Legislative panel approves new septic regulations

ANNAPOLIS — A panel of Maryland lawmakers has approved regulations requiring new construction to use the best technology in septic systems to fight pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review voted 11-8 on Tuesday for the regulations proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration.

Now, the Maryland Department of the Environment will consider public comments until Aug. 15 before deciding on the final regulations, which could take effect within weeks after the comment period ends.

Supporters say the regulations are aimed at working in tandem with a law passed this year to limit septic system development to remove nitrogen output adding up to about 31,000 households by 2026. Critics say the regulations will add at least $8,000 to the cost of a new home.

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