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Legislative Update - April 1, 2019

FLORIDA CONSERVATION COALITION LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY:

Funding for conservation land acquisition:

The Florida Conservation Coalition’s adopted position statement can be found here. Below is an excerpt:

“The Legislature has the opportunity to follow the will of the voters and build on Florida’s rich conservation commitment by adopting legislation that provides for expending funding in the LATF to acquire natural areas, working farms and ranches, and close-to-home recreational lands through the Acquisition and Restoration Council’s scientifically-developed Florida Forever Priority List, the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program and the Florida Communities Trust. Funding existing programs makes good use of scientifically-driven selection criteria to ensure funds are invested where they can make the biggest difference throughout Florida.”

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION OF INTEREST

Note: Legislation listed below is described as a service of the FCC for informational purposes only. The FCC has not taken a position on any of the below legislation, unless otherwise noted.

Land Conservation / Land Acquisition Trust Fund

Note: Funding from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) comes from ⅓ of documentary stamp taxes set aside by the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment One) in 2014.

+ SB 944 (Stewart) Land Acquisition Trust Fund

This bill would dedicate $100 million annually from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to the Florida Forever Trust Fund, regardless of outstanding debt service payments. It would prohibit funds from being used for specified costs, such as the Technology and Information Services offices within the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. SB 944 is identical to the bill filed last session by Senator Bradley (SB 370).

Senate Referrals: (SB 944) Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. (3/12/2019).

Representative Ausley filed a similar bill HB 1341.

House Referrals: HB 1341 Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcomittee; State Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee. (3/8/2019).

+ SB 368 (Harrell) Land Acquisition Trust Fund

This bill would prioritize projects that include ecosystem and habitat restoration, the connection of septic tank systems to central sewer lines, and the management of stormwater, freshwater, and agricultural discharges. Unlike SB 216, SB 368 bill does not include a fine for wastewater facilities illegally discharging sewage.

Senate Referrals (SB 368): Referred to Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. (3/13/2019)

+ SB 376 (Montford) Land Acquisition Trust Fund

This bill amends the Land Acquisition Trust Fund in Florida statutes by adding the requirement that $50 million is to be appropriated for Hurricane Michael recovery projects each year through the 2025-2026 fiscal year. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would use these funds for reforestation, ecosystem management, fire control measures, debris removal, pollution mitigation, beach renourishment, coastal armoring and protection, and the construction, enhancement, or expansion of wastewater treatment facilities.

On 3/5/209, a Committee Substitute was filed that clarifies that the LATF distribution can be used for land acquisition, and deletes the use of funds for construction, enhancement, or expansion of wastewater treatment facilities. SB 376 would still allow funds to be used for debris removal and coastal and shore protection structures.

Senate Referrals (SB 376): Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. 3/7/2019*

Representative Drake filed a companion bill, HB 555

(HB 555): Introduced in the House 3/5/2019.

+ SB 1256 (Montford) Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern

This bill would allocate $20 million annually to the Apalachicola Bay Area of critical state concern through the 2029-2030 fiscal year from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. At least 25% of the appropriations will be spent on land acquisition, with priority given to land acquisition projects that achieve conservation goals, such as water quality and groundwater recharge. Between 3-10% of the funds allocated for land acquisition would be spent on projects such as land management, increased public access and recreational opportunities. This bill would allow funds to be spent on projects such as the construction and replacement of septic tanks, central sewage collection facilities, and “other water quality and supply projects.”

Senate Referrals: (SB 1256) Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations. 3/12/2019.

Representative Newton filed an identical bill HB 921 Apalachicola Stewardship.

House Referrals (HB 921): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee.2/28/2019.

+ SB 92 (Book) C-51 Reservoir Project

Two sessions ago, SB 10 (2017) authorized the C-51 Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. This year’s SB 92 would change the conditions under which the C-51 reservoir must operate in order to receive state funding.

SB 92 adds the language “to the extent practicable” regarding how the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) must maximize the reduction of Lake Okeechobee regulatory releases to the St. Lucie or Caloosahatchee estuaries. Another verbiage change is the re-ordering of the clause “in addition to any permitted amounts for water supply” placed before the requirement that water be used for natural systems. This sentence was changed from “allocated amounts for water supply” to “permitted amounts for water supply.” Additionally, this bill would allow water from Lake Okeechobee to be used to support consumptive use permits if the use is in accordance with district rules.

