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Health Studies Proposed For Montgomery Roads

A majority on the Montgomery County council Tuesday launched an effort to require health impact studies before major roads are built or improved.

Sponsor Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large) said a proposed road known as the Midcounty Corridor, which would run east of I-270 in the Gaithersburg area, would likely be the first major project to fall under any new regulation.

The regulation would require studying the effects of pollution on minors, seniors, women who might have children, and people with respiratory and other conditions. It would not require mitigation.

Backers pointed to research on the negative health impacts of living close to big roads, and said the proposal would give policy makers important data to consider before they approve projects.

A Maryland building industry representative, Raquel D. Montenegro, said any such studies should also consider the health impacts -- from worse congestion and longer commutes -- of not building a particular stretch of road.

The council scheduled a hearing on the proposed regulation for Nov. 3.

By Michael Laris  |  September 29, 2009; 3:52 PM ET
Categories:  Michael Laris , Montgomery County  
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