Cardin Pledges Push For Renewed Bay Laws

April 21, 2009|By Laura Smitherman | Laura Smitherman,laura.smitherman@baltsun.com

U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin pledged Monday to introduce legislation to reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Program and expand the regulatory framework that has failed to clean up the watershed.

Cardin spoke at a congressional field hearing in Annapolis, which he said would be the first in a series to discuss new legislation for the bay program. The program was last authorized in 2000, expired in 2005 and has fallen far short of goals for improving the bay's water quality by 2010.

While he expects a renewed focus by the Environmental Protection Agency on bay pollution, Cardin said, the bill must specifically lay out the agency's role to ensure it is carried out in a new administration.

"We have got to take this to a new level," said Cardin, a Maryland Democrat. "We need to think beyond the current situation ... without imposing undue burdens on the private sector."

Cardin is chairman of the Water and Wildlife subcommittee of the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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