Lawmakers seek money to aid Indian River Lagoon

A House Republican on Friday proposed providing $50 million a year in state funds to help efforts to restore the Indian River Lagoon.

Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, proposed the measure (HB 141) for consideration during the 2019 legislative session, which starts in March. The money would be used to help fund projects such as extending sewer lines to residential areas that do not have access to sewer systems and trying to increase the number of septic-system users who hook up to sewer systems.

Also, money could go to sewer-plant upgrades, and the bill would toughen penalties for plants that illegally discharge sewage into waterways or the aquifer. The state money would have to be matched by local funds.

“There is no issue more important to the future of Brevard County than restoring the Indian River Lagoon,” Fine said in a prepared statement. “The state has an important role in both financially supporting that recovery as well as guiding local governments to get the job done. My legislation will do both --- providing the incentive of $50 million a year in matching funds to support Indian River Lagoon restoration and dramatically increased penalties for illegal spills caused by lack of system maintenance.”


Information provided by The News Service of Florida.