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Department of the Environment acts to advance clean and renewable energy at redevelopment sites

DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT ACTS TO ADVANCE CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY AT REDEVELOPMENT SITES

Public comment welcomed on proposed regulation to waive cleanup program fees for sites slated for green energy projects; proposal stems from governor’s task force recommendation and legislation

BALTIMORE (Oct. 8, 2021) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is moving to encourage the development of clean and renewable energy projects on abandoned or under-utilized waste sites in need of environmental cleanup.

MDE would promote green energy projects by waiving fees that are normally required under the agency’s program to oversee redevelopment of brownfield sites. The fee waiver, which would be offered to applicants that plan to use the property to generate clean or renewable energy, is included in a proposed regulation that was published today in the Maryland Register.

The proposed regulation, now open for public comment, would implement Hogan administration legislation that was passed in 2020 following a recommendation from the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting. Earlier this month, the Hogan administration announced four principles for environmental legislation regarding the Chesapeake Bay, climate change, and clean and renewable energy.

“Maryland is committed to clean and renewable energy progress and a thriving green economy,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “By waiving certain fees, we can boost smart redevelopment at brownfield sites to meet our climate goals while conserving green fields and sensitive ecosystems. This is one of many ways to advance the Hogan administration’s environmental principles.”

Under the proposed regulation, applicants who intend to use a redevelopment site to generate at least 2 megawatts per year of clean or renewable energy would be exempt from certain fees normally required by MDE’s Voluntary Cleanup Program. The program was created to encourage the investigation, cleanup, and redevelopment of eligible properties with known or perceived controlled hazardous substance contamination.

The initial application fee of $6,000 and $2,000 fees for additional applications relating to the property would be waived for eligible sites. A cleanup program participant who submits a clean or renewable energy certification and whose fee is waived must later verify to MDE that the project was completed in accordance with the certification.

The proposed regulation is open for public comment through Nov. 8. Comments may be sent to Erica Chapman, Administrator II, Land and Materials Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 610, Baltimore, MD 21230, by calling 410-537-3304, by email to erica.chapman@maryland.gov, or by fax to 410-537-3002.

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