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Council Hosts Work Session to Discuss Letters Received From Maryland Department of the Environment


Category: County Council

The Talbot County Council held a work session on Tuesday, June 27th at 3:00 p.m. with staff and representatives from the Town of Trappe to discuss requests set forth in letters received from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) regarding water and sewer in the Town of Trappe, and discuss how those matters intersect with the Draft 2023 Report of the Review. All council members were present.

"Before the County updates its Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan (CWSP), we need to complete the 2023 Report of the Review," Ray Clarke, County Engineer, explained. "This document provides a snapshot of where we are right now with regard to water and sewer service, and it is intended to include any updates to the CWSP amendments that were made through resolutions adopted since 2002."

During this process, MDE sent two letters to the Council dated April 24, 2023, and May 9, 2023, specifically requesting the following information:

  1. Updated "equivalent dwelling units" (EDUs) for all phases of the Lakeside development;
  2. Updated Figures for water and sewer service in the Town of Trappe, with the corrected classifications for all the parcels within the Town of Trappe, including the Lakeside development; and
  3. A corrected Exhibit A/B (maps) from Resolution No. 281, as amended a new CWSP amendment to address parcels shown therein that were not part thereof.

Clarke provided details on how the County has worked to address MDE’s requests. He also provided a timeline of correspondence and demonstrated to the Council how the maps from the 2002 Report of the Review compare to the proposed maps for the 2023 Report of the Review.

The County Attorney, Patrick Thomas, stated that MDE did not direct the County to amend Resolution No. 281, as amended, or the Town’s water and sewer maps with respect to the parcels comprising the Lakeside development, as those parcels were specifically identified and properly mapped. The only parcels whose water and sewer classifications were amended by Resolution No. 281, as amended, were those specifically identified in its text.

This information has been provided to MDE along with maps showing the current water and sewer classifications for the entire Town of Trappe, as enacted pursuant to Resolution No. 100 and as amended pursuant to Resolution No. 259, as amended, and Resolution No. 281, as amended. The County is awaiting MDE’s formal response.

Mr. Thomas also stated that a resolution amending the CWSP to address the EDU/phasing issues as requested by MDE would be introduced at the Council’s July 11, 2023 meeting.

"Can we ask that the Town of Trappe provide a map that would show the phasing for the sake of clarity?" asked Council Vice President Lesher. "That phasing plan, along with the EDUs associated with each phase, would be responsive to the request from the state."

Lyndsey Ryan, Town Attorney for the Town of Trappe, said the Town should be able to confirm the EDUs for all phases of the Lakeside development and provide a map depicting the same by July 1, 2023. This will allow the Council enough time to review for the July 11 meeting.

After the meeting, Council President Chuck Callahan mentioned that citizens should follow the process of updating the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan and provide feedback when appropriate.

The new Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan, which will follow the 2023 Report of Review, will provide a complete picture of water and sewer access, and is tied to Talbot County’s Comprehensive Plan.

"The CWSP includes goals and objectives that are based on public discussion. It aims to improve or sustain the quality of life for all residents in Talbot County. It goes through a lengthy review process and requires approval from MDE when complete. Our Public Works Department and the Public Works Advisory Board will continue to work diligently on the report and subsequent CWSP amendments. The letters from MDE and subsequent responses will be part of that process."

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