Florida Senate - 2018                              CS for SB 244
       By the Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation;
       and Senator Brandes
       592-02876-18                                           2018244c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to domestic wastewater collection
    3         system assessment and maintenance; creating s.
    4         403.1839, F.S.; defining terms; providing legislative
    5         findings; establishing the blue star collection system
    6         assessment and maintenance program; specifying the
    7         purpose of the program; requiring the Department of
    8         Environmental Protection to adopt rules and review
    9         and, if appropriate, approve applications for
   10         certification under the program; requiring utilities
   11         applying for certification to provide reasonable
   12         documentation demonstrating that it meets specified
   13         certification standards; providing that certifications
   14         expire after a specified period of time; specifying
   15         requirements to maintain program certification;
   16         requiring the department to annually publish a list of
   17         certified blue star utilities, beginning on a
   18         specified date; requiring the department to allow
   19         public and private, nonprofit utilities to participate
   20         in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program for
   21         certain purposes; authorizing the department to reduce
   22         certain penalties for a certified utility under
   23         specified conditions; amending s. 403.067, F.S.;
   24         creating a presumption of compliance with certain
   25         total maximum daily load requirements for certified
   26         blue star utilities; amending s. 403.087, F.S.;
   27         requiring the department to provide extended operating
   28         permits when a certified blue star utility applies for
   29         permit renewal under certain conditions; amending s.
   30         403.161, F.S.; authorizing the department to reduce a
   31         penalty based on certain system investments for
   32         permitted facilities; amending s. 403.1838, F.S.;
   33         allowing for additional recipients and uses of Small
   34         Community Sewer Construction grants; providing an
   35         effective date.
   37  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   39         Section 1. Section 403.1839, Florida Statutes, is created
   40  to read:
   41         403.1839Blue star collection system assessment and
   42  maintenance program.—
   43         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the terms:
   44         (a) “Domestic wastewater” has the same meaning as in s.
   45  367.021.
   46         (b) “Domestic wastewater collection system” has the same
   47  meaning as in s. 403.866.
   48         (c) “Program” means the blue star collection system
   49  assessment and maintenance program created pursuant to this
   50  section.
   51         (d)Sanitary sewer overflow” means the unauthorized
   52  overflow, spill, release, discharge or diversion of untreated or
   53  partially treated domestic wastewater.
   54         (2)LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that:
   55         (a)The implementation of domestic wastewater collection
   56  system assessment and maintenance practices has been shown to
   57  effectively limit sanitary sewer overflows and the unauthorized
   58  discharge of pathogens.
   59         (b)The voluntary implementation of domestic wastewater
   60  collection system assessment and maintenance practices beyond
   61  those required by law has the potential to further limit
   62  sanitary sewer overflows.
   63         (c)The unique geography, community, growth, size, and age
   64  of domestic wastewater collection systems across the state
   65  require diverse responses, using the best professional judgment
   66  of local utility operators, to ensure that programs designed to
   67  limit sanitary sewer overflows are effective.
   68         (3)ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE.—There is established in the
   69  department a blue star collection system assessment and
   70  maintenance program. The purpose of this voluntary incentive
   71  program is to assist public and private utilities in limiting
   72  sanitary sewer overflows and the unauthorized discharge of
   73  pathogens.
   74         (4)APPROVAL AND STANDARDS.—
   75         (a)The department shall adopt rules to administer the
   76  program, including program certification standards, and shall
   77  review and, if appropriate, approve public and private domestic
   78  wastewater utilities that apply for certification under the
   79  program or that demonstrate continued compliance with program
   80  certification requirements pursuant to subsection (4)(c).
   81         (b)In order to be certified under the program, a utility
   82  must provide reasonable documentation that demonstrates that it
   83  meets the following certification standards:
   84         1.Implementation of periodic collection system and pump
   85  station structural condition assessments and the performance of
   86  as-needed maintenance and replacement.
   87         2. Adequate reinvestment by the utility in its collection
   88  system and pump station structural condition assessment and
   89  maintenance and replacement program to reasonably maintain the
   90  working integrity of the system and station.
   91         3.Implementation of a program designed to limit the
   92  presence of fats, roots, oils, and grease in the collection
   93  system.
   94         4.If the applicant is a public utility, the existence of a
   95  local law or building code requiring the private pump stations
   96  and lateral lines connecting to the public system to be free of:
   97         a.Cracks, holes, missing parts, or similar defects; and
   98         b.Direct stormwater connections that allow the direct
   99  inflow of stormwater into the private system and the public
  100  domestic wastewater collection system.
  101         5.Adoption of a power outage contingency plan that
  102  addresses mitigation of the impacts of power outages on the
  103  utility’s collection system and pump stations.
