CLF Suit Takes Aim at Title 5 Permitting

Excuse us while we do a couple of back-flips. We’re so excited over the news that the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed suit against the Town of Barnstable last week asking for “temporary suspension of permitting of conventional septic systems when they are part of a new construction or replacement of an existing system.” [Source: Cape Cod Times, June 19, 2021] Title 5-approved septic systems were never designed to remove nitrogen from wastewater, yet towns up and down the Cape continue to approve new installs in nitrogen-sensitive areas.

As we just wrote in our recent article [May 30, 2021] demanding the Town halt permitting of traditional septic systems, “[Barnstable] shouldstop green-lighting Title 5 septic systems now and mandate that I/A systems be installed in all new/renovated homes in nitrogen-sensitive areas.” CLF has a much bigger megaphone, and far deeper pockets, than we do. Maybe this lawsuit will prompt Barnstable to put the brakes on permitting Title 5-approved systems while town leaders figure out how to upend the old ways of thinking about wastewater management, polluted waterways, and residential growth.

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