TO: MEMBERS OF TASK FORCE ON WATER ISSUES
FROM: WILLIAM E. SADOWSKI, CHAIRMAN
RE: HB 47B AND SUMMARY -
DATE: JUNE 28, 1983
Enclosed is a copy of HB 47B and Summary relating
to water resources as it passed both Houses of the
Legislature during the Special Session, and news-
paper articles pertaining to this legislation.
You will be notified when a time and date has been
determined for our next Task Force meeting.
Please contact Chris Holland if you have any questions
concerning HB 47B.
By SUSAN DeFORD
The Florida Hose passed the final
version of a voluminous water bill
Thursday, giving the state millions of
dollars to protect a resource increas-
ingly endangered by pollutants.
The Water Quality Assurance Act
is expected to win approval from the
Senate this morning then go to Gov.
Bob Graham for his signature.
- House members approved 113-0 a
conference committee bill that had
its origins in a- special task-force
study commissioned by Speaker Leej
"When you vote you will have be-
fore you the most significant piece of
environmental legislation the state
has seen in the past 10 years," Mofftt
told House members.
Earlier Thursday, House and Sen-
ate conferees traded compliments
and handed out miniature bottles of
champagne as they signed off on the
bill protecting Florida's underground
With money for cleaning up hazard-
ous-waste spills and controlling sew-
age, thebillestablishes safeguardsfor
aquifers supplying 90 percent of Flor-
ida's drinking water.
"It's more than I expected," said
conference chairman Rep. Jon Mills,
D-Gainesville. "It essentially ad-
dresses every water-quality issue."
Victoria Tschinkel, secretary of
the Department of Environmental
Regulation said she was "extremely
delighted and satisfied" with the leg-
"We would not change one word of
the bill," said Tschinkel, whose de-
partment will administer the new
The conference panel's official
glad-handing was delayed for nearly
an hour Thursday morning, as some
Senate conferees tried to reinsert a
provision sought by the oil industry.
When lobbyists for oil interests
complained Wednesday about a regis-
tration fee on petroleum-storage fa-
cilitis, conferees eliminated the fee,
designed to raise $1.3 million annual-
But they also struck language lim-
iting private industry's liability in the
event of spills.
Oil lobbyists watched from the au-
dience in the committee room as sen-
ators huddled privately. Finally.
Senate President Curtis Peterson
strolled in and told the senators to go
back to the conference table.
The most important provisions of
the 115-page bill give the state more
money than it's ever had before to
clean up hazardous waste.
The legislation takes $11 million
from an existing state trust fund to
create a new fund for hazardous
waste. That money gives the state $4
million needed to match $40 million
it 'wants to spend next fiscal year
from the federal governments super-
In addition, the state's new hazard-
ous-waste trust fund is replenished
with interest payments and a 2-cents-
a-barrel tax on oil. The oil tax will be
levied whenever the trust fund's
unencumbered balance falls to $3
Tschinkel said the state could
spend close to $50 million to clean up
hazardous waste in 1983-84, com-
pared to the $1.2 million the state
spent this budget year.
Much of that $50 million will go to
cleaning up the abandoned Sapp Bat-
tery site in Jackson County and three
other sites in Pensacola, Jacksonville
and Miami, she said.
Another major provision in the bill
creates the state's first sewage-con-
struction grants program.
A one-time acceleration of state
sales-tax collections next year will
provide $100 million for the grants
program. The money will sit in a
trust fund for a year, collecting about
$8 million in interest. Then state offi-
cials will dole it out as federal grants
for sewage-plant construction run out
About 45 percent of the state
grants will go to communities wth
populations of 35,000 or less.
The bill's other major elements,
refined during three weeks of confer-
ence meetings, include
A" A $3-million monitoring pro-
gram of Florida's aquifer. For the
first time, officials will be able to
scientifically plumb the aquifers,
searching for the trail of pollutants
seeping into water supplies.
"It's the only way to find out
what's going on in our aquifer,"
Tschinkel said. "We have nothing like
Regulations requiring local and
regional governments to inventory
sources of hazardous waste in their
areas. These studies, to be conducted
with state funding over the next three
years, are designed to help officials
plan for future management and dis-
SEstablishing "amnesty days," to
help consumers and small businesses
dispose of hazardous wastes. On the
six amnesty days to be held during
the next three years, people will be
asked to bring small amounts of haz-
ardous waste to a central collection
point for disposal
Establishing new septic-tank
regulations that limit tanks to four
per acre in areas served by a public
water system. A loophole in the
present law allows up to 16 septic
tanks per acre. In addition, state envi-
ronmental officials will increase their
inspections of small sewage-treat-
ment package plants.
w Creating a new nine-member
pesticide review council that will in-
vestigate farm chemicals and advise
the Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services. The council in-
cludes scientists as well as officials
from the state's environmental and
health-services departments. The Ag-
riculture Department's own pesti-
cide-review council is abolished and
replaced with a bureau that assists
the new council.
e Authorizing the Department of
Environmental Regulation to devel-
op a computerized system for sharing
information on groundwater with
other state and federal agencies.
