Bills To Cover Private Wells In Maryland Moving Through Them General Assembly

They would set up a private well safety program within MDE.

Senator Karen Lewis Young (Photo from Md. General Assembly)

Annapolis, Md (KM) Lawmakers in Annapolis continue to work on the Private Well Safety Act of 2023.  If it passes, the legislation would set up a private well safety program within the Maryland Department of the Environment. It would also award grants to counties  or individuals to pay for testing the wells, and for any remediation if the well water is considered unsafe. The bill would also require a database be established to keep track of well water around the state. And if anyone wants to sell property with a private well, that  well must be tested as a condition of sale.

Frederick County State Senator Karen Lewis Young is sponsoring the bill which has passed the State Senate and is scheduled for a hearing before the House Environment and Transportation Committee on Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 PM. A similar bill, sponsored by Delegate Vaughn Stewart, has passed the House of Delegates, and has been referred to the Senate’s Education, Energy and Environment Committee.

Senator Lewis Young says the legislation which passed the House of Delegates contains some amendments. “I don’t think  that the differences are monumental. It’s more who has responsibility for what. And I think we’ll be able to work that out,” she says.

But Lewis Young says working out these differences won’t be difficult. “I do think because we’re aware of the differences well in advance, we do have some time to work them out. I’m cautiously optimistic,” she says.

The General Assembly adjourns for the year on April 10th, 2023 at midnight.

Senator Lewis Young says there has been a lot of water contamination in private wells in Maryland.  . She says it’s a problem on the Eastern Shore and Allegany County. In many instances, she says, a lot of nitrate is running off farms and contaminating the groundwater.

By Kevin McManus