Florida Senate - 2012                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS/CS/CS/HB 1263, 2nd Eng.
                                Barcode 538152                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
               Floor: 1c/RE/2R         .                                
             03/09/2012 12:29 PM       .                                

       Senator Garcia moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (371972) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Delete lines 952 - 1607
    5  and insert:
    6         Section 33. Subsections (1), (5), (6), and (7) of section
    7  381.0065, Florida Statues, are amended, paragraphs (b) through
    8  (p) of subsection (2) of that section are redesignated as
    9  paragraphs (c) through (q), respectively, a new paragraph (b) is
   10  added to that subsection, paragraphs (c) and (j) of subsection
   11  (3) and paragraphs (h), (n), and (o) of subsection (4) of that
   12  section are amended, and paragraphs (w) through (aa) are added
   13  to subsection (4) of that section, to read:
   14         381.0065 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems;
   15  regulation.—
   16         (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—
   17         (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that proper
   18  management of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems is
   19  paramount to the health, safety, and welfare of the public. It
   20  is further the intent of the Legislature that the department
   21  shall administer an evaluation program to ensure the operational
   22  condition of the system and identify any failure with the
   23  system.
   24         (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that where a
   25  publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system is not
   26  available, the department shall issue permits for the
   27  construction, installation, modification, abandonment, or repair
   28  of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems under conditions
   29  as described in this section and rules adopted under this
   30  section. It is further the intent of the Legislature that the
   31  installation and use of onsite sewage treatment and disposal
   32  systems not adversely affect the public health or significantly
   33  degrade the groundwater or surface water.
   34         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in ss. 381.0065-381.0067, the
   35  term:
   36         (b)1. “Bedroom” means a room that can be used for sleeping
   37  and that:
   38         a. For site-built dwellings, has a minimum of 70 square
   39  feet of conditioned space;
   40         b. For manufactured homes, is constructed according to
   41  standards of the United States Department of Housing and Urban
   42  Development and has a minimum of 50 square feet of floor area;
   43         c. Is located along an exterior wall;
   44         d. Has a closet and a door or an entrance where a door
   45  could be reasonably installed; and
   46         e. Has an emergency means of escape and rescue opening to
   47  the outside.
   48         2. A room may not be considered a bedroom if it is used to
   49  access another room except a bathroom or closet.
   50         3. “Bedroom” does not include a hallway, bathroom, kitchen,
   51  living room, family room, dining room, den, breakfast nook,
   52  pantry, laundry room, sunroom, recreation room, media/video
   53  room, or exercise room.
   55  department shall:
   56         (c) Develop a comprehensive program to ensure that onsite
   57  sewage treatment and disposal systems regulated by the
   58  department are sized, designed, constructed, installed,
   59  repaired, modified, abandoned, used, operated, and maintained in
   60  compliance with this section and rules adopted under this
   61  section to prevent groundwater contamination and surface water
   62  contamination and to preserve the public health. The department
   63  is the final administrative interpretive authority regarding
   64  rule interpretation. In the event of a conflict regarding rule
   65  interpretation, the State Surgeon General Division Director for
   66  Environmental Health of the department, or his or her designee,
   67  shall timely assign a staff person to resolve the dispute.
   68         (j) Supervise research on, demonstration of, and training
   69  on the performance, environmental impact, and public health
   70  impact of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems within
   71  this state. Research fees collected under s. 381.0066(2)(k)
   72  381.0066(2)(l) must be used to develop and fund hands-on
   73  training centers designed to provide practical information about
   74  onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems to septic tank
   75  contractors, master septic tank contractors, contractors,
   76  inspectors, engineers, and the public and must also be used to
   77  fund research projects which focus on improvements of onsite
   78  sewage treatment and disposal systems, including use of
   79  performance-based standards and reduction of environmental
   80  impact. Research projects shall be initially approved by the
   81  technical review and advisory panel and shall be applicable to
   82  and reflect the soil conditions specific to Florida. Such
   83  projects shall be awarded through competitive negotiation, using
   84  the procedures provided in s. 287.055, to public or private
   85  entities that have experience in onsite sewage treatment and
   86  disposal systems in Florida and that are principally located in
   87  Florida. Research projects shall not be awarded to firms or
   88  entities that employ or are associated with persons who serve on
   89  either the technical review and advisory panel or the research
   90  review and advisory committee.
