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The Florida Senate

2012 Florida Statutes

Variances, exemptions, and waivers.
F.S. 403.854
403.854 Variances, exemptions, and waivers.
(1) The department may authorize variances or exemptions from the regulations issued pursuant to s. 403.853 under conditions and in such manner as it deems necessary and desirable, provided that such variances or exemptions are authorized under such conditions and in such manner as are no less stringent than the conditions under which and the manner in which variances and exemptions may be granted under the federal act.
(2)(a) The department shall exempt public water systems from any requirements respecting a maximum contaminant level or any treatment technique requirement, or both, when:
1. Due to compelling factors (which may include economic factors), the public water system is unable to comply with such contaminant level or treatment technique requirement;
2. The public water system was in operation on the effective date of such contaminant level or treatment technique requirement; and
3. The granting of the exemption will not result in an unreasonable risk to health.
(b) Proposed additions to existing treatment plants not under contract for construction on July 1, 1977, shall not be automatically exempt.
(3)(a) When the department receives an application for exemption, it shall act upon such application within a time period under Pub. L. No. 93-523, s. 1416(g), or the Florida Administrative Procedure Act, whichever is earlier.
(b) The department shall prescribe a compliance schedule for the exempted system and shall notify the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator personally by certified mail pursuant to Pub. L. No. 93-523, s. 1416(b) and (c).
(4)(a) The department shall, except upon a showing of good cause, waive on a case-by-case basis any disinfection requirement applicable to transient noncommunity water systems using groundwater as a source of supply upon an affirmative showing by the supplier of water that no hazard to health will result. This showing shall be based upon the following:
1. The completion of a satisfactory sanitary survey;
2. The history of the quality of water provided by the system and monthly monitoring tests for bacteriological contamination;
3. Evaluation of the well and the site on which it is located, including geology, depth of well, casing, grouting, and other relevant factors which have an impact on the quality of water supplied; and
4. The number of connections and size of the distribution system.
(b) The department may as a condition of waiver require a monitoring program of sufficient frequency to assure that safe drinking water standards are being met.
(5) The department shall, except upon a showing of good cause, waive on a case-by-case basis any requirement for a certified operator for a transient noncommunity water system using groundwater as a source of supply upon an affirmative showing by the supplier of water that the system can be properly maintained without a certified operator. The department shall consider:
(a) The results of a sanitary survey if deemed necessary;
(b) The operation and maintenance records for the year preceding an application for waiver;
(c) The adequacy of monitoring procedures for maximum contaminant levels included in primary drinking water regulations;
(d) The feasibility of the supplier of water becoming a certified operator; and
(e) Any threat to public health that could result from nonattendance of the system by a certified operator.
(6) A waiver shall be granted for 3 years and shall be renewable upon application to the department pursuant to subsection (4) or subsection (5).
(7) The department may revoke any waiver to protect the public health, provided the department finds, on the basis of technical evidence, that revocation is necessary to achieve compliance with state quality standards for safe drinking water or that the supplier of water fails to comply with any conditions of the waiver. The department may proceed under s. 403.855 or s. 403.860.
(8) Neither the department nor any of its employees shall be held liable for money damages for any injury, sickness, or death sustained by any person as a result of drinking water from any transient noncommunity water system granted a waiver under subsection (4) or subsection (5).
History.s. 5, ch. 77-337; s. 1, ch. 80-417; s. 70, ch. 90-331; s. 39, ch. 91-305; s. 4, ch. 2001-270.