Two Bills Signed By Governor Moore On Monday Were Sponsored By A Frederick County Legislator

They deal with private wells and veterinarians.

Frederick, Md (KM) Governor Wes Moore of Maryland signed a number of bills into law on Monday, including two  sponsored by Frederick County State Senator Karen Lewis Young.

One measure would establish a private well safety program within the Maryland Department of the Environment. Lewis Young says this legislation will keep track of contaminated wells in the state, and develop ways to remediate the situation. “There are a million private wells in the state and some of them have some serious contamination problems, particularly in the rural areas on the Eastern Shore and the Western Part of the state,” she says.

Senator Lewis Young said a number of these private wells have contamination problems. “Some of the contaminates in the water cause cancer and other very serious diseases,:” she said. “Other legislators had been working on this bill for two previous years. So it was good to finally get it moving forward.”

Another bill sponsored by Lewis Young would speed up the process for out-of-state veterinarians to obtain a license to practice in Maryland so they can administer rabies vaccines to the dogs, cats and other animals housed in animal shelters. It would also provide training to qualified animal shelter staff to administer the shots. “There’s a shortage of veterinarians in Maryland and actually throughout the nation. So shelters don’t have enough veterinarians to do rabies shots,” she says.

But one bill that didn’t make it out of the General Assembly concerned the sale of homes within a half mile of a Superfund or contaminated site. It would require realtors selling residential properties near these sites to notify the buyer. Senator Lewis Young says this measure follows plans for 122 new homes and 180 condominiums planned for 23 acres between Shookstown Road and the southwest line of Area B near Fort Detrick. Area B is where biological wastes were dumped for a number of years, causing groundwater contamination.

“The people that brought it to me are constituents and they’re concerned about  development around Area B,”: she said. “So that’s a bill with strong local interest.”

The Legislation passed the State Senate, but didn’t make it out of the House of Delegates. The bill is expected to come back during the 2024 General Assembly, Senator Lewis Young says.

By Kevin McManus