In 2022, the Surfrider Foundation in Florida will continue to advocate for clean water and healthy beaches by tackling plastic pollution, water quality, and sea level rise. Legislative Session starts on January 11, 2022 for 60 days ending March 11, 2022.
*Please note, this list is regularly updated throughout Session.
Single Use Plastics
- Support the Repeal of preemptions on local regulation of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam foodware ordinances. HB 6063/SB 320 (Rep. Grieco and Sen. Stewart)
- Support FDACS rule PCB (Potential Committee Bill) adoption on state-wide polystyrene phase-out plan.
- Watching for Improvements SB 1156 (2022)Study to Establish a Statewide Long-term Recycling Goal (Stewart) to establish FDEP study for recycling goals by 2030.
- Watching Review and develop legislative recommendations based on the DEP 2021 Retail Bags Report to include information on wrappings, polystyrene regulations, marine debris, and new information on plastic bag regulations in residential, retail, and government settings. Bill number coming soon.
- Support and Restore authority for local governments to regulate smoking on public beaches and state parks. SB 224, HB 105 (Sen. Gruters and Rep. Altman) – Talking Points SB 224 is off to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Encourage Chair Brodeur to place SB 224 on the agenda. HB 105 has been referred to the House Professional and Public Health Subcommittee. Encourage Chair Will Robinson to consider HB 105.Passed 8-0 in Senate Community Affairs on 11/3/21 Introduced to the Senate on 1/11/22.
- Support the Federal and State ban on the sale of single-use plastics in National and State Parks.
- Support Funding the DOH Florida Healthy Beaches Program through a recurring appropriation of $1,000,000 as well as an additional 500,000 for the development of universal push alert notification systems and signage.
- Support SB 604/ HB 393 Safe Waterways Act/ Public Bathing Places requires DOH to adopt and enforce, monitor, and post water health advisories with DEP and FWCC to implement signage requirements.
- Improve public notification requirements at recreational beaches for elevated bacteria levels and wastewater spills through statewide universal signage and “right to know” sewer spill notification legislation via digital push alert systems.
- Watching SB 832/ HB 561 Implementation of the Recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force (Sen. Stewart, Rep. Goff-Marcil) Requiring owners of onsite sewage treatment and disposal to allow inspection and requires BMAPs to include specified information
- Support efforts to reduce nutrient pollution, including septic to sewer conversions, funding for local government wastewater infrastructure improvements, and stringent regulations for the land application of biosolids. Support and oversee adoption of Stormwater statewide rulemaking as part of SB 712 Clean Waterways Act.
- Watching for improvements HB 349/ SB 198 Water Resources Management ( Rep. Sirois/Overdorf) / Seagrass Mitigation Banks (Sen. Rodriguez) Mitigation banks for seagrass to protect the benthic ecology requires more technical language to improve water quality, controls from boating to control and protect mitigation areas and stop large UME of Manatees and large algal blooms.
- Continued support of Lake Okeechobee discharge regulation to protect the Indian River Lagoon, Caloosahatchee and comprehensive Everglades Restoration and protection of the Floridan Aquifer while keeping nutrients out of the estuaries to improve water quality.
Sea Level Rise & Climate Change
- Support HB 863 Sales Tax Refunds for Building Mitigation Retrofit Improvements (Rep.DiCeglie)the bill would allow sales tax refunds on building materials used to reinforce buildings against natural disasters like hurricanes.
- Support SB 1238 Saltwater Intrusion Vulnerability Assessments (Sen.Polsky) requires coastal counties to analyze effects and preparedness for saltwater intrusion on their water supplies to DEP, WMD and counties required to update comprehensive sea level rise and saltwater vulnerability plans
- Support policies that promote and fund planning, adaptation, mitigation, and resiliency efforts that protect Florida from sea level rise and climate change.
- Support the creation of a statewide Office of Resiliency.
- Support funding of statewide nature based solutions to combat sea level rise include sea oats planting and mangrove and dune restoration programs.
*Oppose These bills essentially have some similar and devastating impacts to many local ordinances to include pollution,fertilizer, and litter ordinances among other heavy financial impacts to local city governments.
SB 620 (Hutson) Business Damages Against Local Government This bad bill would authorize a business in operation for at least 3 years in Florida to claim damages from a local government if the government enacts or amends an ordinance or charter provision that will cause a reduction of at least 15% of the business’ revenue or profit. This would not include those ordinances to comply with state or federal law, emergency orders or declarations, or temporary emergency ordinances. Status- Passed in Senate Judiciary; Yeas-7 Nays-4, 1/10 removed from Rules and skipped a committee stop. 1/11/22 Introduced in the Senate Judiciary.