After twelve years, as House Majority Leader, spearheading a progressive Democratic agenda that’s had a profound impact on the lives of all Marylanders, Kumar Barve became Chairman of the House Environment and Transportation Committee. In this role Barve has distinguished himself as an aggressive and effective fighter for the Chesapeake Bay, its tributary waters, and the state’s groundwater. He’s stood up newly elected Republican Governor Larry Hogan in his many attempts to roll-back the progress made during the O’Malley Administration.
Phosphorus Pollution -- Within hours of his inauguration, Hogan repealed vital regulation that protected the Bay from phosphorus pollution. Barve responded by assembling environmental groups and scientific experts to develop a legislative strategy to force the tougher regulation we need to protect the Bay. Hogan was forced to buckle under the pressure and reversed his position, enabling us to maintain strong regulation reducing phosphorus levels.
Fracking – Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) would contaminate tributaries that lead to the Chesapeake Bay. Soon after Barve became Chairman, he took on the oil and gas industry to pass legislation to impose a moratorium on fracking in Maryland. This year, Barve led his committee to impose a permanent bad on Fracking. This makes Maryland the first state to create a meaningful legislative ban on fracking. For his leadership, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters named Barve their "Legislator of the Year".
Banning Offshore Oil Drilling -- This year Kumar succeeded in passing a law that functionally bans offshore oil drilling. Kumar is committed to protecting Ocean City, our shoreline and the Chesapeake Bay from the devastation of an oil spill.
Storm Water Runoff Fees -- Storm water runoff is the fastest growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. Barve and his committee rejected Republican legislation aimed at repealing fees on polluters. Thanks to his leadership, Maryland and its local municipalities are in compliance with federal EPA standards, and we’ve helped protect the long-term health of the Bay.
Protecting the Chesapeake Bay -- The new Trump Administration swiftly abandoned the bipartisan consensus to protect our bay. Within days of the Trump Administration's announcement of plan to reduce to zero Federal bay restoration funding, Chairman Barve introduced and passed a bipartisan resolution condemnating of this action (click here to read resolution).