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EDITORIAL FROM THE AEGIS | December 27, 2012
As more people occupy the same amount of land, things change. A generation or two ago, it was perfectly OK in Harford County to burn garbage and maintain a residential dumping pit on a rural property. It isn't all that long ago that the sewage system and stormwater system in Havre de Grace were one in the same, both emptying into the Susquehanna River largely untreated. Indeed, the city continues to deal with issues of separating the storm drains from sewerage lines under the roadways.
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Editorial from The Aegis | March 25, 2014
Ready access to clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing is generally regarded as one of the advancements in human history that made civilization possible. In modern times, places with no running water or indoor plumbing are regarded as rustic, if they are vacation destinations, or destitute if they are places people are more interested in getting away from than going to. With this in mind, the measure before the Harford County Council that would reduce to a half acre the amount of land that needs to be on hand for new homes to be built without access to public water and sewer systems has the potential to become a step in the direction of becoming a Third World territory.
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NEWS
By Laura Barnhardt | November 3, 2007
Baltimore County officials agreed yesterday to repair damage done by public works contractors to an Essex home that has been the site of repeated sewage-related problems. The latest damage -- discovered earlier this week -- was to a temporary fix installed after public works contractors accidentally destroyed the home's septic system. Since beginning work in April 2006 to install a 54-inch pressurized sewer line from the Stemmers Run pumping station to the Back River Treatment Plant, contractors have bulldozed a swimming pool and outdoor brick grill at the home on Oriole Avenue.
NEWS
February 14, 2013
As "tractorcade" protests go, the demonstration of farmers and farm vehicles in Annapolis on Tuesday morning was a modest affair with a handful of old-fashioned tractors and some equally well-worn grievances. The timetable may have been a little off, too, since the protesters' collective ire was directed at a law that the General Assembly passed last year. Nevertheless, the group of farmers assembled at the State House to support legislation that would repeal the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 - or, as most people know it, Gov. Martin O'Malley's septics bill.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2001
I recently reviewed a letter from Deborah Sloman, whose mother was involved in purchasing a home in Salisbury that apparently had a problem with its septic system. After her mother purchased the home, it became apparent that the septic system was not working properly and the entire system would have to be replaced, costing more than $7,000. The sellers made an offer to pay for half of the cost of installing the new system, but the offer was refused. Now mother and daughter want to know what they can do to be fully reimbursed.
NEWS
By Tanya Jones and Tanya Jones,Sun Staff Writer | March 17, 1995
A failing septic system at an apartment building near Aberdeen, described as a "very serious health risk," has been allowed to go unrepaired for more than two years, despite residents' and neighbors' complaints to the county health department."
BUSINESS
September 8, 2002
Dear Mr. Azrael: The day after we moved into our new home, we began experiencing problems with our toilets overflowing. Then we noticed a horrible odor whenever we went outside or opened our windows. We didn't think we were having problems with our septic system because we had just had it certified after a dye test was performed. The baffle was missing and the inspector advised us to ask the homeowners to replace it, and have both sides of the tank pumped out. That was supposedly taken care of, but I don't think it took care of the hidden problem.
NEWS
By Jackie Powder and Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer | June 8, 1994
The Carroll Health Department has filed charges against a Pennsylvania man, claiming that the septic system in his Lineboro rental home is discharging raw sewage into a nearby stream.But Paul Baughman said he has been singled out by the Health Department while it permits other Lineboro residents to operate substandard septic systems."Pretty much everybody knows Lineboro has got septic system problems anyway," said Mr. Baughman of Glen Rock, a mile from Lineboro. "If I've got to fix mine, then everybody else should have to fix theirs."
BUSINESS
By Karol V. Menzie & Randy Johnson | October 19, 1997
WATER, water, where it shouldn't be, is a continuing problem for homeowners.A reader who's arranging some home improvements for an elderly friend in Harford County writes:"My friend gets her water from an indoor well. Each time it rains heavily rain water and soil sediment spill out of the pump room onto the main cellar floor. The plumber informs me that the well is in good condition and is made of concrete. However, it was probably not grouted or encased, as the house was built in the early 1950s before this was required.
