|Twelve states (dark green), including California, are now under the California emissions standards with their greenhouse gas limits. Five more (yellow) are actively considering joining. Click to enlarge.|
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a number of environmental bills into law, including the Maryland Clean Cars Act. (Earlier post.) This makes Maryland the 12th state to adopt the California Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards which include the greenhouse gas reduction targets for new cars.
The signing came on the same day that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen Johnson announced that the agency had opened the public comment process for the waiver that would enable California and the other states to move ahead with regulating greenhouse gas emissions from future new vehicles. (Earlier post.)
Under the regulations, auto manufacturers would be required to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by their fleets by around 30% over a period of time. In California, the CO2 reductions are due to begin in 2009. Maryland’s implementation of the standards begins with the 2011 model year.
The week prior, the governor brought Maryland into line with ten neighboring states by joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The governor also signed an Executive Order that establishes a Climate Change Commission charged with developing an action plan to address climate change in Maryland and rising sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay.
Other legislation signed into law included:
Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration: Establishes an Oyster Advisory Commission in the Department of Natural Resources and allows for the leasing of parcels of underwater land to restore vulnerable oyster populations.
Maryland Green Building Council: Establishes the Maryland Green Building Council, which will advise the Governor and General Assembly on how they can best use green building technologies in future state construction projects.
Prohibition of the commercial harvest of diamondback terrapins, and limits the recreational harvest to 3 per person.
Stormwater Management Act of 2007: Requires the Department of the Environment to adopt new regulations and a model ordinance to manage stormwater runoff.