MACo Policy and Legal Counsel, Les Knapp, submitted testimony in opposition to legislation (HB 1224) which would replace the existing local inspection system of liquid waste haulers with a more centralized State-controlled system. HB 1224, heard by the House Environment and Transportation Committee, would require MDE to create a new annual vehicle licensing requirement for liquid waste haulers, whereas currently, various county health departments already conduct vehicle inspections and impose fees that are based on local needs and capabilities. The bill was sponsored by Delegate Sandy Rosenberg.
MACo’s testimony states,
A county has an interest in ensuring that liquid waste haulers conduct their business within the county in a safe manner and use vehicles that comply with relevant county safety protocols. HB 1224 would seek to impose a “one size fits all” inspection solution that ignores individual local circumstances.
Particularly difficult would be the comingling of grease with septage. Grease is currently regulated under entirely different requirements and by different state agencies than septage. The reason is that very few wastewater treatment plants can accommodate grease. Grease will block and clog the workings of a treatment plant without specialized technology to manage it, causing costly damage to the plant and potentially users due to sewage backups.
HB 1224 would replace an existing and functioning local inspection system with a more State-controlled system that will be less likely to account for individual county concerns with the inspection of liquid waste hauler vehicles.
Based on discussions with MACo and other stakeholders to review the issue during the interim, Delegate Rosenberg has withdrawn the bill.
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.