Hazardous Waste

HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT: Action to promote the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste and to educate the public on safe disposal procedures. (1984)

Support for:
  1. Sound management of hazardous waste through:
    • a. recycling, recovery and pre-treatment;
    • b. alternatives to land filling;
    • c. providing economic incentives to industry and evaluating the results;
    • d. providing funds for environmental monitoring and enforcement.
  2. State government action to assist public and small generator waste disposal in an economically feasible and environmentally safe way through:
    • a. education of the public as to what hazardous waste is, how to dispose of it properly, and safe alternative products that can be used;
    • b. mandating informative labeling on all hazardous waste products;
    • c. encouraging the establishment of convenient collection sites throughout Maryland.
Background: Studies of hazardous waste by seven Local Leagues, begun in 1982, were merged into a state study, authorized at the 1983 LWVMD Convention. This led to consensus and adoption of positions in 1984. The study was intended as a basis for informing and educating the public about household waste generation and disposal, and for encouraging anticipated legislation to reduce the generation of hazardous waste. One outcome was a “Facts and Issues” publication: Hazardous Waste in Maryland (Pub. 83/3), published with support by the League of Women Voters Education Fund and the Environmental Protection Agency. Another development, partially due to LWV effort, was the institution of Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days in most counties.
  • Advocacy for pesticide “right to know” legislation. (1986 – achieved)
  • Monitoring implementation of “right to know” legislation, providing public access to information, mainly from the Department of Environment, about location of toxic chemicals, and from the Department of Agriculture about pesticides. (1986 – continuing)
  • Support for a bill requiring manufacturers of mercuric oxide batteries to collect and recycle such batteries and prohibiting their unregulated disposal. (1992 – achieved)
  • Support for limiting use of pesticides near schools and other pesticide control legislation. (1994, 1996 – defeated).
  • Supported legislation (using LWVUS positions) that would require reduction of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and mercury from coal-fired power plants (2006 – achieved)
  • Supported (using LWVUS positions) the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009 which mandates 25% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. Also supported (using LWVUS positions) the Alternative Energy Tax Incentive Act of 2009 encouraging wind energy for residential use. (passed – 2009)