SB 92 allows for Phase II of the project to be funded by appropriation as a project component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP).

The Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee amended SB 92 to remove a section of the bill that would expand certain allocation of funding from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. 1/22/2019.

The Senate Agriculture, Environment, and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee proposed a committee substitute that would require the operation of Phase I to be in accordance with any operation and maintenance agreement approved by the SFWMD rather than adopted by the SFWMD. This was approved on 2/20/2019.

Senate Referrals (SB 92): Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (passed), Now in Appropriations. 3/5/2019.

Senators Jacobs and Raschein filed an identical bill, HB 95

House Referrals (HB 95): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations (passed), State Affairs Committee (passed). *Read third time and passed unainmously in the House. 3/20/2019

+ HB 325 (LaMarca) Coastal Management

This bill amends the criteria the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must use when assigning funding priorities for beach management and erosion projects. Through a scoring system, the criteria are included in four specified tiers. Tier 1 consists of the tourism-related return on investment and the economic impact of the project. Tier 2 would address the availability of federal matching dollars and federal cost-share percentage, and also delineates the storm damage reduction benefits of the project based on a set of considerations. Tier 3 accounts for previous state commitments and funding, including previous partial appropriations for the project. Tier 4 includes criterion such as the increased prioritization of projects that have previously been on DEP’s list, projects that provide environmental habitat enhancement for threatened or endangered species, and the readiness of the project to proceed to the construction phase.

For projects concerning inlet management, this bill would include the requirement of considering the cost-effectiveness of sand source opportunities for addressing beach erosion. DEP may pay from legislative appropriations up to 75% of the construction costs of a major inlet management project for erosion projects. The remaining funds must be paid from other funding sources including local sources.

This bill adds a comprehensive long-term management plan component that must be maintained by DEP to include a strategic beach management plan, a critically eroded beaches report, and a statewide long-range budget plan that includes a 3-year work plan for beach projects accompanied by a 3-year financial forecast for the availability of funding for the projects. HB 325 also would require DEP to update project lists quarterly on its website and to provide more transparency and notification to the Executive Office, Governor, and Legislature regarding the intended use of surplus funds.

House Referrals (HB 325): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed). Placed on Special order Calendar 3/18/2019

Senator Mayfield filed a similar bill SB 446

Senate Referrals: (SB 446) Environment and Natural Resources (passed) Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (passed); Appropriations. 3/13/2019.

WATER

+ SB 1758 (Mayfield) Water Quality Improvements

This bill would transfer the septic system program from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), require wastewater treatment plant to notify customers of unlawful discharges within a specific time frame, and establish a wastewater grant program within DEP. The department would provide grants for projects that reduce excess nutrient pollution for projects within a basin management action plan (BMAP)

SB 1758 revises requirements for a BMAP for an Outstanding Florida Spring. The priority ranking for projects would be based on the estimated reduction in nutrient load per project, project readiness, cost effectiveness, location within the plan area, local matching funds, overall environmental benefit, and water savings or quantity improvements. Each BMAP including an Outstanding Florida Spring will have an agricultural remediation plan developed by both DEP and the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (DACS). SB 1758 Describes agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution including both fertilizers and animal wastes. Includes land acquisition projects and conservation easements as cost-effective projects to reduce the nutrient impacts from agricultural operations. Each new or revised BMAP would identify each point source or category of nonpoint sources that include urban turf fertilizer, sports turf fertilizer, agricultural fertilizer, septic tank systems, wastewater treatment plants, animal wastes, and stormwater facilities.

SB 1758 requires local governments to develop a wastewater treatment plan that meets certain requirements. Would prohibit local governments from approving new building permits for local governments that do not meet the wastewater treatment plan or septic tank remediation plan requirements. This bill would also provide penalties for a local government that fails to adopt and enact specified ordinances. Would require DEP to revise the BMAP for the Indian River Lagoon.

