The Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
President of the Senate
State House
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dear Mr. President:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed Senate Bill 376 - Environment - Noise Inspectors.

Senate Bill 376 requires the Maryland Department of the Environment to employ two noise inspectors to enforce the State sound level limits and noise control regulations. The bill authorizes a noise inspector to issue a civil citation with a maximum penalty of $500 to any individual found in violation of State sound level limits and State noise control regulations.

Under current law, the Department adopts environmental noise standards, sound level limits and noise control rules and regulations as necessary to protect the public health, the general welfare and property of the citizens of Maryland. The law provides for certain exemptions for construction or repair work on public property and fire or rescue station alerting devices. To the maximum extent possible, the Department must use the facilities and services of appropriate agencies of political subdivisions in its enforcement activities.

Currently the State noise enforcement program, consisting of one inspector within the Department of the Environment, is funded through the annual State budgetary process and approved by the Maryland General Assembly. The Department did not submit a budgetary request for funding for a second noise inspector for fiscal year 2002 and does not believe that there is a demonstrated need, from either a policy or budgetary perspective, warranting a statutory mandate for the Department to employ two noise inspectors, at all times, to enforce State law.

For the above reasons, I have vetoed Senate Bill 376.

Parris N. Glendening