Florida Senate - 2019                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 286
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (Albritton)
       recommended the following:
    2         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 403.1839, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         403.1839Blue Star Collection System Assessment and
    8  Maintenance Program.—
    9         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   10         (a)“Domestic wastewater” has the same meaning as in s.
   11  367.021.
   12         (b)“Domestic wastewater collection system” has the same
   13  meaning as in s. 403.866.
   14         (c)“Program” means the Blue Star Collection System
   15  Assessment and Maintenance Program.
   16         (d)“Sanitary sewer overflow” means the unauthorized
   17  overflow, spill, release, discharge, or diversion of untreated
   18  or partially treated domestic wastewater.
   19         (2)LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that:
   20         (a)The implementation of domestic wastewater collection
   21  system assessment and maintenance practices has been shown to
   22  effectively limit sanitary sewer overflows and the unauthorized
   23  discharge of pathogens.
   24         (b)The voluntary implementation of domestic wastewater
   25  collection system assessment and maintenance practices beyond
   26  those required by law has the potential to further limit
   27  sanitary sewer overflows.
   28         (c)The unique geography, community, growth, size, and age
   29  of domestic wastewater collection systems across the state
   30  require diverse responses, using the best professional judgment
   31  of local utility operators, to ensure that programs designed to
   32  limit sanitary sewer overflows are effective.
   33         (3)ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE.—There is established in the
   34  department a Blue Star Collection System Assessment and
   35  Maintenance Program. The purpose of this voluntary incentive
   36  program is to assist public and private utilities in limiting
   37  sanitary sewer overflows and the unauthorized discharge of
   38  pathogens.
   39         (4)APPROVAL AND STANDARDS.—
   40         (a)The department shall adopt rules to administer the
   41  program, including the certification standards for the program
   42  in paragraph (b), and shall review and approve public and
   43  private domestic wastewater utilities that apply for
   44  certification or renewal under the program and that demonstrate
   45  maintenance of program certification pursuant to paragraph (c)
   46  based upon the certification standards.
   47         (b)A utility must provide reasonable documentation of the
   48  following certification standards in order to be certified under
   49  the program:
   50         1.The implementation of periodic collection system and
   51  pump station structural condition assessments and the
   52  performance of as-needed maintenance and replacements.
   53         2.The rate of reinvestment determined necessary by the
   54  utility for its collection system and pump station structural
   55  condition assessment and maintenance and replacement program.
   56         3.The implementation of a program designed to limit the
   57  presence of fats, roots, oils, and grease in the collection
   58  system.
   59         4.If the applicant is a public utility, a local law or
   60  building code requiring the private pump stations and lateral
   61  lines connecting to the public system to be free of:
   62         a.Cracks, holes, missing parts, or similar defects; and
   63         b.Direct stormwater connections that allow the direct
   64  inflow of stormwater into the private system and the public
   65  domestic wastewater collection system.
   66         5.A power outage contingency plan that addresses
   67  mitigation of the impacts of power outages on the utility’s
   68  collection system and pump stations.
   69         (c)Program certifications shall expire after 5 years. A
   70  utility shall document its implementation of the program on an
   71  annual basis with the department and must demonstrate that the
   72  utility meets all program standards in order to maintain its
   73  program certification. The approval of an application for
   74  renewal certification must be based on the utility demonstrating
   75  maintenance of program standards. A utility applying for renewal
   76  certification must demonstrate maintenance of program standards
   77  and progress in implementing the program.
   78         (5)PUBLICATION.—The department shall annually publish on
   79  its website a list of certified blue star utilities beginning on
   80  January 1, 2021.
   81         (6)FEDERAL PROGRAM PARTICIPATION.—The department shall
   82  allow public and nonprofit utilities to participate in the Clean
   83  Water State Revolving Fund Program for any purpose of the
   84  program that is consistent with federal requirements for
   85  participating in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.
   86         (7)REDUCED PENALTIES.—In the calculation of penalties
   87  pursuant to s. 403.161 for a sanitary sewer overflow, the
   88  department may reduce the penalty based on a utility’s status as
   89  a certified blue star utility in accordance with this section.
