Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sierra Club Florida Alert – Oil/Gas and Septic Tank Bills on Agenda Tomorrow

HB 695 – Development of Oil and Gas Resources and HB 999 – Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems will be heard in House Appropriations tomorrow.  Please call committee members and urge them to vote NO on these bills

CS/HB 695 - Development of Oil and Gas Resources by Rep. Ford allows any state land management agency to enter a public-private partnership contract to explore, develop, and produce oil or gas under state lands. It’s focus is short term financial gain. The bill provides that the state’s evaluation of business proposals be based on “contemporary industry practices” which do not have a public interest component.
The words "environment", "impact", "protection", or "mitigation" appear nowhere in the bill. And the trigger for pursuing public-private partnerships to explore for oil or gas is the "yield [of] greater, near-term revenue returns for the state, ...” There is no consideration of the potential impacts to state resources that will be associated with exploration and extraction, never mind a bad spill.

CS/HB 999 - Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems, the Septic Tank evaluation and inspection bill preempts local governments from protecting their groundwater by requiring any local program to conform to the (weak) requirements and the significant limitations of the bill.  It specifically excludes inadequate separation of the drainfield from the wettest season water table from the definition of “system failure” and thereby prevents any requirement for repairing a problem with

minimum separation.  If the ground is saturated beneath a drainfield, coliform bacteria can move into the groundwater creating a public health threat.  The bill also preempts existing local ordinances because it prohibits requiring an inspection of the septic tank and drainfield when a property is sold.

And HB 999 has no meaningful connection with springs protection because it allows counties and cities in impaired watersheds to opt out of the program.  Further, even if the locality does not opt out, there is no requirement that the evaluation and assessment program be carried out where septic tanks could reasonably be expected to affect springs.

Please contact members of the Full Appropriations Committee today as both bills will be on the agenda for the meeting that starts at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.  Phone calls are best – and emails should include “Please vote NO on 695 and 999 Oil/Gas and Septic Tanks” in the subject line.  I’ve grouped the emails of the committee members for your convenience.

Thank you for standing up for Florida’s environment!

Committee emails:
gary.aubuchon@myfloridahouse.gov, leonard.bembry@myfloridahouse.gov, charles.chestnut@myfloridahouse.gov, marti.coley@myfloridahouse.gov, chris.dorworth@myfloridahouse.gov, rich.glorioso@myfloridahouse.gov, denise.grimsley@myfloridahouse.gov, ed.hooper@myfloridahouse.gov, mike.horner@myfloridahouse.gov, matt.hudson@myfloridahouse.gov, dorothy.hukill@myfloridahouse.gov, mia.jones@myfloridahouse.gov, martin.kiar@myfloridahouse.gov, paige.kreegel@myfloridahouse.gov, seth.mckeel@myfloridahouse.gov, marlene.otoole@myfloridahouse.gov, ari.porth@myfloridahouse.gov, bill.proctor@myfloridahouse.gov, darryl.rouson@myfloridahouse.gov, franklin.sands@myfloridahouse.gov, ron.saunders@myfloridahouse.gov, robert.schenck@myfloridahouse.gov, william.snyder@myfloridahouse.gov, trudi.williams@myfloridahouse.gov

House Appropriations 2012

Representative                             Local Phone           Email Address
Rep. Gary Aubuchon                     (850) 488-7433     gary.aubuchon@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Leonard Bembry                    (850) 488-7870     leonard.bembry@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Charles  Chestnut                  (850) 488-5794     charles.chestnut@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Marti Coley                            (850) 488-2873     marti.coley@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Chris Dorworth, V. Chair     (850) 488-5843     chris.dorworth@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Rich Glorioso                         (850) 488-0807     rich.glorioso@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Denise Grimsley, Chair        (850) 488-3457     denise.grimsley@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Ed Hooper                              (850) 488-1540     ed.hooper@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Mike Horner                           (850) 488-8992     mike.horner@myfloridahouse.ov
Rep. Matt Hudson                          (850) 488-1028     matt.hudson@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Dorothy Hukill                      (850) 488-6653     dorothy.hukill@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Mia Jones                               (850) 488-6893     mia.jones@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Martin Kiar                             (850) 487-1588     martin.kiar@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Paige Kreegel                         (850) 488-9175     paige.kreegel@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Seth McKeel                           (850) 488-9890     seth.mckeel@myfloridahouse.go
Rep. Marlene O'Toole                    (850) 488-5991     marlene.otoole@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Ari Porth                                 (850) 488-2124     ari.porth@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Bill Proctor                             (850) 488-2977     bill.proctor@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Darryl Rouson                       (850) 488-0925     darryl.rouson@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Franklin Sands                       (850) 488-0590     franklin.sands@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Ron Saunders                         (850) 488-9965     ron.saunders@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Robert Schenck                     (850) 488-6641     robert.schenck@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. William Snyder                      (850) 488-8832     william.snyder@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Trudi Williams                       (850) 488-2047     trudi.williams@myfloridahouse.gov

David Cullen, Sierra Club Florida lobbyist