Florida Senate - 2019 CS for SB 286 By the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; and Senators Albritton and Perry 592-02706A-19 2019286c1 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.; providing definitions; providing 5 legislative findings; establishing the Blue Star 6 Collection System Assessment and Maintenance Program 7 and providing its purpose; requiring the Department of 8 Environmental Protection to adopt rules and review and 9 approve program applications for certification; 10 specifying the documentation utilities must submit to 11 qualify for certification; providing for certification 12 expiration and renewal; requiring the department to 13 publish an annual list of certified blue star 14 utilities; requiring the department to allow public 15 and nonprofit utilities to participate in the Clean 16 Water State Revolving Fund Program under certain 17 conditions; authorizing the department to reduce 18 penalties for sanitary sewer overflows at certified 19 utilities and for investments in certain assessment 20 and maintenance activities; amending s. 403.067, F.S.; 21 creating a defensible expectation of compliance with 22 certain water quality standards for certified 23 utilities; amending s. 403.087, F.S.; requiring the 24 department to issue extended operating permits to 25 certified utilities under certain conditions; amending 26 s. 403.161, F.S.; authorizing the department to reduce 27 penalties based on certain system investments for 28 permitted facilities; amending s. 403.1838, F.S.; 29 authorizing additional recipients and uses of Small 30 Community Sewer Construction Assistance Act grants; 31 revising provisions to authorize the department, 32 rather than the Environmental Regulation Commission, 33 to implement rules for such grants; providing an 34 effective date. 35 36 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 37 38 Section 1. Section 403.1839, Florida Statutes, is created 39 to read: 40 403.1839 Blue Star Collection System Assessment and 41 Maintenance Program.— 42 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 43 (a) “Domestic wastewater” has the same meaning as in s. 44 367.021. 45 (b) “Domestic wastewater collection system” has the same 46 meaning as in s. 403.866. 47 (c) “Program” means the Blue Star Collection System 48 Assessment and Maintenance Program. 49 (d) “Sanitary sewer overflow” means the unauthorized 50 overflow, spill, release, discharge, or diversion of untreated 51 or partially treated domestic wastewater. 52 (2) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that: 53 (a) The implementation of domestic wastewater collection 54 system assessment and maintenance practices has been shown to 55 effectively limit sanitary sewer overflows and the unauthorized 56 discharge of pathogens. 57 (b) The voluntary implementation of domestic wastewater 58 collection system assessment and maintenance practices beyond 59 those required by law has the potential to further limit 60 sanitary sewer overflows. 61 (c) The unique geography, community, growth, size, and age 62 of domestic wastewater collection systems across the state 63 require diverse responses, using the best professional judgment 64 of local utility operators, to ensure that programs designed to 65 limit sanitary sewer overflows are effective. 66 (3) ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE.—There is established in the 67 department a Blue Star Collection System Assessment and 68 Maintenance Program. The purpose of this voluntary incentive 69 program is to assist public and private utilities in limiting 70 sanitary sewer overflows and the unauthorized discharge of 71 pathogens. 72 (4) APPROVAL AND STANDARDS.— 73 (a) The department shall adopt rules to administer the 74 program, including the certification standards for the program 75 in paragraph (b), and shall review and approve public and 76 private domestic wastewater utilities that apply for 77 certification or renewal under the program and that demonstrate 78 maintenance of program certification pursuant to paragraph (c) 79 based upon the certification standards. 80 (b) A utility must provide reasonable documentation of the 81 following certification standards in order to be certified under 82 the program: 83 1. The implementation of periodic collection system and 84 pump station structural condition assessments and the 85 performance of as-needed maintenance and replacements. 86 2. The rate of reinvestment as determined necessary by the 87 utility to fully implement its collection system and pump 88 station structural condition assessment and maintenance and 89 replacement program. 90 3. The implementation of a program designed to limit the 91 presence of fats, roots, oils, and grease in the collection 92 system. 93 4. If the applicant is a public utility, a local law or 94 building code requiring the private pump stations and lateral 95 lines connecting to the public system to be free of: 96 a. Cracks, holes, missing parts, or similar defects; and 97 b. Direct stormwater connections that allow the direct 98 inflow of stormwater into the private system and the public 99 domestic wastewater collection system. 100 5. A power outage contingency plan that addresses 101 mitigation of the impacts of power outages on the utility’s 102 collection system and pump stations. 103 (c) Program certifications shall expire after 5 years. A 104 utility shall document its implementation of the program on an 105 annual basis with the department and must demonstrate that the 106 utility meets all program standards in order to maintain its 107 program certification. The approval of an application for 108 renewal certification must be based on the utility demonstrating 109 maintenance of program standards. A utility applying for renewal 110 certification must demonstrate maintenance of program standards 111 and progress in implementing the program. 112 (5) PUBLICATION.—The department shall annually publish on 113 its website a list of certified blue star utilities beginning on 114 January 1, 2021. 115 (6) FEDERAL PROGRAM PARTICIPATION.—The department shall 116 allow public and nonprofit utilities to participate in the Clean 117 Water State Revolving Fund Program for any purpose of the 118 program that is consistent with federal requirements for 119 participating in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program. 120 (7) REDUCED PENALTIES.—In the calculation of penalties 121 pursuant to s. 403.161 for a sanitary sewer overflow, the 122 department may reduce the penalty based on a utility’s status as 123 a certified blue star utility in accordance with this section. 