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. 36 37 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 38 39 Section 1. Section 403.1839, Florida Statutes, is created 40 to read: 41 403.1839 Blue 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.— 131 (7) DEVELOPMENT OF BASIN MANAGEMENT PLANS AND 132 IMPLEMENTATION OF TOTAL MAXIMUM 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
shallbe 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 shallconsult 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 shallrevise 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.