Bill Text: FL S0130 | 2011 | Regular Session | Introduced
Bill Title: Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems [Track Bill]
Status: 2011-05-07 - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration [S0130 Detail]
Florida Senate - 2011 SB 130 By Senator Dean 3-00188-11 2011130__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to onsite sewage treatment and 3 disposal systems; amending s. 381.0065, F.S.; revising 4 legislative intent; eliminating provisions directing 5 the Department of Health to create and administer a 6 statewide septic tank evaluation program; eliminating 7 procedures and criteria for the evaluation program; 8 repealing s. 381.00656, F.S., to terminate the grant 9 program for repair of onsite sewage treatment disposal 10 systems identified pursuant to the evaluation program, 11 to conform; amending s. 381.0066, F.S.; eliminating 12 provisions authorizing the department to collect an 13 evaluation report fee; eliminating provisions relating 14 to disposition of fee proceeds and a revenue-neutral 15 fee schedule; providing an effective date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. Subsections (1), (5), (6), and (7) of section 20 381.0065, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 21 381.0065 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; 22 regulation.— 23 (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.— 24 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that proper 25 management of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems is 26 paramount to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
It27 is further the intent of the Legislature that the department28 shall administer an evaluation program to ensure the operational29 condition of the system and identify any failure with the30 system.31 (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that where a 32 publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system is not 33 available, the department shall issue permits for the 34 construction, installation, modification, abandonment, or repair 35 of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems under conditions 36 as described in this section and rules adopted under this 37 section. It is further the intent of the Legislature that the 38 installation and use of onsite sewage treatment and disposal 39 systems not adversely affect the public health or significantly 40 degrade the groundwater or surface water. 41 (5) EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT.—42 (a) Beginning January 1, 2011, the department shall43 administer an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system44 evaluation program for the purpose of assessing the fundamental45 operational condition of systems and identifying any failures46 within the systems. The department shall adopt rules47 implementing the program standards, procedures, and48 requirements, including, but not limited to, a schedule for a 549 year evaluation cycle, requirements for the pump-out of a system50 or repair of a failing system, enforcement procedures for51 failure of a system owner to obtain an evaluation of the system,52 and failure of a contractor to timely submit evaluation results53 to the department and the system owner. The department shall54 ensure statewide implementation of the evaluation and assessment55 program by January 1, 2016.56 (b) Owners of an onsite sewage treatment and disposal57 system, excluding a system that is required to obtain an58 operating permit, shall have the system evaluated at least once59 every 5 years to assess the fundamental operational condition of60 the system, and identify any failure within the system.61 (c) All evaluation procedures must be documented and62 nothing in this subsection limits the amount of detail an63 evaluator may provide at his or her professional discretion. The64 evaluation must include a tank and drainfield evaluation, a65 written assessment of the condition of the system, and, if66 necessary, a disclosure statement pursuant to the department’s67 procedure.68 (d)1. Systems being evaluated that were installed prior to69 January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 6-inch separation from the70 bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table71 elevation as defined by department rule. All drainfield repairs,72 replacements or modifications to systems installed prior to73 January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 12-inch separation from74 the bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table75 elevation as defined by department rule.76 2. Systems being evaluated that were installed on or after77 January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 12-inch separation from78 the bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table79 elevation as defined by department rule. All drainfield repairs,80 replacements or modification to systems developed on or after81 January 1, 1983, shall meet a minimum 24-inch separation from82 the bottom of the drainfield to the wettest season water table83 elevation.84 (e) If documentation of a tank pump-out or a permitted new85 installation, repair, or modification of the system within the86 previous 5 years is provided, and states the capacity of the87 tank and indicates that the condition of the tank is not a88 sanitary or public health nuisance pursuant to department rule,89 a pump-out of the system is not required.90 (f) Owners are responsible for paying the cost of any91 required pump-out, repair, or replacement pursuant