HOUSE BILL No. 5752

 

 

March 22, 2018, Introduced by Reps. Lower and Hammoud and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

 

     A bill to amend 1978 PA 368, entitled

 

"Public health code,"

 

(MCL 333.1101 to 333.25211) by adding part 128.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

            PART 128 ONSITE WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS

 

     Sec. 12801. As used in this part:

 

     (a) "Alternative system" means an onsite wastewater treatment

 

system that is not a conventional system and that provides for an

 

equivalent or better degree of protection for public health and the

 

environment than a conventional system.

 

     (b) "Approved onsite wastewater treatment system" means an

 

alternative system or conventional system for which construction

 

and any required operating permits have been issued by the

 

department or by the local health department having jurisdiction

 


and an inspection has found the system to be in compliance with all

 

required permits.

 

     (c) "Authorized local health department" means a local health

 

department authorized by the department to administer this part

 

pursuant to section 12802 for conventional systems or section 12803

 

for alternative systems, as applicable.

 

     (d) "Construction permit" means a permit to install,

 

construct, alter, or repair an onsite wastewater treatment system.

 

     (e) "Conventional system" means an onsite wastewater treatment

 

system that contains a watertight septic tank with nonuniform

 

distribution of effluent to a soil dispersal system that does not

 

include any components of an approved alternative technology.

 

     (f) "Department" means the department of environmental

 

quality.

 

     (g) "Domestic equivalent wastewater" means wastewater that is

 

not sanitary sewage but has been demonstrated to have similar

 

wastewater characteristics and flow and is amenable to onsite

 

wastewater treatment and soil dispersal through a conventional or

 

alternative system.

 

     (h) "Experimental onsite wastewater treatment system" means an

 

onsite wastewater treatment system that is in experimental use and

 

requires further testing in order to provide sufficient information

 

to determine its acceptability.

 

     (i) "Failure" means a malfunction or failure of an onsite

 

wastewater treatment system consisting of any of the following:

 

     (i) A discharge of sanitary sewage to the surface of the

 

ground.


     (ii) A discharge of sanitary sewage or effluent into surface

 

water or directly into groundwater.

 

     (iii) The inability of the onsite wastewater treatment system

 

to accept sanitary sewage at the rate being discharged, which may

 

result in the backup of sanitary sewage into the structure or

 

impede the flow of wastewater within the structure.

 

     (iv) A structural failure of the septic tank or other

 

associated components and appurtenances.

 

     (v) A discharge of treated wastewater that does not comply

 

with applicable standards.

 

     (vi) An illicit connection or illicit discharge.

 

     (vii) Evidence of effluent within the septic tank above or

 

below the invert of the septic tank outlet.

 

     (j) "Fund" means the onsite wastewater treatment system

 

administration fund created in section 12815.

 

     (k) "Illicit connection" means a physical connection to an

 

onsite wastewater treatment system or other separate drainage

 

system in violation of law.

 

     (l) "Illicit discharge" means any discharge from an onsite

 

wastewater treatment system or other separate drainage system in

 

violation of law.

 

     (m) "Imminent danger" means a condition or practice that could

 

reasonably be expected to cause death, disease, or serious physical

 

harm immediately or before the imminence of the danger can be

 

eliminated through enforcement procedures otherwise provided in

 

this act.

 

     (n) "Local health department" means a local health department


as defined in section 1105.

 

     (o) "Management" means the siting, design, installation,

 

operation, inspection, and maintenance of onsite wastewater systems

 

to ensure that onsite wastewater treatment systems meet required

 

performance standards and are protective of public health and the

 

environment.

 

     (p) "Nonproprietary technology" means a wastewater treatment

 

or distribution technology, method, or product not subject to a

 

patent or trademark that significantly contributes to the

 

attainment of the treatment or dispersal objectives.

 

     (q) "Onsite wastewater treatment system" or "system" means a

 

system of components and appurtenances used to collect and treat

 

sanitary sewage or domestic equivalent wastewater from 1 or more

 

dwellings, buildings, or structures and discharge not more than

 

10,000 gallons per day of the resulting effluent to a soil

 

dispersal system on property owned by or under the control of the

 

owner of the onsite wastewater treatment system.

 

     (r) "Onsite wastewater treatment system evaluation" or

 

"evaluation" means an evaluation of an onsite wastewater treatment

 

system conducted under section 12811.

 

     (s) "Operating permit" means a renewable and revocable permit,

 

if required, to operate and maintain an alternative system in

 

compliance with specific operational or performance requirements.

 

     (t) "Proprietary product" means a treatment or distribution

 

product held under patent or trademark that significantly

 

contributes to the treatment performance and attainment of effluent

 

quality or dispersal objectives.


     (u) "Registered inspector" means an individual who is

 

qualified to conduct onsite wastewater treatment system evaluations

 

and who is registered under section 12812.

 

     (v) "Sanitary sewage" means water and contaminants discharged

 

from sanitary conveniences, including bathroom, kitchen, and

 

household laundry fixtures of dwellings, office buildings,

 

industrial plants, commercial buildings, and institutions. Sanitary

 

sewage does not include commercial laundry wastes and wastes from

 

industrial and commercial processes.

 

     (w) "Septic tank assessment" means an assessment of an onsite

 

wastewater treatment system conducted under section 12810.

 

     (x) "Statewide code" means the rules promulgated under section

 

12809 providing for the management of onsite wastewater treatment

 

systems.

 

     (y) "Technical advisory committee" means the technical

 

advisory committee established by the department under section

 

12808.

 

     Sec. 12803. (1) The department may authorize a local health

 

department to administer this part for alternative systems if the

 

local health department does both of the following:

 

     (a) Demonstrates that it meets the requirements of section

 

12802.

 

     (b) Adopts regulations consistent with this part for the

 

purpose of carrying out the responsibilities of this part,

 

including authority to do all of the following:

 

     (i) Review, evaluate, approve, or reject applications, plans,

 

and specifications to alter, install, repair, or replace


alternative systems.

 

     (ii) Issue construction permits authorizing the installation

 

of alternative systems in accordance with section 12805.

 

     (iii) Ensure long-term maintenance of alternative systems

 

through the issuance of operating permits.

 

     (2) Existing local health department regulations or guidance

 

for a particular type of alternative onsite wastewater treatment

 

system shall remain in effect until recommended standards and

 

guidance for that type of system are developed by the department in

 

accordance with section 12807.

 

     Sec. 12804. (1) A person shall not install, construct, alter,

 

or repair a conventional or alternative system unless he or she has

 

received a construction permit from an authorized local health

 

department or the department, subject to any permit required under

 

part 31 or 41 of the national resources and environmental

 

protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.3101 to 324.3134 and 324.4101

 

to 324.4113.

 

     (2) A construction permit for a conventional or alternative

 

system shall be obtained from an authorized local health department

 

in compliance with this part. If the local health department with

 

jurisdiction over the property is not authorized to administer this

 

part with respect to that permit, the department is responsible for

 

the issuance of the permit.

 

     (3) A local unit of government shall not issue a building

 

permit for a residence or facility that will be served by an onsite

 

wastewater treatment system unless a construction permit for the

 

onsite wastewater system has been obtained under this part.


     Sec. 12805. (1) The department or an authorized local health

 

department that administers an alternative system construction and

 

operating permitting program within its jurisdiction shall issue a

 

construction permit for the installation of an alternative system

 

if both of the following conditions are met:

 

     (a) The alternative system does either of the following:

 

     (i) Utilizes a proprietary product that has been registered

 

for use by the department.

 

     (ii) Utilizes a nonproprietary technology in accordance with

 

the recommended standards and guidance provided by the department

 

in accordance with the statewide code.

 

     (b) The soils, site conditions, and operating conditions at

 

the location are appropriate for the use of the alternative system

 

in compliance with the statewide code.

 

     (2) Beginning on the effective date of the amendatory act that

 

added this part, an alternative system shall be inspected by the

 

department, an authorized local health department, or a registered

 

inspector at least once every 5 years unless otherwise provided in

 

the statewide code.

 

     Sec. 12806. (1) Beginning January 1, 2020, a person shall not

 

install, construct, alter, or repair a proprietary product unless

 

that product has been registered for use in this state by the

 

department and a construction permit is obtained under section

 

12804.

 

     (2) A person may apply for registration of a proprietary

 

product under subsection (1) by submitting an application with the

 

required information to the department. The department may charge a


fee of $3,000.00 to cover its costs in reviewing applications for

 

registration under this section. Money received by the department

 

shall be forwarded to the state treasurer for deposit into the

 

fund. Within 30 days after receipt of an application and fee, the

 

department shall review the application and determine whether it is

 

administratively complete. Within 60 days after receipt of an

 

administratively complete application, the department shall approve

 

or deny the registration and notify the applicant in writing. In

 

approving and registering for use a proprietary product in this

 

state, the department shall consider the recommended standards and

 

guidance provided to the department by the technical advisory

 

committee. A registration under this section is valid for 5 years.

 

A registration may be renewed, however, there is no fee for a

 

renewal.

 

     (3) The department may deny, suspend, or revoke a registration

 

under this section following a contested case hearing pursuant to

 

the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201

 

to 24.328, if the department finds any of the following:

 

     (a) The registration was obtained or attempted to be obtained

 

through misrepresentation or fraud.

 

     (b) The registrant transacted business under its registration

 

using fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest practices.

 

     (c) The applicant or registrant failed to pay required

 

registration application review fees.

 

     (d) Field reviews determine that the proprietary product does

 

not function or perform as designed.

 

     Sec. 12807. The department shall develop recommended standards


and guidance to assist local health departments in permitting

 

different types of onsite wastewater treatment systems, including

 

the following 3 categories:

 

     (a) Nonproprietary technologies such as sand filters.

 

     (b) Proprietary products such as aerobic treatment systems and

 

packed bed filters.

 

     (c) Proprietary products such as subsurface dripline products

 

or gravelless distribution products.

 

     Sec. 12810. (1) Except as provided in subsection (6), a person

 

that owns a conventional system shall have a septic tank assessment

 

conducted on that conventional system at least once every 10 years.

 

     (2) A septic tank assessment required under subsection (1)

 

shall be conducted by a local health department, a registered

 

inspector, or a septic waste servicer licensed under part 117, or

 

his or her agent. The individual conducting the septic tank

 

assessment shall do all of the following:

 

     (a) Identify the size and condition of the septic tank or

 

tanks.

 

     (b) Prior to conducting any pumping, determine the level of

 

effluent in the septic tank or tanks.

 

     (c) Pump out the septic tank or tanks if the total depth of

 

scum plus sludge layers equals or exceeds 1/3 of the depth of the

 

tank.

 

     (d) Identify evidence of failure of the onsite wastewater

 

treatment system and whether the failure is causing an imminent

 

danger.

 

     (e) Document the information gathered under subdivisions (a)


through (d) in an inspection report.

 

     (3) Within 10 days after completion of a septic tank

 

assessment under this section, the individual conducting the septic

 

tank assessment shall provide the inspection report to the owner of

 

the onsite wastewater treatment system and to the authorized local

 

health department or the department.

 

     (4) If an inspection report prepared under this section

 

identifies evidence of failure, the owner of the onsite wastewater

 

treatment system shall remedy the failure as directed by the

 

authorized local health department or the department.

 

     (5) In addition to the fee charged for conducting a septic

 

tank assessment, the local health department, registered inspector,

 

or septage waste servicer conducting the assessment shall charge an

 

additional $25.00 state administrative fee. By October 1 of each

 

year, all state administrative fees collected during the previous

 

state fiscal year shall be forwarded to the department. The

 

department shall forward all fees it receives under this section to

 

the state treasurer for deposit into the fund.

 

     (6) If an onsite wastewater treatment system evaluation is

 

conducted on an onsite wastewater treatment system, a septic tank

 

assessment does not need to be conducted on that system for a

 

period of 10 years after the date of the evaluation.

