LANSING — State Representatives Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights) and Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) introduced House Bills 5732 and 5733 today, which would establish a statewide code for the regulation of residential septic systems.

Plawecki sponsored HB 5732, which would add Part 50 to the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (Public Act 451 of 1994) to establish a baseline set of state septic regulations. Local health departments would still have the ability to implement their own rules, catered to their area, that are above and beyond the statewide code. This proposal would implement inspection requirements to ensure that each septic system in this state is not a risk to the public.

Driskell sponsored HB 5733, which would make a $3 million supplemental appropriation to establish the program, including the development of a statewide database of septic systems. The program would primarily be paid for through fees, but a start-up appropriation is necessary to implement the requirements.

“As the Great Lakes State, we are surrounded by a beautiful and precious natural resource, fresh water,” said Plawecki. “This legislation seeks to protect Michigan’s water quality, public health, tourism and agriculture. Michigan has the weakest septic system regulations in the country and is desperately in need of reform on this very important issue. This legislation would implement the necessary regulatory framework, and it is a great starting point to bring us in line with other states.”

“The more than 130,000 failing septic systems in Michigan continue to threaten our public health as well as the quality of our groundwater and Great Lakes. Implementing a statewide code for the maintenance of septic systems will better ensure that they are not polluting the very water we drink and depend on,” said Driskell. “Furthermore, having septic systems inspected when houses are being sold to new families will help protect them from the unexpected upfront costs that can come with the eventual detection of a failing septic system. I am proud to sponsor these bills with Representative Plawecki to provide an important safeguard for homeowners, our environment and our health.”