After weeks of intense controversy, the Maryland Senate yesterday rejected Lynn Buhl as secretary of the environment, marking the first time in the state’s history that a governor’s cabinet nominee has been turned down. The 26-21 vote was a major blow to Maryland Republicans and Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Jr. (R), who had championed Buhl, a former auto industry attorney from Michigan. Buhl later worked in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality under then-Gov. John Engler (R), whose reputation among environmentalists could scarcely have been worse. Maryland enviros and others had been outraged by the nomination, saying, in the words of Senate President Thomas Miller, Jr. (D), that Ehrlich had tried to “put an anti-environmentalist in charge of the environment.”