Bay Journal

Topics: Politics + Policy

MDE taking fewer enforcement actions against water pollution

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Maryland regulators have been taking significantly fewer enforcement actions for water pollution violations lately, a drop that environmentalists call part of a worsening nationwide trend. State officials, though, say the decrease reflects an increased effort to work with violators and prevent minor infractions from becoming major ones.

In a report submitted earlier this year to lawmakers, the Maryland Department of the Environment said that in fiscal year 2017, its water and science administration took 771 enforcement actions. That’s a 46 percent decline from the number reported the previous year, and the fewest since fiscal year 2008.

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About Politics + Policy

Managing the Chesapeake Bay requires sound policies that reduce pollution and protect ecosystems within it’s 64,000-square-mile watershed. Those policies — often expensive — not only need to be scientifically sound, but must be defensible in the political process at the national, state and local levels. A robust debate is often part of that process. Ultimately, the success of efforts to protect the region’s environment require both sound policy making and political support.

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