*Although House and Senate nego-
titors were more than $20 million
apart when they began conference
meetings three weeks ago, the pan-
els work was never marred by the
conflicts that crippled negotiations
on the state education budget.
:"We never stopped working," said
Mills. "m not saying there wasn't
some hostility, but ultimately we got
past that on every issue."
Panel agrees on major
TALLAHASSEE (AP) House
and Senate negotiators shook hands
yesterday n a tough $117.5 million
environmental package designed to
protect Florida's water from pollu-
tants and to build new sewage-.
The accord, reached by 10 law-
makers in a conference committee,
came on the 82nd day of a 1983 legis-
lative session extended five times,
pn ypay by protracted state bud-
Lobbyists and environmentalist
auded and lawmakers planned a
Yesterday' afternoon, the full
House passed the measure on a 113-0
vote. It was pending action'in the Sen-
If it clear both houses, it would go
to Gov. Bob Graham for his signa-
ture. Most provisions of the a-
tion would become law on July 1 or
upon Graham's signature
Tassng aside the philosophical and
financial division that had character,
ized earlier conference meetings,
lawmakers congratulated each other
and praised their efforts as a big step
toward clean water for Florida
"We have guaranteed water quality
In the future and guaranteed re-
sources to clean it up now," summed
up conference leader Rep. Jon Mills,
Senate team leader Patrick Neal,
D-Bradenton, said the final product
would "... ensure that our ground
water remains pure and unpolluted
for this generation" and others that
Conferees agreed that the final
package was tougher and provided
more money than bills approved by
each chamber during the regular leg-
I really think the Legiature has
met its challenge," Sen George Kirk-
patrick, D-Gainesvile, said.
Environmentalists say clean water
will be a major state issue of the
1990s, because Florida is expected to
grow from seventh to fourth in terms
of people and there wil be a greater
demand for drinking water. Ground-
water is the source of drinking water
for nine of 10 people in Florida.
Further, environmentalists say
Florida's groundwater is particularly
vulnerable to contaminants because
it's so close to the surface.
"We're all absolutely delighted,"
said Department of Environmental
Regulation Secretary Victoria
TschinkeL "I don't think there's one
word we would change."
Mrs. Tschnkel's department won
new police powers over pollutants
and would act as the lead
information-collection agency for
Florida's water resources.
The package provides the money to
help the Department of Environmen-
We have guaranteed
water quality in the
future and guaran-
teed the resources to
clean it up now.'
Rep. Jon Mills
tal Regulation fulfill its mission of
regu ng the state's environment,
Mrs. Tschinkel said.
Here are the major provisions of
W The bulk of the money for the
budget year beginning July 1 would
come by making merchants pay
sales-tax collections more quickly.
Lawmakers estimate the one-time
surge would generate $100 million.
The speedup would have the effect of
collecting 13 months of taxes i a 12-
i A $100 million program would
provide gants to cities and counties
o building sewage-treatment plants.
The municipalities would have to
come up with some of the money
themselves when the program is im-
plemented in the 1984-5 state budget
V A controversial provision would
let urban counties acquire a wellfeld
from water-rich rural counties before
getting a pumping permit (But the
expense of acquiring a wellfield site
cannot be used as evidence in justify-
ing the permit. The provision is a
compromise worked out between spe-
cial interests and Senate President
Curtis Peterson, D-Lakeland and
House Speaker Lee Moffitt, D-
Tampa. Peterson had represented the
rural interests while Moffitt was in
favor of the urban interests.)
V A one-time transfer of $11 mil-
lion plus interest from an existing i
trust fund would be used to help clean
up haardous-waste sites in the state.
Florida has about 200 uncontrolled
V A 2.9 million program would de-
tect contamination of groundwater
and another $350,000 would pay for a
pesticide review council.
V A provision would let homeown-
ers and businesses with small
amounts of hazardous waste bring it
to a state collection site for disposal
t A 2-cent-a-barrel tax would be
imposed on pollutants once a state
hazardous-waste cleanup fund
dropped to $3 million.
V Tanks where petroleum or other
hazardous wastes are stored would
be inspected. But lawmakers on Wed-
nesday deleted a provision to require
owners to pay a new three-year rank-
on water, education
a Gawn*rsigniAwtoughmks. I-
famjt as iiunancegu 'oi. S-8
OL 5POWO TWWn SUN W.4v
TALLAHASSEE The Legis-
latue came toa a grementThursday
on improving the quality of water and
education but wa still bickering over
the stat budget.
