Governor Moore signed SB 471, a bill designed to curtail sediment pollution from construction sites, into law. Arundel Rivers Federation celebrated a huge win for clean water on Monday as leaders from the organization stood beside the Governor as he signed the bill
After witnessing the impacts of decades of sediment pollution into the rivers across Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland, Arundel Rivers Federation set out to pass tougher regulations that keep muddy waters on construction sites and out of rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Executive Director, Matt Johnston and South, West, and Rhode Riverkeeper, Elle Bassett teamed up with State Senator Sarah Elfreth from Annapolis, State Delegate Sara Love from Montgomery County, and Evan Isaacson of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance to draft the bill and work with stakeholders to get it passed by the General Assembly.
Sediment Control Regulations
The bill requires Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to update its sediment control regulations for construction sites once every five years. These updates must take into account changes to Maryland’s climate, such as stronger summer thunderstorms that release more rain over a shorter amount of time.
“Sediment suffocates our oysters and our grasses. For years we’ve been stuck on a treadmill trying to keep up with the sediment runoff from construction sites. With this bill, we finally have a process to design state-of-the-art sediment controls that will help us adapt to a changing climate,” said Executive Director Matt Johnston.
The bill also provides organizations like Arundel Rivers and individual citizens the opportunity to request changes to a construction company’s plans to control sediment from a construction site located near sensitive environmental areas.
Arundel Rivers Federation weighed in on over two dozen other bills during the 2023 General Assembly Session. You can read more about their successful efforts for clean water here: https://arundelrivers.org/sucessful-2023-legislative-session/.