The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which took place in March 2011, delivered a reminder to the world that nuclear power comes with inherent risks. In the United States, 49 million Americans receive their drinking water from surface sources located within 50 miles of an active nuclear power plant —inside the boundary the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uses to assess risk to food and water supplies.
Phosphorus from manure applied to farmland is a major source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Intensive chicken production, particularly on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, generates large volumes of manure. Growers and farmers often spread this manure on their fields as fertilizer, but when applied in excess, the nutrients that make manure useful for fertilizing crops also contribute to dead zones in the bay.
All Americans should be able to breathe clean air. But pollution from power plants and vehicles puts the health of our nation’s children and families at risk. Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, is one of the most harmful and one of the most pervasive air pollutants.
The Northeast faces two fundamental and intertwined challenges: fossil fuel dependence and pollution from fossil fuels. Our dependence on coal, oil, and gas imposes economic costs, pollutes our air and water, and harms public health.
Maryland took a bold step toward reducing our contribution to global warming and breaking our dependence on fossil fuels with the passage of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA) in 2009. The law set an ambitious but achievable goal of reducing Maryland’s emissions of global warming pollution by 25 percent below the 2006 level by 2020.