   91         (4) PERMITS; INSTALLATION; AND CONDITIONS.—A person may not
   92  construct, repair, modify, abandon, or operate an onsite sewage
   93  treatment and disposal system without first obtaining a permit
   94  approved by the department. The department may issue permits to
   95  carry out this section, but shall not make the issuance of such
   96  permits contingent upon prior approval by the Department of
   97  Environmental Protection, except that the issuance of a permit
   98  for work seaward of the coastal construction control line
   99  established under s. 161.053 shall be contingent upon receipt of
  100  any required coastal construction control line permit from the
  101  Department of Environmental Protection. A construction permit is
  102  valid for 18 months from the issuance date and may be extended
  103  by the department for one 90-day period under rules adopted by
  104  the department. A repair permit is valid for 90 days from the
  105  date of issuance. An operating permit must be obtained prior to
  106  the use of any aerobic treatment unit or if the establishment
  107  generates commercial waste. Buildings or establishments that use
  108  an aerobic treatment unit or generate commercial waste shall be
  109  inspected by the department at least annually to assure
  110  compliance with the terms of the operating permit. The operating
  111  permit for a commercial wastewater system is valid for 1 year
  112  from the date of issuance and must be renewed annually. The
  113  operating permit for an aerobic treatment unit is valid for 2
  114  years from the date of issuance and must be renewed every 2
  115  years. If all information pertaining to the siting, location,
  116  and installation conditions or repair of an onsite sewage
  117  treatment and disposal system remains the same, a construction
  118  or repair permit for the onsite sewage treatment and disposal
  119  system may be transferred to another person, if the transferee
  120  files, within 60 days after the transfer of ownership, an
  121  amended application providing all corrected information and
  122  proof of ownership of the property. There is no fee associated
  123  with the processing of this supplemental information. A person
  124  may not contract to construct, modify, alter, repair, service,
  125  abandon, or maintain any portion of an onsite sewage treatment
  126  and disposal system without being registered under part III of
  127  chapter 489. A property owner who personally performs
  128  construction, maintenance, or repairs to a system serving his or
  129  her own owner-occupied single-family residence is exempt from
  130  registration requirements for performing such construction,
  131  maintenance, or repairs on that residence, but is subject to all
  132  permitting requirements. A municipality or political subdivision
  133  of the state may not issue a building or plumbing permit for any
  134  building that requires the use of an onsite sewage treatment and
  135  disposal system unless the owner or builder has received a
  136  construction permit for such system from the department. A
  137  building or structure may not be occupied and a municipality,
  138  political subdivision, or any state or federal agency may not
  139  authorize occupancy until the department approves the final
  140  installation of the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system.
  141  A municipality or political subdivision of the state may not
  142  approve any change in occupancy or tenancy of a building that
  143  uses an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system until the
  144  department has reviewed the use of the system with the proposed
  145  change, approved the change, and amended the operating permit.
  146         (h) 1. The department may grant variances in hardship cases
  147  which may be less restrictive than the provisions specified in
  148  this section. If a variance is granted and the onsite sewage
  149  treatment and disposal system construction permit has been
  150  issued, the variance may be transferred with the system
  151  construction permit, if the transferee files, within 60 days
  152  after the transfer of ownership, an amended construction permit
  153  application providing all corrected information and proof of
  154  ownership of the property and if the same variance would have
  155  been required for the new owner of the property as was
  156  originally granted to the original applicant for the variance.
  157  There is no fee associated with the processing of this
  158  supplemental information. A variance may not be granted under
  159  this section until the department is satisfied that:
  160         a. The hardship was not caused intentionally by the action
  161  of the applicant;
  162         b. No reasonable alternative, taking into consideration
  163  factors such as cost, exists for the treatment of the sewage;
  164  and
  165         c. The discharge from the onsite sewage treatment and
  166  disposal system will not adversely affect the health of the
  167  applicant or the public or significantly degrade the groundwater
  168  or surface waters.
  170  Where soil conditions, water table elevation, and setback
  171  provisions are determined by the department to be satisfactory,
  172  special consideration must be given to those lots platted before
  173  1972.
  174         2. The department shall appoint and staff a variance review
  175  and advisory committee, which shall meet monthly to recommend
  176  agency action on variance requests. The committee shall make its
  177  recommendations on variance requests at the meeting in which the
  178  application is scheduled for consideration, except for an
  179  extraordinary change in circumstances, the receipt of new
  180  information that raises new issues, or when the applicant
  181  requests an extension. The committee shall consider the criteria
  182  in subparagraph 1. in its recommended agency action on variance
  183  requests and shall also strive to allow property owners the full
  184  use of their land where possible. The committee consists of the
  185  following:
  186         a. The State Surgeon General, Division Director for
  187  Environmental Health of the department or his or her designee.
  188         b. A representative from the county health departments.
  189         c. A representative from the home building industry
  190  recommended by the Florida Home Builders Association.
  191         d. A representative from the septic tank industry
  192  recommended by the Florida Onsite Wastewater Association.
  193         e. A representative from the Department of Environmental
  194  Protection.
  195         f. A representative from the real estate industry who is
  196  also a developer in this state who develops lots using onsite
  197  sewage treatment and disposal systems, recommended by the
  198  Florida Association of Realtors.
  199         g. A representative from the engineering profession
  200  recommended by the Florida Engineering Society.
  202  Members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years, with such
  203  appointments being staggered so that the terms of no more than
  204  two members expire in any one year. Members shall serve without
  205  remuneration, but if requested, shall be reimbursed for per diem
  206  and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
  207         (n) Evaluations for determining the seasonal high-water
  208  table elevations or the suitability of soils for the use of a
  209  new onsite sewage treatment and disposal system shall be
  210  performed by department personnel, professional engineers
  211  registered in the state, or such other persons with expertise,
  212  as defined by rule, in making such evaluations. Evaluations for
  213  determining mean annual flood lines shall be performed by those
  214  persons identified in paragraph (2)(j) (2)(i). The department
  215  shall accept evaluations submitted by professional engineers and
  216  such other persons as meet the expertise established by this
  217  section or by rule unless the department has a reasonable
  218  scientific basis for questioning the accuracy or completeness of
  219  the evaluation.
