The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
Annapolis MD 21401
Dear Mr. Speaker:
In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 395 - Potomac River Protection Act and signed Senate Bill 729 - Potomac River Protection Act.
House Bill 395 and Senate Bill 729 were introduced to address an assortment of threats to the Potomac River including pollution, construction, development along the shoreline and allocation of water. They also address the issue of future planning for the environmental integrity of the river and the economic uses of the river.
Both bills require MDE to submit three water resource reports to the General Assembly. The Senate Bill establishes a reporting deadline. Both bills prohibit the Maryland Department of the Environment from issuing a permit for the construction of a water intake pipe into the Potomac River until six months after those reports have been submitted unless four conditions are met. However, Senate Bill 729 was amended to authorize specifically the Department to issue, during the moratorium, a permit to construct a water intake structure with a removable plate that would limit the intake's capacity to a certain appropriation amount unless the Department consents to an increased capacity. In light of these provisions, I am signing Senate Bill 729 and have vetoed House Bill 395.
Parris N. Glendening