The Clean Waterways Act, sponsored by Senator Debbie Mayfield (Indialantic – R), has passed the Senate Committee on Community Affairs. This comprehensive legislation incorporates recommendations from the Blue-Green Algae Task Force to expedite improvements and restoration of Florida’s water bodies that have been adversely affected by blue-green algae blooms.
The Blue-Green Algae Task Force, created by Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this year, received input from a variety of stakeholders and identified significant sources of nutrient pollution that are contributing to algal blooms. These sources include runoff from agricultural lands, onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), sanitary sewer overflows, and stormwater runoff. In October 2019, the Task Force released recommendations to improve the state’s policies and programs to achieve targeted nutrient reductions and protect public health.
“Any lasting solutions must address aging sewage treatment infrastructure, eliminating wastewater spills, septic to sewer conversions and biosolids,” said Senator Debbie Mayfield. “I look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and my colleagues to implement these reforms to make cleaner waterways a reality.”
“This bill focuses on long-term solutions for Florida’s water quality and represents the most comprehensive environmental reform the state has seen in more than a decade,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. “I am grateful for Governor DeSantis’ and Senator Mayfield’s dedicated commitment to protecting our environment.”