   90  The department may also reduce a penalty based on a certified
   91  blue star utility’s investment in assessment and maintenance
   92  activities to identify and address conditions that may cause
   93  sanitary sewer overflows or interruption of service to customers
   94  due to a physical condition or defect in the system.
   95         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (7) of section
   96  403.067, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   97         403.067 Establishment and implementation of total maximum
   98  daily loads.—
  101         (c) Best management practices.—
  102         1. The department, in cooperation with the water management
  103  districts and other interested parties, as appropriate, may
  104  develop suitable interim measures, best management practices, or
  105  other measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution
  106  reduction established by the department for nonagricultural
  107  nonpoint pollutant sources in allocations developed pursuant to
  108  subsection (6) and this subsection. These practices and measures
  109  may be adopted by rule by the department and the water
  110  management districts and, where adopted by rule, shall be
  111  implemented by those parties responsible for nonagricultural
  112  nonpoint source pollution.
  113         2. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may
  114  develop and adopt by rule pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54
  115  suitable interim measures, best management practices, or other
  116  measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution reduction
  117  established by the department for agricultural pollutant sources
  118  in allocations developed pursuant to subsection (6) and this
  119  subsection or for programs implemented pursuant to paragraph
  120  (12)(b). These practices and measures may be implemented by
  121  those parties responsible for agricultural pollutant sources and
  122  the department, the water management districts, and the
  123  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall assist
  124  with implementation. In the process of developing and adopting
  125  rules for interim measures, best management practices, or other
  126  measures, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  127  shall consult with the department, the Department of Health, the
  128  water management districts, representatives from affected
  129  farming groups, and environmental group representatives. Such
  130  rules must also incorporate provisions for a notice of intent to
  131  implement the practices and a system to assure the
  132  implementation of the practices, including site inspection and
  133  recordkeeping requirements.
  134         3. When where interim measures, best management practices,
  135  or other measures are adopted by rule, the effectiveness of such
  136  practices in achieving the levels of pollution reduction
  137  established in allocations developed by the department pursuant
  138  to subsection (6) and this subsection or in programs implemented
  139  pursuant to paragraph (12)(b) must be verified at representative
  140  sites by the department. The department shall use best
  141  professional judgment in making the initial verification that
  142  the best management practices are reasonably expected to be
  143  effective and, where applicable, must notify the appropriate
  144  water management district or the Department of Agriculture and
  145  Consumer Services of its initial verification before the
  146  adoption of a rule proposed pursuant to this paragraph.
  147  Implementation, in accordance with rules adopted under this
  148  paragraph, of practices that have been initially verified to be
  149  effective, or verified to be effective by monitoring at
  150  representative sites, by the department, shall provide a
  151  presumption of compliance with state water quality standards and
  152  release from the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those
  153  pollutants addressed by the practices, and the department is not
  154  authorized to institute proceedings against the owner of the
  155  source of pollution to recover costs or damages associated with
  156  the contamination of surface water or groundwater caused by
  157  those pollutants. Research projects funded by the department, a
  158  water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and
  159  Consumer Services to develop or demonstrate interim measures or
  160  best management practices shall be granted a presumption of
  161  compliance with state water quality standards and a release from
  162  the provisions of s. 376.307(5). The presumption of compliance
  163  and release is limited to the research site and only for those
  164  pollutants addressed by the interim measures or best management
  165  practices. Eligibility for the presumption of compliance and
  166  release is limited to research projects on sites where the owner
  167  or operator of the research site and the department, a water
  168  management district, or the Department of Agriculture and
  169  Consumer Services have entered into a contract or other
  170  agreement that, at a minimum, specifies the research objectives,
  171  the cost-share responsibilities of the parties, and a schedule
  172  that details the beginning and ending dates of the project.
