In 2020, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 712, also known as the Clean Waterways Act, now Chapter 2020-150, Laws of Florida. This legislation passed with unanimous, bipartisan support and carries a wide range of water-quality protection provisions aimed at minimizing the impact of known sources of nutrient pollution and strengthening regulatory requirements.
The Clean Waterways Act directed the DEP to create an OSTDS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that would provide recommendations to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature related to requirements for the physical location of OSTDS and the marketplace availability and use of associated Enhanced Nutrient Reducing (ENR) technology.
DEP is committed to keeping the public informed about TAC activities. This page is used to provide the most up-to-date TAC information. As a state agency sponsored committee, this TAC is required to follow all requirements of Florida's "Government in the Sunshine" law, also known as the "Open Meetings" law. All meetings are publicly noticed and open to the public.
There are no upcoming TAC meetings scheduled at this time. Once the recommendations are finalized, they will be posted on this page. For more information about the TAC, please email OSTDS_TAC@FloridaDEP.gov. You can also sign up to receive email announcements for TAC activities.
Public input is an important and valued part of all Florida rule development activities. The formation of a TAC provides DEP with an additional way to seek and receive public input and recommendations during the rule development process. This TAC is focused on the direction in the Clean Waterways Act. The goal of this TAC is to develop and provide consensus recommendations through public discussion and constructive deliberation to the governor and legislature by Jan. 1, 2022.
The mission of the OSTDS TAC is established as follows:
The mission of the OSTDS TAC shall be to provide a forum for identifying and constructively outlining recommendations to the governor and legislature based on the most recent scientific information available and the direction provided by Chapter 2020-150, Laws of Florida.
TAC Charge Questions
The initial charge questions for the TAC are:
How can market availability be increased for ENR OSTDS that are cost-effective, low maintenance, and reliable?
What regulatory options, such as fast-track approval, prequalification, or expedited permitting, would facilitate the introduction and use of ENR OSTDS that have been reviewed and approved by a national agency or organization, such as the American National Standards Institute 245 systems approved by the NSF International?
What is the appropriate setback distance for OSTDS from surface water, groundwater, and wells?
As directed by Section 8 of Chapter 2020-150, Laws of Florida, DEP has identified key stakeholder groups and professionals willing to commit their time serving on the TAC. These representatives will provide the benefit of their technical expertise and will coordinate input and perspective representing their stakeholder categories. The TAC members and their respective stakeholder categories are listed below:
A professional engineer
John Shearer - Shearer Consulting, Inc.
A septic tank contractor
Greg Mayfield - Tampa Septic, Inc.-Southern Water and Soil
Two representatives from the home building industry
Robert Himschoot - Crews Environmental
Jerry Prescott - Liberty Plumbing and Septic
A representative from the real estate industry
JP Fraites - Florida Realtors
A representative from the OSTDS industry
Roxanne Groover - Florida Onsite Wastewater Association, Inc.
A representative from local government
Virginia Barker - Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department
Two representatives from the environmental community
Chris Farrell - Audubon Florida
Cyndi Fernandez - Conservation Florida
A representative of the scientific and technical community who has substantial expertise in the areas of the fate and transport of water pollutants, toxicology, epidemiology, geology, biology or environmental sciences
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.