Opinion Poll Finds Public Support for Bay Restoration Fee Increase, Septic Restrictions

A recent poll released by OpinionWorks finds “strong support for increasing the Bay Restoration Fund and for reducing pollution for growth and septic systems.”  The poll was conducted among 801 Maryland registered voters over the period of December 11-15 last year, with a margin of error of 3.4%,  Some of the key findings:

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of voters would spend more tax dollars to make the waters safe and healthy “if State leaders and scientists said more tax dollars were needed.” Fewer than half that many (29%) oppose this idea. …

There is equally strong support for an increase in the Bay Restoration Fund – with 64% of voters supporting an increase in the Fund “to finish upgrading major wastewater treatment plants and provide local governments with money to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and complete other water quality projects.” Only 27% of voters oppose that.  …

Voters’ underlying concerns about the impact of growth and their interest in an active state role managing it translate into strong support for two proposals to regulate and limit septic systems.  Nearly three-quarters (72%) of voters support legislation that would tighten regulations on septic systems, with a majority (53%) strongly supportive.  Only 20% overall are opposed.

 From a January 19 Capital article:

Environmentalists are touting a new poll that shows nearly two-thirds of Marylanders support raising the “flush fee” to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.  …

“What the polling makes clear is that Marylanders are willing to spend more on clean water projects like upgrading wastewater treatment plants and reducing polluted stormwater runoff – even in these difficult economic times,” Erik Michelsen, director of the South River Federation, said in a statement.

From a January 20 Maryland Reporter.com article:

Del. Jay Jacobs, R-Kent, said that not one constituent in his Upper Shore district supports an increase in the flush tax or stricter regulations on septic systems.

“Constituents in my district are strapped right now,” Jacobs said. “I think it is another tax that they can’t absorb at this time.”

Jacobs said the House Environmental Matters Committee was given copies of the poll at Thursday’s hearing on the Chesapeake Bay and said he needed more time to review the data.

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