An amendment offered during budget debate on the floor of the Senate yesterday would have required legislative approval of septic regulations recently proposed by the Department of Environment that would mandate the use of best available technology for nitrogen removal septic systems in new construction on land draining to the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Coastal Bays watershed. A similar proposal was rejected in legislation two years ago. As reported by the Salisbury Daily Times:
Sen. David Brinkley, R-Frederick, proposed an amendment to require legislative approval of the regulations. The proposal could have been taken up while lawmakers were debating septics legislation during the regular 90-day session that ended last month, he said. Instead, the department announced the regulations April 27, nearly two weeks after lawmakers adjourned.
“They deliberately want to bypass any supervision here,” Brinkley said.
The proposed regulations irked senators, because the Senate rejected a similar proposal two years ago.
Brinkley’s amendment failed 16-29. However, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller described the proposed regulations as “disrespectful to the Senate.”
Miller said he didn’t believe the majority of senators believed the matter should be addressed in budget legislation. Still, the Senate president said the proposed regulations will be taken up before a legislative committee assigned to review regulations or in January, when lawmakers convene for their next regular legislative session.