Government Affairs News

MAR represents Maryland REALTORS® by making your voice heard in Congress and at the State Legislature. Our primary concern is protecting your professional and business interests. Our Legislative and Public Policy Committees develop a straightforward political agenda to: support and develop legislation that helps our industry and oppose legislation that hurts the free transfer of real estate. The Legislative Committee typically reviews over 200 pieces of legislation and regulations each year...

Governor Rolls Back Septic Rule

Back in 2012, the O'Malley administration enacted regulations that required BAT septic systems for all new homes in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bay Watersheds.  This regulation expanded greatly on legislation that had been previously passed which required BAT systems only for new and existing homes within the Maryland Critical Areas (1,000 feet of tidally influenced water).  The 2012 regulation had been controversial because of the significant costs of BAT systems and the questionable statutory authority on which the regulation was based.

On Monday, August 22, 2016, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE or “the Department”) submitted a regulatory action to the Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR) Committee.  The purpose of the action is to reform the universal requirement that Best Available Technology for Removal of Nitrogen (BAT) septic systems be installed outside the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area (Critical Area) for all new construction or replacement septic systems.  Instead, the proposed regulation would allow the installation of conventional septic systems outside of the Critical Area.  Under the proposal, BAT would still be required for large septic systems with design flow of 5,000 gallons per day or greater.  Additionally, local governments would have the flexibility to require BAT systems outside of the Critical Area. 

MDE Further Detail

Please Note:  The Maryland Legislature may also take a look at this law in the 2017 Legislative Session and consider expanding the statute to cover new homes in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bay Watersheds which could undo the actions the Governor plans to take.

posted @ Monday, August 22, 2016 9:47 AM by Castelli0238