Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Septic Repeal Bill Squashed

Committee Rejects Bill That Sparked Tractor Protest
The House Environmental Matters Committee has rejected a bill that would have repealed limits on new septic systems in Maryland. The limits, enacted by the Maryland General Assembly last year, had been the focus of a demonstration last week in Annapolis.

About a dozen farmers drove their tractors around the Maryland State House.The farmers say the limits restrict their property rights including any decision to sell their land for housing development.

Environmentalists say the septic limits will reduce water pollution that will go into the Chesapeake Bay.
Both can be true simultaneously. Remember, septic accounts for approximately 7% of the nitrogen pollution to Bay.  Is it worth restricting land owners freedom to make room for new home over this relatively small source?

While a corresponding Senate bill remains on the books, this pretty much kills prospect for significantly changing the law this year.  Given Maryland's increasing urban outlook, it may well be the end of attempts to reform this bill for the foreseeable future.

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