Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail calls on members of Maryland’s delegation to oppose waivers of any law in this Congressional lame duck session, including for the Purple Line

December 6, 2016: Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail opposes waivers of the law of any kind and is asking Senators Cardin and Mikulski and Rep. Van Hollen to “stand up for our nation’s environmental laws, which protect our citizens, children, endangered species, parks and the environment at large,” and to “oppose any waivers …, including any that would encompass the Purple Line.”

Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail is adding its voice to that of the many environmental and public interest organizations who are calling on Congress and the President to stand strong in support of our environmental and other laws and to oppose any waivers of the law that may be stealthily included in appropriations and other must-pass legislation in this lame-duck session.

Since these damaging waiver provisions would not survive public scrutiny or a floor vote in the full House or Senate in a proper legislative process, proponents seek to attach them to larger pieces of legislation that absolutely must pass, such as appropriations bills that are necessary to keep the government running. These waivers thwart due process and wreak permanent harm. In this case, a rider waiving laws might be added by a Member of Congress from another state trying to help a private company, say, from Texas (where Fluor, one of the major companies in the Purple Line private partnership, is headquartered) and its likely subcontractors from overseas (where virtually the only companies are that would manufacture the light-rail cars and equipment) to get the money to build Maryland’s Purple Line and rail cars without requiring them or the Maryland or Federal Transit Administrations to comply with U.S. law.

Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail sent a letter detailing this request to Senators Cardin and Mikulski and to Rep. Van Hollen on November 1st. We followed up shortly after that with a request for a meeting with each. We have since met with Senator Cardin and his staff, and, in a phone call, spoke today with a Legislative Aide from Senator Mikulski’s office. Rep. Van Hollen has not responded.

Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail is calling on its supporters and concerned citizens to contact Senators Cardin and Mikulski and Rep. Van Hollen with this request that they not allow the law to be short-circuited. We are urging Marylanders to call them directly or by way of the Capitol operator at 202-224-3121.

To read our November 1st letter to these elected officials see below:

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