Septic control bill passes Senate

Listen to this article

By Len Lazarick

Sen. Barry Glassman

Sen. Barry Glassman

The Senate passed an O’Malley administration bill to increase control over septic systems for new developments in a 32-14 vote, with all 12 Republicans opposing a bill they called a move to centralized planning.

“This bill clearly is a down-zoning,” said Sen. Barry Glassman, who lives on a farm in Harford County. It will cause farms to lose 30-40% of the value of their land, he said.

“We want to save the land, but we don’t want to save the farmer,” Glassman said.

On Thursday, Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton proposed a series of amendments backed by the Maryland Association of Counties, farmers, developers and builders. Those changes were opposed by more liberal members of the Senate who co-sponsored the bill and wanted stronger controls, but the O’Malley administration ultimately backed them in order to gain final votes for the plan.

Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin called the bill part of “the war on rural Maryland,” but Sen. Ron Young, D-Frederick, said, “There’s been a war on cities in this state for years.”

“In almost every way, the state has funded leaving the city,” Young said, by building roads and schools outside the cities. “This isn’t putting the farmers out of business.”

Pipkin insisted, “This bill is about control, not cleaning up the bay.”

Only two Democrats, Sens. James Ed DeGrange, Anne Arundel, and Roy Dyson, St. Mary’s, voted against the bill, which now heads to the House for action.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. Betsy Schaefer

    Liberalism is a mental disease. They can’t help it. They are sick.

  2. Dgyates

    Never in my lifetime has a state tried to run as many people out of the state as O’Malley

  3. Mattpfau

    scary O’malley is truly the worst governor of all time

  4. Josephine Hlatki

    Why is it the Democrats feel the constant urge to destroy the very people who voted them into office?

  5. Jatrupe

    Democrats always saving something, the children, the bay, but never babies in womb or money.

Support Our Work!

We depend on your support. A generous gift in any amount helps us continue to bring you this service.