Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake


Your Voice Must Be Heard
Upcoming Events
Earth Day Ideas

cropped.JPGYour Voice Must Be Heard

We are approaching a critical moment in the Maryland legislative session, where our elected representatives will be voting on whether we should all bear responsibility for polluted runoff.

We make polluted runoff in our daily living: by driving our cars, or over-applying our salt, or building big parking lots and forgetting where the stormwater goes after it gets out of our way. We never intend to pollute, but that doesn’t mean we’re not responsible. God makes the rain, but we make the runoff.

Polluted runoff defiles our waterways. There is no sugar-coating that. And, we bear responsibility for it. There is no sugar-coating that either.

Maryland’s Counties and Cities are currently required to reduce their polluted runoff by 20% and they must get most-of-the-way there by 2017. But most of our counties are not even close to meeting the 20% reduction requirement. If they fail, there will be penalties levied. Hefty ones. And who do you think will ultimately be paying for those fines?

While it may be politically advantageous to talk about saving taxpayers money, in reality, there is a cost to pollutedFactsmatter3.jpg runoff. Let me rephrase that: there is a cost to our polluted runoff. Who will bear that cost if we don’t all pitch in? And, if counties fail to generate enough funds to meet their permit requirements, they will be forced to take funds from other budgets like education, public safety, and social safety nets.

I testified at the House hearing last week when Governor Hogan’s repeal bill was introduced. When delegates asked the Governor's representative to explain what the Governor plans to do to make sure the Counties do not fail to comply with permit requirements, he was unable to provide a clear plan and said he would get back to them on that. This is simply inadequate. This past week, some opponents were tweeting that Marylanders paid more taxes every time it snowed last week. That is a deliberate lie

On Friday afternoon, all 3 repeal bills were killed in the House subcommittee on environment. But, Senate President Miller has proposed his own repeal bill, too, which will be heard on March 10th. While it allows counties to demonstrate how they will pay for their projects, it has no teeth and does not require them to reinstate the fees if they fall short on project funding. In other words, it’s just as bad as the other repeal bills.

The bottom line is this: counties are required to reduce their polluted runoff. If this fee is repealed, yes we will each have another $30 or $40 back in our pockets each year, but our waterways will be defiled, our counties will not have the money they need to meet permit requirements, and future generations will inherit this entire mess. 

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of this legislation. Please contact your legislators today and let them know that you support a dedicated fund to which everyone contributes that will help us address the pollution we generate. This is our pollution and we need to clean up our act.

You can use this letter that we’ve produced, or create your own. You can find your legislator here. You can also call your legislator’s office - some times phone calling makes more of an impression.

Please be a voice for future generations. Please be a voice for Creation. Please make your voice heard.

Thank you,
The IPC Team

Upcoming Events

  • March 10th - Senate Hearing on Senator Miller’s Bill on Repealing the Stormwater Utility Fee program (SB 863); Please email your senators and delegates to make your voice heard
  • March 10th - Jewish Advocacy Day - You’re invited to participate in the 2015 Advocacy Night sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council. Let your legislators know what you think about controlling polluted stormwater, plastic waste, and more. Details here Visit our Advocacy Page for top issues IPC is following.
  • March 11th - Deadline for Montgomery County residents to express your views on the pesticide ban (Bill 52-14)
  • March 15th - Earth Forum of Howard County, 2 p.m. Topic: Waters of the Chesapeake Dr. Beth McGee, Senior Water Quality Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, will present an overview of the science and policy surrounding efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
  • March 19th - Anacostia Riverkeeper Cleanup Event - all congregational groups invited. 
  • March 20th - As part of the DC Environmental Film Festival March we’ll be out at the March 20th showing of “Climate Connections” at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church
  • March 28th - Montgomery County Greenfest at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free educational event will focus on how Montgomery County residents can enhance the environment and their local community. Volunteers needed to help us staff our informational table - please email [email protected] if you can help. 
  • April 11th - Alice Ferguson Foundation Cleanup

Picture1.pngEarth Day Ideas

Menu for Action - Looking for something to do with your Green Team for Earth Day? Check out the Menu for Action for hundreds of ideas, activities, reflections, and ways to lead your congregation toward a culture of Caring for Creation. 

Project Clean Stream - We are proud to help promote Project Clean Stream, a program of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Assemble your green teams or youth groups for an outdoor cleanup experience! Visit their website for a list of possible work sites and how to enroll.

Tree Plantings throughout Baltimore - Starting March 21st, every weekend there will be tree plantings taking place in Baltimore, until May 16th. All congregational groups are welcome to help plant trees in Baltimore. Click on the link for more information. 


Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake · 501 Sixth St, Annapolis, MD 21403, United States
This email was sent to [email protected]. To stop receiving emails, click here