Seven members in leadership positions in the House of Delegates, including House Appropriations Chair Norman Conway, sent a letter to House Environmental Matters Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh to outline their concerns over House Bill 1107 -The Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2011. The hearing for the bill has been scheduled for March 11.
In a story published in the February 25 edition of the Gazette, the delegates stated their support for the goals of farmland preservation and Chesapeake Bay clean up efforts:
The bill it would impede investment and growth in suburban and rural communities with large concentrations of homes on septic systems.
“We urge you to consider the impact that this legislation will have on communities in the state and whether, in light of the economic recession, the timing is appropriate,” the letter reads. “We all support leaving a clean environment to our children and encouraging responsible growth policies but we must balance this desire with the need to support private sector investment in our state.”
In 10 Maryland counties, including five on the Eastern Shore and all three jurisdictions in Southern Maryland, at least 50 percent of the residences are hooked up to septic systems, according to the state planning department.