O'Malley pushes bill banning most new septics
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Monday cast his controversial bid to outlaw construction of most new septic systems across the state as the next logical step in decades of work to rejuvenate the Chesapeake Bay.
The bill would prohibit construction of septic systems in developments with five or more homes, and force any one building two or more homes in Maryland to use more expensive technology to limit nitrogen emissions. Some homes being constructed would be grandfathered in and exempt from the rule.
"We're not talking about trying to tell farmers they can't divide up a lot here and there ... to set up a separate home for a daughter or son-in-law," O'Malley said. "We're talking about mega housing developments ... massive 200- or 300-home developments, all on septic systems."
But Sen E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's) blasted the bill as an attack on rural Maryland by O'Malley and the the state's urban-centric lawmakers.
"There's not one bit of partisanship in this. It's rural versus urban ... and it will destroy rural property values," Pipkin said.
O'Malley surprised both environmentalists and developers this month by backing the legislation in his State of the State address. Pollution from septic systems account for 8 percent of the pollution in the Bay. O'Malley contends that will grow significantly in coming decades if restrictions aren't put in place.
The bill is HB 1107, and is being sponsored by Del. Stephen W. Lafferty, D-Baltimore County, and Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George's.
Aaron C. Davis
| February 14, 2011; 7:10 PM ET
Categories: Aaron C. Davis
Save & Share: Previous: Kasemeyer, Klausmeier declare support for same-sex marriage
Next: Md. senator 'still praying' on same-sex marriage
Posted by: miller1231 | February 15, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse