Florida Senate - 2022 SB 856 By Senator Brodeur 9-00830-22 2022856__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to private provider inspections of 3 onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; amending 4 s. 381.0065, F.S.; authorizing private provider 5 inspections of onsite sewage treatment and disposal 6 systems under certain conditions; prohibiting the 7 Department of Environmental Protection from charging 8 certain inspection and permit fees; specifying 9 requirements for private providers and onsite sewage 10 treatment and disposal system owners and authorized 11 contractors; authorizing the department to audit the 12 performance of such inspections; providing audit 13 conditions; providing an effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Subsection (8) is added to section 381.0065, 18 Florida Statutes, to read: 19 381.0065 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; 20 regulation.— 21 (8) PRIVATE PROVIDER INSPECTIONS.— 22 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, ordinance, or policy, 23 the owner of an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system or a 24 contractor upon the owner’s written authorization may hire a 25 private provider to perform an inspection of the onsite sewage 26 treatment and disposal system and pay the private provider 27 directly if the inspection is the subject of a written contract 28 between the private provider or the private provider’s firm and 29 the owner or the authorized contractor. 30 (b) The department may not charge an inspection fee for an 31 onsite sewage treatment and disposal system inspection performed 32 by a private provider under written contract with an owner or 33 authorized contractor in accordance with this section and 34 department rules. 35 (c) Onsite sewage treatment and disposal system inspections 36 may only be performed by a private provider or an authorized 37 representative of a private provider who is: 38 1. An environmental health professional certified under s. 39 381.0101; 40 2. A master septic tank contractor registered under part 41 III of chapter 489; 42 3. A professional engineer licensed under chapter 471 and 43 has passed all parts of the Onsite Sewage Treatment Disposal 44 System Accelerated Certification Training; or 45 4. Working under the supervision of a licensed professional 46 engineer and has passed all parts of the Onsite Sewage Treatment 47 Disposal System Accelerated Certification Training. 48 (d) An owner or authorized contractor using a private 49 provider for an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system 50 inspection must provide notice to the department at the time of 51 permit application or by 2 p.m. local time, 2 business days 52 before the first scheduled inspection by the department. The 53 notice must include all of the following information: 54 1. For each private provider or authorized representative 55 performing the inspection: 56 a. Name and firm name, address, telephone number, and e 57 mail address. 58 b. Professional license or certification number. 59 c. Qualification statement or resume. 60 2. An acknowledgment from the owner in substantially the 61 following form: 62 63 I HAVE ELECTED TO USE ONE OR MORE PRIVATE PROVIDERS TO PERFORM 64 AN ONSITE SEWAGE TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL SYSTEM INSPECTION THAT 65 IS THE SUBJECT OF THE ENCLOSED PERMIT APPLICATION. I UNDERSTAND 66 THAT THE DEPARTMENT MAY NOT PERFORM THE REQUIRED ONSITE SEWAGE 67 TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL SYSTEM INSPECTION TO DETERMINE COMPLIANCE 68 WITH THE APPLICABLE CODES, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY 69 LAW. INSTEAD, THE INSPECTION WILL BE PERFORMED BY THE LICENSED 70 OR CERTIFIED PRIVATE PROVIDER IDENTIFIED IN THE APPLICATION. BY 71 EXECUTING THIS FORM, I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE MADE INQUIRY 72 REGARDING THE COMPETENCE OF THE LICENSED OR CERTIFIED PRIVATE 73 PROVIDER AND AM SATISFIED THAT MY INTERESTS ARE ADEQUATELY 74 PROTECTED. I AGREE TO INDEMNIFY, DEFEND, AND HOLD HARMLESS THE 75 DEPARTMENT FROM ANY CLAIMS ARISING FROM MY USE OF THE LICENSED 76 OR CERTIFIED PRIVATE PROVIDER IDENTIFIED IN THE APPLICATION TO 77 PERFORM THE ONSITE SEWAGE TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL SYSTEM 78 INSPECTION THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE ENCLOSED PERMIT 79 APPLICATION. 80 81 If an owner or authorized contractor makes any changes to the 82 listed private provider or the service to be performed by the 83 private provider, the owner or the authorized contractor must 84 update the notice to reflect the change within 1 business day 85 after the change. The change of an authorized representative 86 identified in the permit application does not require a revision 87 of the permit and the department may not charge a fee for making 88 such change. 89 (e) The department may audit the performance of an onsite 90 sewage treatment and disposal system inspection by a private 91 provider. However, the same private provider may not be audited 92 more than four times in a month unless the department determines 93 that an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system inspected by 94 the private provider should not have passed inspection. Work on 95 a building, a structure, or an onsite sewage treatment and 96 disposal system may proceed after inspection and approval by a 97 private provider if the owner or authorized contractor has given 98 notice of the inspection pursuant to paragraph (d) and, 99 subsequent to such inspection and approval, such work may not be 100 delayed for completion of an inspection audit by the department. 101 Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.