  173         4. When where water quality problems are demonstrated,
  174  despite the appropriate implementation, operation, and
  175  maintenance of best management practices and other measures
  176  required by rules adopted under this paragraph, the department,
  177  a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture
  178  and Consumer Services, in consultation with the department,
  179  shall institute a reevaluation of the best management practice
  180  or other measure. Should the reevaluation determine that the
  181  best management practice or other measure requires modification,
  182  the department, a water management district, or the Department
  183  of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as appropriate, shall
  184  revise the rule to require implementation of the modified
  185  practice within a reasonable time period as specified in the
  186  rule.
  187         5. Agricultural records relating to processes or methods of
  188  production, costs of production, profits, or other financial
  189  information held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
  190  Services pursuant to subparagraphs 3. and 4. or pursuant to any
  191  rule adopted pursuant to subparagraph 2. are confidential and
  192  exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
  193  Constitution. Upon request, records made confidential and exempt
  194  pursuant to this subparagraph shall be released to the
  195  department or any water management district provided that the
  196  confidentiality specified by this subparagraph for such records
  197  is maintained.
  198         6. The provisions of Subparagraphs 1. and 2. do not
  199  preclude the department or water management district from
  200  requiring compliance with water quality standards or with
  201  current best management practice requirements set forth in any
  202  applicable regulatory program authorized by law for the purpose
  203  of protecting water quality. Additionally, subparagraphs 1. and
  204  2. are applicable only to the extent that they do not conflict
  205  with any rules adopted by the department that are necessary to
  206  maintain a federally delegated or approved program.
  207         7.For the sole purpose of establishing a total maximum
  208  daily load for pathogens in a surface water, the department must
  209  provide a domestic wastewater utility with a defensible
  210  expectation of compliance with state water quality standards for
  211  fecal indicator bacteria when the utility implements and
  212  maintains a program as a certified blue star utility in
  213  accordance with s. 403.1839 and demonstrates a history of
  214  compliance with wastewater disinfection requirements
  215  incorporated in the utility’s operating permit for any discharge
  216  into the impaired surface water.
  217         Section 3. Subsection (11) is added to section 403.087,
  218  Florida Statutes, to read:
  219         403.087 Permits; general issuance; denial; revocation;
  220  prohibition; penalty.—
  221         (11)Subject to the permit duration limits for a utility
  222  permitted pursuant to s. 403.0885, a blue star utility certified
  223  pursuant to s. 403.1839 shall be issued a 10-year permit for the
  224  same fee and under the same conditions as a 5-year permit upon
  225  approval of its application for permit renewal by the department
  226  if the certified blue star utility demonstrates that it:
  227         (a)Is in compliance with any consent order or an
  228  accompanying administrative order to its permit;
  229         (b)Does not have any pending enforcement action against it
  230  by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the
  231  department, or a local program; and
  232         (c)If applicable, has submitted annual program
  233  implementation reports demonstrating progress in the
  234  implementation of the program.
  235         Section 4. Present subsection (6) of section 403.161,
  236  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (7), and a new
  237  subsection (6) is added to that section, to read:
  238         403.161 Prohibitions, violation, penalty, intent.—
  239         (6)Notwithstanding any other law, the department may
  240  reduce the amount of a penalty based on the person’s investment
  241  in the assessment, maintenance, rehabilitation, or expansion of
  242  the permitted facility.
  243         Section 5. Subsection (2) and paragraphs (a) and (b) of
  244  subsection (3) of section 403.1838, Florida Statutes, are
  245  amended to read:
  246         403.1838 Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance
  247  Act.—
  248         (2) The department shall use funds specifically
  249  appropriated to award grants under this section to assist
  250  financially disadvantaged small communities with their needs for
  251  adequate sewer facilities. The department may use funds
  252  specifically appropriated to award grants under this section to
  253  assist nonprofit utilities providing wastewater services to
  254  financially disadvantaged small communities. For purposes of
  255  this section, the term “financially disadvantaged small
  256  community” means a county, municipality, or special district
  257  that has a population of 10,000 or fewer, according to the
  258  latest decennial census, and a per capita annual income less
  259  than the state per capita annual income as determined by the
  260  United States Department of Commerce. For purposes of this
  261  subsection, the term “special district” has the same meaning as
  262  provided in s. 189.012 and includes only those special districts
  263  whose public purpose includes water and sewer services, utility
  264  systems and services, or wastewater systems and services. The
  265  department may waive the population requirement for an
  266  independent special district that serves fewer than 10,000
  267  wastewater customers, is located within a watershed with an
  268  adopted total maximum daily load or basin management action plan
  269  for pollutants associated with domestic wastewater pursuant to
  270  s. 403.067, and is wholly located within a rural area of
  271  opportunity as defined in s. 288.0656.
