Septic curbs clear Senate panel

Gov.Martin O'Malley's proposal to rein in development using septic systems took a step forward Friday as a Senate committee approved it.

The Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee voted 7 to 4 for the bill, despite objections from rural lawmakers, my collegue Mike Dresser reports in the Maryland Politics Blog.

The septics bill is one of the first pieces of O'Mallely's legislative agenda to progress this far and the governor's second try at curbing the growth of what he contends is a significant source of Chesapeake Bay pollution.

A bill O'Malley pushed last year to ban large-scale housing development on septics failed. this year he proposed a more indirect, "tiered" approach with septic curbs progressively tighter for developments beyond designated growth areas.

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