to department92 rule, and may not request partial evaluation or the omission of93 portions of the evaluation.94 (g) Each evaluation or pump-out required under this95 subsection must be performed by a septic tank contractor or96 master septic tank contractor registered under part III of97 chapter 489, a professional engineer with wastewater treatment98 system experience licensed pursuant to chapter 471, or an99 environmental health professional certified under chapter 381 in100 the area of onsite sewage treatment and disposal system101 evaluation.102 (h) The evaluation report fee collected pursuant to s.103 381.0066 (2)(b) shall be remitted to the department by the104 evaluator at the time the report is submitted.105 (i) Prior to any evaluation deadline, the department must106 provide a minimum of 60 days’ notice to owners that their107 systems must be evaluated by that deadline. The department may108 include a copy of any homeowner educational materials developed109 pursuant to this section which provides information on the110 proper maintenance of onsite sewage treatment and disposal111 systems.112 (5) (6)ENFORCEMENT; RIGHT OF ENTRY; CITATIONS.— 113 (a) Department personnel who have reason to believe 114 noncompliance exists, may at any reasonable time, enter the 115 premises permitted under ss. 381.0065-381.0066, or the business 116 premises of any septic tank contractor or master septic tank 117 contractor registered under part III of chapter 489, or any 118 premises that the department has reason to believe is being 119 operated or maintained not in compliance, to determine 120 compliance with the provisions of this section, part I of 121 chapter 386, or part III of chapter 489 or rules or standards 122 adopted under ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, or 123 part III of chapter 489. As used in this paragraph, the term 124 “premises” does not include a residence or private building. To 125 gain entry to a residence or private building, the department 126 must obtain permission from the owner or occupant or secure an 127 inspection warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction. 128 (b)1. The department may issue citations that may contain 129 an order of correction or an order to pay a fine, or both, for 130 violations of ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, or 131 part III of chapter 489 or the rules adopted by the department, 132 when a violation of these sections or rules is enforceable by an 133 administrative or civil remedy, or when a violation of these 134 sections or rules is a misdemeanor of the second degree. A 135 citation issued under ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 136 386, or part III of chapter 489 constitutes a notice of proposed 137 agency action. 138 2. A citation must be in writing and must describe the 139 particular nature of the violation, including specific reference 140 to the provisions of law or rule allegedly violated. 141 3. The fines imposed by a citation issued by the department 142 may not exceed $500 for each violation. Each day the violation 143 exists constitutes a separate violation for which a citation may 144 be issued. 145 4. The department shall inform the recipient, by written 146 notice pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, of the right to an 147 administrative hearing to contest the citation within 21 days 148 after the date the citation is received. The citation must 149 contain a conspicuous statement that if the recipient fails to 150 pay the fine within the time allowed, or fails to appear to 151 contest the citation after having requested a hearing, the 152 recipient has waived the recipient’s right to contest the 153 citation and must pay an amount up to the maximum fine. 154 5. The department may reduce or waive the fine imposed by 155 the citation. In determining whether to reduce or waive the 156 fine, the department must consider the gravity of the violation, 157 the person’s attempts at correcting the violation, and the 158 person’s history of previous violations including violations for 159 which enforcement actions were taken under ss. 381.0065 160 381.0067, part I of chapter 386, part III of chapter 489, or 161 other provisions of law or rule. 162 6. Any person who willfully refuses to sign and accept a 163 citation issued by the department commits a misdemeanor of the 164 second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 165 775.083. 166 7. The department, pursuant to ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part 167 I of chapter 386, or part III of chapter 489, shall deposit any 168 fines it collects in the county health department trust fund for 169 use in providing services specified in those sections. 170 8. This section provides an alternative means of enforcing 171 ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, and part III of 172 chapter 489. This section does not prohibit the department from 173 enforcing ss. 381.0065-381.0067, part I of chapter 386, or part 174 III of chapter 489, or its rules, by any other means. However, 175 the department must elect to use only a single method of 176 enforcement for each violation. 177 (6) (7)LAND APPLICATION OF SEPTAGE PROHIBITED.