Legislative & Regulatory

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!

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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.

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2020 Legislative Update

Here are relevant bills under consideration.

HB0165

Solar Photovoltaic Recycling

Establishing a solar photovoltaic recycling fee; requiring a person installing a solar electric generating facility in the State to pay the fee beginning October 1, 2020; establishing the Solar Photovoltaic Recycling Fund; requiring 20% of the first sale price of each renewable energy credit sold to be deposited into the Fund; providing that the purpose of the Fund is to provide funding for technologies and processes that assist with the recycling of solar photovoltaic systems; etc.

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HB0179

Maryland Recycling Act – Recyclable Materials and Resource Recovery Facilities – Alterations

Altering the definition of “recyclable materials” under the Maryland Recycling Act to exclude incinerator ash; and repealing the authority of a county to utilize a resource recovery facility to meet 5% of the waste reduction required to be achieved through recycling in the county’s recycling plan.

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HB0209 / SB0313

Plastics and Packaging Reduction Act

Prohibiting a store from distributing plastic carryout bags to a customer at the point of sale; requiring a store to charge and collect at least 10 cents for each durable carryout bag the store provides to a customer; authorizing a store to retain all money collected under certain circumstances; providing certain penalties for certain violations of the Act under certain circumstances; establishing the Single-Use Products Workgroup; requiring the Workgroup to study and make recommendations regarding single-use products; etc.

MRN Position – Support with Recommendations

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HB0296

Environment – Single-Use Plastic Straws – Use in a Food Service Business

Prohibiting, beginning January 1, 2021, a food service business from providing a single-use plastic straw to a customer dining in the food service business unless the customer requests a straw; and applying the Act.

MRN Position – Support with Recommendations

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HB0354

Solid Waste Management – Personal Cleansing Products Provided at Lodging Establishments – Prohibition

Prohibiting an owner, an operator, or a manager of a lodging establishment from providing a certain personal cleansing product in a certain small plastic bottle under certain circumstances; authorizing an owner, an operator, or a manager of a lodging establishment to provide a certain personal cleansing product in a certain small plastic bottle under certain circumstances; providing for the enforcement of the Act; establishing certain penalties; etc.

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HB0517

Constitutional Amendment – Environmental Rights

Proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to establish that every person has the right to a certain clean and healthy environment; establishing that every person has the right to intervene in an action brought by the State or a political subdivision of the State to protect certain rights; prohibiting the State or a political subdivision of the State from causing diminution of or degradation to the State’s natural resources; submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection; etc.

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HB0589

Solid Waste Management – Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion – Food Residuals

Requiring a certain person that generates food residuals to separate the food residuals from other solid waste and ensure that the food residuals are diverted from final disposal in a refuse disposal system in a certain manner; applying the requirements of the Act, beginning in certain years, to certain persons that generate certain amounts of food residuals; requiring the Department of the Environment to report to the General Assembly by December 1, 2021, and annually thereafter on the impact of waste diversion in the State; etc.

MRN Position – Support

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HB0772 / SB0478

Maryland Green Purchasing Committee – Food Procurement – Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Requiring the Maryland Green Purchasing Committee to develop on or before January 1, 2022, a certain methodology, in consultation with the Department of the Environment and the Department of General Services, for a unit to estimate greenhouse gas emissions that occur through the life cycle of certain food; requiring each unit to report to the Committee on the unit’s progress in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food procured by the unit on or before August 1, 2024 and each August 1 thereafter; etc.

MRN Position – Support

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HB0824

Beverage Container Deposit Program – Establishment and Advisory Commission

Requiring the Department of the Environment to establish a beverage container deposit program on or before September 1, 2021; establishing the Advisory Commission to Develop a Beverage Container Deposit Program; requiring the Advisory Commission to develop a framework for a beverage container deposit program; requiring the Advisory Committee to report its framework and recommendations to certain members and committees of the General Assembly by December 31, 2020; etc.

MRN Position – Do Not Support At This Time

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HB0890

Maryland Paint Stewardship Program

Requiring certain 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 January 1, 2021, and in accordance with certain requirements; requiring the Department to review and approve certain plans, including a certain assessment, submitted in accordance with the Paint Stewardship Program; prohibiting the sale of certain architectural paint under certain circumstances on a certain date; etc.

MRN Position – Support with Amendment

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HB0896

Environment – Statewide Green Business Certification Program – Establishment

Requiring the Department of the Environment to establish and administer a statewide green business certification program on or before July 1, 2022; requiring the green business certification program to recognize businesses operating in a way that reduces their environmental footprint and to provide consumers with information how to identify those businesses; requiring the Department to establish the green business certification program to conform with the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program; etc.

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HB1452

Department of the Environment – Office of Recycling – Recycling Market Development

Requiring the Office of Recycling in the Department of the Environment to develop markets for recycled materials and recycled products in the State in a certain manner; requiring the Office to report to the General Assembly each year; requiring the Office to coordinate certain activities with certain entities; prohibiting the Department of the Environment from employing more than a certain number of staff to carry out the requirements of the Act; etc.

MRN Position – Support

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HB1643

Environment – Organics Recycling and Composting – Grant Program

Requiring the Department of the Environment, in consultation with the Maryland Environmental Service, to establish a grant program to assist counties with certain costs associated with the collection, recycling, and composting of organics and other compostable materials from residential properties; specifying that sources of funding for the program consist of funds designated by the Department, funds appropriated by the State Budget, and any money made available from any public or private source; etc.

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SB0840

Environment – Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Products – Definition

Altering the definition of “expanded polystyrene food service product” to exclude certain egg cartons shipped into the State for packaging, or within the State.

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SB0891

Environment – Solar Panel Stewardship Programs

Requiring the Department of the Environment to develop certain guidelines for solar panel stewardship programs to ensure the environmentally sound recycling of out-of-service solar panels and their components; requiring the Department to adopt certain guidelines in regulation on or before July 1, 2021; prohibiting a certain manufacturer from selling or offering for sale in the State a solar panel on or after January 1, 2022, unless the manufacturer has a solar panel stewardship plan approved by the Department; etc.

MRN Position – Support with Recommendations

CHECK STATUS HERE

SB0926 / HB1425

Climate Solutions Act of 2020 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act

Requiring the Department of the Environment to establish and administer a statewide green business certification program on or before July 1, 2022; requiring the green business certification program to recognize businesses operating in a way that reduces their environmental footprint and to provide consumers with information how to identify those businesses; requiring the Department to establish the green business certification program to conform with the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program; etc.

CHECK STATUS HERE

SB0980

Industrial Partnerships – Sustainable Materials Management Program – Established

Requiring the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program to enter into a certain memorandum of understanding with certain agencies to establish a Sustainable Materials Management Program; requiring the Governor to appropriate a certain amount in certain fiscal years to the Maryland Technology Development Corporation for a certain program; requiring the Maryland Technology Development Corporation to distribute certain funds to the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program; etc.

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