MACo Demands Changes To Septics Legislation

At its February 9 meeting, the MACo Legislative Committee deliberately set aside a length time period for “strategic discussions,” and after discussing a substantial range of other legislation, shifted its focus onto the Governor’s proposed septics legislation.

See below recent Conduit Street articles and analyses regarding the legislation, and the many county concerns with its provisions:

MACo Summary of Septics Bill and 2011/2012 Comparisons
Septics Bill Summary (released as bill was still in draft form)
Maryland Farm Bureau position paper

Following an extensive discussion about both the technical and practical effects of the bill, the Legislative Committee adopted a position of SUPPORT WITH AMENDMENTS. This position, one commonly used in the General Assembly by many stakeholders including MACo, frequently is used to allow a party to raise concerns with legislation, but to remain engaged in any continuing conversations about its potential change or rewriting. With MACo identifying a lengthy list of concerns with this bill, and recognizing the likelihood of further negotiations regarding its potential provisions, the Legislative Committee voted to take this position as its most effective way to remain relevant in either formal or informal negotiations. In the event that changes to the bill are not made, or remain inadequate to address MACo’s concerns, the Committee may revisit its position and take a different stance.

The hearing on SB 236 is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14 at 1:00pm in the Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. The cross-filed bill HB 445 is being heard the following day in the House Environmental Matters Committee.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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