Tallahassee Live Update: Septic System Bill Filed

Tallahassee Live Update: Septic System Bill Filed

HB 1241/SB1776 Is Filed

Legislation bringing an affordable, nitrogen-reducing solution to Florida’s septic system remediation plan has been filed in Tallahassee by Representative Kamia Brown and Senator Randolph Bracy.

It affirms that, although innovative, passive, nitrogen-reducing septic systems have been manufactured which are better for Florida’s environment and more affordable, they have NOT been allowed to enter the marketplace in Florida by a government agency (the Florida Department of Health). One manufacturer of an affordable, innovative nitrogen-reducing product has spent nearly ten years and $350,000 seeking entry into Florida’s market.

CPR believes government’s role should be to set a standard for nitrogen reduction but, it should NOT be the “gatekeeper” as to determining which products may be sold in Florida. Rather, a neutral, third-party organization should be selected to test and certify any and all septic system products to determine whether or not they meet the Florida standard. If a septic system product meets the Florida standard after testing, it should be allowed into Florida’s free-market.

HB 1241/Sb 1776 will allow this to happen. It also:

-Returns, to the elected members of the Florida Legislature, financial oversight of overly expense rules created by un-elected agency personnel.
-Assigns the responsibility for a septic system inspection program to the counties.
-Defines an inspection program for advanced septic systems.

CPR encourages you to go online to read the short, six-page bill:

https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h1241__.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=1241&Session=2019

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HB 1241/SB 1776 Explained

The following”Section” explanations will help you understand the bill:

Section 1. In 2010, the Legislature passed a bill stating if any rule is likely to have a negative impact in excess of $1 million, “the rule shall be submitted to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than 30 days prior to the next regular legislative session, and the rule may not take effect until it is ratified by the Legislature.” F.S 120.541(3)

In 2012, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed new rules regarding numeric nutrient criteria related to water quality in Florida. The economic impact costs of proposed rules were estimated to be $51 million to $150 million annually. In order to facilitate implementation of these rules, the Legislature exempted these rules from Legislative ratification.

This exemption has allowed FDEP to implement plans without the Legislature’s ratification or public awareness. HB 1241/SB 1776 returns FDEP rule-making, regarding water quality, back into the “sunshine” by subjecting its rules of such magnitude to Legislative approval or disapproval.

Section 2. This section offers clarifying definitions for:

Advanced active septic systems
Alternative drainfield products
Innovative system permit
NSF/ANSI standard
Onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
Passive aerobic treatment system

This section also provides for a third-party organization to test and certify septic systems and innovative products which meet prescribed standards.

It authorizes certified innovative systems and products for residential and commercial use.

It also gives counties the responsibility to establish an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system inspection program with specific requirements.

It finally requires all septic systems to meet the highest certification standards (NSF/ANSI 360) by 2022.

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Dan Peterson

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