124 The department may also reduce a penalty based on a certified 125 blue star utility’s investment in assessment and maintenance 126 activities to identify and address conditions that may cause 127 sanitary sewer overflows or interruption of service to customers 128 due to a physical condition or defect in the system. 129 Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (7) of section 130 403.067, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 131 403.067 Establishment and implementation of total maximum 132 daily loads.— 133 (7) DEVELOPMENT OF BASIN MANAGEMENT PLANS AND 134 IMPLEMENTATION OF TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS.— 135 (c) Best management practices.— 136 1. The department, in cooperation with the water management 137 districts and other interested parties, as appropriate, may 138 develop suitable interim measures, best management practices, or 139 other measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution 140 reduction established by the department for nonagricultural 141 nonpoint pollutant sources in allocations developed pursuant to 142 subsection (6) and this subsection. These practices and measures 143 may be adopted by rule by the department and the water 144 management districts and, where adopted by rule, shall be 145 implemented by those parties responsible for nonagricultural 146 nonpoint source pollution. 147 2. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may 148 develop and adopt by rule pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 149 suitable interim measures, best management practices, or other 150 measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution reduction 151 established by the department for agricultural pollutant sources 152 in allocations developed pursuant to subsection (6) and this 153 subsection or for programs implemented pursuant to paragraph 154 (12)(b). These practices and measures may be implemented by 155 those parties responsible for agricultural pollutant sources and 156 the department, the water management districts, and the 157 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall assist 158 with implementation. In the process of developing and adopting 159 rules for interim measures, best management practices, or other 160 measures, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 161 shall consult with the department, the Department of Health, the 162 water management districts, representatives from affected 163 farming groups, and environmental group representatives. Such 164 rules must also incorporate provisions for a notice of intent to 165 implement the practices and a system to assure the 166 implementation of the practices, including site inspection and 167 recordkeeping requirements. 168 3. When
whereinterim measures, best management practices, 169 or other measures are adopted by rule, the effectiveness of such 170 practices in achieving the levels of pollution reduction 171 established in allocations developed by the department pursuant 172 to subsection (6) and this subsection or in programs implemented 173 pursuant to paragraph (12)(b) must be verified at representative 174 sites by the department. The department shall use best 175 professional judgment in making the initial verification that 176 the best management practices are reasonably expected to be 177 effective and, where applicable, must notify the appropriate 178 water management district or the Department of Agriculture and 179 Consumer Services of its initial verification before the 180 adoption of a rule proposed pursuant to this paragraph. 181 Implementation, in accordance with rules adopted under this 182 paragraph, of practices that have been initially verified to be 183 effective, or verified to be effective by monitoring at 184 representative sites, by the department, shall provide a 185 presumption of compliance with state water quality standards and 186 release from the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those 187 pollutants addressed by the practices, and the department is not 188 authorized to institute proceedings against the owner of the 189 source of pollution to recover costs or damages associated with 190 the contamination of surface water or groundwater caused by 191 those pollutants. Research projects funded by the department, a 192 water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and 193 Consumer Services to develop or demonstrate interim measures or 194 best management practices shall be granted a presumption of 195 compliance with state water quality standards and a release from 196 the provisions of s. 376.307(5). The presumption of compliance 197 and release is limited to the research site and only for those 198 pollutants addressed by the interim measures or best management 199 practices. Eligibility for the presumption of compliance and 200 release is limited to research projects on sites where the owner 201 or operator of the research site and the department, a water 202 management district, or the Department of Agriculture and 203 Consumer Services have entered into a contract or other 204 agreement that, at a minimum, specifies the research objectives, 205 the cost-share responsibilities of the parties, and a schedule 206 that details the beginning and ending dates of the project. 207 4. When wherewater quality problems are demonstrated, 208 despite the appropriate implementation, operation, and 209 maintenance of best management practices and other measures 210 required by rules adopted under this paragraph, the department, 211 a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture 212 and Consumer Services, in consultation with the department, 213 shall institute a reevaluation of the best management practice 214 or other measure. Should the reevaluation determine that the 215 best management practice or other measure requires modification, 216 the department, a water management district, or the Department 217 of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as appropriate, shall 218 revise the rule to require implementation of the modified 219 practice within a reasonable time period as specified in the 220 rule. 221 5. Agricultural records relating to processes or methods of 222 production, costs of production, profits, or other financial 223 information held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer 224 Services pursuant to subparagraphs 3. and 4. or pursuant to any 225 rule adopted pursuant to subparagraph 2. are confidential and 226 exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 227 Constitution. Upon request, records made confidential and exempt 228 pursuant to this subparagraph shall be released to the 229 department or any water management district provided that the 230 confidentiality specified by this subparagraph for such records 231 is maintained. 