  272         (3)(a) In accordance with rules adopted by the department
  273  Environmental Regulation Commission under this section, the
  274  department may provide grants, from funds specifically
  275  appropriated for this purpose, to financially disadvantaged
  276  small communities and to nonprofit utilities serving financially
  277  disadvantaged small communities for up to 100 percent of the
  278  costs of planning, assessing, designing, constructing,
  279  upgrading, or replacing wastewater collection, transmission,
  280  treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities, including necessary
  281  legal and administrative expenses. Grants issued pursuant to
  282  this section may also be used for planning and implementing
  283  domestic wastewater collection system assessment and maintenance
  284  programs to identify conditions that may cause sanitary sewer
  285  overflows or interruption of service to customers due to a
  286  physical condition or defect in the system.
  287         (b) The rules of the department Environmental Regulation
  288  Commission must:
  289         1. Require that projects to plan, assess, design,
  290  construct, upgrade, or replace wastewater collection,
  291  transmission, treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities be cost
  292  effective, environmentally sound, permittable, and
  293  implementable.
  294         2. Require appropriate user charges, connection fees, and
  295  other charges sufficient to ensure the long-term operation,
  296  maintenance, and replacement of the facilities constructed under
  297  each grant.
  298         3. Require grant applications to be submitted on
  299  appropriate forms with appropriate supporting documentation, and
  300  require records to be maintained.
  301         4. Establish a system to determine eligibility of grant
  302  applications.
  303         5. Establish a system to determine the relative priority of
  304  grant applications. The system must consider public health
  305  protection and water pollution abatement.
  306         6. Establish requirements for competitive procurement of
  307  engineering and construction services, materials, and equipment.
  308         7. Provide for termination of grants when program
  309  requirements are not met.
  310         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.
  312  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  313  And the title is amended as follows:
  314         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  315  and insert:
  316                        A bill to be entitled                      
  317         An act relating to domestic wastewater collection
  318         system assessment and maintenance; creating s.
  319         403.1839, F.S.; providing definitions; providing
  320         legislative findings; establishing the Blue Star
  321         Collection System Assessment and Maintenance Program
  322         and providing its purpose; requiring the Department of
  323         Environmental Protection to adopt rules and review and
  324         approve program applications for certification;
  325         specifying the documentation utilities must submit to
  326         qualify for certification; providing for certification
  327         expiration and renewal; requiring the department to
  328         publish an annual list of certified blue star
  329         utilities; requiring the department to allow public
  330         and nonprofit utilities to participate in the Clean
  331         Water State Revolving Fund Program under certain
  332         conditions; authorizing the department to reduce
  333         penalties for sanitary sewer overflows at certified
  334         utilities and for investments in certain assessment
  335         and maintenance activities; amending s. 403.067, F.S.;
  336         creating a defensible expectation of compliance with
  337         certain water quality standards for certified
  338         utilities; amending s. 403.087, F.S.; requiring the
  339         department to issue extended operating permits to
  340         certified utilities under certain conditions; amending
  341         s. 403.161, F.S.; authorizing the department to reduce
  342         penalties based on certain system investments for
  343         permitted facilities; amending s. 403.1838, F.S.;
  344         authorizing additional recipients and uses of Small
  345         Community Sewer Construction Assistance Act grants;
  346         providing an effective date.