An amendment was filed and passed on 3/20 that deleted provisions from the original bill. It removed language from the bill that would have required water quality plans (BMAPs) to exceed the nutrient reduction levels required to ensure healthy waterways. The amendment also deleted requirements for the state to develop and adopt agricultural best management practices (BMPs) for Outstanding Florida Springs. The amendment would require a study of the transferring of the septic system program from DOH to DEP, prior to the transfer process.

Senate Referrals (SB 1758) Environment and Natural Resources passed; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (On Committee agenda-- Community Affairs, 04/02/19, 2:00 pm, 301 Senate Building) ; Appropriations.

Representative Raschein filed a similar bill HB 1395

House Referrals (HB 1395): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee 3/8/2019.

+ SB 628 (Albritton) Water Resources

This bill creates new requirements for the annual assessment of water resources and conservation lands conducted by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR). This bill provides for a comprehensive annual assessment of water infrastructure funding needs through a quantitative, needs-based evaluation. The assessment must consider the following: water supply infrastructure, water quality protection and restoration (including septic conversion, and basin management action plans), wastewater infrastructure (including septic systems), flood control infrastructure, and environmental restoration.

SB 628 calls for an evaluation of federal, state, regional and local government expenditures by both private and public utilities for each of the above categories. Additionally, it would require the compilation of a list of funding options to fulfill any funding gaps identified. The Office of EDR would then evaluate existing and potential revenue sources and funding mechanisms used by other states for water infrastructure and environmental restoration. The study would also identify any overlap in expenditures or needs for water resources and conservation lands. The assessment must be submitted to the Senate President and Speaker of the House by January 1 2020, and by January 1 of each subsequent year.

On 3/28/2019 a strike-all amendment was approved which would require the Department of Environmental Protection (instead of the Office of Economic and Demographic Research) to complete a comprehensive and quantitative needs-based report on the state’s water resources. It would require DEp to coordinate with private and public sector entities, using any sources of information it deems reasonably reliable.

Senate Referrals: (SB 628): Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations. 3/28/2019

Representative Jacobs filed an identical bill HB 1199.

Senate Referrals (HB 1199): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee. 3/8/2019.

+ SB 216 (Gruters) Water Quality Improvements

SB 216 would create a statute requiring wastewater facilities illegally discharging sewage to notify its customers within 24 hours. Facilities would also face a fine equal to $1 per gallon of discharged sewage or, $2 per spilled gallon going towards the upgrading or remediation of the problems that caused the illegal discharge.

On March 12, this bill was amended by Environment and Natural Resources Committee to delete the distribution from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to projects that implement the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Specifies that a wastewater treatment facility that discharges more than 1,000 gallons of raw or partially treated sewage into any aquifer or waterway in violation of the conditions set forth in a permit must notify its customers. It also lists the upgrades or repairs to wastewater systems that would satisfy the requirements of the penalty. Adds that if a wastewater treatment facility is unable to calculate or estimate the volume discharged the facility must pay DEP a minimum of $10,000

Senate Referrals (SB 216): Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations (3/7/2019)

Representatives Fine, Roth and Sirois introduced a similar bill HB 141 This bill does not include the construction of new waste treatment facilities as an item for which funds can be provided.

On March 12, the Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee adopted a strike-all amendment and reported the bill favorably as a committee substitute. The amendment removed provisions providing an allocation of funding from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund and added provisions creating a grant program. The amendment added more specific parameters for the pollution notification requirements and added requirements for information that must be included in the report.

House Referrals (HB 141): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed; State Affairs Committee 3/26/2019.

+ SB 214 (Gruters) Onsite Sewage Treatment & Disposal Systems

SB 214 would amend the duties of the Department of Health (DOH) and require the identification, location and operational condition of all onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems in the state to update the current database. DOH would be required to generate a report of the total number of the statewide septic systems and submit to the Governor, President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This bill requires septic inspections at least every five years, where the DOH shall administer this inspection program. The DOH would adopt rules that must include a five-year inspection cycle schedule, a county-specific implementation plan giving priority to areas within springshed protection areas, requirements for failing systems and enforcement procedures for the failure of septic owners to obtain an inspection and failure of contractors to make a timely inspection report to the department.