  220         (o) The department shall appoint a research review and
  221  advisory committee, which shall meet at least semiannually. The
  222  committee shall advise the department on directions for new
  223  research, review and rank proposals for research contracts, and
  224  review draft research reports and make comments. The committee
  225  is comprised of:
  226         1. A representative of the State Surgeon General, or his or
  227  her designee Division of Environmental Health of the Department
  228  of Health.
  229         2. A representative from the septic tank industry.
  230         3. A representative from the home building industry.
  231         4. A representative from an environmental interest group.
  232         5. A representative from the State University System, from
  233  a department knowledgeable about onsite sewage treatment and
  234  disposal systems.
  235         6. A professional engineer registered in this state who has
  236  work experience in onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems.
  237         7. A representative from local government who is
  238  knowledgeable about domestic wastewater treatment.
  239         8. A representative from the real estate profession.
  240         9. A representative from the restaurant industry.
  241         10. A consumer.
  243  Members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years, with the
  244  appointments being staggered so that the terms of no more than
  245  four members expire in any one year. Members shall serve without
  246  remuneration, but are entitled to reimbursement for per diem and
  247  travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
  248         (w) Any permit issued and approved by the department for
  249  the installation, modification, or repair of an onsite sewage
  250  treatment and disposal system shall transfer with the title to
  251  the property in a real estate transaction. A title may not be
  252  encumbered at the time of transfer by new permit requirements by
  253  a governmental entity for an onsite sewage treatment and
  254  disposal system which differ from the permitting requirements in
  255  effect at the time the system was permitted, modified, or
  256  repaired. An inspection of a system may not be mandated by a
  257  governmental entity at the point of sale in a real estate
  258  transaction. This paragraph does not affect a septic tank phase
  259  out deferral program implemented by a consolidated government as
  260  defined in s. 9, Art. VIII of the State Constitution.
  261         (x) A governmental entity, including a municipality,
  262  county, or statutorily created commission, may not require an
  263  engineer-designed performance-based treatment system, excluding
  264  a passive engineer-designed performance-based treatment system,
  265  before the completion of the Florida Onsite Sewage Nitrogen
  266  Reduction Strategies Project. This paragraph does not apply to a
  267  governmental entity, including a municipality, county, or
  268  statutorily created commission, which adopted a local law,
  269  ordinance, or regulation on or before January 31, 2012.
  270  Notwithstanding this paragraph, an engineer-designed
  271  performance-based treatment system may be used to meet the
  272  requirements of the variance review and advisory committee
  273  recommendations.
  274         (y)1. An onsite sewage treatment and disposal system is not
  275  considered abandoned if the system is disconnected from a
  276  structure that was made unusable or destroyed following a
  277  disaster and if the system was properly functioning at the time
  278  of disconnection and not adversely affected by the disaster. The
  279  onsite sewage treatment and disposal system may be reconnected
  280  to a rebuilt structure if:
  281         a. The reconnection of the system is to the same type of
  282  structure which contains the same number of bedrooms or fewer,
  283  if the square footage of the structure is less than or equal to
  284  110 percent of the original square footage of the structure that
  285  existed before the disaster;
  286         b. The system is not a sanitary nuisance; and
  287         c. The system has not been altered without prior
  288  authorization.
  289         2. An onsite sewage treatment and disposal system that
  290  serves a property that is foreclosed upon is not considered
  291  abandoned.
  292         (z) If an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
  293  permittee receives, relies upon, and undertakes construction of
  294  a system based upon a validly issued construction permit under
  295  rules applicable at the time of construction but a change to a
  296  rule occurs within 5 years after the approval of the system for
  297  construction but before the final approval of the system, the
  298  rules applicable and in effect at the time of construction
  299  approval apply at the time of final approval if fundamental site
  300  conditions have not changed between the time of construction
  301  approval and final approval.
  302         (aa) A modification, replacement, or upgrade of an onsite
  303  sewage treatment and disposal system is not required for a
  304  remodeling addition to a single-family home if a bedroom is not
  305  added.
  307         (a) Beginning July 1, 2011, the department shall administer
  308  an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system evaluation
  309  program for the purpose of assessing the fundamental operational
  310  condition of systems and identifying any failures within the
  311  systems. The department shall adopt rules implementing the
  312  program standards, procedures, and requirements, including, but
  313  not limited to, a schedule for a 5-year evaluation cycle,
  314  requirements for the pump-out of a system or repair of a failing
  315  system, enforcement procedures for failure of a system owner to
  316  obtain an evaluation of the system, and failure of a contractor
  317  to timely submit evaluation results to the department and the
  318  system owner. The department shall ensure statewide
  319  implementation of the evaluation and assessment program by
  320  January 1, 2016.
  321         (b) Owners of an onsite sewage treatment and disposal
  322  system, excluding a system that is required to obtain an
  323  operating permit, shall have the system evaluated at least once
  324  every 5 years to assess the fundamental operational condition of
  325  the system, and identify any failure within the system.
  326         (c) All evaluation procedures must be documented and
  327  nothing in this subsection limits the amount of detail an
  328  evaluator may provide at his or her professional discretion. The
  329  evaluation must include a tank and drainfield evaluation, a
  330  written assessment of the condition of the system, and, if
  331  necessary, a disclosure statement pursuant to the department’s
  332  procedure.
