NANCY SMITH: Sewage Bills Are Creating a Stink in the Brevard Delegation
By Nancy Smith, Sunshine State News // April 8, 2019
ABOVE VIDEO: Randy Fine’s passionate, now-famous closing on 141 before the March 12 Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee meeting brought the severity of the raw sewage spills home, particularly in the Indian River Lagoon, but statewide, too.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – We aren’t going to fix Florida’s waterways until we stop loading them up with poop. Ask any biologist. Failing septic tanks and broken municipal sewer pipes have galvanized the state’s environmental discourse.
So, how come we’re here now with less than three weeks left in the 2019 legislative session, yet we don’t have a single piece of significant sewage-be-gone legislation anywhere near the finish line?
The simple answer: Dissension among legislators.
Trouble in River City, a.k.a. District 17 — the wider Brevard County area.
It’s where Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Rockledge, and Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, both have bold sewage bills in the mix — hers, Senate Bill 1758; his, House Bill 141.
Fine’s passionate, now-famous closing on 141 before the March 12 Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee meeting brought the severity of the raw sewage spills home, particularly in the Indian River Lagoon, but statewide, too. It’s a popular fix for the raw sewage spills, attractive in its simplicity.
“The state has an important role in both financially supporting (lagoon) recovery and guiding local governments to get the job done. My legislation will do both — provide the incentive of $50 million a year in matching funds to support Indian River Lagoon restoration and dramatically increase penalties for illegal spills caused by lack of system maintenance.”
HB 141 would require a written notice to be sent to residents by mail every time there’s a spill, and the note would provide the names and phone numbers of the authorities responsible for the plant’s oversight. The bill would also “require a $2 fee for every gallon of raw sewage released, Fine said.
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