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ENVIRONMENTALISTS ATTACKING RURAL PROPERTY THROUGH SEPTIC SYSTEMS

 

 

 

 

Joyce Morrison
August 22, 2006
NewsWithViews.com

O.K. so poo does stink. That is why sewage disposal in both the city and rural areas can’t be neglected. People in rural areas work especially hard to properly handle their “poo” because they must keep it contained on their property.

For years the technology for home septic systems has been working to serve rural residents. The days of piping raw sewage out to the ditch went away years ago -- but apparently someone failed to inform the EPA and the environmentalists.

Local officials and county health departments make certain their respective counties are free from hazardous sewage -- because they live there. Homeowners are required to properly maintain their septic systems and the neighbors will be the first to report a system not working correctly.

But there are environmental groups who want you to believe otherwise. If people from the city were to believe these claims, they would think rural residents tromp around in raw sewage and drain it straight into the rivers and streams.

According to several county health professionals that I contacted, private septic systems are not a health hazard. County health departments say they have the scientific data to support their claims against the junk science being used to mandate proposed new testings. These professionals are dedicated individuals, working hard to keep their home area safe from disease -- if there is concern, these scientists will be the first to sound the alarm.

However, rural septic systems across the nation are under attack. The Environmental Protection Agency’s publication “Protecting Water Resources with Smart Growth” states:

“Decentralized systems often occur in rural areas where few development regulations exist. Because of this, local governments might need to increase the type and level of oversight to include permitting, inspections, and operation and maintenance agreements. Otherwise, onsite systems could encourage a lower-density and high land consumptive development pattern.”

Common sense would tell you no one would want a poorly functioning septic system for their home. Health officials in every county are there to help people who have problems with new and old systems. In Illinois, before a system is installed, a percolation test is performed to make certain the type of septic system to be installed will work properly and not be a threat to the homeowner or the adjoining property. The county health department must approve the application for the permit and makes sure it meets state requirements.

Sierra Club and other environmental groups apparently do not believe the scientific documentation provided by local county officials can possibly be acceptable, so they have stepped in to encourage EPA mandates for testing.

Illinois legislators have repeatedly voted down the environmentalists’ bill which would require expensive testing of the effluent of a septic system and most likely lead to a costly new installation. Since they couldn’t get a bill passed, they just bypassed the legislators and IEPA wrote the mandates in the form of a permit which all residents with a private system would have to comply.

Illinois residents should be watching for any public hearings to be held in their areas in the next couple of months. (summer/fall 2006)

The Prairie Rivers Network, Sierra Club-Illinois Chapter, and the Environmental Law & Policy Center wrote a letter dated December 18, 2002 to the U.S. EPA telling them of their concern for the surface-discharging septic systems through the National Pollutant Discharging Elimination System program and if they did not take action, Region 5 should take steps to withdraw approval from the Illinois (NPDES) program. They continued by saying “they were hopeful that the matter can be resolved cooperatively by all involved, and will not require resort(ing) to litigation.”

Apparently the Sierra Club is ready to bite the hand that feeds it as they are one of the organizations who feeds from the EPA’s grant trough. If I read this correctly, it sounds as though this group would sue the EPA if they did not comply with their demands. Ahh, but that would not be the first time. Check out what a Google search brings up when you enter EPA + Sierra Club. It appears the Sierra Club has learned to use lawsuits quite effectively.

Enviros in green lawsuits, a commentary by Douglas Nelson in the Washington Times, said “in recent years the environmental activist community in the U.S. have developed and perfected a very productive tactic of suing the federal government and settling their claims for substantial attorney’s fees and litigation costs.”

The EPA issues grants to many environmental groups. If these same groups are filing lawsuits against them, it seems they are either partners with the EPA or are holding them hostage.

Sludge (treated sewage) from Chicago was barged, trucked, and piped to Fulton County, Illinois, where it was spread or knifed in over a large acreage. Where were the environmentalists and IEPA when residents asked for testing of their groundwater? Neighboring residents said they were concerned about heavy metals and the possible leakage into the ponds and well water of those who lived nearby.

Property owners in most states have been fighting legislation requiring monitoring and metering of private wells. Washington, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and numerous states are proposing or have passed legislation that would control private water systems. Septic system legislation appears to be the backdoor to accomplish this goal.

A grassroots group in Missouri found a reference (an opening) to well monitoring embedded in HB1433 (2004) a bill which pertained to septic systems in a nine county watershed. The well monitoring would have affected the whole state. This grassroots group initiated new legislation in 2005 that curtailed the monitoring or metering of private wells in Missouri.

The Onsite Wastewater Professionals of Illinois issued a public notice to warn home owners with private sewage disposal systems:

New proposed regulations, if passed, will require you as a homeowner with a surface discharging septic system such as a buried sand filter or aeration unit (aerobic treatment plant) to have annual sampling and testing of your discharge. The Onsite Wastewater Professional’s of Illinois has estimated this to be a cost of $500 per year to you. The health department and your county board is opposed to this unnecessary testing, permitting and additional cost to homeowners. This regulation is a result of the USEPA and the IEPA claiming that your clear water discharge leaves your property and migrates into the rivers and streams of the United States. If you feel your system works properly and your discharge stays on your own land, you must consider writing a letter to the IEPA opposing this permit. Inform them that your residence should not be regulated under the rules of the Clean Water Act that was written for industry and that you are strongly opposed to this unnecessary regulation and testing!!!

Sometimes you have to follow the money trail. Who will make money from this testing venture? Who will enforce this mandate?

The Onsite Wastewater Professionals could benefit by their members installing new septic systems, but since this is an honorable group, they are opposing this mandate as they know it is not necessary and people cannot afford to install new systems.

Who will be awarded the contracts for testing the wells? It might be interesting to see who sits on some of the boards or owns stock in a laboratory qualified to do the testing.

Could rural cleansing account for the unscientific reasoning behind the unreasonable testing and replacement of septic systems in rural areas? Could the results lead to restrictions of drinking water from your well? Without well water and a septic system, many people might be forced to leave the country and move to sustainable communities where water and sewage systems would be available.

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Whatever the real reason is behind this, it is not scientific. It is harmful to homeowners and would be another control placed on private property. Keep a close watch on your state’s legislation as there will be attempts to control the water on your property.

© 2006 Joyce Morrison - All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale


Joyce Morrison attempts to educate the public regarding the dangers coming to their local communities through Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 programs which are designed to gradually take control of all private property through undue regulations.

Morrison writes for Eco-logic Powerhouse, NewsWithViews.com, Range Magazine, SOWER magazine as well as numerous other publications. She is a weekly participant on the teleconference of the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank and is a pro-life, pro-family activist.

She is a chapter leader for Concerned Women for America as well as Secretary to the Board of Directors of Rural Restoration/ADOPT Mission, a national farm ministry located in Sikeston, MO. FarmersRuralRestoration.com. Her most enjoyable time is spent teaching a senior adult Sunday School class which is a focus on hope and encouragement.

E-Mail: dayspring365@yahoo.com



 

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Property owners in most states have been fighting legislation requiring monitoring and metering of private wells. Washington, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and numerous states are proposing or have passed legislation that would control private water systems. Septic system legislation appears to be the backdoor to accomplish this goal.