—Effective 178 January 1, 2016, the land application of septage from onsite 179 sewage treatment and disposal systems is prohibited. By February 180 1, 2011, the department, in consultation with the Department of 181 Environmental Protection, shall provide a report to the 182 Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the 183 House of Representatives, recommending alternative methods to 184 establish enhanced treatment levels for the land application of 185 septage from onsite sewage and disposal systems. The report 186 shall include, but is not limited to, a schedule for the 187 reduction in land application, appropriate treatment levels, 188 alternative methods for treatment and disposal, enhanced 189 application site permitting requirements including any 190 requirements for nutrient management plans, and the range of 191 costs to local governments, affected businesses, and individuals 192 for alternative treatment and disposal methods. The report shall 193 also include any recommendations for legislation or rule 194 authority needed to reduce land application of septage. 195 Section 2. Section 381.00656, Florida Statutes, is 196 repealed: 197 381.00656 Grant program for repair of onsite sewage198 treatment disposal systems.—Effective January 1, 2012, the199 department shall administer a grant program to assist owners of200 onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems identified pursuant201 to s. 381.0065 or the rules adopted thereunder. A grant under202 the program may be awarded to an owner only for the purpose of203 inspecting, pumping, repairing, or replacing a system serving a204 single-family residence occupied by an owner with a family205 income of less than or equal to 133 percent of the federal206 poverty level at the time of application. The department may207 prioritize applications for an award of grant funds based upon208 the severity of a system’s failure, its relative environmental209 impact, the income of the family, or any combination thereof.210 The department shall adopt rules establishing the grant211 application and award process, including an application form.212 The department shall seek to make grants in each fiscal year213 equal to the total amount of grant funds available, with any214 excess funds used for grant awards in subsequent fiscal years.215 Section 3. Subsection (2) of section 381.0066, Florida 216 Statutes, is amended to read: 217 381.0066 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; 218 fees.— 219 (2) The minimum fees in the following fee schedule apply 220 until changed by rule by the department within the following 221 limits: 222 (a) Application review, permit issuance, or system 223 inspection, including repair of a subsurface, mound, filled, or 224 other alternative system or permitting of an abandoned system: a 225 fee of not less than $25, or more than $125. 226 (b) A 5-year evaluation report submitted pursuant to s.227 381.0065 (5): a fee not less than $15, or more than $30. At least228 $1 and no more than $5 collected pursuant to this paragraph229 shall be used to fund a grant program established under s.230 381.00656 .231 (b) (c)Site evaluation, site reevaluation, evaluation of a 232 system previously in use, or a per annum septage disposal site 233 evaluation: a fee of not less than $40, or more than $115. 234 (c) (d)Biennial Operating permit for aerobic treatment 235 units or performance-based treatment systems: a fee of not more 236 than $100. 237 (d) (e)Annual operating permit for systems located in areas 238 zoned for industrial manufacturing or equivalent uses or where 239 the system is expected to receive wastewater which is not 240 domestic in nature: a fee of not less than $150, or more than 241 $300. 242 (e) (f)Innovative technology: a fee not to exceed $25,000. 243 (f) (g)Septage disposal service, septage stabilization 244 facility, portable or temporary toilet service, tank 245 manufacturer inspection: a fee of not less than $25, or more 246 than $200, per year. 247 (g) (h)Application for variance: a fee of not less than 248 $150, or more than $300. 249 (h) (i)Annual operating permit for waterless, incinerating, 250 or organic waste composting toilets: a fee of not less than $50, 251 or more than $150. 252 (i) (j)Aerobic treatment unit or performance-based 253 treatment system maintenance entity permit: a fee of not less 254 than $25, or more than $150, per year. 255 (j) (k)Reinspection fee per visit for site inspection after 256 system construction approval or for noncompliant system 257 installation per site visit: a fee of not less than $25, or more 258 than $100. 259 (k) (l)Research: An additional $5 fee shall be added to 260 each new system construction permit issued to be used to fund 261 onsite sewage treatment and disposal system research, 262 demonstration, and training projects. Five dollars from any 263 repair permit fee collected under this section shall be used for 264 funding the hands-on training centers described in s. 265 381.0065(3)(j). 266 (l) (m)Annual operating permit, including annual inspection 267 and any required sampling and laboratory analysis of effluent, 268 for an engineer-designed performance-based system: a fee of not 269 less than $150, or more than $300. 270 271 On or before January 1, 2011, the Surgeon General, after272 consultation with the Revenue Estimating Conference, shall273 determine a revenue neutral fee schedule for services provided274 pursuant to s. 381.0065 (5) within the parameters set in275 paragraph (b). Such determination is not subject to the276 provisions of chapter 120.The funds collected pursuant to this 277 subsection must be deposited in a trust fund administered by the 278 department, to be used for the purposes stated in this section 279 and ss. 381.0065 and 381.00655. 280 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.