  333         (d)1. Systems being evaluated that were installed prior to
  334  January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 6-inch separation from the
  335  bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table
  336  elevation as defined by department rule. All drainfield repairs,
  337  replacements or modifications to systems installed prior to
  338  January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 12-inch separation from
  339  the bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table
  340  elevation as defined by department rule.
  341         2. Systems being evaluated that were installed on or after
  342  January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 12-inch separation from
  343  the bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table
  344  elevation as defined by department rule. All drainfield repairs,
  345  replacements or modification to systems developed on or after
  346  January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 24-inch separation from
  347  the bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table
  348  elevation.
  349         (e) If documentation of a tank pump-out or a permitted new
  350  installation, repair, or modification of the system within the
  351  previous 5 years is provided, and states the capacity of the
  352  tank and indicates that the condition of the tank is not a
  353  sanitary or public health nuisance pursuant to department rule,
  354  a pump-out of the system is not required.
  355         (f) Owners are responsible for paying the cost of any
  356  required pump-out, repair, or replacement pursuant to department
  357  rule, and may not request partial evaluation or the omission of
  358  portions of the evaluation.
  359         (g) Each evaluation or pump-out required under this
  360  subsection must be performed by a septic tank contractor or
  361  master septic tank contractor registered under part III of
  362  chapter 489, a professional engineer with wastewater treatment
  363  system experience licensed pursuant to chapter 471, or an
  364  environmental health professional certified under chapter 381 in
  365  the area of onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
  366  evaluation.
  367         (h) The evaluation report fee collected pursuant to s.
  368  381.0066(2)(b) shall be remitted to the department by the
  369  evaluator at the time the report is submitted.
  370         (i) Prior to any evaluation deadline, the department must
  371  provide a minimum of 60 days’ notice to owners that their
  372  systems must be evaluated by that deadline. The department may
  373  include a copy of any homeowner educational materials developed
  374  pursuant to this section which provides information on the
  375  proper maintenance of onsite sewage treatment and disposal
  376  systems.
  378         (a) Department personnel who have reason to believe
  379  noncompliance exists, may at any reasonable time, enter the
  380  premises permitted under ss. 381.0065-381.0066, or the business
  381  premises of any septic tank contractor or master septic tank
  382  contractor registered under part III of chapter 489, or any
  383  premises that the department has reason to believe is being
  384  operated or maintained not in compliance, to determine
  385  compliance with the provisions of this section, part I of
  386  chapter 386, or part III of chapter 489 or rules or standards
  387  adopted under ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, or
  388  part III of chapter 489. As used in this paragraph, the term
  389  “premises” does not include a residence or private building. To
  390  gain entry to a residence or private building, the department
  391  must obtain permission from the owner or occupant or secure an
  392  inspection warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction.
  393         (b)1. The department may issue citations that may contain
  394  an order of correction or an order to pay a fine, or both, for
  395  violations of ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, or
  396  part III of chapter 489 or the rules adopted by the department,
  397  when a violation of these sections or rules is enforceable by an
  398  administrative or civil remedy, or when a violation of these
  399  sections or rules is a misdemeanor of the second degree. A
  400  citation issued under ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter
  401  386, or part III of chapter 489 constitutes a notice of proposed
  402  agency action.
  403         2. A citation must be in writing and must describe the
  404  particular nature of the violation, including specific reference
  405  to the provisions of law or rule allegedly violated.
  406         3. The fines imposed by a citation issued by the department
  407  may not exceed $500 for each violation. Each day the violation
  408  exists constitutes a separate violation for which a citation may
  409  be issued.
  410         4. The department shall inform the recipient, by written
  411  notice pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, of the right to an
  412  administrative hearing to contest the citation within 21 days
  413  after the date the citation is received. The citation must
  414  contain a conspicuous statement that if the recipient fails to
  415  pay the fine within the time allowed, or fails to appear to
  416  contest the citation after having requested a hearing, the
  417  recipient has waived the recipient’s right to contest the
  418  citation and must pay an amount up to the maximum fine.
  419         5. The department may reduce or waive the fine imposed by
  420  the citation. In determining whether to reduce or waive the
  421  fine, the department must consider the gravity of the violation,
  422  the person’s attempts at correcting the violation, and the
  423  person’s history of previous violations including violations for
  424  which enforcement actions were taken under ss. 381.0065
  425  381.0067, part I of chapter 386, part III of chapter 489, or
  426  other provisions of law or rule.
  427         6. Any person who willfully refuses to sign and accept a
  428  citation issued by the department commits a misdemeanor of the
  429  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
  430  775.083.
  431         7. The department, pursuant to ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part
  432  I of chapter 386, or part III of chapter 489, shall deposit any
  433  fines it collects in the county health department trust fund for
  434  use in providing services specified in those sections.
  435         8. This section provides an alternative means of enforcing
  436  ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, and part III of
  437  chapter 489. This section does not prohibit the department from
  438  enforcing ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, or part
  439  III of chapter 489, or its rules, by any other means. However,
  440  the department must elect to use only a single method of
  441  enforcement for each violation.
