Florida Senate - 2023                             CS for SB 1538
       By the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; and
       Senator Stewart
       592-03512-23                                          20231538c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to implementation of the
    3         recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force;
    4         amending s. 403.067, F.S.; requiring the Department of
    5         Environmental Protection to assess certain projects;
    6         providing requirements for the assessments; providing
    7         an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (7) of section
   12  403.067, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   13         403.067 Establishment and implementation of total maximum
   14  daily loads.—
   17         (a) Basin management action plans.—
   18         1. In developing and implementing the total maximum daily
   19  load for a water body, the department, or the department in
   20  conjunction with a water management district, may develop a
   21  basin management action plan that addresses some or all of the
   22  watersheds and basins tributary to the water body. Such plan
   23  must integrate the appropriate management strategies available
   24  to the state through existing water quality protection programs
   25  to achieve the total maximum daily loads and may provide for
   26  phased implementation of these management strategies to promote
   27  timely, cost-effective actions as provided for in s. 403.151.
   28  The plan must establish a schedule implementing the management
   29  strategies, establish a basis for evaluating the plan’s
   30  effectiveness, and identify feasible funding strategies for
   31  implementing the plan’s management strategies. The management
   32  strategies may include regional treatment systems or other
   33  public works, when appropriate, and voluntary trading of water
   34  quality credits to achieve the needed pollutant load reductions.
   35         2. A basin management action plan must equitably allocate,
   36  pursuant to paragraph (6)(b), pollutant reductions to individual
   37  basins, as a whole to all basins, or to each identified point
   38  source or category of nonpoint sources, as appropriate. For
   39  nonpoint sources for which best management practices have been
   40  adopted, the initial requirement specified by the plan must be
   41  those practices developed pursuant to paragraph (c). When
   42  appropriate, the plan may take into account the benefits of
   43  pollutant load reduction achieved by point or nonpoint sources
   44  that have implemented management strategies to reduce pollutant
   45  loads, including best management practices, before the
   46  development of the basin management action plan. The plan must
   47  also identify the mechanisms that will address potential future
   48  increases in pollutant loading.
   49         3. The basin management action planning process is intended
   50  to involve the broadest possible range of interested parties,
   51  with the objective of encouraging the greatest amount of
   52  cooperation and consensus possible. In developing a basin
   53  management action plan, the department shall assure that key
   54  stakeholders, including, but not limited to, applicable local
   55  governments, water management districts, the Department of
   56  Agriculture and Consumer Services, other appropriate state
   57  agencies, local soil and water conservation districts,
   58  environmental groups, regulated interests, and affected
   59  pollution sources, are invited to participate in the process.
   60  The department shall hold at least one public meeting in the
   61  vicinity of the watershed or basin to discuss and receive
   62  comments during the planning process and shall otherwise
   63  encourage public participation to the greatest practicable
   64  extent. Notice of the public meeting must be published in a
   65  newspaper of general circulation in each county in which the
   66  watershed or basin lies at least 5 days, but not more than 15
   67  days, before the public meeting. A basin management action plan
   68  does not supplant or otherwise alter any assessment made under
   69  subsection (3) or subsection (4) or any calculation or initial
   70  allocation.
   71         4.a. Each new or revised basin management action plan must
   72  shall include:
   73         (I)a. The appropriate management strategies available
   74  through existing water quality protection programs to achieve
   75  total maximum daily loads, which may provide for phased
   76  implementation to promote timely, cost-effective actions as
   77  provided for in s. 403.151;
   78         (II)b. A description of best management practices adopted
   79  by rule;
   80         (III)c. A list of projects in priority ranking with a
   81  planning-level cost estimate and estimated date of completion
   82  for each listed project;
   83         (IV)d. The source and amount of financial assistance to be
   84  made available by the department, a water management district,
   85  or other entity for each listed project, if applicable; and
   86         (V)e. A planning-level estimate of each listed project’s
   87  expected load reduction, if applicable.
   88         b.For each project listed pursuant to this subparagraph
   89  which has a total cost that exceeds $1 million, the department
   90  must assess through integrated and comprehensive monitoring
   91  whether the project is working to reduce nutrient pollution or
   92  water use, or both, as intended. These assessments must be
   93  completed expeditiously and included in each basin management
   94  action plan update.
   95         5. The department shall adopt all or any part of a basin
   96  management action plan and any amendment to such plan by
   97  secretarial order pursuant to chapter 120 to implement this
   98  section.
   99         6. The basin management action plan must include milestones
  100  for implementation and water quality improvement, and an
  101  associated water quality monitoring component sufficient to
  102  evaluate whether reasonable progress in pollutant load
  103  reductions is being achieved over time. An assessment of
  104  progress toward these milestones shall be conducted every 5
  105  years, and revisions to the plan shall be made as appropriate.
  106  Revisions to the basin management action plan shall be made by
  107  the department in cooperation with basin stakeholders. Revisions
  108  to the management strategies required for nonpoint sources must
  109  follow the procedures in subparagraph (c)4. Revised basin
  110  management action plans must be adopted pursuant to subparagraph
  111  5.
  112         7. In accordance with procedures adopted by rule under
  113  paragraph (9)(c), basin management action plans, and other
  114  pollution control programs under local, state, or federal
  115  authority as provided in subsection (4), may allow point or
  116  nonpoint sources that will achieve greater pollutant reductions
  117  than required by an adopted total maximum daily load or
  118  wasteload allocation to generate, register, and trade water
  119  quality credits for the excess reductions to enable other
  120  sources to achieve their allocation; however, the generation of
  121  water quality credits does not remove the obligation of a source
  122  or activity to meet applicable technology requirements or
  123  adopted best management practices. Such plans must allow trading
  124  between NPDES permittees, and trading that may or may not
  125  involve NPDES permittees, where the generation or use of the
  126  credits involve an entity or activity not subject to department
  127  water discharge permits whose owner voluntarily elects to obtain
  128  department authorization for the generation and sale of credits.
  129         8. The department’s rule relating to the equitable
  130  abatement of pollutants into surface waters do not apply to
  131  water bodies or water body segments for which a basin management
  132  plan that takes into account future new or expanded activities
  133  or discharges has been adopted under this section.
  134         9. In order to promote resilient wastewater utilities, if
  135  the department identifies domestic wastewater treatment
  136  facilities or onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems as
  137  contributors of at least 20 percent of point source or nonpoint
  138  source nutrient pollution or if the department determines
  139  remediation is necessary to achieve the total maximum daily
  140  load, a basin management action plan for a nutrient total
  141  maximum daily load must include the following:
  142         a. A wastewater treatment plan developed by each local
  143  government, in cooperation with the department, the water
  144  management district, and the public and private domestic
  145  wastewater treatment facilities within the jurisdiction of the
  146  local government, that addresses domestic wastewater. The
  147  wastewater treatment plan must:
  148         (I) Provide for construction, expansion, or upgrades
  149  necessary to achieve the total maximum daily load requirements
  150  applicable to the domestic wastewater treatment facility.
  151         (II) Include the permitted capacity in average annual
  152  gallons per day for the domestic wastewater treatment facility;
  153  the average nutrient concentration and the estimated average
  154  nutrient load of the domestic wastewater; a projected timeline
  155  of the dates by which the construction of any facility
  156  improvements will begin and be completed and the date by which
  157  operations of the improved facility will begin; the estimated
  158  cost of the improvements; and the identity of responsible
  159  parties.
  161  The wastewater treatment plan must be adopted as part of the
  162  basin management action plan no later than July 1, 2025. A local
  163  government that does not have a domestic wastewater treatment
  164  facility in its jurisdiction is not required to develop a
  165  wastewater treatment plan unless there is a demonstrated need to
  166  establish a domestic wastewater treatment facility within its
  167  jurisdiction to improve water quality necessary to achieve a
  168  total maximum daily load. A local government is not responsible
  169  for a private domestic wastewater facility’s compliance with a
  170  basin management action plan unless such facility is operated
  171  through a public-private partnership to which the local
  172  government is a party.
  173         b. An onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
  174  remediation plan developed by each local government in
  175  cooperation with the department, the Department of Health, water
  176  management districts, and public and private domestic wastewater
  177  treatment facilities.
  178         (I) The onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
  179  remediation plan must identify cost-effective and financially
  180  feasible projects necessary to achieve the nutrient load
  181  reductions required for onsite sewage treatment and disposal
  182  systems. To identify cost-effective and financially feasible
  183  projects for remediation of onsite sewage treatment and disposal
  184  systems, the local government shall:
  185         (A) Include an inventory of onsite sewage treatment and
  186  disposal systems based on the best information available;
  187         (B) Identify onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems
  188  that would be eliminated through connection to existing or
  189  future central domestic wastewater infrastructure in the
  190  jurisdiction or domestic wastewater service area of the local
  191  government, that would be replaced with or upgraded to enhanced
  192  nutrient-reducing onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems,
  193  or that would remain on conventional onsite sewage treatment and
  194  disposal systems;
  195         (C) Estimate the costs of potential onsite sewage treatment
  196  and disposal system connections, upgrades, or replacements; and
  197         (D) Identify deadlines and interim milestones for the
  198  planning, design, and construction of projects.
  199         (II) The department shall adopt the onsite sewage treatment
  200  and disposal system remediation plan as part of the basin
  201  management action plan no later than July 1, 2025, or as
  202  required for Outstanding Florida Springs under s. 373.807.
  203         10. When identifying wastewater projects in a basin
  204  management action plan, the department may not require the
  205  higher cost option if it achieves the same nutrient load
  206  reduction as a lower cost option. A regulated entity may choose
  207  a different cost option if it complies with the pollutant
  208  reduction requirements of an adopted total maximum daily load
  209  and meets or exceeds the pollution reduction requirement of the
  210  original project.
  211         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.