232 6. The provisions ofSubparagraphs 1. and 2. do not 233 preclude the department or water management district from 234 requiring compliance with water quality standards or with 235 current best management practice requirements set forth in any 236 applicable regulatory program authorized by law for the purpose 237 of protecting water quality. Additionally, subparagraphs 1. and 238 2. are applicable only to the extent that they do not conflict 239 with any rules adopted by the department that are necessary to 240 maintain a federally delegated or approved program. 241 7. For the sole purpose of establishing a total maximum 242 daily load for pathogens in a surface water, the department must 243 provide a domestic wastewater utility with a defensible 244 expectation of compliance with state water quality standards for 245 fecal indicator bacteria when the utility implements and 246 maintains a program as a certified blue star utility in 247 accordance with s. 403.1839 and demonstrates a history of 248 compliance with wastewater disinfection requirements 249 incorporated in the utility’s operating permit for any discharge 250 into the impaired surface water. 251 Section 3. Subsection (11) is added to section 403.087, 252 Florida Statutes, to read: 253 403.087 Permits; general issuance; denial; revocation; 254 prohibition; penalty.— 255 (11) Subject to the permit duration limits for a utility 256 permitted pursuant to s. 403.0885, a blue star utility certified 257 pursuant to s. 403.1839 shall be issued a 10-year permit for the 258 same fee and under the same conditions as a 5-year permit upon 259 approval of its application for permit renewal by the department 260 if the certified blue star utility demonstrates that it: 261 (a) Is in compliance with any consent order or an 262 accompanying administrative order to its permit; 263 (b) Does not have any pending enforcement action against it 264 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the 265 department, or a local program; and 266 (c) If applicable, has submitted annual program 267 implementation reports demonstrating progress in the 268 implementation of the program. 269 Section 4. Present subsection (6) of section 403.161, 270 Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (7), and a new 271 subsection (6) is added to that section, to read: 272 403.161 Prohibitions, violation, penalty, intent.— 273 (6) Notwithstanding any other law, the department may 274 reduce the amount of a penalty based on the person’s investment 275 in the assessment, maintenance, rehabilitation, or expansion of 276 the permitted facility. 277 Section 5. Subsection (2) and paragraphs (a) and (b) of 278 subsection (3) of section 403.1838, Florida Statutes, are 279 amended to read: 280 403.1838 Small Community Sewer Construction Assistance 281 Act.— 282 (2) The department shall use funds specifically 283 appropriated to award grants under this section to assist 284 financially disadvantaged small communities with their needs for 285 adequate sewer facilities. The department may use funds 286 specifically appropriated to award grants under this section to 287 assist nonprofit utilities providing wastewater services to 288 financially disadvantaged small communities. For purposes of 289 this section, the term “financially disadvantaged small 290 community” means a county, municipality, or special district 291 that has a population of 10,000 or fewer, according to the 292 latest decennial census, and a per capita annual income less 293 than the state per capita annual income as determined by the 294 United States Department of Commerce. For purposes of this 295 subsection, the term “special district” has the same meaning as 296 provided in s. 189.012 and includes only those special districts 297 whose public purpose includes water and sewer services, utility 298 systems and services, or wastewater systems and services. The 299 department may waive the population requirement for an 300 independent special district that serves fewer than 10,000 301 wastewater customers, is located within a watershed with an 302 adopted total maximum daily load or basin management action plan 303 for pollutants associated with domestic wastewater pursuant to 304 s. 403.067, and is wholly located within a rural area of 305 opportunity as defined in s. 288.0656. 306 (3)(a) In accordance with rules adopted by the department 307 Environmental Regulation Commissionunder this section, the 308 department may provide grants, from funds specifically 309 appropriated for this purpose, to financially disadvantaged 310 small communities and to nonprofit utilities serving financially 311 disadvantaged small communities for up to 100 percent of the 312 costs of planning, assessing, designing, constructing, 313 upgrading, or replacing wastewater collection, transmission, 314 treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities, including necessary 315 legal and administrative expenses. Grants issued pursuant to 316 this section may also be used for planning and implementing 317 domestic wastewater collection system assessment and maintenance 318 programs to identify conditions that may cause sanitary sewer 319 overflows or interruption of service to customers due to a 320 physical condition or defect in the system. 321 (b) The rules of the department Environmental Regulation322 Commissionmust: 323 1. Require that projects to plan, assess, design, 324 construct, upgrade, or replace wastewater collection, 325 transmission, treatment, disposal, and reuse facilities be cost 326 effective, environmentally sound, permittable, and 327 implementable. 328 2. Require appropriate user charges, connection fees, and 329 other charges sufficient to ensure the long-term operation, 330 maintenance, and replacement of the facilities constructed under 331 each grant. 332 3. Require grant applications to be submitted on 333 appropriate forms with appropriate supporting documentation, and 334 require records to be maintained. 335 4. Establish a system to determine eligibility of grant 336 applications. 337 5. Establish a system to determine the relative priority of 338 grant applications. The system must consider public health 339 protection and water pollution abatement. 340 6. Establish requirements for competitive procurement of 341 engineering and construction services, materials, and equipment. 342 7. Provide for termination of grants when program 343 requirements are not met. 344 Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.