Two bills titled Water Quality Improvements have been filed in the Florida Legislature. Among other things, the bills call for “providing penalties for wastewater treatment facilities that unlawfully discharge sewage into designated areas.” Above: Lake Okeechobee serves as the backup water supply for 3 million South Floridians. / Florida Food & Farm file photo

Florida Senate Bill 216, Water Quality Improvements, has been referred to the following committees: Environment and Natural Resources; the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government; and Appropriations.

The 2019 legislative session will officially begin on Tuesday, March 5, and is expected to end on Friday, May 3. No committee votes have yet been taken on SB 216, which was filed Jan. 2 by Sen. Joe Gruters (R-District 23; consisting of all of Sarasota County and part of Charlotte County).

A similar bill, HB 141, also titled Water Quality Improvements, has been filed in the Florida House of Representatives.

SB 216 calls for “Providing an appropriation for certain projects related to the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan; requiring each wastewater facility that unlawfully discharges sewage into a waterway or aquifer to notify its customers within a specified period; providing penalties for wastewater treatment facilities that unlawfully discharge sewage into designated areas; etc.”


To read the complete Senate bill, visit www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/216/BillText/Filed/PDF.

To read the complete House bill, visit www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/141/BillText/Filed/PDF.