House panel OKs 'flush' fee hike, runoff control mandate
Gov. Martin O'Malley's bid to boost the "flush" fee every resident pays moved to the full House Tuesday, as did a measure requiring Maryland's largest counties and Baltimore city to start raising funds for curbing polluted storm runoff from streets and parking lots.So they're going to take some of this money, and buy us rural and suburban dwellers new sewage systems and treatment plant?
The House Environmental Matters Committee voted to approve HB446, which would double the Bay Restoration Fund, aka the “flush tax.” The additional funds would help the state's Chesapeake Bay restoration effort by financing the completion of upgrades to the state's 67 largest sewage plants, so they discharge less bay-fouling nitrogen into creeks, rivers and the bay.
In the Senate, meanwhile, lawmakers are preparing for what President Thomas V. Mike Miller calls a "very dicey" debate over another of the governor's green legislative priorites - SB236, which would curb rural development using septic systems. Environmentalists back the administration's contention that in order to restore the Chesapeake, limits are needed on sprawling development that relies on nitrogen-leaky septic systems. Rural lawmakers, though, oppose the measure as an infringement of local development authority.Nope, just laying plans to restrict us further. Thanks...