MA Legislature Brings Good News to Buzzards Bay

Residents around Buzzards Bay are poised to receive financial assistance for nitrogen runoff mitigation from the state, thanks to the efforts of State Representative Paul Schmid and the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

woman and man in field facing camera

Korrin Petersen, Buzzards Bay Coalition, and State Representative Paul Schmid

Representative Schmid announced the following:

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed its Fiscal Year 23 (FY23) Budget on Wednesday. In addition to responsible spending measures and millions in financial resources coming to Southeastern Massachusetts, the House included important language to assist homeowners mitigate nitrogen run off from septic systems.

H.1009, An Act relative to failed septic systems, filed by State Representative Paul Schmid (D-Westport), in partnership with the Buzzards Bay Coalition, at the beginning of the 192nd General Court. This bill authorizes municipal Boards of Health to enter into betterment agreements with residential owners to provide assistance from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for repair, replacement, or upgrade of septic systems that do not confirm to nitrogen waste standards.

Coastal communities across Massachusetts, where homes still employ septic systems, face dangerous levels of nitrogen pollution throughout their waterways. This heavy concentration of nitrogen has environmental and public health repercussions and the single greatest barrier in combatting this pollution is the cost of wastewater infrastructure. This bill provides an affordable onsite solution which utilizes existing federal dollars already flowing to the state making this bill cost neutral to the Commonwealth.

“It has been great to partner with the Buzzards Bay Coalition on such a crucial water quality issue, their knowledge on this issue has been critical” said Representative Paul Schmid of Westport. “I am thrilled to see this legislation move forward and request the support of my senate colleagues to see it is included in the final FY23 budget.”

“The only way we protect our coastal waters is through improved wastewater treatment and we need to make those improvements as affordable as possible. The language passed in the House Budget makes nitrogen reducing septic systems significantly more affordable for homeowners by providing access to low interest loans.” Said Korrin Petersen, Vice President of Clean Water Advocacy for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, “The Coalition thanks Representative Schmid for his persistence towards this goal and thanks the house leadership for their commitment to clean water.”

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: