You may have seen this resolution introduced by council member Lynn Mielke at the February 28 meeting. A public hearing will be held for Resolution 338 in the Bradley Meeting Room at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 11:
A RESOLUTION TO AMEND THE TALBOT COUNTY WATER AND SEWER PLAN FOR CONSISTENCY WITH DISCHARGE PERMIT NO. 19-DP-3460, ISSUED BY THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT ON OCTOBER 27, 2022, AND TO REQUIRE THAT ANY FUTURE EXPANSION OF THE NEW LAKESIDE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT SHALL REQUIRE AN AMENDMENT TO THE CWSP.
We’ve heard of the CWSP (County Water and Sewer Plan), but what would we ever do without county engineer Ray Clarke? The plan’s mission includes the implementation of policies that “protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Talbot County and neighboring jurisdictions by improving or maintaining sanitary conditions of water resources.” With pages of sewer extensions and funding projects, it surely couldn’t hurt to be reminded of Maryland Environmental Code for spray irrigation.
The county is the authority for wastewater treatment throughout the county, but Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has jurisdiction over counties. There may not be much going on with Lakeside, now that Permit 19-DP-3460 has been issued, but with pages of amendments that include reclassifying two parcels of property on Matthewstown Rd., Resolution 338 would seem similarly instructive.
County Attorney Patrick Thomas confirmed that Resolution 338 would incorporate provisions of the discharge permit issued into the CWSP, and noted that these “terms are actually a bit more restrictive than those currently in the plan.”
Helpful references to Maryland Environmental Code are provided throughout the narrative portion of Resolution 338, and Ms. Mielke summarized her decision to offer this resolution with a brief description of factors motivating her review of existing legislation: “There was a lot of controversy over Resolution 281. At one point the planning commission rescinded it. There were a lot of proposals for amendments, for changes to it; and as it turned out, when MDE issued the permit, it had listened to the concerns Talbot County citizens had over the nature and extent of the development and sewer plan. So it seemed to me, and to others that I spoke with, that doing an amendment to 281 that tracked the permit that MDE wrote, which was more restrictive, was the way to go.…I thought that that we should introduce this and track, as MDE will, how this development will go, as far as the sewer plan. And if it requires reining in at any point, the county will have the ability to have some input and control over protecting the environment and citizens of Talbot County…That’s it.”
Back in 2020 Ray Clarke reported to the council that Lakeside “is six times the size of the full buildout in Easton Village,” which began its build in 2006. “And how in the world can Trappe, being the small town that it is, have 2,501 homes built here?” Clarke asked in an interview. The Environmental Article of Maryland Annotated Code requires counties to be responsible for “overseeing the planning, financing, construction and operation of sewerage systems,” and the public must also be involved.