Legislative Session Update - Week 2
: Week 2 of the 2019 legislative session saw a flurry of environmental bills pass through Senate Committees including the Agriculture Committee bill
which is a partial fracking ban. SCCF opposes any partial ban that does not address all methods of fracking to include hydraulic fracking and matrix acidizing. There are no fracking bills on the committee agenda to be heard next week however on Monday watch for an action alert on communicating with our Legislators.
: The Senate Natural Resources Committee was busy this week addressing land acquisition funding and nutrient pollution. The most significant action came from Sen. Linda Stewart’s
that would require the Florida Forever land preservation program be allocated at least $100 million a year through the Amendment 1 Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) that was overwhelmingly passed by 75% of Florida’s voters in 2014. The House Bill equivalent,
by Representative Ausley, has not yet been scheduled to be heard in its first House Committee. Funding for this program needs to be committed so please plan to take action on Monday’s alert.
There were several regional wastewater infrastructure bills passed in the Senate Natural Resources committee including
which would allocate $50 million for wastewater treatment plant infrastructure fixes for Indian River Lagoon and
which would allocate up to $20 million for projects that would protect and improve water quality in Apalachicola River and Bay. SCCF supports septic to sewer conversions and other necessary water quality infrastructure fixes but not from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF). The costs of those infrastructure needs greatly exceed the funding allocated for land acquisition.
Rep. Fine has introduced local water quality bill
which would penalize municipal wastewater plants that spill raw sewage into waterways and provides (non LATF) funding for Indian River Lagoon water treatment related projects. A similar bill
was filed in the Senate. Both bills cite the large scale cumulative impacts of nutrient pollution and the critical need to address this issue statewide.
Since Florida’s legislative session is only two months long, committee agendas are posted on a very short time schedule so please stay tuned for future requests to send messages to your legislators as these issues are revealed. Thank you for continued interest.