Falmouth Continues to Question State’s Septic System Proposal

FALMOUTH — A recent meeting of the Falmouth Select Board raised further objections to the state’s proposed changes to sewer system regulations.

Plymouth/Barnstable State Senator Susan Moran spoke at the Nov. 21 board meeting about the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s proposal.

To prevent excess nitrogen from polluting estuaries, the changes in Title Five would require cities to either apply for watershed permits or make costly upgrades for septic tank owners.

The upgrades would result in approximately 15,000 property owners in Falmouth adding innovative/alternative systems (I/As) to their current systems over the next five years. Moran said the upgrades could cost about $30,000 per installation.

Moran said if Falmouth needed to apply for watershed permits as part of the state’s proposed changes, the city would need to apply for a permit for each of its estuaries.

“That would give the DEP the authority to mandate millions of dollars for the sewer over a 20-year timeline, well beyond what Falmouth can currently plan to afford,” Moran said.

She said Falmouth has already objected to the plan because it has over ten estuaries, more than other Cape towns, which typically only have one or two.

“We will be pushing these objections in testimony before the DEP through December 14,” Moran said.

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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