Md. Flush Fee Program Put on Hold

By David Brigham
|  Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 AM EDT
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Md. Flush Fee Program Put on Hold

Jonathan Lloyd

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Maryland homeowners who have a septic system on their property should take note.

Maryland is working on transferring its septic grant program from state to county control.  The state was issuing grants to homeowners who needed to replace their aging septic systems, but those grants have now been put on hold, according to The Capital.

Maryland residents who live in the "critical area" -- homes located on or near bodies of water -- have to replace their septic systems with more expensive units. Those systems cut harmful nitrogen pollution in half, The Capital reported.

The Maryland Department of the Environment spokeswoman Dawn Stolzfus said that the state plans to spend all of the allotted money to help residents pay for the new septic systems.  She also said the department is in the process of transferring funds and grant administration from state, to the counties. During this time, homeowners in need of the service may have to wait a while, Stolzful said. The county governments are set to begin the program July 1.

The program is partially funded by the flush fee, also known as the Bay Restoration Fund, which was approved under former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich. It is designed to prevent sewage pollution that cause algae blooms and do damage to the Chesapeake Bay from ever getting that far.

Homeowners who live in the critical area and know their septic system needs immediate replacement due to health and safety issues should contact the Maryland Department of the Environment immediately, Stolzfus said.

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