2016 MD Legislative Recap

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.

2016 Legislative Update: This year, our Legislative Committee took a stance on four key bills impacting the Maryland recycling community. See story on front page. Below is a recap of MRN’s position and the bills current statuses.

Three bills that we supported were the Environment – Solid Waste, Recycling, and Anaerobic Digestion, Environment – Paint Stewardship Program, and Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure Task Force.

Environment – Solid Waste, Recycling, and Anaerobic Digestion
received favorable reports with amendments in the House, Third Reading
passed. Also received favorable reports in the Senate, but following an
objection coming from the Sierra Club which believed an exemption for
“on-farm” anaerobic digestion undermined the Bill, has been recommitted
to Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and will
likely come up again next year.

Likewise, the Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure Task Force received favorable reports with amendments in the House, Third Reading passed but failed to do so in the Senate.

Regrettably, the Environment – Paint Stewardship Program was tabled by sponsor, but will likely to come up again in 2017.

MRN opposed the Maryland Redeemable Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Act
due to its potential negative impact on existing curbside collection
programs. The bill died in both committees. There was a call for task
force in House budget, but not included in final budget – See story on front page.

Status Report: 2016 Legislative Session (Click the Bill Name for Additional Details. Click the Bill Number for a PDF of the Actual Bill)

Environment – Solid Waste, Recycling, and Anaerobic Digestion
Providing
that a person may operate an anaerobic digestion facility only in
accordance with specified requirements, regulations, orders, and
permits; requiring the Department of the Environment to adopt
regulations relating to the design, construction, and operational
conditions of recycling facilities, a tiered system of permits or
approval for recycling facilities, and exceptions to any requirement to
obtain a recycling facility permit or approval; altering specified
definitions; etc.
PDF of BIll – HB 61
MRN Position – Support
MRN Statement
Status: Passed in House; defeated in Senate

Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure Task Force
Establishing
the Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure Task
Force; providing for the composition, cochairs, and staffing of the Task
Force; requiring the Task Force to identify, evaluate,study, and make
recommendations regarding specified matters; requiring the Task Force to
report its final findings and recommendations to the Governor and the
General Assembly on or before January 1, 2018; etc.
PDF of Bill – HB 743
MRN Position
: Support
MRN Statement
Status: Passed in House; defeated in Senate

Environment – Paint Stewardship Program
Requiring
specified producers or a representative organization to submit a plan
for the establishment of a Paint Stewardship Program to the Department
of the Environment on or before April 1, 2017, and in accordance with
specified requirements; requiring the Department to review and approve
specified plans, including a specified assessment, submitted in
accordance with the Paint Stewardship Program; prohibiting the sale of
specified architectural paint under specified circumstances beginning
October 1, 2017; etc.
PDF of Bill – HB 332 & PDF of Bill – SB 201
MRN Position
: Support
MRN Statement
Status: Bill tabled by sponsor. likely to come up again in 2017

Maryland Redeemable Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Act
Establishing
the Maryland Redeemable Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter
Reduction Program; requiring the Maryland Environmental Service to
develop, implement, and administer the Program; requiring that every
redeemable beverage container sold in the State indicate a 5-cent refund
value in a specified manner on and after July 1, 2017; requiring that a
specified refund value be added to the retail price of a specified
container at the time of purchase on and after a specified date; etc.
PDF of Bill – SB 367 & PDF of Bill – HB 862.
MRN Position: Opposed
MRN Statement
Status: Bill dies in both committees, but call for task force shows up in House budget, but not included in final budget – See story on front page.

Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2016
Prohibiting
a store from distributing plastic disposable carryout bags free of
charge 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; authorizing the store to pay a customer a credit of at
least 5 cents for each bag provided by the customer; requiring a store
to remit to the Comptroller the money retained by the store for
specified purposes; establishing a maximum penalty of $100 for a
violation of the Act; etc.
PDF of Bill – HB 31 & PDF of Bill – SB 57
*Introduced in a prior session as SB 620 and HB 551: 2015 Regular Session
Status:
Unfavorable Report by House Environment and
Transportation Committee

Mattress Stewardship Program
Requiring
specified producers or a representative organization to submit a plan
for the establishment of a Mattress Stewardship Program to the
Department of the Environment on or before July 1, 2017, and in
accordance with specified requirements; requiring the Department to
review and approve specified plans,including a specified assessment,
submitted in accordance with the Mattress Stewardship Program;
prohibiting the sale of specified mattresses under specified
circumstances beginning October 1, 2017; etc.
PDF of BIll – HB 1117
Status: Stalled in committee hearings

Income Tax – Oyster Shell Recycling – Credit Amount
Increasing
the maximum amount of the credit from $750 to $5,000 that an individual
or corporation may claim against the State income tax for the recycling
of oyster shells; and providing that the Act shall apply to all taxable
years beginning after December 31, 2015.
PDF of Bill – HB 427 & PDF of BIll – SB 188
Status: Stalled in committee hearings

Worcester County – Recycling at Special Events – Exemptions
Exempting
Worcester County from a requirement to revise its recycling plan by a
specified date to address recycling at special events; and exempting
Worcester County from specified requirements regarding recycling at
special events.
PDF of Bill – HB 126 & PDF of Bill – SB 131
Status: Withdrawn

Dorchester County – Recycling at Special Events – Exemptions
Exempting
Dorchester County from a requirement to revise its recycling plan by a
specified date to address recycling at special events; and exempting
Dorchester County from specified requirements regarding recycling at
special events.
PDF of Bill – HB 1222 & PDF of Bill – SB 392
Status: Withdrawn

Reducing Environmental Degradation for the Underserved Through Community Engagement (The REDUCE Act)
FOR
the purpose of requiring the Department of the Environment to require
an applicant for a certain permit to construct or modify a certain
source to report to the Department certain information regarding the
diesel vehicles that are needed during the construction and operation of
a certain source and to solicit input on certain issues from the
affected community and certain organizations; requiring the Department,
before issuing a certain permit, to solicit certain information from
certain local health departments under certain circumstances, to
coordinate with the applicant to disseminate certain information to
certain interested parties, and to publish certain information on
the Department’s Web site; providing for the application of this
Act; defining certain terms; and generally relating to a permit to
construct or modify certain sources of air pollution.
PDF of Bill – HB 820 & PDF of Bill – SB 398
Status:
In the Senate – Unfavorable Report by Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority – Name and Authority
Changing
the name of the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority to be the
Maryland Regional Resource Management Authority; authorizing the
Authority to acquire, construct, reconstruct, rehabilitate, improve,
maintain, equip, lease, repair, and operate a resource recovery park;
requiring the Authority to utilize a specified zero waste hierarchy, to
the extent practicable, under specified circumstances; declaring the
intent of the General Assembly; defining specified terms; etc.
PDF of Bill – SB 105
Status: Withdrawn

H.R. 2939 – Federal Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act
To provide for the disposal of drugs pursuant to national pharmaceutical stewardship programs, and for other purposes.