  104         (c)Program certifications expire after 5 years. During the
  105  5-year certification period, a utility must annually provide
  106  documentation to the department on the status of its
  107  implementation of the program and must demonstrate that it meets
  108  all program criteria in order to maintain its program
  109  certification.
  110         (5)PUBLICATION.—Beginning on January 1, 2020, the
  111  department shall annually publish on its website a list of
  112  certified blue star utilities.
  113         (6)FEDERAL PROGRAM PARTICIPATION.—The department shall
  114  allow public and private, nonprofit utilities to participate in
  115  the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program for any purpose of
  116  the program which is consistent with federal requirements for
  117  participating in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.
  118         (7)REDUCED PENALTIES.—In the calculation of penalties for
  119  a sanitary sewer overflow pursuant to s. 403.161, the department
  120  may reduce the penalty based on a utility’s status as a
  121  certified blue star utility in accordance with this section. The
  122  department may also reduce a penalty based on a certified blue
  123  star utility’s investment in assessment and maintenance
  124  activities to identify and address conditions that may cause
  125  sanitary sewer overflows or interruption of service to customers
  126  due to a physical condition or defect in the system.
  127         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (7) of section
  128  403.067, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  129         403.067 Establishment and implementation of total maximum
  130  daily loads.—
  133         (c) Best management practices.—
  134         1. The department, in cooperation with the water management
  135  districts and other interested parties, as appropriate, may
  136  develop suitable interim measures, best management practices, or
  137  other measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution
  138  reduction established by the department for nonagricultural
  139  nonpoint pollutant sources in allocations developed pursuant to
  140  subsection (6) and this subsection. These practices and measures
  141  may be adopted by rule by the department and the water
  142  management districts and, where adopted by rule, must shall be
  143  implemented by those parties responsible for nonagricultural
  144  nonpoint source pollution.
  145         2. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may
  146  develop and adopt by rule pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54
  147  suitable interim measures, best management practices, or other
  148  measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution reduction
  149  established by the department for agricultural pollutant sources
  150  in allocations developed pursuant to subsection (6) and this
  151  subsection or for programs implemented pursuant to paragraph
  152  (12)(b). These practices and measures may be implemented by
  153  those parties responsible for agricultural pollutant sources and
  154  the department, the water management districts, and the
  155  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall assist
  156  with implementation. In the process of developing and adopting
  157  rules for interim measures, best management practices, or other
  158  measures, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  159  must shall consult with the department, the Department of
  160  Health, the water management districts, representatives from
  161  affected farming groups, and environmental group
  162  representatives. Such rules must also incorporate provisions for
  163  a notice of intent to implement the practices and a system to
  164  assure the implementation of the practices, including site
  165  inspection and recordkeeping requirements.
  166         3. Where interim measures, best management practices, or
  167  other measures are adopted by rule, the effectiveness of such
  168  practices in achieving the levels of pollution reduction
  169  established in allocations developed by the department pursuant
  170  to subsection (6) and this subsection or in programs implemented
  171  pursuant to paragraph (12)(b) must be verified at representative
  172  sites by the department. The department shall use best
  173  professional judgment in making the initial verification that
  174  the best management practices are reasonably expected to be
  175  effective and, where applicable, must notify the appropriate
  176  water management district or the Department of Agriculture and
  177  Consumer Services of its initial verification before the
  178  adoption of a rule proposed pursuant to this paragraph.
  179  Implementation, in accordance with rules adopted under this
  180  paragraph, of practices that have been initially verified to be
  181  effective, or verified to be effective by monitoring at
  182  representative sites, by the department, shall provide a
  183  presumption of compliance with state water quality standards and
  184  release from the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those
  185  pollutants addressed by the practices, and the department is not
  186  authorized to institute proceedings against the owner of the
  187  source of pollution to recover costs or damages associated with
  188  the contamination of surface water or groundwater caused by
  189  those pollutants. Research projects funded by the department, a
  190  water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and
  191  Consumer Services to develop or demonstrate interim measures or
  192  best management practices shall be granted a presumption of
  193  compliance with state water quality standards and a release from
  194  the provisions of s. 376.307(5). The presumption of compliance
  195  and release is limited to the research site and only for those
  196  pollutants addressed by the interim measures or best management
  197  practices. Eligibility for the presumption of compliance and
  198  release is limited to research projects on sites where the owner
  199  or operator of the research site and the department, a water
  200  management district, or the Department of Agriculture and
  201  Consumer Services have entered into a contract or other
  202  agreement that, at a minimum, specifies the research objectives,
  203  the cost-share responsibilities of the parties, and a schedule
  204  that details the beginning and ending dates of the project.
  205         4. Where water quality problems are demonstrated, despite
  206  the appropriate implementation, operation, and maintenance of
  207  best management practices and other measures required by rules
  208  adopted under this paragraph, the department, a water management
  209  district, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
  210  Services, in consultation with the department, shall institute a
  211  reevaluation of the best management practice or other measure.
