Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 873 -- On-Site Sewage Treatment

Co-Sponsors:  Naeger, Reinhart, Nordwald, Holand

This bill makes numerous changes in laws regulating on-site
sewage treatment systems.

The Department of Health will develop a mandatory registration
program for on-site sewage treatment system installers,
designers, soil scientists, service maintenance contractors,
loan evaluators, administrative authorities, and other licensed
professionals.  The program will include continuing education
requirements and training developed in conjunction with an
advisory professional and accreditation standards committee of
at least 14 members.  The committee will include at least 2
members from each licensed profession and representatives from
the departments of Health and Natural Resources.

The Department of Health is required to promulgate one set of
rules on the state standards for on-site sewage treatment
systems.  Local ordinances may differ from state standards if
the local ordinances demonstrate accepted public health
principles.  The department may review local ordinances no more
frequently than annually; aggrieved local authorities may appeal
to the State Board of Health and the Administrative Hearing
Commission.  The bill also replaces the soil percolation test
option in the current state standards with a soil morphology
test requirement.  If a soil morphology test cannot be
reasonably obtained, percolation tests will be accepted until
January 1, 2004.  The department will certify and define by rule
a list of persons qualified to perform soil morphology tests.

Permits, with fees capped at $175, are required for the
construction or major modification of regulated on-site
systems.  To provide opportunities for inspection, the
appropriate administrative authority must be notified before 9
a.m. on the day prior to work commencement, and again before 9
a.m. on the second day prior to work completion.  Penalties for
improper operation, construction, or major modification of
regulated systems are increased from infractions to class C
misdemeanors; the penalty for not providing proper notice is
reduced from a class C misdemeanor to an infraction.  The bill
also repeals the authority of the Department of Health to charge
a fee up to $50 for an inspection requested in conjunction with
a real estate transaction and authorizes the department to allow
private licensed contractors to perform these inspections.

Further, the bill replaces the requirement that repairs to
malfunctioning systems or nuisance abatements must be made
within 60 days with a requirement that repairs be made by a time
established by the department.  The department may investigate
nuisance complaints received from anyone, not just aggrieved
parties or adjacent landowners, and, after receiving a
complaint, may enter premises to determine if there is probable
cause that a violation exists.  The Attorney General, as well as
the local prosecuting attorney, may institute proceedings in
noncompliance cases and seek temporary restraining orders in
health emergencies.

Finally, the bill clarifies which types of sewage treatment
systems are regulated by the state standards for on-site systems
and which are regulated by clean water law.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated September 13, 2001 at 2:04 pm