Virginia Coastal Policy Center


Considering the [...] concerns of septic reliance in Virginia, this paper will present and explicate three issues pertaining to the Maryland Sustainable Growth and Preservation Act (the “Septic Law”). Maryland's Septic Law represents an effort at a statewide legal scheme for approaching the issue of rapid development on septic. It may function as a useful starting point for Virginia to approach the danger that failing septic poses to Virginian citizens and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, a vital contributor to the state economy and cultural heritage. Part II opens with an overview of Maryland’s Septic Law. Part III evaluates three issues with the law: (1) the effects of the limited scope of the Septic law; (2) the impact of geography on the Septic Law with an exploration of current scientific breakthroughs and understanding of pollution methodology; and (3) the lack of enforcement due to the voluntary nature of the Septic Law. In Part IV, this paper discusses and presents statutory schemes from other jurisdictions as examples of how to bulwark the identified weaknesses in Maryland’s Septic Law. Part V identifies some observations and elucidates implications for Virginia should the Commonwealth consider implementing the presented legislative and statutory schemes. Finally, Part VI offers a brief conclusion.

This abstract has been taken from the authors' introduction.

Document Type

Water Quality, Water Quantity, and Marine Debris

Publication Date

Spring 2023