SB 1382 – Relating to Environmental Resource Management
On Monday, January 27, SB 1382 by Senator Ben Albritton (R-Bartow) was heard by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and was reported favorable with 4 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.
Phosphorus and nitrogen are naturally present in water and are essential nutrients for the healthy growth of plant and animal life. The correct balance of both nutrients is necessary for a healthy ecosystem; however, excessive nitrogen and phosphorus can cause significant water quality problems. Phosphorus and nitrogen are derived from natural and human-made sources. Natural inputs include the atmosphere, soils, and the decay of plants and animals. Human-made sources include sewage disposal systems (wastewater treatment facilities and septic systems), overflows of storm and sanitary sewers (untreated sewage), agricultural production and irrigation practices, and stormwater runoff.
The bill includes recommendations from the Blue-Green Algae Task Force. The major topics in this bill include onside sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDSs, commonly known as septic systems), wastewater, stormwater, agriculture, and biosolids. The bill also addresses basin management action plans which address watersheds and basins tributary to an affected water body in an effort to reduce pollutants flowing into the water body.
In addition, the bill requires that local governments may not extend legal standing or legal rights to plants, animals, a body of water, or any additional part of the natural environment.
SB 1382 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government.
AIF supports legislation that addresses the existing water quality issues as Florida’s businesses and citizens alike rely on access to clean, uncontaminated water. This legislation also protects Florida businesses from lawsuits by defining that people cannot sue on behalf of inanimate objects, i.e. rivers, lakes, streams etc.