HOUSE BILL NO. 6101

May 17, 2022, Introduced by Reps. Yaroch and Rendon and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation.

A bill to require transfer evaluations before the sale or transfer of certain property; to provide exceptions; to provide for the powers and duties of certain state and local governmental officers and entities; to require the promulgation of rules; to require the registration of registered evaluators; and to provide standards for the registration of registered evaluators.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 1. This act may be cited as the "septic tank inspection at time of sale act".

Sec. 3. As used in this act:

(a) "Department" means the department of environment, Great Lakes, and energy.

(b) "Parcel" means a lot or distinct portion or tract of land that includes a residential building.

(c) "Registered evaluator" means an individual who is registered with the department under section 7.

(d) "Septic tank" means a buried watertight covered tank designed and constructed to receive and partially treat sanitary sewage by physical settling and anaerobic decomposition before releasing the sewage to a drain field.

(e) "Transfer evaluation" means the process of determining the condition and functionality of a septic tank in relation to the sale or transfer of a parcel containing a septic tank by a registered evaluator. During the transfer evaluation, the registered evaluator shall do all of the following:

(i) Locate, expose, open, and inspect the septic tank.

(ii) Observe the surrounding area looking for surface drainage problems or evidence of effluent on the ground or entering into a body of water.

(iii) Check for evidence of any illicit discharge including, but not limited to, discharge into a waterway, wetland, ditch, or subsurface drain.

(iv) Pump the tank to remove and dispose of the contents if the height of the fluid is less than 66% of the height of the contents of the tank.

(v) Note whether the septic tank system had failed.

(vi) Anything else as required by the department.

(f) "Transfer evaluation report" means the report created by a registered evaluator after conducting a transfer evaluation. Transfer evaluation reports must include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(i) The address of the parcel.

(ii) The parcel identification number.

(iii) The name of the owner of the parcel.

(iv) The location of the septic tank.

(v) A description of the current operational or functional status of the septic tank.

(vi) Identification of any necessary repairs or replacement of any portions of the septic tank system.

(vii) Other relevant or unusual observations related to the septic tank system.

Sec. 5. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), beginning on the effective date of this act a person shall not sell or transfer a parcel containing a septic tank unless all of the following have occurred:

(a) A registered evaluator has filed a transfer evaluation report with the department.

(b) At the time of the transfer evaluation, the department has determined that the condition or operation of the septic tank has not failed or that any necessary system remediation has been completed.

(c) The department has issued an authorization for sale or transfer of the parcel.

(2) A transfer evaluation is not required before a sale or transfer of a parcel containing a septic tank if any of the following apply:

(a) A waiver is filed with the department stating that the parcel is to be connected to an available public sanitary sewer, public water supply, or both within 6 months of the sale or transfer.

(b) The septic tank was installed less than 3 years before the sale or transfer of the parcel.

(c) A transfer evaluation was conducted and a transfer evaluation report was filed with the department no more than 1 year before the sale or transfer of the parcel.

(d) A mortgage or other payment obligation is refinanced.

(e) Any structure connected to the septic tank is to be demolished and not occupied after the sale or transfer of the parcel.

(f) The value of the consideration of the sale or transfer of the parcel is less than $100.00.

(g) The transfer is from a spouse or spouses creating or disjoining a tenancy by the entireties in the grantor or the grantor and his or her spouse.

(h) Unless a specific monetary consideration is specified or ordered by the court, the transfer is court-ordered.

(i) The transfer is to create a joint tenancy between 2 or more persons where at least 1 of the persons already owns the parcel.

(j) Winter weather conditions preclude completing the transfer evaluation and the owner of the parcel files for an extension with the department.

Sec. 7. (1) The department is responsible for regulating transfer evaluations and promulgating rules to regulate transfer evaluations under this act under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.

(2) The department shall determine minimum levels of education and experience to conduct transfer evaluations and shall require an appropriate level of continuing education. Local health departments may provide initial and continuing education of registered evaluators with approval from the department.

(3) The department shall approve a certifying agency or organization after determining the agency or organization has an acceptable program for training and certifying individuals in transfer evaluations.

(4) The department shall determine a fee schedule for the registration of registered evaluators.

(5) The department shall keep a list of all registered evaluators.

(6) Subject to subsection (7), before conducting a transfer evaluation, an individual shall do all of the following:

(a) Get certified for transfer evaluations by an agency or organization approved by the department.

(b) Register with the department.

(c) Pay the registration fee.

(7) If the department has not approved a certifying agency or organization 90 days after the effective date of this act, the department may register individuals without certification for transfer evaluations after determining the adequacy of the knowledge and experience of the individual until a certifying agency or organization is approved by the department.