The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) published its proposed regulations in the June 1 edition of the Maryland Register that would require the use of “best available technology” (BAT) for nitrogen removal for all new septic systems and replacement septic systems that would expand capacity. A full description of the proposed BAT regulations is available in this prior Conduit Street article.
The MDE public comment period for the regulations currently expires on July 15, although MACo has heard rumors that the deadline might be extended into August. Those wishing to submit comments to MDE should be mail, call, email, or fax them to:Mr. Jay Prager Deputy Program Administrator Water Management Administration Maryland Department of the Environment 1800 Washington Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21230-1708 firstname.lastname@example.org (phone) 410.537.3780 (fax) 410.537.3163
Additionally, the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR Committee) will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, July 10, to consider the proposed BAT regulations. The hearing will start at 2:00 pm and will take place in the Joint Hearing Room, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. The AELR Committee will also be considering nutrient management plan regulations proposed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. For further information, contact Evan M. Isaacson or Marie H. Razulis, Department of Legislative Services, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401 (410.946.5350 or 301.970.5350).
Written or emailed comments should be addressed to the AELR Committee Chairs and copied to AELR Committee Chairs and may be copied to AELR Committee members. Copies should also be sent to the two Legislative Services staff members, Mr. Isaacson and Ms. Razulis, listed in the previous paragraph.
MACo has not taken a position on the use of BAT septic technology when it has been previously considered by the General Assembly. However, MACo has submitted letters of concern to both MDE and the AELR Committee about the enforcement and cost mandates that the proposed regulations will impose on the counties. MACo’s position regarding the BAT regulations will be discussed at the July 11 meeting of its Legislative Committee.
The Maryland Conference of Local Environmental Health Directors will also likely be submitting comments express their concern with the proposed BAT regulations. Other groups, such as the Maryland Association of Realtors, have already submitted their comments.