Undeterred by accusations he's waging "war on rural Maryland," Gov. Martin O'Malley has revived legislation aimed at curbing sprawling development built with septic systems.Ah, we're going to try putting the frog in the pot and then turn on the stove, instead of trying to force the frog into boiling water. It might work.
The governor's septics bill, part of his legislative package introduced Monday night in Annapolis, tries a new, more complex "tiered" approach. It replaces his controversial proposal last year to ban large housing projects using "onsite sewage disposal," which officials say is a growing source of the nutrient pollution fouling the Chesapeake Bay.
The new plan would take off on Maryland's 15-year-old Smart Growth policies and impose increasingly stringent restrictions on the use of septic systems the farther new housing would be built from existing cities, towns and unincorporated communities. It's an approach recommended by a 28-member task force he appointed to study the issue after legislative leaders shelved his earlier bill. ...
Instead of banning such development outright, the bill would encourage counties and municipalities to put more growth on centralized sewer systems, while discouraging septic-based construction on farmland and in watershed areas where officials say it's likely to pollute streams and the bay.
I still maintain that a large part of O'Malley's internal rationale for this "war on septic systems" is that pushing people into cities with more municipal services (like septic) makes them more dependent those services, and more likely to vote to keep them, and the party that promulgates them.
Of all the things to depend on, isn’t government the smartest choice? You could depend on yourself, but come on. You know yourself; you fail all the time. You could depend on your friends and family, but they’d eventually get sick of you. But government will always love you and always be there. Long after you’re dead and forgotten, there will be government.