The bill specifies what a septic inspection must include: a tank and drain field inspection, and a written assessment of the condition of the system conducted by a registered contractor. It specifies that owners are responsible for paying the cost of the inspection and any required pump-out.

SB 214 also amends the disclosure of septic systems where a seller must provide a prospective buyer with a disclosure summary of the property regarding if the property has or will have a septic system. The prospective buyer would acknowledge in writing the receipt of this disclosure.

Senate Referrals (SB 214): Health Policy; Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations (1/22/2019).

Representative Robinson introduced a similar bill HB 85 In this bill, the septic disclosure summary differs slightly, suggests the prospective buyer request latest inspection report and advises to pump out system every 3 to 5 years.

In a committee hearing on 3/26, a strike-all amendment was unanimously approved that removed the requirement that the seller of a property with a septic tank provide a disclosure summary to a prospective buyer, as well as the removal of the requirement that the Department of Health create a database of all septic systems in the state.

House Referrals (HB 85): Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee. 3/28/2019

+ SB 1022 (Albritton) Onsite Treatment & Disposal Systems

This bill would transfer the onsite treatment and disposal system (septic) programs from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and require county health departments to coordinate with the department to administer certain programs.

SB 1022 would require water management districts to submit a copy of its consolidated water management district annual report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research. This report includes the minimum flows and minimum water levels annual priority list, the capital improvement plans, alternative water supplies annual report, the Florida Forever Water Management District Work Plan annual report, and a list of all specific projects to implement a basin management action plan which would include any septic to sewer conversion and septic tank remediation projects.

DEP would supervise research on the impacts of septic systems. This bill deletes provisions stating that research projects shall not be awarded to firms that employ or associated with persons who serve on the technical review and advisory panel or the research review and advisory committee.

This bill would also initiate rulemaking through an onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems technical advisory committee with the intention of increasing the availability of nutrient-removing septic systems in the marketplace, and recommending regulatory options.The committee would include members representing the home building industry, real estate industry, septic system industry and contractors, engineers and local governments.

In a committee meeting on 3/26, a committee substitute unanimously passed and included significant changes to the language of SB 1022. The committee substitute adds the requirement that the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection enter into a memorandum of agreement about the transfer of oversight of the septic system program prior to January 1, 2020. DEP would be required to appoint a technical advisory committee and begin rulemaking to increase the availability of septic systems in the marketplace.

The committee substitute also adds to Florida Statutes a lot size calculation to be used when prohibiting new septic systems on lots of less than 1 acre within an Outstanding Florida Spring priority focus area. The committee substitute would require DEP to allow 245 septic systems and other nutrient-removing technology systems within a basin management action plan.

Senate Referrals: (SB 1022) Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government, Appropriations. 3/26/2019

Representative Payne filed a similar bill, HB 973.

On 3/6/2019, a strike-all amendment was filed and unanimously approved that would update Florida Statutes to provide guidelines for the transfer of septic system program from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection. It clarifies that DEP must appoint a technical advisory committee and initiate rulemaking in order to make more nutrient-removing septic systems available.

House Referrals (973): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Appropriations (on committee agenda 4/2/2019); State Affairs.

+ SB 286 (Albritton) Domestic Wastewater Collection System Assessment & Maintenance

This bill would establish the blue star collection system assessment and maintenance program in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The purpose of the program would be to provide incentives for public and private utilities to voluntarily take actions which reduce the likelihood of sewer overflows and unauthorized discharges. If utilities are able to prove they are taking the appropriate precautionary measures, as determined by DEP, then they could apply to DEP for certification under the program. Certified utilities may benefit from reduced penalties for sewer overflows and may be allowed to apply the amount of penalties incurred toward assessment and maintenance costs for their wastewater system.

