Legislative Update

posted May 12, 2017, 11:56 AM by Joseph Bickard
Septic Inspections in Lake Shorelands Protect Water Quality, Recreation, Aquatic Wildlife, Property Value and More

Veto Stymies Lake Protection - Help Needed

This week, the Maine House and Senate passed without discussion a vital measure that extends to inland waters a long-standing protection for coastal waters.  The bill, LD 559, sensibly calls for a septic system inspection to be performed when properties in lake, river or stream shorelands transfer ownership.

Yesterday, LD 559 was vetoed.

559 could still pass if enough legislators vote to override! 
A 2/3 vote is needed. 
The decision will come down to what happens in the House of Representatives.
The Maine Lakes Society is asking help from all who use and value lakes.

Why it Matters

Lakes are sensitive, time-limited resources. They keep 80% to 90% of elements that enter them.  If over-fed with nutrients like phosphorus in septic effluent and stormwater, they will eventually and inevitably produce nuisance algal or even toxic cyanobacterial blooms. Already, "Repeated nuisance algal blooms have been recorded on more than 53 Maine lakes and another 493 are considered at significant risk." (Maine Department of Environmental Protection web site).
 Clear and healthy lakes depend on keeping nutrients out of the water.
Septic effluent is high in phosphorus after it leaves a septic system.  Normally, it gets trapped between the system and the lake by sticking to soil particles.  But, if that soil is too sandy or if the base is fractured bedrock, as is the case with many Maine lakes, phosphorus laden effluent runs a straight pipe into the lake.

Only a septic system inspection will reveal this problem!
A straight pipe is not detectable otherwise. 
9 years ago, coastal waters got this protection.  Now it's time for your lakes. 

Write to your Representative.

Ask to override the veto by voting No to the Veto of 559.
We have until Tuesday.