East Hampton Town Fast-Tracks Cash For New Septic Systems

The East Hampton Town Board passed legislation on December 10 that changes the way the town will pay for new low-nitrogen septic systems voluntarily installed on properties within the town.

It expanded the program to include commercial properties located “within village boundaries within the Town of East Hampton.”

Gone from the law are the words “rebate” and “reimbursement,” replaced by the words “incentive” and “payment.” Rather than making a property owner wait for rebates, the town now is willing to directly pay a contractor installing “a Suffolk County Department of Health Services approved low-nitrogen sanitary system.”

In addition, property owners will no longer have to obtain a building permit for the installation of a new system. Instead, an owner need only apply for what is called a “limited septic registry authorization.” That is described in the new law as “a form of permit, issued in lieu of a building permit, together with continuing obligations on the part of the property owner, issued in circumstances in which an existing sanitary system is proposed to be replaced voluntarily, with a low-nitrogen system, with no expansion of sanitary system capacity, no increase in the proposed occupancy of the premises, and no proposed change in use of the premises.”

The new law reads, “The incentive will be for the direct payment to the contractor for and/or reimbursement to the eligible property owner of approved costs associated with replacement, including equipment, labor, materials and excavation directly related to the removal of the existing sanitary system and/or installation of the new low-nitrogen sanitary system, to include reasonable site restoration costs to pre-existing conditions.”

The town board, the law states, will be responsible for periodically setting and adjusting the payment schedule.

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