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Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 27, 2017

Maryland Bill to Increase Food Recovery Infrastructure Advances with ILSR’s Help

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2017-maryland-bills-organic-diversion/

Legislation is making its way through the Maryland legislature that will encourage a distributed infrastructure to divert yard waste and food waste from the waste stream. The legislation is called “Department of the Environment – Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure – Study” (Senate Bill 0099 and House Bill 0171). The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has been instrumental in working on this legislation with MD Delegate Shane Robinson (District 39). ILSR organized the expert panels to testify and the submittal of written testimonies to the Senate and House committee hearings. ILSR has also helped facilitate a series of consensus amendments. This is the same legislation that passed the Maryland House of Delegates last session but did not move in the Maryland Senate.

The legislation would direct the Maryland Department of the Environment to identify means to promote investment in infrastructure to expand food waste recovery, evaluate the current recovery of food waste in Maryland, identify opportunities for expansion, and more. It specifically calls for the Department to explore ways “to encourage a decentralized and diverse infrastructure.” The Department would report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. ILSR helped to craft the bill and is named as 1 of 20+ organizations to be represented on the study group. The legislation would go into effect on July 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 99 Hearing

Senate Bill 99 was heard by the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee on January 24th, 2017. The Senate bill was introduced by Senator Thomas Middleton (D-Charles). ILSR, along with a number of ally organizations, testified in favor of the bill.

Testimony and Resources

  • From left to right: Brian Flores, Caroline Peat, Neil Seldman, & Dave O’Leary.

A number of experts testified at the committee hearing and even more submitted written testimony to the committee. Video of in-person testimony is available from the Maryland State Senate. In-person testimonials came from:

All testimony was in favor of SB 99. Written testimony was submitted by:

Testifiers from Senate Bill 99 Committee Hearing, January 24, 2017.

The Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee approved Senate Bill 99 by unanimous vote of 11-0 on February 21st, 2017.

 

House Bill 171 Hearing

House Bill 171 was heard by the Environment and Transportation committee on February 8th, 2017.The House bill was introduced by House Delegate Shane Robinson (D-Montgomery Village). ILSR, along with a number of ally organizations, testified in favor of the bill.

Brenda Platt from Institute for Local Self-Reliance & HB 171 Sponsor Maryland Delegate Shane Robinson

Testimony and Resources

A number of experts testified at the committee hearing and even more submitted written testimony to the committee. Video of in-person testimony is available from the Maryland House of Delegates. In-person testimonials came from:

Commentary and questions continued until 1:00:00 in the video. All testimony was in favor of HB 171.

Written testimony was submitted by:

House Bill 171 is in the line to be voted on at the end of February 2017.

Next Steps for SB 99/HB 171

Over the next few weeks, ILSR will monitor the legislation’s progression through both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly, reconciliation through the conference committee to ensure both bills are identical, and (hopefully) seeing it signed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

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