The Task Force on Sustainable Growth and Wastewater Disposal, dealing this legislative interim with septic systems, and a range of related land use and environmental issues, has issued its final report.
Among the major issues in the Task Force’s recommendations:
-Establishing multiple “tiers” within county master plans, designating areas based on intended and allowable development (specifically on septic systems)
-Increasing the state bay restitution fee, with a share returned to county governments for related local efforts
-Mandating any new development on septic implement “best available technology” in the septic systems
The Task Force did not specifically resolve some of the major issues from the 2011 legislation that gave its rise — most notably the proposal to create a statewide limit of 4 units allowable to be approved with the use of septics systems, while any “major” project of 5 or more would only be approvable on public wastewater systems or shared facilities. The Report essentially defers these remaining decisions to the General Assembly, expected to take up related legislation in the 2012 session.
MACo was represented formally by two task force members, Anne Arundel County Councilmember Chris Trumbauer and Caroline County Planning Director Katheleen Freeman. Worcester County Commissioner Madison Bunting and Worcester County Environmental Programs Administrator Bob Mitchell also served as appointed members, while other county officials and MACo staff were involved in the deliberations at the Task Force and subgroup levels. MACo has not committed formal support for any of the task force’s final proposals.