Great Florida Law: Mandatory Fecal Spill Reporting

Sewage Spill Reporting is a law in Florida as of June 2017.  ALL SENATORS and HOUSE MEMBERS VOTED YES!  That’s quite remarkable.

The final version regulates sewage (fecal) waste spills, dry cleaning and biodiesel waste spills, and tainted property.  All make drinking water and waterways unsafe for life.  Water treatment is a public service, but dry cleaning and other chemicals are commercial items (and the businesses are protected by Limited Liability laws).

Starting July 1, 2017 companies have 24 hours to report spills over 1,000 Gallons to Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and DEP will then publish the information within 24 hours.  I suggest you scan the bill.

Here’s the link to mandatory reporting:


At the DEP link you can set up an email notification for your area, or download parts of the list in Excel or in text.  THERE ARE SO MANY SPILLS THAT IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO TRACK THEM ALL!  I’m just beginning to navigate the data, myself…more to report later.  I have observed that the ‘enforcement’ was levied on local municipalities more strongly after Hurricane IRMA.  The media now picks them up, as well, and so I’ve included a page of ‘general’ spills; and IRMA related spills.

***********   Extra Content for the Curious ****************************************

An article about the bill signing by Governor Rick Scott:

The final votes on the bill:


vote report

Excerpts from the bill:

The department shall publish on a website accessible to
 the public all notices submitted by an owner or operator
 (b) The department shall create an electronic mailing list
   for such notices and allow the public, including local
   governments, health departments, news media, and other
  interested persons, to subscribe to and receive periodic direct  
    (5) VIOLATIONS.—Failure to provide the notification
required by subsection (2) shall subject the owner or operator
to the civil penalties 
  138  Act does not alter or affect the emergency management responsibilities of the Governor, the Division of Emergency  Management, or the governing body of any political subdivision

Questions from a curious mind:

What is the “Inland Protection Trust Fund”?  What is the “Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund”?

Why are there so many provisions in the bill for the spill property – biodiesel, dry cleaning plants, prioritized lists of properties – for funding?  Why is there $30M made available of public funds?  I’m not sure of the motivation to address dry cleaning tainted lands, but I’m guessing that small dry cleaning companies have historical trouble unloading land that the unknowingly purchased when they bought a business/property.  It seems to me that this bill may be an avenue for property owners impacted by spills in the past and in the future to shuttle their loss and to minimize loss at the cost of taxpayers.