The House Environment and Transportation Committee created a work group chaired by Del. Lafferty to discuss on-site sewage disposal systems, including septic systems and it held its first meeting in Annapolis on July 27th. We consider the defeat of HB 281/SB 266 in the 2017 session one of our biggest wins; if it had passed, it would have created the requirement to use best available technology for nitrogen removal (BAT) septic systems for all new construction. Several of your SMAR legislative delegation members were directly involved in delivering success to homeowners and the real estate industry. Currently, BAT septic systems are required for new homes and replacement septic systems within the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area.
REALTORS®' concerns were well represented at the hearing on July 27th with the Maryland REALTORS®' testifying before the work group. We expect the work group to gather one more time before the beginning of the 2018 session and for this to be another battle for us to flush out....
Highlights from the work group included:
- the amount of pollution from septic systems, and whether there is a need to put any more emphasis on reducing pollution from septic systems;
- the impact of expanding the use of BAT systems outside of the Critical Area,
- are funds from the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) being prioritized appropriately to address pollution from septic systems;
- whether each county is achieving its Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and Watershed Implementation Plan goals for pollution from septic systems.