The Commission has permitted some construction in hardship situations, often involving an existing septic system that has failed. In these cases, the minimum distances required between a septic system and a domestic well leave no other option but to put a portion of the leaching field within the 100-foot zone. The Commission has taken the position that such alterations are allowed because it is better to reduce the risk of groundwater pollution by making certain that failing septic systems are replaced by new Title V systems.
In a few circumstances where options were extremely limited, the Commission has permitted activity to occur in wetlands in exchange for wetland replication or conservation easements protecting a natural area from future development. Replication projects create new wetlands, always considerably larger than the wetland that was disturbed. The Commission's preference, however, is to keep existing wetlands intact.