The Maryland General Assembly approved an amended SB 528, the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, during the 2022 General Assembly.
Maryland Governor Hogan, who opposed SB 528, with amendments, allowed the legislation passed by the General Assembly to become law without his signature on April 8, 2022. The Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 takes effect June 1, 2022.
Senate Bill 528 Overview
On April 19, 2022, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Bill 16-21- Environmental Sustainability- Building Energy Use Benchmarking and Performance Standards. The Department of Environmental Protection has until December 2023 to issue the regulations that will govern building energy performance standards.
This bill comes on the heels of the State legislature passing Senate Bill 528, Climate Solutions Bill – which addresses similar issues at the state level. The original state bill included language that would have exempted buildings from the State law if their local county enacted similar legislation, i.e. local county regulations would trump the state regulations. However, this language was stricken from the final state law and there is a question of whether the intent of the General Assembly was to preempt any local legislation by this language change.
The Office of the County Attorney (OCA) believes that this was not a clear preemption and that this does not impact the County’s ability to proceed with its own benchmarking and performance standard measures.
AOBA staff continues to monitor the State and County’s development of BEPS regulations and is working County officials to ensure industry representation on the regulation advisory taskforce.
County Staff Report on Bill 16-21