The Maryland Senate voted on March 10 to approve Senate Bill 280, Nonwoven Disposable Products – Advertising and Labeling by a vote of 34-12. The bill is modeled on the first “wipes legislation” in the country, the District of Columbia’s Nonwoven Disposable Products Act of 2016. Both the DC bill and the Maryland bill address flushability standards for flushable wipes, and “Do not flush” labeling for non-flushable wipes.
NACWA provided testimony during a Senate Committee on Education, Health & Environmental Affairs hearing on the bill, along with NACWA member agency the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) and the Chesapeake Bay Commission. INDA, the trade association of the nonwoven fabrics industry, provided testimony opposing the bill. A hearing in the House Economic Matters Committee is scheduled for March 15. NACWA will continue to work with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Maryland Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies, and the Chesapeake Water Environment Association to support this legislation. If successful, it will be the first state legislation in the country to deal with wipes.