MAHB has commented to the Acting Commissioner Gary Moran (About MassDEP | concerning proposed amendments to overhaul septic regulations. To download and read these comments  click on URL file –>MAHB Comments to Proposed NSA Regulation   The DEP Open Comments period on this issue officially closed on January 30, 2023.  To gain a better understanding of the issues, please refer to the brief backgrounder below.

Background: Coastal ponds and estuaries have been deteriorating throughout the Cape and Islands for several decades.  Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has proposed a pair of wastewater regulation amendments that could have sweeping impacts across the region, forcing Island towns to upgrade hundreds — if not thousands — of septic systems, or come up with a long-term plan to mitigate their nitrogen pollution. The proposed Title 5 amendments, which constitute the most substantial changes to the 1995 state septic code involve two amendments. The first amendment involves designating coastal communities that have been polluted by nitrogen runoff as “nitrogen sensitive areas.” The second would require the installation of enhanced septic systems on all new and existing properties within those sensitive areas in five years costing tens of millions of dollars. To obtain an information sheet of the two amendments click on the file –> 5 Summary – Dec 2022  To view the DEP Fact Sheet on the issue go to __> download (  To view the Nitrogen Sensitive Map see image below or click on the URL –> download (  To read the Questions and Answers information from the Mass Department of Environmental Protect click on the URL –> Title