Florida Senate - 2012                                    SB 1336
       By Senator Sobel
       31-00145-12                                           20121336__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to beach waters; amending s. 514.023,
    3         F.S.; requiring a report to the Governor and
    4         Legislature by a certain date with certain
    5         recommendations; requiring the Department of Health to
    6         investigate the sources of contamination of beach
    7         waters; requiring the department to develop and
    8         implement a public education program regarding human
    9         actions that affect the water quality of beach waters;
   10         providing an effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Section 514.023, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   15  read:
   16         514.023 Contamination Sampling of beach waters; health
   17  advisories; educational program.—
   18         (1) As used in this section, the term “beach waters” means
   19  the waters along the coastal and intracoastal beaches and shores
   20  of the state, and includes salt water and brackish water.
   21         (2) The department may adopt and enforce rules to protect
   22  the health, safety, and welfare of persons using the beach
   23  waters of the state. The rules must establish health standards
   24  and prescribe procedures and timeframes for bacteriological
   25  sampling of beach waters.
   26         (3) The department may issue health advisories if the
   27  quality of beach waters fails to meet standards established by
   28  the department. The issuance of health advisories related to the
   29  results of bacteriological sampling of beach waters is preempted
   30  to the state.
   31         (4) If When the department issues a health advisory against
   32  swimming in beach waters on the basis of finding elevated levels
   33  of fecal coliform or enterococci bacteria in a water sample, the
   34  department shall concurrently notify the municipality or county
   35  in which the affected beach waters are located, whichever has
   36  jurisdiction, and the local office of the Department of
   37  Environmental Protection, of the advisory. The local office of
   38  the Department of Environmental Protection shall promptly
   39  investigate wastewater treatment facilities within 1 mile of the
   40  affected beach waters to determine if a facility experienced an
   41  incident that may have contributed to the contamination and
   42  provide the results of the investigation in writing or by
   43  electronic means to the municipality or county, as applicable.
   44         (5) By January 1, 2013, the department shall submit a
   45  report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
   46  Speaker of the House of Representatives providing
   47  recommendations relating to beach waters that have health
   48  advisories. At a minimum, the report must:
   49         (a) Provide priority ranking criteria for beach waters
   50  failing to meet water quality standards established by the
   51  department and rank beach waters according to these criteria;
   52         (b) Propose methodologies developed by the advisory
   53  committee established in s. 514.0231 for further exploration of
   54  the sources of contaminants causing health advisories and
   55  associated human health risks, including, but not limited to, a
   56  tiered approach for performing sanitary surveys; and
   57         (c) Recommend the appropriate level of funding necessary to
   58  implement and administer this section.
   59         (5) Contingent upon legislative appropriation to the
   60  department in the amount of $600,000 nonrecurring, the
   61  department will perform a 3-year study to determine the water
   62  quality at beaches throughout the state. The study will be
   63  performed in all counties that have public-access saltwater and
   64  brackish water beaches.
   65         (6) Subject to appropriations, the department, in
   66  cooperation with applicable agencies, shall investigate the
   67  sources of contamination of beach waters that fail to meet water
   68  quality standards required to protect the public health and
   69  welfare in the priority ranking order established in subsection
   70  (5). The results of such investigation shall be published on the
   71  department’s website.
   72         (7) Subject to appropriations, the department shall
   73  coordinate with the Department of Environmental Protection and
   74  the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to develop and
   75  implement an educational program designed to inform the public
   76  of human actions and behaviors that may adversely affect the
   77  water quality of beach waters. The department may coordinate
   78  with other agencies that have jurisdiction over the sources of
   79  contamination in order to enhance efforts to minimize the
   80  contamination of beach waters.
   81         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.