Protect Water Quality in Maine by Standardizing Property Transfers

Loss | May 16 2017

Clean Water

The Maine Chapter worked with our Northeast Regional Manager to support the passage of LD559, An Act To Standardize the Law Concerning Property Transfers and To Protect Water Quality.

Summary for LD559, An Act To Standardize the Law Concerning Property Transfers and To Protect Water Quality:

"This bill extends to inland shoreland areas the requirement that subsurface wastewater disposal systems on property located within a shoreland area be inspected prior to a sale of the property. Currently, that inspection requirement applies only to the sale of property located within a coastal shoreland area. This is important because of course, we are all part of the watershed; what happens upstream and in our inland bays and estuaries happens also to our coastal waters."

  • Public Hearing was held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 208
  • Work Session was held on Thursday, March 9, 2017 1:00 PM,Cross Building, Room 208

During the work session, the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development decided to refer this bill to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

The Surfrider Foundation submitted this testimony in support of LD559, which you can read to get a sense of why we support the bill and how failing subsurface wastewater systems negatively impact water quality.

On April 18, 2017, the Committee voted that the bill Ought To Pass As Amended. The amendment to the bill simply adds an effective date of April 1, 2018.The Maine House engrossed the bill on April 20, 2017, and the Senate on April 27, 2017. However, this Bill was returned by Governor LePage, together with objections to the same pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the State of Maine, after reconsideration, the House proceeded to vote on the question: "Shall this Bill become a law notwithstanding the objections of the Governor?" With 91 having voted in the affirmative and 54 in the negative, with 4 being absent, and 2 excused, accordingly, the Governor's veto was sustained (Maine law requires 2/3 majority of both chambers' members who are present for the vote to overturn the Governor's veto. See how YOUR electeds voted here, and consider sending an email of thanks to the yays or concern to the nays/absent/excused!). On May 16th, this bill was killed by veto of Governor LePage.

THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED SUPPORT THE PASSAGE OF THIS BILL! We'll likely see a similar bill come before the legislature down the road, and we will be ready!

Learn how to submit testimony & please give us a shout for talking points and/or to get more involved in our work in Maine.

You can also volunteer with our chapter and join/renew your Surfrider membership to BEST support our work in Maine.


Clean Water

Everyone should have access to clean water to surf, swim and play in. The Surfrider Foundation is taking a multi-tiered approach to tackle ocean pollution problems. We are testing the waters for bacteria and toxins, raising public awareness and finding real solutions to ocean pollution; solutions that restore healthy watersheds, protect local water supplies and keep pollution from reaching the ocean.

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