In Walking the Tightrope: Protecting the Public, Energizing the Economy, MACo Conference attendees learned about law and regulations protecting public health while allowing for residential and economic growth. These laws and regulations make up some of the assortment of duties that a county environmental health officers encounters.
Donald Wilson, Environmental Health Director, Caroline County shared how the role of county environmental health officials has evolved over the years, and more about specific new areas such as enhanced residential septic regulations and food trucks.
From an environmental health perspective, food trucks are relatively easy to deal with, and they avoid the need to issue temporary licenses at event spaces.
Willy Dely, Founder, Au Jus Solutions shared a business perspective on food trucks, describing how the law allowing reciprocity of food truck licenses between counties has helped regional growth of the food truck industry.
Food trucks fit a business model where you can be very flexible. They are creating jobs and are making many forgotten downtown spaces cool again.
William Castelli, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Maryland Realtors Association described the septics regulations, most of which he though struck the right balance between protecting the public’s health and preserving the ability of Marylanders to become homeowners.
Increased regulation of septics has largely balanced health and economic concerns, with the exception of the push for BAT [best available technology] systems out of the priority funding area. BAT systems can cost between $12k and $20k for a new home, which can be a large percentage of a starter-home cost.
Sharon Green Middleton of the Baltimore City Council moderated the panel. Council Member Middleton shared insight into the positive potential for food trucks, stating,
Food trucks have helped bring healthy options to food deserts in the City of Baltimore.