SB 26 - State Highway Administration - State Highways and Interstate Highways - Litter Collection and Mowing

Position: Support

Committee: Senate Finance Committee

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch) dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

Senate Bill 26 this bill requires the State Highway Administration (SHA), on a consistent and regular basis, to collect litter and mow the grass along State highways and interstate highways that it is responsible for maintaining. The bill establishes minimum frequency requirements for litter collection and mowing, depending on the season. SHA must contract with a Maryland-based company to collect litter and provide mowing services, as specified. Litter collection and mowing services provided under the bill must be considered a supplemental environmental project (SEP) for purposes of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SEP policy.

The Conference supports environmental legislation that recognizes the integral ecosystem in which we live. In his encyclical, On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si’), Pope Francis states that “There is a growing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet… Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it."

Making sure that our state highways and interstates are clean is just one way we can make sure our common home is cared for.
The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on Senate Bill 26.