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Water-Related News

UPDATE: Water protections removed from fertilizer bill

April 17, 2023

[Lake Placid Republican Rep. Kaylee Tuck] introduced and received approval on a strike-all amendment that removes Section 2 of the bill.

The section would have prohibited the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from authorizing application site permits for Class B biosolids within the upstream subwatershed of certain impaired waterbodies, unless the applicant can prove it wouldn’t increase the nutrient load in that subwatershed.

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March 30, 2023

Florida House Bill 1405 creates a biosolids grant program within the Department of Environmental Protection.

When treating wastewater, you’re left with solids and treated liquid. Call those solids what you like, but legislation passing a House subcommittee this week would encourage wastewater treatment entities to refine these solids into a better-quality fertilizer.

There are Class AA, A and B biosolids, with the bill laid out to encourage more facilities to generate Class AA.

“Florida’s Clean Waterways Act states that the Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the state to minimize the migration of nutrients that impair water bodies,” Lake Placid Republican Rep. Kaylee Tuck said of HB 1405 to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.

“While this act has substantially strengthened permitting requirements for Class B biosolids, it did not specifically provide targeted protections for Florida’s already impaired waterways.”

Class B biosolids have a significant amount of toxic metals and can attract “rodents, flies, mosquitoes or other organisms capable of transporting infectious agents.”