  212  Should the reevaluation determine that the best management
  213  practice or other measure requires modification, the department,
  214  a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture
  215  and Consumer Services, as appropriate, must shall revise the
  216  rule to require implementation of the modified practice within a
  217  reasonable time period as specified in the rule.
  218         5. Agricultural records relating to processes or methods of
  219  production, costs of production, profits, or other financial
  220  information held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
  221  Services pursuant to subparagraphs 3. and 4. or pursuant to any
  222  rule adopted pursuant to subparagraph 2. are confidential and
  223  exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
  224  Constitution. Upon request, records made confidential and exempt
  225  pursuant to this subparagraph shall be released to the
  226  department or any water management district provided that the
  227  confidentiality specified by this subparagraph for such records
  228  is maintained.
  229         6. The provisions of subparagraphs 1. and 2. do not
  230  preclude the department or water management district from
  231  requiring compliance with water quality standards or with
  232  current best management practice requirements set forth in any
  233  applicable regulatory program authorized by law for the purpose
  234  of protecting water quality. Additionally, subparagraphs 1. and
  235  2. are applicable only to the extent that they do not conflict
  236  with any rules adopted by the department that are necessary to
  237  maintain a federally delegated or approved program.
  238         7.The department must provide a domestic wastewater
  239  utility that implements and maintains a program as a certified
  240  blue star utility in accordance with s. 403.1839 with a
  241  presumption of compliance with state water quality standards for
  242  pathogens when the utility demonstrates a history of compliance
  243  with wastewater disinfection requirements incorporated in the
  244  utility’s operating permit for any discharge into the impaired
  245  surface water.
  246         Section 3. Subsection (11) is added to section 403.087,
  247  Florida Statutes, to read:
  248         403.087 Permits; general issuance; denial; revocation;
  249  prohibition; penalty.—
  250         (11)Subject to the permit duration limits for a utility
  251  permitted pursuant to s. 403.0885, the department must issue a
  252  blue star utility certified pursuant to s. 403.1839 a 10-year
  253  permit, for the same fee and under the same conditions that
  254  apply to a 5-year permit, upon approval of its application for
  255  permit renewal, if the certified blue star utility demonstrates
  256  that it:
  257         (a)Is in compliance with any consent order or an
  258  accompanying administrative order related to its permit;
  259         (b)Does not have any pending enforcement action against it
  260  by the Environmental Protection Agency, the department, or a
  261  local program; and
  262         (c)If applicable, has submitted annual program
  263  implementation reports demonstrating progress in the
  264  implementation of the program.
  265         Section 4. Subsection (6) of section 403.161, Florida
  266  Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (7), and a new subsection
  267  (6) is added to that section, to read:
  268         403.161 Prohibitions, violation, penalty, intent.—
  269         (6) Notwithstanding any other law, the department may
  270  reduce a penalty based on the person’s investment in the
  271  assessment, maintenance, rehabilitation, or expansion of the
  272  permitted facility.
  273         Section 5. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (3) of
  274  section 403.1838, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  275         403.1838 Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance
  276  Act.—
  277         (3)(a) In accordance with rules adopted by the
  278  Environmental Regulation Commission under this section, the
  279  department may provide grants, from funds specifically
  280  appropriated for this purpose, to financially disadvantaged
  281  small communities and to private, nonprofit utilities serving
  282  financially disadvantaged small communities for up to 100
  283  percent of the costs of planning, assessing, designing,
  284  constructing, upgrading, or replacing wastewater collection,
  285  transmission, treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities,
  286  including necessary legal and administrative expenses. Grants
  287  issued pursuant to this section may also be used for planning
  288  and implementing domestic wastewater collection system
  289  assessment programs to identify conditions that may cause
  290  sanitary sewer overflows or interruption of service to customers
  291  due to a physical condition or defect in the system.
  292         (b) The rules of the Environmental Regulation Commission
  293  must:
  294         1. Require that projects to plan, assess, design,
  295  construct, upgrade, or replace wastewater collection,
  296  transmission, treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities be cost
  297  effective, environmentally sound, permittable, and
  298  implementable.
  299         2. Require appropriate user charges, connection fees, and
  300  other charges sufficient to ensure the long-term operation,
  301  maintenance, and replacement of the facilities constructed under
  302  each grant.
  303         3. Require grant applications to be submitted on
  304  appropriate forms with appropriate supporting documentation, and
  305  require records to be maintained.
  306         4. Establish a system to determine eligibility of grant
  307  applications.
  308         5. Establish a system to determine the relative priority of
  309  grant applications. The system must consider public health
  310  protection and water pollution abatement.
  311         6. Establish requirements for competitive procurement of
  312  engineering and construction services, materials, and equipment.
  313         7. Provide for termination of grants when program
  314  requirements are not met.
  315         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.