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septic tanks

Hoping to curb pollution, Randy Fine bill would require inspection of septic tanks

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A new bill filed today by Rep. Randy Fine, who represents House District 53, would aim to solve the Indian River Lagoon’s septic tank crisis and help all of Florida’s water quality by requiring the inspection of septic tanks as part of home and other real estate sales. The Indian River Lagoon was revealed last year to have been polluted by human waste leaking from faulty septic tanks. The number of septic tanks in the area is unknown, but estimated to…

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‘Year of water’ failed along with environmental bills, but some did pass

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Another legislative session dubbed the “year of water” failed to deliver in 2015 as the House went home early over a healthcare spending dispute with the Senate. HB 7003, a water bill that was a legislative priority of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, passed the House by a 106-9 vote on the second day of session. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and industry groups supported the bill, which would have set milestones and timetables for cleaning up springs and other waterways. The Senate…

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Senate bill clears final committee stop despite concerns from counties, environmentalists

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A Senate water bill passed its final committee stop on Tuesday despite continuing concerns raised by counties and environmentalists. SB 918 replaces a Lake Okeechobee pollution permitting program with more reliance on water cleanup plans, sets deadlines for establishing minimum flow levels for springs, sets timelines for springs cleanup plans and creates a statewide advisory council to recommend funding for water projects. Sen. Charlie Dean, a Republican from Inverness who is bill sponsor, said SB 918 is close to matching…

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Springs bill in Senate disappoints some environmentalists

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Last year a comprehensive water bill that passed the Senate included a major focus on Florida’s springs and reducing threats from groundwater pollution and over-pumping. Florida’s springs during the past 30 years have turned green with algae because of nitrogen in groundwater from various sources including septic tanks, fertilizer and sewage treatment plants. Fixing the problems cost lots of money, and preventing further pollution requires regulations that are unpopular with rural landowners. The 2014 Senate bill, SB 1576, established springs…

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Bill delay septic waste ban passes House with calls for study, springs protection

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A bill that delays a ban on the disposal of septic tank waste on farm fields across the state passed the House in anticipation of a state study of the waste disposal practice. Florida has 2.6 million septic tanks scattered across the state that annually produce 100 million gallons of waste, called septage, when they are pumped out. About 40 percent is spread at 88 land application sites across the state, according to the Florida Department of Health. In 2010,…

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House vote could allow septic tank waste to continue spreading on land

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A bill that would allow septic tank maintenance firms to continue spreading waste on fields for two more years is teed up for approval in the House on Thursday. In 2010, the Legislature voted to ban the land application of septic tank waste beginning in 2016 as part of a bill that supporters said would protect springs and waterways from nutrient pollution. Septic tank waste haulers and representatives of rural counties now say the ban could cause the price of septic tank pump-outs…

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With environmental issues looming, Alan Hays won’t haggle over Amendment 1 spending

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With industry and environmental groups sparring over what qualifies for spending under Amendment 1, the chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees environmental spending says he won’t haggle over the issue. Amendment 1, the water and land conservation funding initiative approved by voters in November, will be a focus of the 2015 legislative session starting Tuesday. The initiative will provide an estimated $757 million toward eligible programs in fiscal year 2015-16. It’s just one issue in what is shaping up…

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