THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

221

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to cesspools.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's streams, groundwater, and ocean are being harmed by nonpoint contamination sources that flow directly off the land, rather than through pipes or ditches. Cesspools are a nonpoint contamination source of great concern. These substandard systems are essentially holes in the ground that do not treat wastewater but merely dispose of it.

The legislature further finds that there are approximately eighty-eight thousand cesspools in the State, with approximately fifty thousand on Hawaii island, fourteen thousand on Kauai, twelve thousand on Maui, eleven thousand on Oahu, and one thousand four hundred on Molokai. Collectively, the State's cesspools release more than fifty-three million gallons of untreated sewage into the ground each day. Hawaii relies on groundwater for ninety per cent of its drinking water.

The legislature finds that in 2017, legislation was enacted requiring all cesspools not excluded by the director of health to be upgraded or converted to septic systems or aerobic treatment unit systems, or connected to sewage systems by January 1, 2050. While this mandate may encourage some landowners to act now to reduce water contamination, there is little sense of urgency, and these changes will impose substantial costs on private landowners.

The purpose of this Act is to establish a low interest loan program to offer financial assistance to cesspool owners who upgrade or convert their cesspools to septic systems or aerobic treatment unit systems, or who connect their systems to existing sewer systems or any other wastewater treatment systems approved by the department of health.

SECTION 2. Chapter 342D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"342D- Cesspool remediation and conversion loan program. (a) There is established the cesspool remediation and conversion loan program to be administered by the department in coordination with each county water and sewage department. The program may provide low interest loans to:

(1) Upgrade or convert a cesspool to:

(A) A septic system; or

(B) An aerobic treatment unit system, as defined in section 342D-72 and approved by the department; or

(2) Connect a cesspool to:

(A) An existing sewer system; or

(B) Any wastewater treatment system approved by the department.

(b) The loan program may include an on-bill financing option supported by the water pollution control revolving fund established in section 342D-83."

SECTION 3. Section 342D-83, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The purpose of the revolving fund is to provide financial assistance to eligible parties for projects or activities to:

(1) Enable counties and state agencies to plan, design, and construct publicly owned wastewater treatment works in accordance with title 33 United States Code sections 1381 to 1387;

(2) Enable eligible parties to implement management programs established under title 33 United States Code section 1329;

(3) Enable eligible parties to implement conservation and management plans established under title 33 United States Code section 1330;

(4) Enable eligible parties to construct, repair, or replace a privately owned decentralized wastewater treatment system and individual wastewater system that treats municipal wastewater or domestic sewage under title 33 United States Code section 1383;

(5) Enable eligible nonprofit entities to provide assistance to small and medium sized publicly owned treatment works for training activities, planning, design, and associated preconstruction activities under title 33 United States Code section 1383;

(6) Enable eligible parties to manage, reduce, treat, or recapture stormwater or subsurface drainage water under title 33 United States Code section 1383;

(7) Enable eligible parties to develop and implement watershed projects meeting the criteria under title 33 United States Code section 1274;

(8) Enable counties and state agencies to reduce the demand for publicly owned treatment works capacity through water conservation, efficiency, or reuse under title 33 United States Code section 1383;

(9) Enable counties and state agencies to reduce the energy consumption needs for publicly owned treatment works under title 33 United States Code section 1383;

(10) Enable eligible parties to reuse or recycle wastewater, stormwater, or subsurface drainage water under title 33 United States Code section 1383; [and]

(11) Enable eligible parties to increase the security of publicly owned treatment works under title 33 United States Code section 1383[.]; and

(12) Enable the department to coordinate with each county agency responsible for wastewater to establish a low interest loan program to upgrade or convert cesspools to septic systems or aerobic treatment unit systems, or to connect cesspools to existing sewer systems or any other wastewater treatment systems approved by the department."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Cesspools; Upgrade and Conversion; Low Interest Loan Program; DOH

 

Description:

Authorizes the Department of Health to coordinate with each county wastewater agency to establish a low interest loan program to upgrade or convert cesspools to septic systems or aerobic treatment unit systems, or to connect cesspools to existing sewer systems or other wastewater treatment systems approved by the department.

 

 

 

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