Constantine: Lawmakers knew about septic tanks mandate

By The Florida Tribune
As legislators seek to extend the implementation of new septic tank standards during the upcoming special session, outgoing Sen. Lee Constantine sent a letter to lawmakers requesting they back the standards and its timeline, just as they did during the past legislative session.

Under SB 550, the new standards would require that all septic tanks be inspected every five years. The Legislature took up the bill after hearing citizens’ concerns about algal blooms, pollution and groundwater over-pumping from springs.

But Rep. Dean Cannon and Sen. Mike Haridopolos have agreed to push the start date of the new program from January 1, 2011 to July 1, 2011 due to recent complaints over the cost to pay for the new standards. That would give lawmakers an opportunity to revisit the legislation during next year’s regular session.

Constantine stated in his letter that his bill did not hide anything and that the Legislature knew everything about the standards when they voted to approve the measure by a 30-3 vote.

“Never … NEVER, was there any intent to hide or cover up this program in the bill,” Constantine said in the letter. “In fact, given the support received from all sides of the political spectrum; from Home Builders to the Sierra Club, my staff and I were proud of the consensus we were able to build on this issue.”

Read more at the Florida Tribune.