House and Senat negotiator
agrwd on a water-quality lagilatio
that wae claimedd a the most im-
portant environmental Iegilatui in
Florida in a decade. It regulates the
disposal of hb rdoua wastes and aet
up $100-umllion gant program to
tak over wn fedeai grants rn out
"r delighted abolutlydeight-.
ad," said Victoria Tschinkel, the
semtay of environmental relation.
House Natural Resource Chairman
Jona MBll D-Ginvilk, called the
legislatMi "a landmark in at last 10
yeasU a r
Twenty minutes after that agre
man wa reached. negotiators in an-
other conference room reached an
aeemant 0a legislation to raise
dcariMnnal tandardin Florida. But
unlike the water bill, the education
legislation has been significantly
weakened in the negotiations.
PLANS FOR merit pay, advo-
cated by House Speaker Lee Moffitt,
and for a longer school day advocated
by Senate President Curtis Peterson,
have been consigned to a study comn-
mission for a year. The requirement of
24 credit-hours for graduation has
been put off until 1986. Recartifation
of teachers, vigorously opposed by the
teacher lobbyists, ha disappeared
The required study of Americanism
vs. Conmmunism, which educators have
to varying degrees criticized and igL
ored lingers. And the proposed stat
budget bas little or no money for
teacher pay raises.
But Petenon, who would like
education reform to be one of the
legaie of his presidency, said the
Legislature is still doing a lot for
education this year. Th budget con.
tains 8-million for newM science lab
and money for new emphasis on read-
ing and writing in every schooL
Sen. Patrick Neal (left), D-Bradenton, and Rep. Jon Mills, O-
Gainesville, key negotiators in a compromise water-quality bill,
sought each other out just after the pact in Tallahassee yesterday.
The Miami Herald / Thursday, June 23, 1983
Water bill includes $100 million
for new sewage-treatment plants
-orm Herald Win Services
TALLAHASSEE A state
House-Senate conference commit-
tee Wednesday agreed on the main
provisions of an ambitious $121-
miliion package to protect Florida's
water from pollutants, build sew-
age-treatment plants and tax under-
ground fuel tanks.
"I think we have a funding mech-
anism that is probably better than
the funding mechanism either
[House or Senate] started out with,"
said Rep. Jon Mills (D., Gainesville),
leader of the water-quality negotia-
Legislators are expected to ap-
prove the sweeping environmental
provisions in the 118-page bill
(H47-B) during the extended legis-
lative session today or Friday, Mills
Leaders of both sides were pol-
ishing a last-minute compromise on
one remaining issue Senate Pres-
ident Curtis Peterson's efforts to re-
strict the powers of urban water
authorities to sink well fields in
rural areas. House Speaker Lee
Moffitt has opposed that provision.
The House-Senate conferees
were awaiting a verdict from Mof-
fitt and Peterson on the proposed
The bill provides for stepped up
monitoring of ground-water sup-
plies, a crackdown on hazardous-
waste dumping, a tougher review
of new pesticides and more strin-
gent restrictions on new septic-Lank
The major parts of the
A $100-million program
to provide money to cities and
counties to help them build
The grant program would
take effect during the 1984-85
state budget year and would
be funded by the speedup in
sales tax collections.
A new tax on owners of
large underground petrole-
um-storage tanks. Fees would
range from $25 for smaller fa-
cilities up to $500 for larger
tanks, with the fee in effect
for three years. Lawmakers
hope to raise $3.6 million.
A one-time transfer of
$11 million from an existing
trust fund to clean up pollu-
tants that spill in coastal wa-
A program to spend
$2.9 million to monitor Flori-
da's ground water for con-
The measure also would funnel
$100 million to cities and counties
to finance sewage treatment facili-
ties when federal funding for such
projects ends in 16 months. The re-
mainder of the funds would go to
the other programs, most of which
would be administered by the De-
partment of Environmental Regula-
"Smile DER. Smile cities. Smile
counties," said Mills, after outlining
the proposed funding.
The $100 million for sewer
grants would come from a one-time
speedup in the collection of sales
taxes from large retailers, in effect:
forcing them to forward to the state
13 months' worth of taxes in a 12-
The bulk of the other funding
would come from a new tax on
large gasoline storage tanks rang-
ing from $25 to $500 yearly, an ex-
isting trust fund for coastal oil fills
and interest earned on the S100 mil-
lion before its disbursement.
"In terms of the taxpayers. I
think we've done this in a re atively
painless fashion," Mills said.
The oil-spill trust fund and a new-
trust fund created by the bilt woulc
be replenished after they reach ce:
tain levels by a 2-cents-per-oarre!
tax on petroleum.
Oil-industry representatives said
ultimately this tax would be passed
on to the public.
The agreements were hammered
out in almost daily meetings of the
conferees over three weeks. In con-
trast to many conference commit-
tees in the past, the negotiation,
were largely conducted in pubic