The 2021 Maryland Legislative session is done and once again, MRN has been involved in several relevant bills working with legislative members and other organizations offering support, making recommendations and testifying where needed.

On April 21, recycling industry veteran Chaz Miller and industry advocate Pam Kasemeyer walked us through the details of which bills made it to the governor’s desk and which stalled in committee to wait it out for another year.

Listen in below for the full discussion. Read the recap for a list of what’s in and what’s out for 2021.

*Go to the Legislative & Regulatory page to learn more about MRN’s legislative advocacy.

 

Recap:

The following bills are currently on Governor Hogan’s desk. 

HB0164/SB0116 Department of the Environment – Office of Recycling – Recycling Market Development – Requiring the Office of Recycling in the Department of the Environment to promote the development of markets for recycled materials and products in the State; requiring the Office to evaluate the availability of certain markets and identify businesses in the State that use recycled materials; requiring the annual Maryland solid waste management and diversion report to be submitted to the General Assembly by September 1, 2022, and each year thereafter, and include certain activities; etc. – Update: Governor Hogan signed the bill in May.

HB0248 Condominiums and Homeowners Associations – Rights and Restrictions – Composting – Prohibiting a recorded covenant or restriction, a provision in a declaration, or a provision in the bylaws or rules of a condominium or a homeowners association from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting a unit owner from contracting with a private entity to collect organic waste materials for composting, and prohibiting or unreasonably restricting a lot owner from composting organic waste materials for the lot owner’s personal or household use as long as the lot owner owns or has the right to exclusive use of the composting area; etc.

HB0264/SB0483 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; authorizing a person experiencing undue hardship because of the costs of diverting food residuals to apply to the Department of the Environment for a certain waiver; etc.

HB0280 / SB0304 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.

HB0391 / SB0716 Solid Waste Management – Prohibition on Releasing a Balloon Into the Atmosphere – Prohibiting a person who is at least 13 years old, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a nonprofit entity, the State, or any unit or political subdivision of the State from knowingly and intentionally releasing, or causing to be released, or organizing the release of, a balloon into the atmosphere, with certain exceptions; requiring a certain unit, officer, or official of a local government with delegated enforcement authority to report certain violations; establishing a civil penalty of $250 for a violation of the Act; etc.

HB1207 – Environment – Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities – Reform – Altering the membership of the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities; requiring the Commission’s membership to reflect the diversity of the State to the extent practicable; requiring the Commission to meet at least six times a year; requiring the Commission to host at least four community listening session a year; requiring the Commission to conduct its meetings and sessions in different geographic locations in the State; requiring the sessions and meetings of the Commission to be accessible to all attendees; etc.

SB0002 Maryland Environmental Service Reform Act of 2021 – Altering from voting to nonvoting the type of membership position the Executive Director of the Maryland Environmental Service holds on the Board of Directors of the Service; removing the Deputy Director of the Service from the Board of Directors; requiring the Director to present certain expense information at each regular meeting of the Board; requiring the Board, by December 31, 2021, and every 5 years thereafter, to obtain a certain assessment of the Board’s operations by an independent consultant or accountant; etc. *Approved by the Governor

The following bills passed the House but were stalled in the Senate.

Go to the Legislative & Regulatory page to learn more about MRN’s legislative advocacy.

*Thank you to the MRN Legislative Action Committee​ for their hard work this year: Chaz Miller (chair), Michele Blair, Phil Bresee, Melissa Filiaggi, Lisa Kardell, Richard Keller, Maria Myers, Charlie Reighart, and Chris Skaggs. Learn more about their work.