Public Health

Welcome! We are the Public Health Committee of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club. We are focused on environmental threats to human health and the disproportionate public health impacts that environmental threats pose to economically disadvantaged communities and people of color.

Our mission:

The Public Health Committee promotes sustainable and healthy lives and communities across Maryland by reducing environmental threats, addressing inequalities in environmental risk and exposure, promoting healthy choices for individuals and communities, and advocating for policies leading to an equitable and healthy environment for all.

Our successes:

In 2017, the Maryland Keep Antibiotic Working coalition and the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club enjoyed a hard-fought victory when the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act was passed by the General Assembly in Annapolis and became law. This new law restricts the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, in order to slow the evolution of “superbugs” that cause deadly bacterial infections.

Our current focus areas:

  • Healthy food priority areas - primarily in Baltimore City
  • Lead poisoning prevention
  • Harmful effects of synthetic plastics and rubber play surfaces, especially tire waste found in artificial turf sports field and playgrounds
  • Urban pesticide use and exposure
  • Trash incineration - Members of the Public Health Committee and Maryland Sierra Club's Zero Waste Committee are working as a team to shut down the BRESCO trash incinerator in Baltimore and the Dickerson trash incinerator in Montgomery County. Both incinerators pollute the air, while BRESCO, in particular, is known to cause respiratory problems, such as asthma, among local residents.

How you can help:

Our success in tackling these issues depends on volunteers like you. We are looking to build a strong committee of dedicated volunteers. Here are some specific roles you can help fill:

- Thought partners who can engage in strategic campaign planning

- Communicators to design and implement a social media presence and public education campaign in collaboration with the Sierra Club communications staff

- Leaders with excellent follow-through who are good at creating and implementing accountability and communication systems for group projects

- Help with outreach to the community and/or legislators as needed

- Event planners who are good with the logistics of securing a space for events

- Event program planning, reaching out to speakers, and recruiting community members to attend

To share your interests and skills, and learn how you can get involved in improving the environment for the public health of our communities, please contact us at