  442         (6)(7) LAND APPLICATION OF SEPTAGE PROHIBITED.—Effective
  443  January 1, 2016, the land application of septage from onsite
  444  sewage treatment and disposal systems is prohibited. By February
  445  1, 2011, the department, in consultation with the Department of
  446  Environmental Protection, shall provide a report to the
  447  Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
  448  House of Representatives, recommending alternative methods to
  449  establish enhanced treatment levels for the land application of
  450  septage from onsite sewage and disposal systems. The report
  451  shall include, but is not limited to, a schedule for the
  452  reduction in land application, appropriate treatment levels,
  453  alternative methods for treatment and disposal, enhanced
  454  application site permitting requirements including any
  455  requirements for nutrient management plans, and the range of
  456  costs to local governments, affected businesses, and individuals
  457  for alternative treatment and disposal methods. The report shall
  458  also include any recommendations for legislation or rule
  459  authority needed to reduce land application of septage.
  460         Section 34. Section 381.00651, Florida Statutes, is created
  461  to read:
  462         381.00651 Periodic evaluation and assessment of onsite
  463  sewage treatment and disposal systems.—
  464         (1) For the purposes of this section, the term “first
  465  magnitude spring” means a spring that has a median water
  466  discharge of greater than or equal to 100 cubic feet per second
  467  for the period of record, as determined by the Department of
  468  Environmental Protection.
  469         (2) A county or municipality that contains a first
  470  magnitude spring shall, by no later than January 1, 2013,
  471  develop and adopt by local ordinance an onsite sewage treatment
  472  and disposal system evaluation and assessment program that meets
  473  the requirements of this section. The ordinance may apply within
  474  all or part of its geographic area. Those counties or
  475  municipalities containing a first magnitude spring which have
  476  already adopted an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
  477  evaluation and assessment program and which meet the
  478  grandfathering requirements contained in this section, or have
  479  chosen to opt out of this section in the manner provided herein,
  480  are exempt from the requirement to adopt an ordinance
  481  implementing an evaluation and assessment program. The governing
  482  body of a local government that chooses to opt out of this
  483  section, by a 60 percent vote of the voting members of the
  484  governing board, shall do so by adopting a resolution that
  485  indicates an intent on the part of such local government not to
  486  adopt an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system evaluation
  487  and assessment program. Such resolution shall be addressed and
  488  transmitted to the Secretary of State. Absent an interlocal
  489  agreement or county charter provision to the contrary, a
  490  municipality may elect to opt out of the requirements of this
  491  section, by a 60 percent vote of the voting members of the
  492  governing board, notwithstanding a contrary decision of the
  493  governing body of a county. Any local government that has
  494  properly opted out of this section but subsequently chooses to
  495  adopt an evaluation and assessment program may do so only
  496  pursuant to the requirements of this section and may not deviate
  497  from such requirements.
  498         (3)Any county or municipality that does not contain a
  499  first magnitude spring may at any time develop and adopt by
  500  local ordinance an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
  501  evaluation and assessment program, provided such program meets
  502  and does not deviate from the requirements of this section.
  503         (4)Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, a
  504  county or municipality that has adopted a program before July 1,
  505  2011, may continue to enforce its current program without having
  506  to meet the requirements of this section, provided such program
  507  does not require an evaluation at the point of sale in a real
  508  estate transaction.
  509         (5)Any county or municipality may repeal an ordinance
  510  adopted pursuant to this section only if the county or
  511  municipality notifies the Secretary of State by letter of the
  512  repeal. No county or municipality may adopt an onsite sewage
  513  treatment and disposal system evaluation and assessment program
  514  except pursuant to this section.
  515         (6)The requirements for an onsite sewage treatment and
  516  disposal system evaluation and assessment program are as
  517  follows:
  518         (a) Evaluations.—An evaluation of each onsite sewage
  519  treatment and disposal system within all or part of the county’s
  520  or municipality’s jurisdiction must take place once every 5
  521  years to assess the fundamental operational condition of the
  522  system and to identify system failures. The ordinance may not
  523  mandate an evaluation at the point of sale in a real estate
  524  transaction and may not require a soil examination. The location
  525  of the system shall be identified. A tank and drainfield
  526  evaluation and a written assessment of the overall condition of
  527  the system pursuant to the assessment procedure prescribed in
  528  subsection (7) are required.
  529         (b) Qualified contractors.—Each evaluation required under
  530  this subsection must be performed by a qualified contractor, who
  531  may be a septic tank contractor or master septic tank contractor
  532  registered under part III of chapter 489, a professional
  533  engineer having wastewater treatment system experience and
  534  licensed under chapter 471, or an environmental health
  535  professional certified under this chapter in the area of onsite
  536  sewage treatment and disposal system evaluation. Evaluations and
  537  pump-outs may also be performed by an authorized employee
  538  working under the supervision of an individual listed in this
  539  paragraph; however, all evaluation forms must be signed by a
  540  qualified contractor in writing or by electronic signature.
  541         (c) Repair of systems.—The local ordinance may not require
  542  a repair, modification, or replacement of a system as a result
  543  of an evaluation unless the evaluation identifies a system
  544  failure. For purposes of this subsection, the term “system
  545  failure” means a condition existing within an onsite sewage
  546  treatment and disposal system which results in the discharge of
  547  untreated or partially treated wastewater onto the ground
  548  surface or into surface water or that results in the failure of
  549  building plumbing to discharge properly and presents a sanitary
  550  nuisance. A system is not in failure if the system does not have
  551  a minimum separation distance between the drainfield and the
  552  wettest season water table or if an obstruction in a sanitary
  553  line or an effluent screen or filter prevents effluent from
  554  flowing into a drainfield. If a system failure is identified and
  555  several allowable remedial measures are available to resolve the
  556  failure, the system owner may choose the least costly allowable
  557  remedial measure to fix the system. There may be instances in
  558  which a pump-out is sufficient to resolve a system failure.
