The Maine CDC is adopting amendments to its Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rule, which describes requirements for the subsurface wastewater permitting processes conducted by municipalities and overseen by Maine CDC. More specifically, this rule governs the siting, design, construction and inspection of subsurface wastewater disposal systems, to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents and visitors of Maine. Adopted amendments include clarifying subsurface wastewater disposal requirements, adding new definitions, rearranging and adding new sections to the rule, and adjusting formatting elements, to align with Maine CDC rulemaking conventions.
Maine CDC amended requirements for how long fill material must be in place for both inside and outside of a shoreland zone for septic systems to be safely installed. For outside the shoreland zone, Maine CDC changed the required age of fill material from prior to October 1, 1995 to at least 20 years. For fill material within the shoreland zone, Maine CDC replaced the requirement for fill material to be in place prior to July 1, 1974 and changed it ultimately to at least 40 years. Although Maine CDC had originally proposed to require the soil fill to be in place at least 20 years, a number of comments opposed the change. Maine CDC then proposed to increase the requirement of soil material to be in place for at least 40 years and advertised a second comment period. After reviewing all comments, evaluating all factors relevant to its determination, Maine CDC ultimately determined that the requirement for fill material to be 40 years old, a 100% increase from the original proposed change, was a reasonable point to adopt the change at .
This adopted rule also includes an enhanced section on requirements for seasonal dwelling units converting into year-round residences. And finally, Maine CDC added a section that establishes the minimum recommended standards for inspectors who conduct subsurface wastewater disposal system inspections, in order to promote reliable and consistent inspections when properties in Maine are transferred, to ensure higher environmental sanitation and safety levels and comply with Maine law (22 MRS § 42 (3-A)), and municipal planning, zoning, and land use control regulations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: SEPTEMBER 23, 2023
Office: Maine CDC