St. Mary's Commissioners Urge State to Take Slow Approach with Septics Regulations

Estimate new law will cost $45 Million to implement

LEONARDTOWN, Md.—The St. Mary's County Board of County Commissioners has issued a letter to Governor Martin O'Malley calling on the state to rethink its implementation of new septics regulations.

Commissioners say serious questions have arisen with regard to the Best Available Technology (BAT) septic systems which will be required throughout the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal watersheds in Maryland. While in general support of the goals of nutrient reduction and water quality improvements, the board remains "strongly opposed to the implementation of these regulations without addressing apparent flaws to the practicality and implementation of such a far reaching set of regulations."

The new Maryland Department of the Environment nitrogen delivery system scheme of 30%, 50% and 80% replaces the current 40% delivery rate used by all other states. Commissioners say the three tier delivery system would cost the county an additional $45 million to implement. The board is also "deeply troubled by inconsistent methodologies that yield unbalanced and unworkable impacts at the local level."

Commissioners say they hope the Governor would "slow down the implementation process, further evaluate the data and initiate further discussions with local government."

Copies of the letter were also sent to members of the Southern Maryland Legislative Delegation as well as MDE Secretary Robert Summers.

Source: St. Mary's Co. Government

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