulations; etc.

PDF of Bill – HB0603

PDF of Replacement Bill – HB603t

PDF of Additional Amendments – HB0603 Amendments

MRN Position: Support in principle but many reservations re implementation details
MRN Statement
: 2015MRNResponse-CompostingAndAnaerobicDigestionFacilities.pdf
Status:
Bill withdrawn and replaced with call, at MRN’s suggestion, for a
multi-stakeholder task force to review the issue and develop a strategy
to divert yard waste and food residuals in a more effective manner.

Prince George’s County – Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags

Authorizing Prince George’s County to impose, by law, a fee on
specified retail establishments for use of disposable bags as part of a
retail sale of products; limiting the amount of the fee to 5 cents for
each disposable bag used; and defining “disposable bag” as a paper or
plastic bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale.

PDF of Bill – HB0709

MRN Position: Support
Status: In committee hearings

Income Tax Credit – Oyster Shell Recycling – Transfer of Credit

Authorizing an individual or a corporation to sell and transfer the
verification required to claim a credit against the State income tax for
each bushel of oyster shells recycled during the taxable year;
requiring the Department of Natural Resources and the Comptroller to
jointly adopt regulations to establish a process for the sale and
transfer of the verification; applying the Act to taxable years
beginning after December 31, 2014; etc.

PDF of Bill – SB0694

MRN Position: None taken
Status: In committee hearings

Environment – Ambient Air Quality Control – Cumulative Air Impact Analysis

Prohibiting the Department of the Environment from issuing a
specified air quality permit until specified requirements have been met;
prohibiting the Department from recommending specified licensing
conditions until specified requirements have been met; requiring the
Department to conduct a Cumulative Air Impact Analysis under specified
circumstances in accordance with specified requirements; etc.

PDF of Bill – HB0987 and SB0693

MRN Position: Support concept but concerned about unintended consequences
MRN Statement: 2015MRNResponse-AmbientAirQualityControl.pdf
Status:
In committee hearings