SB229: Environment – On–Farm Composting Facilities – Permit Exemption
House Environment and Transportation Committee
March 30, 2022
Dear Chairman Barve and Members of the Committee,
Clean Water Action supports SB229 to expand the footprint of on-farm compost facilities, and we appreciate the amendments that Senator Gallion and Delegate Shetty agreed to which strengthen the entire on-farm compost permit.
M83 is an outdated solution to our traffic and development problems, yet it is still a part of Montgomery County's Master Plan of Highways and Transitways. Two other parallel highways exist - instead of investing in yet another highway Montgomery County should invest in transit and other transportation alternatives. Bus rapid transit, expanding Ride-On services, and investing in problematic intersections should be pursued before plowing through hundreds of acres of forest and preserve.
Today, the House Appropriations Committee held its hearing on HB566, legislation to bring Maryland one step further down the path to Zero Waste by ensuring that new schools are built with facilities to separate recycling and compost from the trash in place. What a great idea! Read our testimony for more:
HB566: School Construction – Design Documents – Waste Disposal Infrastructure
House Appropriations Committee
February 17, 2022
Small, local composting operations are a big part of the Zero Waste solution! That's why we're so excited to support SB229/HB184, to promote the development of on-farm compost facilities. In collaboration with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Shore Rivers, we're also supporting amendments to make sure that these compost operations don't have unintended environmental consequences.
If I had to summarize 2021 in one word, I’d use adaptation to describe how our offices across the country and in Maryland took to the hurdles and challenges of the last two years of the pandemic and transformed them into a totally new way of organizing, outreach, and policy change.
We usually associate saltwater with the ocean, which gets its distinctive flavor from naturally occurring minerals. Such minerals are also found in freshwater systems in lower concentrations, and natural salt levels vary with local geology. However, human inputs of salt increase concentrations far beyond naturally occurring levels, threatening ecosystem balance. Therefore, it is important to understand how humans cause salt pollution. In this section, we will reveal the human activities responsible for salt pollution and the extent of their impacts.
In Maryland, salt pollution is already problematic and continues to worsen. Currently, 28 of Maryland’s streams are identified as chloride impaired [Winter Salt]. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the baseline secondary contaminant level for chloride, a common component of road salt (mostly sodium chloride, NaCl), at 250 mg/L; however, many of the state’s streams have exceeded this limit for over 20 years [UMD extension].