More Muscle for the Bay! Maryland General Assembly Funds Environmental Enforcement Positions
In April 2017, the Maryland General Assembly designated $400,000 of the state’s FY2018 budget to fill vacant enforcement and compliance positions within the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). This action reverses years of declining funding for enforcement of environmental laws by MDA and MDE, whose limited resources have resulted in understaffing of inspection and enforcement positions. State enforcement and compliance assurance capacity is especially important as EPA faces complete elimination of all funding for its Chesapeake Bay Program, and significant reductions in enforcement resources in both its national and regional offices.
In partnership with the Center for Progressive Reform, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and the Maryland Choose Clean Agriculture Committee, CLA provided written and oral informational testimony to the Maryland Legislative Budget Committee concerning how water quality enforcement has been impacted over
the past three years by the decline in enforcement capacity at MDE. By helping to raise the level of awareness at the Budget Committee level, CLA has helped to ensure more capacity for monitoring and enforcement of the environmental laws and regulations that work toward keeping the Bay safe and healthy.
You can find the budget language on page 243 of the Maryland House Bill.