  559  Allowable remedial measures to resolve a system failure are
  560  limited to what is necessary to resolve the failure and must
  561  meet, to the maximum extent practicable, the requirements of the
  562  repair code in effect when the repair is made, subject to the
  563  exceptions specified in s. 381.0065(4)(g). An engineer-designed
  564  performance-based treatment system to reduce nutrients may not
  565  be required as an alternative remediation measure to resolve the
  566  failure of a conventional system.
  567         (d) Exemptions.
  568         1. The local ordinance shall exempt from the evaluation
  569  requirements any system that is required to obtain an operating
  570  permit pursuant to state law or that is inspected by the
  571  department pursuant to the annual permit inspection requirements
  572  of chapter 513.
  573         2. The local ordinance may provide for an exemption or an
  574  extension of time to obtain an evaluation and assessment if
  575  connection to a sewer system is available, connection to the
  576  sewer system is imminent, and written arrangements for payment
  577  of any utility assessments or connection fees have been made by
  578  the system owner.
  579         3. An onsite sewage treatment and disposal system serving a
  580  residential dwelling unit on a lot with a ratio of one bedroom
  581  per acre or greater is exempt from the requirements of this
  582  section and may not be included in any onsite sewage treatment
  583  and disposal system inspection program.
  584         (7) The following procedures shall be used for conducting
  585  evaluations:
  586         (a) Tank evaluation.—The tank evaluation shall assess the
  587  apparent structural condition and watertightness of the tank and
  588  shall estimate the size of the tank. The evaluation must include
  589  a pump-out. However, an ordinance may not require a pump-out if
  590  there is documentation indicating that a tank pump-out or a
  591  permitted new installation, repair, or modification of the
  592  system has occurred within the previous 5 years, identifying the
  593  capacity of the tank, and indicating that the condition of the
  594  tank is structurally sound and watertight. Visual inspection of
  595  the tank must be made when the tank is empty to detect cracks,
  596  leaks, or other defects. Baffles or tees must be checked to
  597  ensure that they are intact and secure. The evaluation shall
  598  note the presence and condition of outlet devices, effluent
  599  filters, and compartment walls; any structural defect in the
  600  tank; the condition and fit of the tank lid, including manholes;
  601  whether surface water can infiltrate the tank; and whether the
  602  tank was pumped out. If the tank, in the opinion of the
  603  qualified contractor, is in danger of being damaged by leaving
  604  the tank empty after inspection, the tank shall be refilled
  605  before concluding the inspection. Broken or damaged lids or
  606  manholes shall be replaced without obtaining a repair permit.
  607         (b) Drainfield evaluation.—The drainfield evaluation must
  608  include a determination of the approximate size and location of
  609  the drainfield. The evaluation shall state whether there is any
  610  sewage or effluent visible on the ground or discharging to a
  611  ditch or other water body and the location of any downspout or
  612  other source of water near or in the vicinity of the drainfield.
  613         (c) Special circumstances.—If the system contains pumps,
  614  siphons, or alarms, the following information may be provided at
  615  the request of the homeowner:
  616         1. An assessment of dosing tank integrity, including the
  617  approximate volume and the type of material used in the tank’s
  618  construction;
  619         2. Whether the pump is elevated off the bottom of the
  620  chamber and its operational status;
  621         3. Whether the system has a check valve and purge hole; and
  622         4. Whether the system has a high-water alarm, and if so
  623  whether the alarm is audio or visual or both, the location and
  624  operational condition of the alarm, and whether the electrical
  625  connections to the alarm appear satisfactory.
  627  If the homeowner does not request this information, the
  628  qualified contractor and its employee are not liable for any
  629  damages directly relating from a failure of the system’s pumps,
  630  siphons, or alarms. This exclusion of liability must be stated
  631  on the front cover of the report required under paragraph (d).
  632         (d) Assessment procedure.—All evaluation procedures used by
  633  a qualified contractor shall be documented in the environmental
  634  health database of the Department of Health. The qualified
  635  contractor shall provide a copy of a written, signed evaluation
  636  report to the property owner upon completion of the evaluation
  637  and to the county health department within 30 days after the
  638  evaluation. The report shall contain the name and license number
  639  of the company providing the report. A copy of the evaluation
  640  report shall be retained by the local county health department
  641  for a minimum of 5 years and until a subsequent inspection
  642  report is filed. The front cover of the report must identify any
  643  system failure and include a clear and conspicuous notice to the
  644  owner that the owner has a right to have any remediation of the
  645  failure performed by a qualified contractor other than the
  646  contractor performing the evaluation. The report must further
  647  identify any crack, leak, improper fit, or other defect in the
  648  tank, manhole, or lid, and any other damaged or missing
  649  component; any sewage or effluent visible on the ground or
  650  discharging to a ditch or other surface water body; any
  651  downspout, stormwater, or other source of water directed onto or
  652  toward the system; and any other maintenance need or condition
  653  of the system at the time of the evaluation which, in the
  654  opinion of the qualified contractor, would possibly interfere
  655  with or restrict any future repair or modification to the
  656  existing system. The report shall conclude with an overall
  657  assessment of the fundamental operational condition of the
  658  system.