Domestic wastewater utilities with a history of compliance with wastewater disinfection requirements in their operating permit who are certified under the blue star program would be presumed in compliance with state water quality standards for pathogens. Blue star certified utilities who renew their operation permits, and meet certain conditions, would be issued a 10-year permit. The Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance Act assists financially disadvantaged small communities with their needs for adequate sewer facilities. This bill would allow private, not-for-profit utilities serving financially disadvantaged communities to receive funding under the Act and allow funds from the Act to be used for assessment costs. SB 244 provides that a person violating certain pollution laws can reduce their penalty based on their investment in expanding, maintaining, or rehabilitating their permitted facility.

Senate Referrals (SB 286): Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations 3/7/2019.

Representative Jacobs filed an identical bill HB 105

House Referrals (HB 105):Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed). (Read third time in House and was passed unanimously 3/27/2019).

+ HB 405 (Grall) St. Johns River Upper Basin Watershed Pollutant Control Program

This bill creates the St. Johns River Upper Basin Watershed Pollutant Control Program which would consist of a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) to manage pollutant sources within the St Johns River watershed. Nonpoint source best management practices would be implemented on an expedited basis. Revisions to the the basin management action plan would have to be made as a result of each 5-year review and in cooperation with basin stakeholders. The St. Johns Basin Management Action Plan would require an assessment of current practices and recommendations and would consider water supply, flood control, estuarine salinity, aquatic habitat, water quality considerations and the use of alternative technologies for pollutant reduction.

HB 405 also prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from authorizing the disposal of domestic wastewater biosolids within the St Johns River Upper Basin watershed unless it is demonstrated that the nutrients will not add to nutrient loadings to the watershed (similar to the existing prohibition within the Lake Okeechobee watershed). This bill requires the Department of Health (DOH) to require all entities disposing of septage within the watershed to submit agricultural use plans that adheres to nutrient loading requirements of the BMAP. HB 405 instructs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) to begin a rulemaking process for entities applying animal manure to develop a resource management conservation plan according to federal standards thus limiting application. The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) would also begin a rulemaking process for a monitoring program of nonpoint source dischargers.

On 3/25/2019 a strike-all amendment was filed that added the prohibition of land application of biosolids on any site where the application zone interacts with the season high water table. Adds to DEP criteria in biosolids management rules site specific agronomic rates. Would require DEP to implement an offsite water quality monitoring program to determine the impacts of application of biosolids on downstream and nearby surface water and groundwater quality.

House Referrals: (HB 405) Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Committee (Passed); State Affairs Committee. 3/28/2019

+ SB 1278 (Mayfield) Biosolids Management

This bill creates statute requiring the State to regulate biosolids in order to minimize the migration of nutrients into waterbodies. It requires the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules for biosolids management that would include land application rates that ensure nitrogen and phosphorus do not impair surface water quality or groundwater quality. The bill would also include monitoring requirements.

Senator Mayfield filed an amendment clarifying that DEP must adopt rules establishing land application rates that ensure nutrients do not add to an existing impairment of surface or groundwater quality. Local government would be able to enact a new ordinance, moratorium, or regulation relating to the land application of biosolids, in addition to existing ordinances.

Senate Referrals: (SB 1278) Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government; Appropriations. 3/14/2019.

+ HB 497 (Webb) Sanitary Sewer Laterals

Alphabetizes the definitions in the County Water and Sewer Districts section and adds a definition of “sanitary sewer lateral” as “the pipe from the public sanitary sewer main to the premises”. Laterals are the direct line from the public system to private or commercial properties. HB 497 also requires county government to notify homeowners of leaky sanitary sewer laterals within 30 days of discovery, and notify the property appraiser who must maintain a database containing record of such notifications. This provision would go into effect July 2019. By 2020, the county government must notify each homeowner with leaky sanitary sewer lateral discovered between July 2014 and June 2019. These records must be made public and accessible by December 2019.

House Referrals: (HB 497) Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs; Agriculture and Natural Resources; State Affairs (1/30/2019).

Senator Brandes filed SB 1172:

SB 1172 defines “sanitary sewer laterals” as privately owned pipelines connecting a property to the main sewer line and which is maintained and repaired by the property owner. This bill would encourage (but not mandate) evaluation and rehabilitation programs for sanitary sewer laterals. SB 1172 would require a property seller to disclose any known defects of the property’s sewer lateral.

