A Toxic Stew on Cape Cod: Human Waste and Warming Water

Christopher Kilian is a lawyer at the Conservation Law Foundation, a nonprofit that sued the state and Mashpee, arguing that Massachusetts law makes it illegal for towns to allow septic tanks that directly or indirectly release pollutants, including nitrogen, into surface water. The foundation agreed to pause its lawsuit if the state finalized the new rule by the middle of January.

Mr. Kilian said arguments about the high cost of cleaning the water are designed to justify inaction, and the priority should be fixing the problem.

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