Opinion: State should bear fiscal weight of septic regulations

May 27, 2023

To the editor: If individual home owners are financially responsible to upgrade their septic systems to be in compliance, that will inflict an enormous burden upon them that is patently unfair. 

If the new rules obligate the state to finance the implementation of conforming septic systems, that will undoubtedly provoke a backlash of taxpayers who do not have septic systems.  The response will be, why should the majority of homeowners bear the cost to a minority of homeowners who have non-conforming septic systems?

There will also be those skeptics who will question the validity of the data and resulting bonanza to the companies that will be hired to bring the individual septic systems in compliance with the new regulations. Like the climate deniers they will believe any published studies demonstrating that the contamination is a hoax or not as environmentally threatening as claimed by the governmental authorities.  

And as aptly pointed out by Dartmouth Public Health Director Chris Michaud there are additional causes of the nitrogen contamination in the coastal waterways.

In any event there will be a forthcoming blowback by various groups and many individual property owners will be caught in a situation of uncertainty as to the legal status of their property should they want, or need, to sell, devise or mortgage their property.

In the final analysis the state should bear the cost as the causation is attributable to the innocent and blameworthy alike, but the benefit will be to all residents.

Betty Ussach,