Environmental Justice Legislative Team

Mission: The Maryland Environmental Justice Legislative Team works together to magnify community voices through the legislative process to address environmental inequities in Maryland.The Environmental Justice Legislative Team welcomes participation from anyone interested in creating a more inclusive and equitable environmental policy landscape. We are comprised of activists and volunteers not affiliated with any organization, and the following policy, environmental, faith, and health organizations, including:

Environmental justice seeks clean and healthy environments for communities that are overburdened by pollution and health hazards, and promotes meaningful community engagement in policy-making.


Maryland Environmental Justice Resources

Webinars and Presentations


Legislative Action

2019 Priorities

  • Healthy, Green Maryland Amendment to provide lasting protections for breathable air, drinkable water in Maryland.  To establish the state is a fiduciary for equal access to a healthy environment for present and future generations of Marylanders. A state constitutional green amendment is a natural successor to fracking ban that can fill gaps in existing law to protect our state from increasing vulnerability in the context of the threat of climate change.
  • Public Health Protections at the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide a layer of human health protections at the state Commission which regulates electric and gas utilities among other industries, using the rapid health impact assessment (HIA) tool to determine baseline impacts and potential alternatives.  The rapid HIA is  to be completed by an applicant to the PSC within forty five days of an application to Commission to support the overall health of residents living near a proposed activity.
  • Community Science Data Bill to establish the validity and veracity of data collected by community-led, science based projects and to compel development of policy for the use of this data by Maryland Dept. of the Environment, Department of Health and Department of Natural Resources.
  • Lowering Maryland’s blood lead action level for children We know that the science has proven that there is no safe level of lead exposure and the effects of lead poisoning are irreversible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set a reference blood lead level of 5 μg/dL, but Maryland law does not require intervention until children have levels of 10 μg/dL. Our action level should be at the CDC reference level. Of the children aged 0-72 months tested for lead in 2016,1,729 had blood lead levels between 5 µg/dL and 9 µg/dL.

2018 Priorities

  • Better Notification and Public Health Protections at the Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide a 2-tiered solution to some of the PSC processes that would (1) Increase transparency and notification in the PSC process [HB0715] by creating an accessible, plain language website searchable by county, and (2) Add a layer of protections via rapid health impact assessment to be completed within thirty days of an application to PSC to support residents living near a proposed facility.
  • Community Healthy Air Act to [HB26/SB133] require the Maryland Department of the Environment to conduct a study that identifies and monitors air pollutants emitted by large chicken houses. While industrial chicken farms emit harmful air pollutants, we don’t know how much this pollution is affecting the health of neighboring communities or nearby waters, including the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Lowering Maryland’s blood lead action level for children [HB0304] We know that the science has proven that there is no safe level of lead exposure and the effects of lead poisoning are irreversible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set a reference blood lead level of 5 μg/dL, but Maryland law does not require intervention until children have levels of 10 μg/dL. Our action level should be at the CDC reference level. Of the children aged 0-72 months tested for lead in 2016,1,729 had blood lead levels between 5 µg/dL and 9 µg/dL.

Environmental Justice Digest: Volume 1


In 2017 we supported:

  • Housing and Community Development – Food Deserts – Small Loans (HB 1492)
  • The Maryland Farms & Families Act (HB 586/SB 278)
  • Environment – Testing for Lead in Drinking Water – Public and Nonpublic Schools (HB 270)
  • Environment – Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing – Blood Lead Level (HB 1625/SB 1195)