  659         (8) The county health department shall administer any
  660  evaluation program on behalf of a county, or a municipality
  661  within the county, that has adopted an evaluation program
  662  pursuant to this section. In order to administer the evaluation
  663  program, the county or municipality, in consultation with the
  664  county health department, may develop a reasonable fee schedule
  665  to be used solely to pay for the costs of administering the
  666  evaluation program. Such a fee schedule shall be identified in
  667  the ordinance that adopts the evaluation program. When arriving
  668  at a reasonable fee schedule, the estimated annual revenues to
  669  be derived from fees may not exceed reasonable estimated annual
  670  costs of the program. Fees shall be assessed to the system owner
  671  during an inspection and separately identified on the invoice of
  672  the qualified contractor. Fees shall be remitted by the
  673  qualified contractor to the county health department. The county
  674  health department’s administrative responsibilities include the
  675  following:
  676         (a) Providing a notice to the system owner at least 60 days
  677  before the system is due for an evaluation. The notice may
  678  include information on the proper maintenance of onsite sewage
  679  treatment and disposal systems.
  680         (b) In consultation with the Department of Health,
  681  providing uniform disciplinary procedures and penalties for
  682  qualified contractors who do not comply with the requirements of
  683  the adopted ordinance, including, but not limited to, failure to
  684  provide the evaluation report as required in this subsection to
  685  the system owner and the county health department. Only the
  686  county health department may assess penalties against system
  687  owners for failure to comply with the adopted ordinance,
  688  consistent with existing requirements of law.
  689         (9)(a) A county or municipality that adopts an onsite
  690  sewage treatment and disposal system evaluation and assessment
  691  program pursuant to this section shall notify the Secretary of
  692  Environmental Protection, the Department of Health, and the
  693  applicable county health department upon the adoption of its
  694  ordinance establishing the program.
  695         (b) Upon receipt of the notice under paragraph (a), the
  696  Department of Environmental Protection shall, within existing
  697  resources, notify the county or municipality of the potential
  698  use of, and access to, program funds under the Clean Water State
  699  Revolving Fund or s. 319 of the Clean Water Act, provide
  700  guidance in the application process to receive such moneys, and
  701  provide advice and technical assistance to the county or
  702  municipality on how to establish a low-interest revolving loan
  703  program or how to model a revolving loan program after the low
  704  interest loan program of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
  705  This paragraph does not obligate the Department of Environmental
  706  Protection to provide any county or municipality with money to
  707  fund such programs.
  708         (c) The Department of Health may not adopt any rule that
  709  alters the provisions of this section.
  710         (d) The Department of Health must allow county health
  711  departments and qualified contractors access to the
  712  environmental health database to track relevant information and
  713  assimilate data from assessment and evaluation reports of the
  714  overall condition of onsite sewage treatment and disposal
  715  systems. The environmental health database must be used by
  716  contractors to report each service and evaluation event and by a
  717  county health department to notify owners of onsite sewage
  718  treatment and disposal systems when evaluations are due. Data
  719  and information must be recorded and updated as service and
  720  evaluations are conducted and reported.
  721         (10) This section does not:
  722         (a) Limit county and municipal home rule authority to act
  723  outside the scope of the evaluation and assessment program set
  724  forth in this section;
  725         (b) Repeal or affect any other law relating to the subject
  726  matter of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; or
  727         (c) Prohibit a county or municipality from:
  728         1. Enforcing existing ordinances or adopting new ordinances
  729  relating to onsite sewage treatment facilities to address public
  730  health and safety if such ordinances do not repeal, suspend, or
  731  alter the requirements or limitations of this section.
  732         2. Adopting local environmental and pollution abatement
  733  ordinances for water quality improvement as provided for by law
  734  if such ordinances do not repeal, suspend, or alter the
  735  requirements or limitations of this section.
  736         3. Exercising its independent and existing authority to
  737  meet the requirements of s. 381.0065.
  738         Section 35. Section 381.00656, Florida Statutes, is
  739  repealed.
  740         Section 36. Subsection (2) of section 381.0066, Florida
  741  Statutes, is amended to read:
  742         381.0066 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems;
  743  fees.—
  744         (2) The minimum fees in the following fee schedule apply
  745  until changed by rule by the department within the following
  746  limits:
  747         (a) Application review, permit issuance, or system
  748  inspection, including repair of a subsurface, mound, filled, or
  749  other alternative system or permitting of an abandoned system: a
  750  fee of not less than $25, or more than $125.
  751         (b) A 5-year evaluation report submitted pursuant to s.
  752  381.0065(5): a fee not less than $15, or more than $30. At least
  753  $1 and no more than $5 collected pursuant to this paragraph
  754  shall be used to fund a grant program established under s.
  755  381.00656.
  756         (b)(c) Site evaluation, site reevaluation, evaluation of a
  757  system previously in use, or a per annum septage disposal site
  758  evaluation: a fee of not less than $40, or more than $115.
  759         (c)(d) Biennial Operating permit for aerobic treatment
  760  units or performance-based treatment systems: a fee of not more
  761  than $100.
