House panel passes three controversial environmental bills

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Three of the most controversial environmental and agricultural bills to emerge prior to the 2011 legislative session were approved on Tuesday by a House committee, reports Bruce Ritchie.

HB 13 by Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, would repeal the SB 550 requirement in 2010 that septic tanks be inspected every five years. The Legislature voted in November to delay implementation from Jan. 1 to July 1 in response to complaints from affected homeowners.

…HB 457 would prohibit local governments from regulating fertilizer use unless they use a state model ordinance. A similar bill was filed last year in response to Pinellas County banning the sale of lawn fertilizer during the summer rainy season.

…HB 421, state law since 1984, exempts agriculture from permitting by water management districts for “normal and necessary” agriculture and forestry operations, according to a bill analysis.

Continue reading Ritchie’s column here.

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