NOTE: The language about septic systems from HB 1647 has removed from the bill and added to HB 1402.
HEA 1402 (formerly HB 1647) could increase pollution from failing septic systems. Currently, our local health departments are responsible for determining if a site is adequate for installing a septic system and ordering corrective measures if a septic system is failing. This bill allows property owners to overrule local health department decisions by hiring a consultant that will declare the system operable.
The public health professionals in our local health departments make their decisions based on protecting the public health. While there are many excellent private consultants for septic design and installation, they should not have the final say in septic decisions since they have a financial stake in those decisions, so there is the potential for a financial conflict of interest. Decisions regarding septic systems should remain in the hands of our public health professionals.
While this bill was improved slightly in the conference committee process, it still takes away authority of local health departments and could increase pollution from failing septic systems.
Final Update (5/8/23)
HEA 1402 has been signed by the Governor.
See how your state legislators voted, and thank them if they opposed this legislation: