House environmental protection package advances

Posted on March 29, 2023

Areas around the Indian River Lagoon receive special attention.

An environmental package in the House to take on septic tank pollution passed its committee this week, moving forward efforts to take concrete action to reduce nutrient pollution across the state, especially its springs and the Indian River Lagoon.

It prohibits installing new septic tank systems within a basin management action plan (BMAP), a reasonable assurance plan or pollution reduction plan where there’s an available connection to a sewerage system.

“This is a transformative, comprehensive, changing of the state of Florida for water quality,” Dade City Republican Rep. Kevin Steele said to members of the House Water Quality, Supply and Treatment Subcommittee. “I’m proud to be a part of it.”

For lots 1 acre or smaller where such a sewer system isn’t available, the property owner has to install enhanced nutrient-reducing septic tanks, which are those that reach at least 50% nutrient reduction compared to a standard septic tank.

BMAP comprehensive plans would be required to address coordination of upgrading water facilities and prioritization of advanced waste treatment, along with looking at the possibility of providing sewer services within 10 years to any group of more than 50 residential lots with a density of more than one septic tank per acre. 


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