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Frosh: Veto Phosphate Ban Delay

A senior Maryland senator is urging Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) to veto a bill that would give companies more time to comply with Maryland's upcoming ban on phosphates in dishwasher detergents.

In a letter to O'Malley, Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery) said that pushing the effective date of the ban from January 2010 to July 2010 would "add up to 15,000 pounds of phosphates to Bay waters."

"Phosphates are particularly pernicious because they end up stored in sediments," wrote Frosh, who sponsored legislation last year authorizing the ban. "Once in the Bay, the phosphates resulting from [the pending bill] will be available for years to fuel the algal blooms that each summer day destroy oxygen in the Bay's deep waters and threaten underwater grasses in the shallows."

The bill allowing the delay, sponsored by Sen. Michael G. Lenett (D-Montgomery), passed the Senate 25 to 22 after heavy lobbying from Proctor & Gamble, one of the affected companies. The margin in the House of Delegates was far more comfortable, 105 to 33.

Lenett agreed to sponsor the bill at the request of the industry, which is seeking to align the date of Maryland's ban with those of other states with similar legislation.

O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said the governor is reviewing Lenett's bill. O'Malley has signed dozens of bills during three signing ceremonies since the April 7 conclusion of the legislative session. He has scheduled two more ceremonies, the last of which will be May 22. Any vetoes are likely to be announced about that time.

For this and more on Maryland politics, see Sunday's Annapolis Notebook.

By Anne Bartlett  |  April 28, 2008; 10:38 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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This would be a great opportunity for the Governor to demonstrate his convictions. Will it be the health of the bay or corporate interests?

He's already punted the ball on wind energy and spending commitments to the environment. Here is a chance to protect the bay without impacting the budget.

What is the downside for a veto? Angering Proctor & Gamble?

It all boils down to this: ¿Es él bastante valiente?

(Folks from Frederick: Look it up!)

Posted by: PG'er | April 28, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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