HB 1149 endangers our aquifers and drinking water

The League of Women Voters summarizes HB 1149:

  • Incentivizes using reclaimed wastewater to recharge Florida’s aquifers.
  • Provides that DEP and the Water Management Districts reissue the construction phase of individual permits up to three years after they expire, basing the re-issuance on original permit conditions and ignoring any new requirements or standards.

Reclaimed water may be used to offset consumptive water use permits, including injecting reclaimed water into the drinking water aquifers. Reclaimed water standards exclude pharmaceuticals and other “contaminants of emerging concern” (CEC) as specified by the EPA. New or existing Consumptive Use Permits can result in millions of gallons per day of treated wastewater (that is not treated for CECs) being pumped into the aquifer, contaminating it.

Under this bill, DEP and Water Management Districts must reissue expired construction phase permits up to three years after they expire. Expired individual permits can include the construction phase of very large and complex projects such as dams, impoundments, reservoirs, or stormwater management systems. Permit holders will only have to meet the old standards and will be exempt from any new requirements. 
This bill accommodates development interests at the expense of environmental protections. Any major project should meet current rules to protect the environment, workers, and public health and safety.

Urge Gov. Scott to exercise his authority to veto this bill in order to protect the state’s aquifers from irremediable contamination and to defend the legitimacy of the state’s permitting program.

Call or write: rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com, (850) 488-7146
Please follow and like us: