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The Maryland Environmental Policy Act: Resurrecting a Tool for Environmental Protection

January 2015

Citation: 45 ELR 10074

Issue: 1

Author: Russell B. Stevenson Jr.

Maryland’s version of the National Environmental Policy Act has lain essentially dormant because its environmental assessment requirements only apply to actions required or requested by the legislature. While it is unclear whether the political costs of amending the statute to make it more effective are worth it, there are still aspects of the statute that should be used by Maryland agencies. In particular, agencies should adopt rules to ensure that environmental concerns receive adequate consideration in agency decisions. Agencies should also designate individuals as having particular responsibility for ensuring that environmental considerations are taken into account in agency decisions and take steps to make information of environmental concern more readily available to the public. Finally, agencies should ensure that environmental concerns are clearly and expressly considered in their rulemaking proceedings.

Russell B. Stevenson Jr. is Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.

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