Several environmental bills move in Legislature

There was significant movement Monday on several environmental bills. SB 550, a comprehensive water bill that includes a requirement for septic tank inspections, passed the Senate 30-3.

HB 7143 relating to recycling passed the House 115-1 after a requirement that airports recycle was removed from the bill. The Senate companion, SB 570, was amended and placed on third reading.

HB 1445, a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services bill that includes a prohibition against local fertilizer ordinances, passed the House 74-37. The bill by Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka, faces opposition from environmental groups, cities and counties.

HB 7229, a renewable energy bill, was temporarily postponed on third reading. A revamped version will be introduced, said Rep. Stephen Precourt, R-Orlando and chairman of the Energy & Utilities Policy Committee. The Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association said Monday it is concerned that the bill benefits only utilities.

Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Altamonte Springs and sponsor of SB 550 and SB 570, was recognized by Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-Palm Beach, for being a champion of environmental legislation. Constantine is leaving the Legislature later this year after 18 years because of term limits.

(Story content provided by the Current, produced by The Florida Tribune. Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)