Legislation

Waterkeepers Chesapeake and our 18 members work on legislation at the local, state and federal level. At the beginning of each year, the legislatures in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are in session. We introduce and push for bills that will clean and restore our local waterways – making them swimmable, drinkable, and fishable in the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays regions, once again.

Latest Posts

Our 2020 Clean Water Legislative Priorities in Maryland, Virginia & Pennsylvania

The General Assembly sessions in Maryland and Virginia started on January 8th with much excitement and optimism for passing strong bills to protect our water and environment. Waterkeepers Chesapeake has identified priority legislation in each state. We will be asking for your help to get these bills passed so stay tuned for news on how … Read more

Act Now! Maryland Should Override Veto of Oyster Management Bill

Last year, we had a very important victory when the Maryland General Assembly passed the Oyster Fishery Management Plan (HB720/SB830) that set up a scientifically driven, consensus-based stakeholder process to develop the Oyster Fishery Management Plan for the State of Maryland. But Governor Hogan decided that business as usual was OK and vetoed the bill. Business … Read more

Waterkeepers Respond to Governor Hogan’s Veto of Oyster Management Bill

By Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta & WKC Staff Attorney Katlyn Schmitt Governor Hogan’s veto of the Oyster Fishery Management Plan (HB720/SB830) is a missed opportunity to move forward on reaching a scientifically driven, consensus-based stakeholder process to develop the Oyster Fishery Management Plan for the State of Maryland. By vetoing the bill the Governor is allowing … Read more

Farmworkers’ Fight for a Livable Wage

Fair Farms Blog By Doreen Paster Maryland made national news during the 2019 legislative session. The General Assembly passed, and then overrode the governor’s veto of a significant increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour over the coming years. Maryland is only the 6th state in the country to do so. The increase in the … Read more

Tell Pennsylvania Legislators to Defend Clean Water and Stop Regulatory Rollbacks

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is in the process of deciding whether to pass a suite of bills that would jeopardize our clean water protections. The bills would create unnecessary levels of bureaucracy and slow down progress on any environmental regulations that further protect our waterways from pollution. Here’s what a few of the more … Read more

That’s a Wrap! Check out Our Successes this Legislative Session

Fair Farms Blog The 2019 Maryland legislative session has come to a close. We are grateful and proud that so many of our bills were successful this year – from incentivizing the purchase of local foods, to ensuring that antibiotics are used responsibly in farming. e vow to keep fighting for those that were not. … Read more

A Big Year for Clean Water Legislation in Maryland and Virginia!

We had some important legislative wins for clean water in Maryland. But first let’s give a big shout out to the amazing win in Virginia on cleaning up a legacy of toxic coal ash stored on our river banks! Virginia Safe Disposal of Coal Ash – Great news in Virginia! On March 20, Governor Northam signed into … Read more

General Assembly Passes Agriculture Tracking and Improvement Bill

Bill would help implement the Phosphorus Management Tool, improve industrial agriculture permitting and reinstate Eastern Shore water quality monitors ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to SB 546, a bill that would give the state more information about agriculture practices, manure transport and water quality on the Eastern Shore, as well improve the … Read more

Urge Maryland to Enforce Laws to Stop Polluted Runoff!

Good news! The Sediment and Erosion Reporting Act (House Bill 703)​ has passed the House and Senate. We now need Governor Hogan to sign it. Send an email urging him to sign this important bill that will allow for better annual reporting and, ultimately, enforcement on stormwater pollution related to construction activities.​ Stormwater runoff remains … Read more

Take Action to Protect Our Water from Fracked Gas Pipelines!

Natural gas pipelines carrying fracked gas from other states are being proposed across Maryland – from the mountains in the west to the Eastern Shore. This expansion of fracked gas infrastructure poses significant risks to our state’s water and environment. We ask you to write to your representatives to urge support of the Maryland Pipeline … Read more