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Md. Among Greenest States In U.S.

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Maryland's top-10 ranking could mean more money for the state and its efforts to protect the environment. The survey comes from a national organization that tracks the number of green buildings in each state.

Gigi Barnett explains Maryland is among the greenest in the nation.

Many visitors inside Baltimore's new Horseshoe Casino may not be able to tell, but pull into the parking garage and some of the green spaces may reveal the brand new casino is LEED-certified: from top to bottom, a green building.

"One of the things we have is a great water system that collects storm water and runoff that we can reuse that water in our lavatories," said Noah Hirsch, Horseshoe Marketing vice president.

That kind of building trend has taken off in Maryland, according to a new ranking released this week by the US Green Building Council. It tracked the states with the most LEED-certified buildings, and Maryland made the number three spot. In addition to the casino, the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Goucher College have many of the state's green buildings.

"Having a healthier building means that people usually enjoy it more," said USGBC Maryland Chapter Executive Director Sabrina Harder. "You have natural day lighting, you have cleaner air. You can sort of experience that difference."

Good for the state's environment and bottom line--but is Maryland locked in the third place ranking for good?

"There's a chance that we could move up," Harder said. "We always hope to be number one."

But Maryland will have to beat out two other states to get the top spot. First, Colorado, which is number two, and then Illinois at number one.

More than 140,000 homes and businesses around the world are LEED-certified.

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