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O'Malley Begins Fight To Ban Old Septic Technology

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O'Malley first suggested the proposal during this year's State of the State address. The legislation, co-sponsored by Delegate Stephen Lafferty and Sen. Paul Pinsky, would require major new subdivisions to include technology to treat sewage waste before it's discharged or ties in to a public sewer system.

The problem, according to O'Malley and others who support the proposal, is the inability of lower-grade septic systems to prevent nitrogen pollution from entering waterways leading to the Chesapeake Bay. Nitrogen runoff has been identified as one of the most significant problems facing the Bay.

Critics of the plan say it would effectively impose a moratorium on housing development in many rural areas of the state which have no existing public sewer systems to accommodate the newer technology.

Monday afternoon O'Malley is meeting legislative sponsors of the plan along with the executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to announce the introduction of the bill into the Maryland General Assembly.

This post was updated at 7:15 p.m. The original post suggested the governor wanted to ban septic systems. Instead, the proposal would require high-end septic systems that would reduce nitrogen pollution.

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