View the complete text of Act 51

ACT NO. 51
(H.492)

Sewage Treatment Facilities; Indirect Discharges

This act repeals the provision that required sewage disposal plants to be inspected by the state at least once per year, and instead requires inspection at least once every three years, after major reconstruction, and once in any 12 month period upon petition by 10 or more people in interest from the municipality or an adjacent municipality. The act clarifies that only municipalities are entitled to defer certain phosphorus reduction projects in the event that state funds are not forthcoming for those purposes. It makes it clear that in the case of a municipality’s aerated lagoon exemption from a certain phosphorus discharge standard, that exemption expires when the plant is modified to use a technology other than aerated lagoons. The act eliminates the requirement that solid waste facility certification must be received, in the case of certain sludge treatment or storage facilities located at sewage treatment plants regulated under another chapter of law. The act extends to July 1, 1998, the alternative sunset date for certain municipal ordinances related to sewage systems which were approved before July 1984 by the commissioner of health. Finally, the act authorizes the agency of natural resources to conduct a pilot project, pursuant to which, up to two municipally-owned treatment plants initially permitted after July 1, 1991, shall be exempt from certain phosphorus concentration limits on direct discharges. Instead, an exempt plant shall implement cost-effective, off-site mitigation efforts to reduce phosphorus loading in an amount that equals or exceeds the extent the discharges from the plant exceeds the phosphorus concentration limits.

Effective Date: July 1, 1997