Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tractors in Annapolis protest 'war on rural Maryland,' GOP term for septic-tank limits

Photo: Brian Witte, The Associated Press
Protesters rode tractors past the Maryland Capitol building in Annapolis this week in protest of the state's new restrictions on septic tanks in rural areas. The "tractorcade" was in support of a bill being that would repeal last year's Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act, Senate Bill 236. One sign read "Septic bill 236 belongs in a manure spreader," Tim Wheeler of the Baltimore Sun reported, noting that the protest was the latest epidsode in a debate that has lasted for months and included Republican allegations that Gov. Martin O'Malley is waging a "war on rural Maryland."

O'Malley and his allies "say septic limits are needed to curb sprawl development, preserve farmland and reduce nitrogen pollution into the Chesapeake Bay," Wheeler reports, noting that officials say septic systems cause more pollution then "state-of-the-art" sewage treatment systems. Their foes argue that since rural farmers' borrowing power is based on the development value of their land, they are suffering financially from the drop in value brought about by the law. Wheeler reports that many feel forced to sell now so that they can take advantage of a "grandfathering" provision in the law. (Read more)

No comments: