Amid opposition from both parties in the General Assembly, the farming community and rural jurisdictions, Governor O’Malley has drafted amendments to his proposed ban on septic systems. The amendments would accommodate farmers’ concerns regarding a one-time only subdivision of their land. According to the Daily Times in Salisbury. The Governor met last week with members of the farming community and Buddy Hance, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
Amendments crafted by the governor would allow farmers to split their land four times, but only for family members, not for sale to developers. It would also allow farmers to divide their land for other, non-residential means, like building a winery or dairy operation.
The governor distributed copies of the amendments to the group and told them they would have much of the summer to talk about the issue, said Val Connelly, lobbyist for the Maryland Farm Bureau who attended the meeting.
“The impression the farm community got was we have time to discuss our concerns,” she said.
O’Malley would like to see the bill passed this year, to start addressing nitrogen runoff into the Bay, but has always said he wants an open debate on the issue, said Hance.
The public hearings for the House and Senate versions of the legislation will be held Friday, March 11.