FLC Icon

Bill Summary Details

Wastewater Discharges (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/SB 64 (Albritton) and CS/HB 263 (Maggard) require certain domestic wastewater utilities to submit a plan to the Department of Environmental Protection by November 2021 for eliminating nonbeneficial surface water discharges (e.g., treated effluent, reclaimed water or reuse water) by January 2032. The bills require DEP to approve such plans if a plan meets the following conditions: The plan will result in eliminating the surface water discharge, the plan will result in meeting statutory requirements relating to ocean outfalls, or the plan does not provide for the complete elimination of the surface water discharge but affirmatively demonstrates that specified conditions are present. The conditions are: The discharge is associated with an indirect potable reuse project, the discharge is a wet weather discharge in accordance with a permit, the discharge is into a stormwater system for subsequent withdrawal for irrigation purposes, the utility has a reuse system that achieves 90% reuse of reclaimed water, or the discharge provides direct ecological or public water supply benefits. A utility that fails to timely submit an approved plan may not discharge to surface waters after January 2028. Violations of the bills’ requirements are subject to administrative and civil penalties. The bills require utilities to update plans on an annual basis and demonstrate whether statutory conditions and exemptions remain applicable. The bills require DEP to submit an annual report to the governor and Legislature detailing implementation status. The bills exempt the following domestic wastewater facilities from its requirements: facilities located in a fiscally constrained county, facilities located in a municipality that is entirely within a rural area of opportunity and facilities located in a municipality having less than $10,000 in total annual revenue. The bills authorize DEP to establish a potable reuse technical advisory committee, provide that potable reuse projects are eligible for alternative water supply funding and provide that potable reuse projects are eligible for expedited permitting and priority state funding. CS/SB 64 requires local governments to offer a 25% density or intensity bonus to developers if 75% of a development will have graywater systems installed or a 30% bonus if 100% of a development will have graywater systems installed. The bonus is in addition to any other bonus that may be in effect on July 1, 2021. (O’Hara)