Senate Referrals (SB 1172): Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Judiciary; Rules. 3/27/2019

+ SB 1100 (Montford) Water Testing for Pollution

This bill allows for residents, businesses, or property owners with public water systems not subject to the Florida Safe Drinking Water Act to request the Department of Environmental Protection to test the water source for contamination. This testing must be completed no later than 3 business days after the department’s receipt of the request.

This bill defines the term ‘pollution’ as a physical, biological, chemical, or radiological substance or matter in the air, land, or the waters of the state.

Senate Referrals: (SB 1100) Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations. 3/21/2019

+ HB 1135 (Grant) Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative

This bill would establish and provide funding for the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative. As a partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory, the purpose would be to develop innovative and environmentally sustainable technologies and approaches to control and mitigate red tide and its impacts. Funds would be awarded by the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to Mote Marine Laboratory.

House Referrals (HB 1135): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee(On committee agenda 4/2/2019 1:00PM); State Affairs Committee.

Representative Gruters filed an identical bill SB 1552.

Filed in Senate (SB 1552): Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government, Appropriations 3/21/2019.

+ SB 1344 (Cruz) Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting Rules

SB 1344 requires the water management districts, with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversight, to adopt rules governing stormwater quality and quanitty, including standards for removing nutrients from stormwater discharges. The bill would require districts and DEP to amend the environmental resource permit applicant's handbook by December 2019 to include best management practices that increase the removal of nutrients from stormwater discharges.

SB 1344 would include a rebuttable presumption that a stormwater management system does not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards if it is designed in accordance with certain stormwater treatment requirements and best management practices.

Representative Good introduced a similar bill (HB 1343) Stormwater Management Systems.

House Referrals ([HB 1343]19):Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agricultural and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee. 3/8/2019.

+ HB 521 (McClure) Wetland Mitigation

In 2012, the Legislature passed legislation providing that a governmental entity may not create or provide mitigation for a project other than its own unless the governmental entity uses land that was not previously purchased for conservation and unless the governmental entity provides the same financial assistance as required for permitted mitigation banks. Regional offsite mitigation areas (ROMA)

This bill would allow a government entity to create or provide mitigation for a project other than its own regardless of whether the land was previously purchased for conservation or not. HB 521 would delete exceptions for mitigation projects for transportation, mining activities, single family lots, electric utility impacts, and sovereign submerged lands. The deleted exceptions would be replaced with language stating “this section does not affect current wetland mitigation sequencing under state or federal law.”

HB 521 would provide alternative sources of mitigation credits for developers to purchase if private mitigation bank credits are unavailable.

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee adopted an amendment that would provide legislative findings on the availability of mitigation credits and allowed local governments to authorize mitigation on lands purchased for conservation.

House Referrals (HB 521): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee. Placed on Calendar.

Senator Lee filed a similar bill SB 532. An amendment filed on 3/4/2019

Senate Referrals: (SB 532) Community Affairs (passed); Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (passed); Appropriations (passed) Placed on Calendar for 2nd Reading.

GROWTH MANAGEMENT

+ HB 291 (McClain) Growth Management

This bill amends the Comprehensive Plan Bill by providing a private property rights element. Local government must include in its comprehensive plan an aspect which ensures the consideration of private property rights in local decision making. If passed, local government would have to include this element in the comprehensive plan by July 2020 and would be required to consider the impact on private property rights of all proposed development orders, plan amendments, ordinances, and other government decisions.

House Referrals (HB 291): Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (Passed); Commerce Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee. (3/28/2019)

Senator Perry filed a similar bill SB 428

Senate Referrals: (SB 428) Community Affairs (passed); Judiciary; Rules. 3/26/2019

+ SB 144 (Bean) Impact Fees

Impact fees are considered to be a charge on new development to help fund and pay for the construction or needed expansion of offsite capital improvements.

This bill would change the impact fees title in the Florida Statutes, adding “minimum requirements, audits, challenges.” It would set stricter language for the satisfaction of conditions when a local government adopts an impact fee. SB 144 adds the condition that the collection of an impact fee would not be required prior to the issuance of a building permit for the project subject to the fee.

