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Program Transfer

Transfer of the Onsite Sewage Program from Department of Health to Department of Environmental Protection, Effective July 1, 2021

This page was created to provide a central repository for information related to the transfer of the Onsite Sewage Program from DOH to DEP. The transfer was proposed in the 2020 Legislative Session in Senate Bill 712. The bill passed and was signed into law by Governor DeSantis on June 30, 2020, as Chapter 2020-150.

This page will be updated with related documents and information regarding the transfer. The frequency of the postings will vary, so check back periodically for new information.

Reports and Agreements

To plan for the July 1, 2021 program transfer, the two agencies developed the following reports.

In 2021, the two agencies executed an interagency agreement under which the program will operate starting on July 1, 2021.

Annual status reports are required for subsequent years.

Update on the Certified Environmental Health Professional (CEHP) in Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems

October 1, 2023. The Florida Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Environmental Health's Certified Environmental Health Professional Program (CEHP) office continues to administer the CEHP program in the OSTDS program area. The Interagency Agreement between DEP and DOH requires DEP maintenance of a continuing education course list for CEHP renewal. For CEHPs in the OSTDS program, courses approved for contact hours include all those listed in Approved Continuing Education Courses for Registered & Master Septic Tank Contractors and Approved CEHP Contact Hour Trainings for the 2023-2025 CEHP cycle.

For the current CEHP certification and renewal period ending September 30, 2025, it is expected that existing DOH procedures will remain in place. DEP and DOH will communicate any updates to currently active CEHPs.

Guidance from the previous renewal period (May 7, 2021) listed similar procedures.

January 5, 2021. The Act called for the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection to submit recommendations regarding all aspects of the transfer to the Governor, Speaker of the House and President of the Senate by December 31, 2020. The Department contracted with the Florida Conflict Resolution Center at Florida State University to facilitate discussions between staff from both agencies and develop recommendations. The resulting report with recommendations was submitted December 30, 2020 and a copy is linked below.

The report recommends what is referred to as “scenario B”. In this scenario, employees working in the program in the county health departments will continue to be DOH-employees and implement the OSTDS program. Starting July 1, 2021, the implementation will be under the direction of the Department of Environmental Protection. The program office in the State Health Office will transfer to DEP and continue to provide the current services from there. The Environmental Health Database and its successor will continue to be managed from the DOH State Health Office.

The future of the certification as certified environmental health professional in OSTDS has not been settled. The need for clarification of training requirements and certification is established but left to the Interagency Agreement: “Any model for providing OSTDS services on July 1, 2021, must clearly establish if private site evaluators will continue to exist or when they will cease to exist; and the training and, as applicable, certification requirements for employees of either agency working in the OSTDS program… On July 1, 2021, DOH and DEP should cooperate to ensure that, at a minimum, the appropriate education and training regarding the public health and environmental aspects of OSTDS is available to DEP employees, DOH employees and private site evaluators.”

    Last Modified:
    October 23, 2023 - 10:32am

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