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Environmental Human Rights Amendment

Current and former leaders from our State are drawing attention to a bill before the General Assembly to create a State constitutional amendment to protect the right to a healthful environment in Maryland. The bill proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Maryland to establish that every person has the fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful and sustainable environment; and requiring the State to serve as the trustee of the State’s natural resources, including the air, land, water, wildlife, and ecosystems of the State, and to conserve, protect, and enhance the State’s natural resources for the benefit of every person, including present and future generations. Delegate Wanika Fisher (PG County), a sponsor of a bill, notes that: “There is a difference between regulations, which address a particular issue, and a right, which is all encompassing.” According to Fisher, an environmental human rights amendment would “create a structure in which people’s environmental rights need to be taken into consideration.”

Former Congressman Wayne Gilchrist recently submitted an op-ed to the Bay Journal saying “we must live according to nature’s principles, creating a regenerative world that affords each generation no less than what prior generations enjoyed. We can do this by recommitting ourselves to live within Earth’s planetary boundaries, ensuring that everyone – in this and future generations- has a right to a healthy environment. And we can do that by placing the Environmental Human Rights Amendment in Maryland’s constitution.”

NeighborSpace is among the nonprofits that has signed on as a supporter of the bill, a stance the organization has taken in each of the last three years that the bill has been introduced.

Information from NeighborSpace of Baltimore County

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