The bill emphasizes that the expenditure of revenues from an impact fee must have strong connection to the benefits received by those affected by new residential or commercial construction. It requires that local governments designate impact fee funds specifically for the acquiring, constructing, or improving capital facilities to benefit new users, and cannot be used to pay for existing debt or old projects unless impact is strongly connected with the old project. This bill specifies that the Impact Fee bill does not apply to water and sewer connection fees.

Senate Referrals (SB 144) Community Affairs (passed); Finance and Tax (passed); Appropriations (passed) Placed on Calendar 3/28/2019

Representative Donalds filed a similar bill HB 207 This bill authorizes the prevailing party of a legal challenge of an impact fee to recover attorney fees.

Representative Donalds filed an amendment that removed a provision authorizing the award of attorney fees to the prevailing party in an action challenging an impact fee. It was adopted without objection 2/21/2019.

House Referrals (HB 207): Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (Passed); Commerce Committee (passed); State Affairs Committee (passed) **(Passed Final House Vote 101 to 12 3/27/2019.

+ SB 350 (Hutson) Affordable Housing

This bill would prohibit local governments from charging impact fees for affordable housing projects. A committee substitute was approved on 3/7/2019. The bill now also provides a new permitting process for affordable housing projects and revises parts of the Community Workforce Housing Innovation Loan Pilot Program. SB 350 would now authorize local government to provide a waiver or exeception to an impact fee for affordable housing projects.

The bill title is changed from ‘Impact Fees’ to ‘Affordable Housing’.

Senate Referrals (SB 350): Community Affairs (passed); Infrastructure and Security; Appropriations 3/7/2019.

ENERGY & CLIMATE

+ SB 314 (Montford) Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment

SB 314 also prohibits the performance of well stimulation treatments and includes a definition of “matrix acidization”. SB 314 also notes the threat of well stimulation and matrix acidization upon Florida’s aquifer as reason for the prohibition of such practices. This bill was amended on 2/12/2019 deleting the requirements of a study.

Senate Referrals ([SB 314][4]): Environment and Natural Resources (passed). Now in Innovation, Industry and Technology (2/15/2019).

Representatives Fitzenhagen and Plasencia filed HB 239, similar to SB 146.

House Referrals (HB 239): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; State Affairs Committee (1/23/2019).

+ HB 7029 (House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee; Raschein) Fracking

This bill narrowly defines “fracking” as “all stages of well intervention performed by injecting high volumes of fluids at a high rate into a rock formation at pressures at or exceeding the fracture gradient of the rock formation in order to propogate fractures”. This definition of fracking means that another fracking-like operation (matrix acidization), which also uses toxic chemicals, will continue to be legal. The definition may also result in rules which allow certain hydraulic fracturing operations to continue to be legal.

House Referrals: (HB 7029) Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee. 3/28/2019

+ SPB 7064 (Senate Agriculture Committee) Oil Drilling

This bill would prohibit fracking in Florida. It does not include certain well intervention techniques under the definition of fracking, such as “conventional acidizing” or “conventional well stimulation”.

Senator Albritton recommended a committee amendment that increases the bond for the applicant of oil-drillers in the Everglades Protection Area to a minimum of $500,000 per well, or minimum of $5 million for a blanket bond. If drilling occurs in the Everglades, any damage caused would result in a penalty of $50,000 per each offense. Additionally, the drilling company must have onsite spill response remediation equipment available for immediate use.

A second committee amendment recommended by Senator Albritton includes the insertion of the definition of “flowback fluid”, meaning any liquid that flows back to the surface during or after completion of well stimulation. It would prohibit the use of flowback fluid for crop irrigation.

Senate Referrals ([SPB 7064][7]): (Reported favorably by Senate Agriculture Committee) Innovation, Industry, and Technology (passed); Environment and Natural Resources; Appropriations. 3/26/2019*

+ SB 146 (Stewart) Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment

This bill would ban “advanced well stimulation” techniques, including “fracking” in Florida. This bill was filed in last year’s legislative session but died in committee.

Senate Referrals (SB 146): Environment and Natural Resources; Innovation, Industry, and Technology; Appropriations (1/10/2019).

