On March 17, a cross-filed bill that would address the contamination of private and public water supply wells across the State passed the House Environment and Transportation Committee, as well as the Senate Committee on Education, Energy, and the Environment.
MACo previously expressed support for both SB 483 – Private Well Safety Act of 2023, and it’s cross-file, HB 11. Specifically, these bills establish the appropriately named Private Well Safety Fund, which will hopefully equip local jurisdictions with the resources they need to inspect, repair, and potentially upgrade dilapidated wells used by their residents. Counties continue to work with the General Assembly to ensure that the Fund is sufficiently backed with State appropriations.
From the MACo Testimony:
Unresolved well problems can lead to dangerous circumstances for residents relying on this water source. The potential for water contamination is very high if a well is left un-serviced or in a failing state. The costs of inspecting and repairing a failing well or installing, when necessary, a new well pose a substantial burden on a homeowner but may be essential to ensuring the safety and potability of the water servicing the household. The costs of repair or replacement of a failing well should not serve as a deterrent to proper testing, and SB 483 targets that conundrum.
For more on MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session, visit MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.