 

     Sec. 12811. (1) Beginning on the effective date of the

 

amendatory act that added this part, the owner of a conventional

 

onsite wastewater treatment system shall arrange for an onsite

 

wastewater treatment system evaluation to be conducted on the

 

conventional system in accordance with subsection (2) if any of the


following occur:

 

     (a) Any form of inspection other than a septic tank assessment

 

is requested or permitted by the property owner.

 

     (b) A complaint is filed with the local health department or

 

the department based on a suspected failure of the system and the

 

local health department or the department determines that there is

 

reasonable cause to require an evaluation to be conducted.

 

     (c) A change in use is proposed that increases use of an

 

existing onsite wastewater treatment system.

 

     (d) The owner of the property on which a system is located

 

applies for a building permit for construction of a structure or an

 

addition to a structure.

 

     (2) An onsite wastewater system evaluation required under

 

subsection (1) shall be conducted by the department, an authorized

 

local health department, or a registered inspector. The individual

 

conducting the onsite wastewater treatment system evaluation shall

 

do all of the following:

 

     (a) Identify the size and condition of the septic tank or

 

tanks.

 

     (b) Verify that all sanitary sewage-related plumbing fixtures

 

are connected to the septic tank or tanks.

 

     (c) Determine the level of effluent in the septic tank or

 

tanks.

 

     (d) Evaluate the treatment and dispersal system following the

 

septic tank or tanks.

 

     (e) Document evidence of a failure of the onsite wastewater

 

treatment system and whether the failure is causing an imminent


danger.

 

     (f) Determine if the total depth of scum plus sludge layers

 

equals or exceeds 1/3 of the depth of the septic tank.

 

     (g) Prepare an inspection report of the information gathered

 

under this subsection.

 

     (3) If an onsite wastewater treatment system evaluation under

 

subsection (2)(f) identifies the need for the tank or tanks to be

 

pumped, the owner of the onsite wastewater treatment system shall

 

have the system pumped by a septage waste hauler licensed under

 

part 117 within 30 days of the inspection report.

 

     (4) Within 15 days after completion of an evaluation, the

 

person conducting the evaluation shall do both of the following:

 

     (a) Prepare an inspection report that details the findings of

 

the evaluation.

 

     (b) Provide a written or electronic copy of the inspection

 

report to the owner of the onsite wastewater treatment system and

 

to the authorized local health department or the department.

 

     (5) If an inspection report under subsection (4) identifies

 

evidence of failure causing an imminent public health hazard, the

 

owner of the onsite wastewater treatment system shall remedy the

 

failure as directed by the authorized local health department or

 

the department.

 

     (6) An onsite wastewater system evaluation that is conducted

 

under this section is valid for a 5-year period as long as there is

 

no change to the use of the system or a failure of the system

 

during that period.

 

     (7) The department or an authorized local health department


shall charge a reasonable fee not to exceed the costs of conducting

 

onsite wastewater treatment system evaluations.

 

     (8) In addition to the fee charged for conducting an onsite

 

treatment system evaluation, the registered inspector, authorized

 

local health department, or department, as applicable, shall charge

 

an additional $25.00 state administrative fee. State administrative

 

fees shall be forwarded to the department on an annual basis by

 

October 1 of every year. The department shall forward all fees it

 

receives under this section to the state treasurer for deposit into

 

the fund.

 

     Sec. 12812. (1) Beginning January 1, 2020, an onsite

 

wastewater treatment system evaluation under this part shall be

 

conducted only by the department, a registered inspector, or

 

qualified local health department staff. To qualify for

 

registration as a registered inspector or to conduct evaluations,

 

an individual shall meet the educational and training requirements

 

established in the statewide code.

 

     (2) Subject to subsection (3), to apply to become a registered

 

inspector, an individual shall submit an application to the

 

department containing the information required by the department

 

documenting his or her qualifications. The department may charge a

 

$180.00 application fee to cover the department's cost under this

 

section. Application fees collected under this section shall be

 

forwarded to the state treasurer for deposit into the fund.

