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From CBF;


Maryland Passes Landmark Clean Air Bill - Almost! Ask Gov. Ehrlich to Sign Healthy Air Act!
Instructions: Call the Governor's office today and ask him to sign the Healthy Air Act.

Phone: 410-974-3901

Goal:
To get 1,000 calls to the Governor's office before Friday.

Be a part of this historic legislation. Make that call!


You Can Make it a Reality

We’re almost there! On Friday, the Senate and the House passed the Healthy Air Act (SB 154) and sent it to Governor Ehrlich for his signature. The Governor has six days to sign or veto the bill.

Right now we need your help one last time: please call the Governor today (410-974-3901) and urge him to sign the legislation to clean up Maryland’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants.

Our goal is to flood the Governor’s office with calls so he will sign this important piece of legislation before the Session ends next Monday, April 10.

Please make that call and let Governor Ehrlich know that you want to see cleaner air and a cleaner Bay. Ask him to: “Sign the Healthy Air Act - Senate Bill 154.”

After you call the Governor, please send me a quick email (click the link or use this email address: [email protected]) so we can track how many phone calls he receives.

Thank you.
Terry Cummings
Manager of Advocacy (lover of nature and beekeeper)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Background


The Maryland Healthy Air Act closes a loophole in the Federal Clean Air Act that has allowed old, coal-fired power plants to avoid pollution control upgrades and marks the beginning of our efforts to address the enormous problem of global warming.

The Healthy Air Act requires the six dirtiest power plants in Maryland to reduce the pollution that contributes to smog, soot, global warming, the dead zone in the Bay, and mercury contamination of fish. It will require reductions of 75% of Nitrogen Oxide emissions, 85% of Sulfur Dioxide, 90% of Mercury, and 10% of Carbon Dioxide.

As a whole, the bill is the strongest power plant emissions legislation ever passed by any state in the country.

The House of Delegates passed the bill on Friday, March 31, by a vote of 107-27, followed by a Senate vote of 32-11. The governor has until this Friday to sign or veto the bill.

Please take a moment to make one phone call to the Governor at 410-974-3901 and urge him to sign the bill.
 

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Governor Ehrlich Signs Healthy Air Act
Thursday, April 6, 2006
By: CBF Staff

6 MD power plants must now implement long-needed pollution controls.

This morning, Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. signed into law the Healthy Air Act SB 154, legislation that will ensure the six dirtiest coal-fired power plants in Maryland install new technologies to reduce emissions of carbon-dioxide (a green-house gas), sulfur dioxide (contributes to soot formation and increased respiratory problems), nitrogen oxides (a significant airborne source of nitrogen to the Bay that leads to dead zones) and mercury (a neurotoxin that can harm developing fetuses and cause fish consumption advisories).

As a whole, the bill is the strongest power plant emissions legislation ever passed by any state in the country. For two years, the environmental community has worked to pass this legislation.

This year’s bill, spearheaded by lead sponsors Senator Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George’s) and Delegate James Hubbard (D-Prince George’s) garnered strong bi-partisan support with 77 co-sponsors in the House and 22 co-sponsors in the Senate. The bill passed the House by a vote of 107-27 and the Senate with 33 of 47 votes. Governor Ehrlich, recognizing the need to improve Maryland’s air quality, signed the bill.

We thank everyone who responded to our e-alerts.

If you have a moment, call or write your legislator and the Governor and thank them for supporting healthy air.

House Vote Tally
Senate Vote Tally
Find your Legislators

Nitrogen emissions from the six affected power plants will be reduced by roughly 70 percent, resulting in a reduction of close to one million pounds of nitrogen deposition to the Bay and its rivers. Nitrogen is the chief cause of the dead zone that affects the Bay during the summer months,killing fish and crabs and leaving large areas of the Bay with little or no oxygen.

Mercury emission from these power plants will be reduced by 90 percent and sulfur dioxide emissions will be reduced by 85 percent. Both of these reductions will result in significant improvements in local and regional air quality, and human health.

In addition to these reductions, the Healthy Air Act requires Maryland to join neighboring states in reducing carbon dioxide by joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This collaborative effort is working toward a 10 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through a variety of strategies. Carbon dioxide causes global warming and in a state like Maryland, with so much shoreline, this is critical to stemming coastal flooding, erosion and property loss due to rising sea levels.

“We are extremely grateful to Senator Pinsky and Delegate Hubbard for championing this far-reaching legislation and also to Governor Ehrlich for his signing the bill. It will mean cleaner air for all Marylanders and cleaner water for everyone who lives, works and plays in our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Kim Coble, Maryland Executive Director.

We thank all of CBF’s members who responded to our e-alerts. If you have a moment, call or write your legislator and the Governor and thank them for their vote for healthy air. Legislators always appreciate their constituents recognizing a good vote.
 
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