May 2017: HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –
A measure heading to the governor’s desk would ban Hawaii’s nearly 90,000 cesspools by the year 2050, a move that some say would slow progress in bolstering the affordable housing inventory.
The bill comes a year after Gov. David Ige banned newly-constructed cesspools in the state.
“Cesspools, on average, release 55 million gallons of untreated sewage a day into streams, oceans and nearby waterways,” said Marti Townsend, director of Sierra Club of Hawaii. “That’s an extreme amount of untreated raw sewage that people end up swimming in, fishing from and maybe even drinking.”
Health officials say untreated sewage can be linked to skin infections and illnesses like Leptospirosis and Hepatitis A.
“Public health and safety is on the line,” said state Rep. Chris Lee. “We want clean waters, we want clean beaches, and this is a step in that direction.”
The state is offering a $10,000 tax credit to homeowners who convert to septic tanks, aerobic systems, or sewer lines.
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