  762         (d)(e) Annual operating permit for systems located in areas
  763  zoned for industrial manufacturing or equivalent uses or where
  764  the system is expected to receive wastewater which is not
  765  domestic in nature: a fee of not less than $150, or more than
  766  $300.
  767         (e)(f) Innovative technology: a fee not to exceed $25,000.
  768         (f)(g) Septage disposal service, septage stabilization
  769  facility, portable or temporary toilet service, tank
  770  manufacturer inspection: a fee of not less than $25, or more
  771  than $200, per year.
  772         (g)(h) Application for variance: a fee of not less than
  773  $150, or more than $300.
  774         (h)(i) Annual operating permit for waterless, incinerating,
  775  or organic waste composting toilets: a fee of not less than $15
  776  $50, or more than $30 $150.
  777         (i)(j) Aerobic treatment unit or performance-based
  778  treatment system maintenance entity permit: a fee of not less
  779  than $25, or more than $150, per year.
  780         (j)(k) Reinspection fee per visit for site inspection after
  781  system construction approval or for noncompliant system
  782  installation per site visit: a fee of not less than $25, or more
  783  than $100.
  784         (k)(l) Research: An additional $5 fee shall be added to
  785  each new system construction permit issued to be used to fund
  786  onsite sewage treatment and disposal system research,
  787  demonstration, and training projects. Five dollars from any
  788  repair permit fee collected under this section shall be used for
  789  funding the hands-on training centers described in s.
  790  381.0065(3)(j).
  791         (l)(m) Annual operating permit, including annual inspection
  792  and any required sampling and laboratory analysis of effluent,
  793  for an engineer-designed performance-based system: a fee of not
  794  less than $150, or more than $300.
  796         On or before January 1, 2011, the Surgeon General, after
  797  consultation with the Revenue Estimating Conference, shall
  798  determine a revenue neutral fee schedule for services provided
  799  pursuant to s. 381.0065(5) within the parameters set in
  800  paragraph (b). Such determination is not subject to the
  801  provisions of chapter 120. The funds collected pursuant to this
  802  subsection must be deposited in a trust fund administered by the
  803  department, to be used for the purposes stated in this section
  804  and ss. 381.0065 and 381.00655.
  807  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  808         And the title is amended as follows:
  809         Delete lines 3930 - 3932
  810  and insert:
  811         treatment and disposal systems; deleting legislative
  812         intent; defining the term “bedroom”; conforming cross
  813         references; conforming provisions to changes made by
  814         the act; providing for any permit issued and approved
  815         by the Department of Health for the installation,
  816         modification, or repair of an onsite sewage treatment
  817         and disposal system to transfer with the title of the
  818         property; providing conditions under which
  819         governmental entities are prohibited from requiring
  820         certain inspections and systems; providing
  821         applicability; providing an exception; providing
  822         circumstances in which an onsite sewage treatment and
  823         disposal system is not considered abandoned; providing
  824         for the validity of an onsite sewage treatment and
  825         disposal system permit if rules change before final
  826         approval of the constructed system, under certain
  827         conditions; providing that a system modification,
  828         replacement, or upgrade is not required unless a
  829         bedroom is added to a single-family home; deleting
  830         provisions requiring the department to administer an
  831         evaluation and assessment program of onsite sewage
  832         treatment and disposal systems and requiring property
  833         owners to have such systems evaluated at least once
  834         every 5 years; deleting obsolete provisions; creating
  835         s. 381.00651, F.S.; requiring a county or municipality
  836         containing a first magnitude spring to adopt by
  837         ordinance, under certain circumstances, the program
  838         for the periodic evaluation and assessment of onsite
  839         sewage treatment and disposal systems; requiring the
  840         county or municipality to notify the Secretary of
  841         State of the ordinance; authorizing a county or
  842         municipality, in specified circumstances, to opt out
  843         by a vote of 60 percent of the governing board;
  844         authorizing a county or municipality to adopt or
  845         repeal, after a specified date, an ordinance creating
  846         an evaluation and assessment program, subject to
  847         notification of the Secretary of State; providing
  848         criteria for evaluations, qualified contractors, and
  849         repair of systems; providing for certain procedures
  850         and exemptions in special circumstances; defining the
  851         term “system failure”; requiring that certain
  852         procedures be used for conducting tank and drainfield
  853         evaluations; providing for certain procedures in
  854         special circumstances; providing for contractor
  855         immunity from liability under certain conditions;
  856         providing for assessment procedures; providing
  857         requirements for county health departments; requiring
  858         the Department of Health to allow county health
  859         departments and qualified contractors to access the
  860         state database to track data and evaluation reports;
  861         requiring counties and municipalities to notify the
  862         Secretary of Environmental Protection and the
  863         Department of Health when an evaluation program
  864         ordinance is adopted; requiring the Department of
  865         Environmental Protection to notify those counties or
  866         municipalities of the use of, and access to, certain
  867         state and federal program funds and to provide certain
  868         guidance and technical assistance upon request;
  869         prohibiting the adoption of certain rules by the
  870         Department of Health; providing for applicability;
  871         repealing s. 381.00656, F.S., relating to a grant
  872         program for the repair of onsite sewage treatment and
  873         disposal systems; amending s. 381.0066, F.S.; lowering
  874         the fees imposed by the department for certain
  875         permits; conforming cross-references; amending s.
  876         381.0068, F.S.; deleting a date by