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Bill that would impose water usage fees killed by Md. House

March 13, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

A Maryland House of Delegates panel Tuesday killed a bill that could have imposed fees on farmers for their water use.

The bill also would have increased the fines for polluters such as the one that caused January's shutdown of the Hagerstown sewer plant.

Although the legislation was backed by Gov. Parris Glendening, Environmental Matters Committee Chairman John A. Hurson said there was no time to work on it this session.

"We have two major environmental bills left and little time. There's just so much sausage you can shove through this machine," said Hurson, D-Montgomery.

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Del. George W. Owings III, D-Calvert/Anne Arundel, called the proposal "an assault on the farmers."

The governor was willing to remove the fees from the bill, leaving only increased penalties for polluters, his spokesman Michael Morrill said.

- Laura Ernde

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