 

     (3) If an organization or authorized local health department

 

has a program to qualify inspectors of onsite wastewater treatment

 

systems, the department may, upon review of the program, approve


the program and accept those inspectors as meeting the requirements

 

of this section for registration. An individual registered under

 

this subsection shall thereafter meet department requirements as

 

specified in the statewide code and shall pay the application fee.

 

     (4) Registrations of registered inspectors shall be reviewed

 

every 3 years by the department and renewed for individuals who

 

continue to meet the requirements.

 

     (5) An inspector registration may be denied, suspended, or

 

revoked following a contested case hearing as provided in the

 

administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to

 

24.328, for any of the following reasons:

 

     (a) The use of fraud or deceit in obtaining or renewing

 

registration.

 

     (b) Any act of gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct

 

in conducting or reporting an inspection.

 

     (c) Failure to satisfactorily complete continuing education

 

requirements.

 

     (d) Submission of a record of inspection that knowingly is

 

based upon false, incorrect, misleading, or fabricated information.

 

     (e) Failure to pay required fees.

 

     (6) The department shall maintain a list of individuals

 

registered under this section and make that information available

 

electronically to the public.

 

     Sec. 12813. (1) The department shall develop and make

 

available assessment and evaluation inspection report forms for use

 

in documenting the results of septic tank assessments and onsite

 

wastewater treatment system evaluations.


     (2) The department shall make available and maintain an onsite

 

wastewater system electronic database for recording and tracking

 

the results of septic tank assessments and of onsite wastewater

 

system evaluations. When the onsite wastewater system electronic

 

database is available, the department may require the person

 

conducting the assessment or evaluation to electronically enter

 

inspection report information into the database in lieu of the

 

written inspection report. The database shall not include personal

 

information related to the owner of an onsite wastewater treatment

 

system.

 

     Sec. 12814. (1) The department may enter into agreements,

 

contracts, or cooperative arrangements with appropriate authorized

 

local health departments or other persons for the purpose of

 

administering this part.

 

     (2) To the extent a local health department is not authorized

 

to administer this part, the department shall implement this part.

 

In implementing this part, the department may contract with another

 

authorized local health department or other qualified person.

 

     Sec. 12815. (1) The onsite wastewater treatment system

 

administration fund is created within the state treasury.

 

     (2) The state treasurer may receive money or other assets from

 

any source for deposit into the fund. The state treasurer shall

 

direct the investment of the fund. The state treasurer shall credit

 

to the fund interest and earnings from fund investments.

 

     (3) Money in the fund at the close of the fiscal year shall

 

remain in the fund and shall not lapse to the general fund.

 

     (4) The department shall be the administrator of the fund for


auditing purposes.

 

     (5) The department shall expend money from the fund, upon

 

appropriation, only for either of the following:

 

     (a) To administer this part.

 

     (b) For grants to local health departments to carry out their

 

responsibilities under this part.

 

     Sec. 12816. (1) A local unit of government or a local health

 

department shall not adopt a point of sale ordinance related to

 

onsite wastewater treatment.

 

     (2) A local unit of government or a local health department

 

that has adopted a point of sale ordinance to require inspections

 

of onsite wastewater treatment systems shall phase out or repeal

 

the point of sale ordinance within 3 years after the effective date

 

of the amendatory act that added this part.

 

     Sec. 12817. The department under part 41 of the natural

 

resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451. MCL

 

324.4101 to 324.4113, and this act and local health departments

 

under this act have exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation,

 

permitting, and inspection of onsite wastewater treatment systems.

 

     Sec. 12818. A person that knowingly submits to the department

 

or local health department information related to an onsite

 

wastewater treatment system that is false, incorrect, misleading,

 

or fabricated is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of

 

not more than $10,000.00 for each violation and imprisonment for

 

not more than 1 year, or both.

 

     Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days

 

after the date it is enacted into law.


     Enacting section 2. This amendatory act does not take effect

 

unless Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5753 (request no.

 

00280'17 a) of the 99th Legislature is enacted into law.