We usually associate saltwater with the ocean, which gets its distinctive flavor from naturally occurring minerals. Such minerals are also found in freshwater systems in lower concentrations, and natural salt levels vary with local geology. However, human inputs of salt increase concentrations far beyond naturally occurring levels, threatening ecosystem balance. Therefore, it is important to understand how humans cause salt pollution. In this section, we will reveal the human activities responsible for salt pollution and the extent of their impacts.
In Maryland, salt pollution is already problematic and continues to worsen. Currently, 28 of Maryland’s streams are identified as chloride impaired [Winter Salt]. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the baseline secondary contaminant level for chloride, a common component of road salt (mostly sodium chloride, NaCl), at 250 mg/L; however, many of the state’s streams have exceeded this limit for over 20 years [UMD extension].
As you probably know, Virginia has elections just around the corner! Did you know that early voting starts on FRIDAY (9/17)? There are many important races this year, including Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and the State House of Delegates.
Here are the important dates that you need to keep in mind as you get ready to vote:
Monday was the last day of Maryland's Legislative Session. Maryland has a 90 day legislative session - it runs straight from January to April. Once it ends, the legislature can come back via Special Session to vote on legislation or override vetoes, but those are not common. So, this concludes our chance to change state law in 2021.
Today, the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee holds its hearing on HB807, legislation to create a task force to study recycling and solid waste policies and systems in Maryland. This task force could significantly help advance zero waste in Maryland; here is our testimony in favor of the bill.
HB807: Task Force on Recycling Policy and Recycling and Waste Systems in Maryland
Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
March 31, 2021
Railroad Company - Movement of Freight - Required Crew
Senate Finance Committee
March 23, 2021
Dear Chairwoman Kelley and Members of the Committee,
Clean Water Action thanks Delegate Stein for continuing to champion two man crew legislation and supports its passage. We have a keen interest in making sure that trains in Maryland have adequate crew available to not only respond to disasters, but also to prevent them.