Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maryland State Senators Call For Environmental Justice

State Senator David C. Harrington (D-PG Co), left, is calling for environmental justice reviews in state development and environmental permits. Maryland is approximately 20% African American and the state includes areas with minority communities that already have a disproportionate number of environmentally hazardous facilities compared to other communities.

It is being reported that a recent hearing before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee did not find much support for this issue. In fact, the chairwoman of the committee, Senator Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), right, noted that the committee received numerous letters opposing the environmental justice bills. The letters came from interests ranging from real estate agents to home builders, energy companies and even the Farm Bureau.

AAEA is promoting a national Environmental Justice Act of 2009 through the Environmental Justice Coalition, that would address many of the concerns of Senators Harrington and Carter Conway. We have also drafted a Maryland Environmental Justice Act that is specific to the state. (

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