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Neal Ellis
Neal Ellis
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Two stories regarding the safety of the Bay, one from the State, one in the Annapolis City Council

Two stories regarding sediment and potentially dangerous pollutants finding their way into the Chesapeake Bay collide on Monday in Annapolis.

First, state lawmakers say local jurisdictions can prohibit wastewater from being released into Baltimore’s sanitary sewer system. But, the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause allows toxic waste to be transported to and through Maryland. These reminders were provided by Republican Delegates Kathy Szeliga and of Baltimore County and Ryan Nawrocki, both of Baltimore County. The two say, in a release, in the coming days, they will work with their colleagues in Annapolis to introduce emergency legislation prohibiting Maryland from becoming Ohio's toxic waste dump.

Meanwhile, the Annapolis City Council is holding a special meeting tomorrow night to discuss various bills getting their second reading. (The second reading is the place in the process where any member can amend the bill, and the third reading is the time for debate and final passage of the bill.) Among them are the following:

O-55-22 - Sediment Control Inspections Process, Fees, and Milestone Inspections - To add conditions for reinspection; create milestone inspections; adjust buildings and construction fees to pay for inspector positions; updating the format of these sections; and generally related to grading, erosion, and sediment control inspections. 

The issue with sediment is that it eventually finds its way to the Chesapeake. On its way, it messes with the areas needed to grow the vegetation needed for all sorts of wildlife, and it can smother areas where fish and reptiles lay their eggs. 

A secondary issue for state and local laws is who pays for inspections and cleanup of potential waste.  Will those who are held responsible reconsider building things in communities?  Or, will they find legislation to protect North America's largest estuary attractive, forward-thinking, and part of their corporate responsibility, a responsibility that they can tout for better public relations? is said, stay tuned.



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