NEWS
By Alec MacGillis and Alec MacGillis,SUN STAFF | April 20, 2001
A retirement community proposed for the junction of Route 144 and Marriottsville Road would rely on a "multi-user" septic system that would be the largest of its kind in Howard County, an environmental engineer said last night. Testifying for the developers, engineer Robert W. Cheesley told the county's Board of Appeals that the system would work fine, despite county Health Department warnings that a large septic system would have "extreme difficulty" at the site. "I've been to the site and looked at the soils, and it will support a septic system," Cheesley said.
NEWS
Tim Wheeler | February 12, 2013
Farmers and others upset over state-imposed restrictions on septic-based rural development staged a "tractorcade" Tuesday past the State House in Annapolis. The protest comes on the day the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee is scheduled to hear a bill, SB391 , which would repeal the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 . The law, introduced by Gov. Martin O'Malley and passed last year over rural lawmakers' objections, restricts large-scale housing development that would rely on septic systems.
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EDITORIAL FROM THE AEGIS | December 27, 2012
As more people occupy the same amount of land, things change. A generation or two ago, it was perfectly OK in Harford County to burn garbage and maintain a residential dumping pit on a rural property. It isn't all that long ago that the sewage system and stormwater system in Havre de Grace were one in the same, both emptying into the Susquehanna River largely untreated. Indeed, the city continues to deal with issues of separating the storm drains from sewerage lines under the roadways.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2012
Marge Cissel is pressing her right index finger into the cover of a white loose-leaf binder containing a new state law limiting the use of septic systems, urging restricted development rights for some farm property. She's had the binder for months now, adding up what the law means for the value of her family's 310 acres in the Lisbon area, and she's angry. "This is not compensation," says Cissel, who with her husband, Lambert, started the Kimberthy Turf Farm 50 years ago. "This is legalized stealing.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 27, 2012
Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill to curb sprawl by limiting septic systems — a key piece of his legislative agenda — cleared the Maryland Senate Monday, albeit in a weakened form. The measure aims to slow the pace of development of the state's farmlands, forests and other rural areas. It also would reduce pollution from septic systems into the Chesapeake Bay. Getting Senate approval for the legislation is a significant step for the governor, who wasn't able to get a similar bill out of committee last year.
NEWS
February 27, 2012
As a professional in the Maryland home building business, I urge members of the Maryland General Assembly to oppose Gov.Martin O'Malley's proposal to limit new residential subdivisions served by septic systems (SB 236/ HB 445 - The Governor's Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act). If approved, the bill would have negative effects on our industry and would kill jobs. It takes planning authority away from local governments by requiring counties to add "growth tiers" into their comprehensive plans by the end of this year or else many of their septic subdivisions will be denied.
NEWS
February 21, 2012
There has been a lot of discussion and controversy in the Maryland General Assembly and in the counties about growth-related strategies. Some say they take away private rights; others, that these strategies save money and protect our water. Since we all want to have clean water and save on government expenditures, why not support smart growth initiatives? There is an effort to do this through bills in the legislature, House Bill 445 and Senate Bill 236. Both these measures call for managing growth by limiting sprawl development.
NEWS
By LAURA MCCANDLISH and LAURA MCCANDLISH,SUN REPORTER | July 28, 2006
The well and overflowing septic system on a Carroll County farm -- where the commercial slaughter of livestock has been banned and a swine quarantine remains in effect -- violate state environmental laws, a county health department official said yesterday. The well, which serves a slaughterhouse on the 112-acre farm in the community of Marston, is infested with bacteria and has never complied with drinking water requirements, Edwin F. Singer, Carroll's environmental health director, told the county commissioners.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | October 15, 2001
A last-minute proposal may stave off county condemnation of a 91-year-old western Howard County woman's land for an addition to Glenelg High School. After two years of frustration, a developer might have found a way to build new homes on the land and enable the high school to go forward with a long-awaited 400-seat addition - while saving time and money for everyone. J. Thomas Scrivener has a contract to buy Mae Musgrove's 70-acre parcel for construction of up to 35 homes, according to Musgrove and William Grau, Scrivener's project manager.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley promised a push during the coming legislative session to curb proliferation of large housing developments served by septic systems, saying that increased pollution from septic systems is undermining state progress in protecting the Chesapeake Bay. Meeting with reporters Thursday, the governor took a defiant tone toward critics of his septic-control policies, which some have labeled part of a "war on rural Maryland. " O'Malley said that science is firmly on the side of those who want to control the growth of septic systems — typically used for large-lot developments in outer suburban and rural areas.
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