As previously reported on Conduit Street, MACo has sent letters to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review raising concerns about MDE’s proposed regulations to require best available nitrogen reduction technology in new and certain replacement septic systems. The MACo letters express concern over the cost and enforcement burdens for county governments. A July 5 Baltimore Sun blog post reported on the submission of the MACo letters:
While not outright opposed to the requirement, [MACo] says local health departments believe they’ll be forced to hire additional people to inspect construction sites and enforce the regulation. Leslie Knapp, the association’s associate director, also contends that requiring nitrogen-removing systems, which cost twice as much as conventional septic, could hurt local economies.
The septic requirement, when combined with a new energy-efficient building code and requirements that all new homes be equipped with fire sprinklers, could “substantially increase the cost of housing in rural jurisdictions at a time when individuals and families can least afford it,” according to Knapp.