PRESS RELEASE: Bipartisan bill to delay private septic system - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

PRESS RELEASE: Bipartisan bill to delay private septic system upgrades on the way to the Governor

MADISON (PRESS RELEASE)-- AB 950, a bill to give homeowners more time to upgrade their septic systems will soon be on the governor's desk.  The bill was authored by Representatives Donna Seidel (D-Wausau) and Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) and Senators Russ Decker (D-Wausau) and Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls).

I am proud of the strong bipartisanship that passed this legislation.  AB 950 was introduced in direct response to our constituents who need more time to save money for these expensive investments.  We are still committed to the clean water policy and will continue to advance these efforts next session," said Seidel.

The bill does not change any of the requirements for septic upgrades, but it does give counties five more years to do the inspections required for the septic program and homeowners five more years to install a new system if their system fails the county inspection. 

"The economy is starting to rebound, but many people are still struggling.  We all support the goal of clean water, but this is not a good time to force a large bill to put in new a septic system.  We need to give people more time to plan for these changes," said Decker.

The private septic regulations went into effect in July of 2000 as the result of a Department of Commerce Administrative Rule issued under Governor Tommy Thompson in 1998.  AB 950 was introduced after many rural Wisconsin residents who would be impacted by the new requirements contacted the bill's authors with their concerns.

"In this tough economy, a majority of the people I represent simply can't afford the added cost of replacing their septic systems," Suder said.  "I am proud that we were able to work in a bipartisan fashion to quickly pass legislation to give struggling homeowners five more years to comply with the new requirements."

According to the Wisconsin Counties Association, many counties would have a difficult time inspecting all of the private septic systems under the current timeline.  AB 950 gives counties more flexibility to finish the septic system inventory required under the original rule.

"I've heard from a number of my constituents who are seriously concerned about the potential costs of this upgrade," said Kreitlow.  "Delaying this program gives them a chance to plan ahead in a way that works for their budget."

AB 950 passed unanimously in both the Senate and the Assembly and will now be sent to the governor.

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