The Council asked for an amendment toSenate Bill 36, the Aquifer Storage legislation, that prevented potential unintended inhibitors to the development community in urban areas.
The final clause of the first sentence of 12-5-82 appeared to impose an affirmative obligation to “restore and maintain” all aquifers of the state. This could potentially result in cleanup of groundwater in urban areas and other parts of the state to stringent drinking water levels even in situations where groundwater is not actually used as a drinking water source. This could have had a significant negative impact on redevelopment of environmentally impacted sites across the state (because the cost to cleanup groundwater to drinking water standards can be very expensive) and could limit the ability that developers have now to use engineering controls and institutional controls as alternative approaches to address groundwater contamination at properties.
Senator Josh McKoon, after hearing from members of the Council and understanding their concerns, offered an amendment that would limit the legislation to the Floridan Aquifer only, which passed without objection. The Council would like to thank Senator McKoon and the bill’s author, Senator Ligon for working with the Council to clean up the bill’s language and avoid the unintended consequences for development in the Metro Region.