+ SB 78 (Rodriguez) Public Financing of Construction Projects

This bill would require construction contractors to conduct a sea level impact projection study before beginning work on coastal projects that are funded in whole or part by the State of Florida.

The study must assess the flooding, inundation and wave action damage risks to the project over 50 years. It also has to analyze potential public safety and environmental impacts resulting from damage to the structure including leakage of pollutants. Analysis in the study must take into account sea level rise and increased storm risk over the next 50 years when reaching its conclusions. The study must also include ways to mitigate and reduce risk, including siting the project in a different location.

Senate Referrals (SB 78):Environment & Natural Resources (passed); Infrastructure & Security; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations (3/12/2019).

Representatives Fernandez and Grieco filed an identical bill, HB 169.

House Referrals (HB 169): Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; State Affairs Committee (1/16/2019).

WILDLIFE

+ SB 320 (Hooper) Residential Conservation Programs

This bill would authorize the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to create and operate residential conservation programs to provide fish and wildlife education and training to the public. SB 320 would allow FWC to procure contractual services, hire and train personnel and volunteers, and cooperate with federal, state, and local entities.

Senate Referrals (SB 320): Environment and Natural Resources - passed; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (passed); Appropriations (On committee agenda 3/27/2019).

Representative Stone filed a similar bill HB 377

House Referrals: (HB 377) Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (Passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee - passed; State Affairs Committee (passed) Placed on Calendar for 2nd reading. 3/28/2019

WASTE & RECYCLING

+ SB 588 (Hutson, Bradley) Single-Use Plastic Straws

SB 588 preempts the regulation of single-use plastic straws to the state, prohibiting local government entities from implementing laws restricting single-use plastic straws. This bill would allow a food service business to distribute single-use plastic straws upon request from customers and would allow businesses to provide self-serve straw dispensers.

On 3/1, an amendment was filed by Senator Hutson to conduct a study to evaluate: the environmental impact of single-use straws, the effects of single-use straw regulation and the effects of their impact in terms of effectiveness, and the potential impact of regulating single-use straws on the quality of life of persons with disabilities who may rely on single-use plastic straws for feeding and hydration. The department tasked with conducting the study would report the results of the environmental impact to the Legislature by January 1, 2024.

In the meantime, local government would not be permitted to adopt or enforce an ordinance or other local regulation relating to single-use plastic straws. Any local government that attempts to adopt and/or enforce a single-use plastic straw regulation before July 1 2024 would result in a fine of $25,000.

Senate Referrals: (SB 588) Commerce and Tourism - (passed); Community Affairs (On committee agenda 4/2/2019 2:00PM) ; Rules.

Representatives Sabatini and Fine filed an identical bill, HB 603.

House Referrals: (HB 603) Business and Professions Subcommittee (passed); Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; Commerce Committee. 3/29/2019

+ SB 816 (Perry) Environmental Regulation

This bill would preempt local government to regulate the collection or handling of recovered materials or solid waste and require require counties and municipalities to address the contamination of recyclable material. It would require contracts with residential recycling collector to include the term “contaminated recyclable material” and would take into consideration available markets for recyclable material, waste composition studies, and other relevant factors.

SB 816 also amends a section of statute regarding dock and pier replacement permits. It would prohibit local government from requiring Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) verification for certain projects, and requires new or replaced dock or pier to be within five feet of the original dock and cannot cause any additional adverse impacts to aquatic resources.

Senate Referrals: (SB 816) Environment and Natural Resources (passed); Community Affairs; Appropriations. 3/29/2019

Representative Overdorf filed a similar bill, HB 771 Collection of Residential Recyclable Material.

A committee substitute was filed and adopted that differs from the bill as originally filed in that the committee substitute revises laws governing certain ERP permitting exceptions and local government verification of exceptions.

House Referrals: (HB 771) Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (passed); Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee (passed); State Affairs Committee (3/19/2019).

MISCELLANEOUS

+ SB 708 (Stewart) Sale of Sunscreen

This bill creates statute to prohibit the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate to consumers unless prescribed to them.

Senate Referrals: (SB 708) Environment and Natural Resources; Commerce and Tourism; Rules (3/5/2019).



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