Counties Offer Qualifed Approval for Centralizing Septic System Management

On March 1, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 831 – Environment – Septic Systems – Online Database with amendments.

This bill requires the Department of the Environment to develop and maintain an online database of all septic systems in the State. Under current practice, local environment health departments monitor the viability of septic systems within their jurisdictions, and variability in workload, combined with staffing shortages, has resulted in a fragmented account of the status of these systems. Counties fully recognize the value in creating a modern, comprehensive database to safely manage the State’s septic systems, and request clarifying amendments to ensure that this database is implemented in a way that does not lead to reporting redundancies or additional burdens on local offices.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties appreciate the value of a comprehensive system that is able to pool all the existing statewide data, currently strewn across multiple local systems. The ability to assess variables from county to county could certainly provide valuable insights for the current and future state of the trade. With these benefits in mind, counties urge amendments to ensure the potential of this legislation is realized while avoiding any unnecessary pitfalls for the local teams.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog