Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion Readers Respond

Maryland must do more for clean air [Letter]

Fortunately for Marylanders, Gov. Martin O'Malley has had the foresight to transition our state toward renewable energy sources for power generation. As a result of the passage of the Off-Shore Wind Bill and the veto of House Bill 1168, an anti-on-land wind bill, Governor O'Malley has established wind power as a viable and significant source of energy for Marylanders in the future. Nevertheless, Maryland now has one of the highest sources of air pollution in the East. The 2014 State of the Air Report released by the American Lung Association rates Baltimore City with the grades of F and D for ozone and fine particle pollution, respectively. Over 14,000 children and more than 44,000 adults suffer from asthma in Baltimore City — a condition known to be exacerbated by exposure to high levels of ozone and fine particle pollution. Pollution does not stop at jurisdictional boundaries either. Fully half of the counties in Maryland received the grade of F for Ozone pollution in the recent State of the Air Report. (The other counties could not be assessed due to insufficient data.)

Under Mr. O'Malley's leadership, the Maryland Department of the Environment has promulgated regulations to limit both nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides, precursors of ozone and fine particle pollution. The stakeholder process for the consideration of the sulfur dioxide regulations will continue on Monday, June 23 with a meeting at MDE in Baltimore. MDE is to be commended for issuing a strong set of draft regulations but push-back from industry may result in the weakening of these regulations. Fifty-two legislators and officials have urged MDE to stand firm. We also ask MDE to continue to work to improve the health of Marylanders by standing firm on regulations designed to reduce nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides.

Donna McDowell

The writer is vice chair of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club.

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Last gasp for climate change denial?
    Last gasp for climate change denial?

    Editor's note: This editorial has been updated to reflect that Resources for the Future is not a part of Stanford University. The Sun regrets the error. 

  • Protecting Alaskan wilderness
    Protecting Alaskan wilderness

    Based on the reactions of Alaska Republicans, one might think that President Barack Obama had decided to unilaterally ban guns and snowmobiles from the 49th state instead of merely proposing to upgrade the protected status for certain federally-owned land from "national wildlife refuge" to...

  • Md. bucks national trend toward solar energy
    Md. bucks national trend toward solar energy

    As a Baltimore resident I am embarrassed that Maryland hasn't taken more aggressive steps to harvest renewable resources like solar energy.

  • Coping with climate change
    Coping with climate change

    A recent letter to the editor points out that a solution to climate change is available that could be supported by Republicans ("Carbon fee is bipartisan solution to climate change," Jan 22).

  • Obama as environmentalist
    Obama as environmentalist

    I'm glad reporter John Fritze pointed out President Barack Obama's interest in shaping the political agenda during his State of the Union Address ("Obama sounds populist themes in State of the Union," Jan. 20).

  • Carbon fee is bipartisan solution to climate change
    Carbon fee is bipartisan solution to climate change

    Missing from John Fritze's summary of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address ("Obama turns populist in State of the Union speech," Jan. 21) are his comments on the greatest threat to future generations — climate change. I applaud President Obama for bringing up this difficult...

Comments
Loading