In an October 30 Daily Times opinion article, the Worcester County Commissioners reiterate their concerns over State regulations that will require the use of best available nitrogen removal technology (BAT) in new septic systems and replacement septic systems that are expanding capacity. The Commissioners state that while supportive of requiring BAT within sensitive areas near waterways, including the Coastal Bay and Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas, they question whether the BAT requirement for other septic systems is worth the significant installation and annual maintenance costs.
We could certainly support requirements for BAT systems in the Critical Areas, as they are a crucial component in helping to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering area waterways. However, we cannot support such requirements outside the Critical Area, as studies indicate that BAT systems will have little to no impact in the reduction of nitrogen in local waterways from septic BAT upgrades installed outside the Critical Area.
For private homeowners, the requirement for BAT systems will not only result in a substantial increase in the cost of a septic system, but it will also require them to pay annual maintenance fees and increased annual electric bills. …
While the new regulations expanding the BAT requirement outside the Critical Area are slated to go into effect at the first of next year, the commissioners remain strongly opposed due to the proven limited environmental benefit of such drastic measures outside the Critical Area at such a high cost to our citizens.
Therefore, we will continue to partner with Delegates Mike McDermott and Norman Conway and Sen. James Mathias as well as the Maryland Association of Counties and other Maryland jurisdictions to seek relief for area residents.