...Just a few weeks ago, Flanigan outlined to the county commissioners the potential $600 million costs to Cecil County of steps to comply with state and federal mandates to reduce pollution of the Chesapeake Bay, including mandatory upgrades of homes’ septic systems to costly nitrogen-reducing technology; extension of sewer lines to areas currently on septic systems; and costly programs to curb stormwater run-off in more urban areas of the county. [SEE previous Cecil Times news report here: http://ceciltimes.com/2011/11/cecil-county-faces-600-million-tab-for-bay-pollution-cleanup-homeowners-face-new-flush-mandates/ ]I guess the theory is what you don't commit to can't come back to bite you in the ass.
But on Tuesday, Flanigan recanted his previously detailed scenarios, saying that the latest legal advice to the counties was to keep it as vague as possible.
“Don’t vote on the WIP, don’t approve it, don’t disapprove it,” Flanigan advised the commissioners. “Strip this thing down,” he advised, so that the county would comply with the bare minimum of state mandates but would not be held accountable in legal terms for specific steps to reduce pollution. As a result, the county would not specify the numbers of homes to be converted from private septic systems to public sewers or costly individual nitrogen-removal septic systems.
County Commissioners seemed greatly relieved and decided that the county’s response should be phrased as a proposal from the county staff, and not ratified or formally approved by the County Commissioners, for legal reasons...