January 20, 2023: A.J. Metcalf, Maryland Media & Communications Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s newly released state budget includes funding for several high priority initiatives to improve Chesapeake Bay. The Fiscal Year 2024 budget provides 43 new positions and $3.7 million in funding for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to enable the agency to close the extensive backlog of administratively continued pollution discharge permits. CBF along with other environmental organizations have called on the state to review these so-called “zombie permits” because their pollution limits are often outdated and poorly enforced. The new MDE inspectors will help ensure that industrial and other types of facilities that are permitted to pump polluted water directly into the state’s waterways are complying with environmental regulations, which could reverse the state’s 20-year decline in clean water enforcement activities. Gov. Moore’s budget also includes $15 million to implement the Tree Solutions Now Act of 2022, which requires the state to plant 5 million trees by 2030, including 500,000 in underserved urban areas. The funding will support farmers and community-based organizations interested in planting trees. Planting new trees is one of the most cost-effective ways to limit Chesapeake Bay pollutants […]
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