As we anticipated, the Department of Health (DOH) is in the process of developing rules to implement SB 550 provisions about septic system inspections. Also, as we anticipated, the DOH is has taken misinterpretation of the law to a whole new level. Your input is essential. DOH has refused to schedule a public hearing in Central Florida! The TRAP meeting is our only opportunity to give DOH our input. If you can’t attend the TRAP meeting, write, call, e-mail your State Senators and Representatives.
SB 550 mandates septic inspections. Department of Health is developing rules that will govern how these inspections are done and whether your septic system will pass or fail the inspection. Public Meetings about the rules are scheduled around the state. Times and dates are provided.
The TRAP meeting in Orlando is the first opportunity for public input, and the only opportunity Central Florida’s residents will have to give DOH our opinions about the proposed rules. Plan to be there if you can. Preliminary review of the proposed rule shows the DOH is promoting pass/fail standards that are not what the legislature intended when they drafted the law, and virtually guarantee your system will fail inspection.
Enforcement of rules is all part of the proposed rule. Fees of $500 a day will be assessed to the homeowner for non-compliance of repair mandates. Septic contractors will be required to take classes, comply with reporting deadlines and complex paperwork, or be subject to excessive fines and loss of licenses. This is just a little sampling of what is contained in the proposed rule.
We urge all our readers to forward this information to their friends and families in other parts of the state. Invite legislators and county commissioners. This rule, as proposed, will be devastating to homeowners and businesses. It’s not necessary. It’s ill-advised, and it’s not what our legislature intended when they passed this bill. Simple maintenance was the intent. Heavy hand of bureaucratic over-reach is what we may get. Get Involved! Your opinion matters.
Technical Review and Advisory Panel (TRAP)
The Technical Review and Advisory Panel began July, 1996, as mandated by Florida Legislature. The primary purpose of the panel is to assist the department in rulemaking and decision making by drawing on the expertise of representatives from several groups that are affected by onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems.
The Next Scheduled TRAP Meeting Will Be:
Date: September 23, 2010
Time: 9:00 am
Place: Orlando Airport Marriott
7499 Augusta National Drive
Orlando, FL 32822
Phone: (407) 859-0552
Agenda (38 kb pdf)
Meeting Purpose: Identify and discuss issues relating to onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems and the Wekiva Study Area which may require changes to Chapter 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code.
IMPORTANT MEETINGS: RULE DEVELOPMENT FOR SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTIONS
Septic System owners, legislators, and county officials need to be attending these meetings to provide public input to the DOH before inspection rules are adopted. The time to stop unworkable and unreasonable provisions in the proposed rule is NOW. Please forward this Sludge Report information to all concerned.
The Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health, Bureau of Onsite Sewage Programs announces a series of workshops to which all persons are invited.
DATE AND TIME: October 12, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon
PLACE: John P. D’Allessandro State Office Building, 2295 Victoria Avenue, Room 165C, Fort Myers, Florida 33901
DATE AND TIME: October 14, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon
PLACE: Broward County Health Department, 780 SW 24th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33315
DATE AND TIME: October 18, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon
PLACE: Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Conference Room 152, Tallahassee, Florida 32399
GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED:
Rules necessary to implement the provisions of Chapter 2010-205, Laws of Florida (SB 550), requiring the Department to administer an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system evaluation and assessment program. In general, the proposed rules include applicability, notification, evaluation schedule, evaluator qualifications, evaluation procedures, exemptions, penalties and standards of practice. The specific location for placement of the proposed language within Chapter 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code, Standards for Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems, has not been determined. The proposed language can be downloaded from www.MyFloridaEH.com or obtained from the persons listed below.
A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting Gerald Briggs, Department of Health, Bureau of Onsite Sewage Programs, HSES, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A08, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1713.
MEETING NOTICE: BASIN MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN (BMAP)
Wekiva BMAP Basin Working Group
September 29, 2010, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fran Carlton Center
11 North Forest Avenue, Apopka FL
(parking available in lot or adjacent field)
The mission of the Wekiva BMAP Working Group is to make formal recommendations to the Department of Environmental Protection for implementation of the nutrient TMDLs for Wekiwa Spring, the Wekiva River, Rock Springs, Rock Springs Run, Blackwater Creek, Little Wekiva River, and Little Wekiva Canal (WBIDs 2956C, 2956, 2956A, 2967, 2929A, 2987, & 3004) via an adoptable Basin Management Action Plan.
YES, THEY ARE COMING AT US FROM ALL SIDES, AND WE ARE BEING SANDWICHED IN THE MIDDLE! REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE WSA HOMEOWNER COALITION WILL BE ATTENDING THIS MEETING. WE APPRECIATE YOUR PAST SUPPORT ATTENDING THESE MEETINGS AND HOPE YOU CAN CONTINUE TO MAKE TIME FOR THIS.
FROM TALLAHASSEE TO THE PANHANDLE! The message is getting out! There is a new grassroots group forming quickly in North Florida, thanks to the tireless efforts of a few highly energized and vocal citizens who have just recently found out about the mandates contained in SB550. They have been holding citizen meetings and have begun a letter-writing campaign to REPEAL Senate Bill 550, and they are supporting our efforts to turn out residents and legislators at the Dept. of Health meetings about septic system inspection rule making. One of the letters sent to Governor Crist is published in the “letters” section of this report. You can support their repeal campaign by e-mailing your own letter to Governor Crist – Charlie.Crist@eog.myflorida.com. Mailing address: Office of Governor Charlie Crist, State of Florida, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee FL 32399-0001
Florida residents in North Florida who need more information on upcoming meetings and activities can contact:
Richard Harrison, Marianna FL
Kirk Whitehead, Cottondale FL