The governor and Democrats settled the year's most contentious environmental issue without legislation as Hogan agreed to new rules to curb farm pollution fouling the Chesapeake Bay. Over time, the compromise regulations limit the use of phosphorus-rich chicken manure to fertilize Eastern Shore crops.
Hogan and environmentalists both claimed victory on the so-called "rain tax," which Hogan had campaigned against and environmentalists see as crucial to the bay's health. The Assembly agreed to repeal the mandatory storm-water fee, but local governments can still charge one — and if they don't, they must find another way to reduce polluted runoff.
By veto-proof margins, lawmakers passed a first-of-its-kind moratorium on natural gas drilling known as "fracking." It will expire in October 2017, sooner than environmentalists had hoped.