WATCH: Rep. Randy Fine’s Anti-Sewage-Spill HB 141 Passes Unanimously in House Committee Vote

REP: RANDY FINE: 'We can't fix our waterways until we stop putting sewage into them'

WATCH: Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, made an inspired closing speech before his raw sewage bill passed unanimously last week before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. 

REP RANDY FINE: I’m angry, and you should be too!

BREVARD COUNTY • TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, made an inspired closing speech before his raw sewage bill passed unanimously last week before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. 

“I’m angry, and you should be too,” said Fine.

HB 141 would require a written notice to be sent to residents by mail every time there’s a spill, and the note would provide the names and phone numbers of the authorities responsible for the plant’s oversight.

“There is no issue more important to the future of Brevard County than restoring the Indian River Lagoon, and I want to share some statistics,” Fine told the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee.

“The first number is 2,701,769,627. That’s 2.7 billion. What is that? It’s the number of gallons of raw sewage that municipal plants have dumped in Florida waterways in the last 10 years.”

“And during those 10 years, “that’s happened over 23,000 times. We can’t fix our waterways until we stop putting sewage into them.”

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The bill would provide funding for sewer line extensions to the South Beaches south of Melbourne Beach, to take properties off septic that already have the opportunity to hook into sewer lines, and to upgrade treatment capabilities at a system plant to make discharges nutrient-free.

“I want to share some statistics,” Fine told the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee. “The first number is 2,701,769,627. That’s 2.7 billion. What is that? It’s the number of gallons of raw sewage that municipal plants have dumped in Florida waterways in the last 10 years.” And during those 10 years, “that’s happened over 23,000 times … enough sewage to fill 10,000 swimming pools. …

“We can’t fix our waterways until we stop putting sewage into them,” Fine said.

“There is no issue more important to the future of Brevard County than restoring the Indian River Lagoon,” he said.

Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, made an inspired closing speech before his raw sewage bill passed unanimously last week before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “We can’t fix our waterways until we stop putting sewage into them,” Fine said. (thefloridachannel.com video image)

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Rep. Randy Fine Proposes HB 141 During 2019 Legislative Session to Clean Up Indian River Lagoon

Fine said the state has an important role in both financially supporting lagoon recovery and 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.”

The bill would also require a $2 fee for every gallon of raw sewage released.

“Ask any meteorologist how long Hurricane Irma lasted in 2017 and they’ll tell you three days. But in Brevard County, it lasted for 35 days,” he said. “For 30 days and nights, 24/7, raw sewage was running into the Indian River Lagoon. That’s 22 million gallons.”

What “got me really mad to begin with,” he said, was that the Brevard County Commission chose to use the 35 days of sewage bombardment to spend 14.5 million tax dollars, not to repair system infrastructure but on these “necessities”:

– $7 million for an “indoor multiuse sports arena and hotel project” in Titusville,

– $5 million for upgrades to the Viera Regional Park’s soccer and lacrosse fields,

– $1.7 million to expand a campground at Palm Bay Regional Park,

– $500,000 for a “Keepers Cottage Museum” at the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse,

– $200,000 to upgrade a pier area in Indian Harbour Beach near where the 20 million gallons of sewage were deposited.

Fine represents District 53, which is comprised of the southern portion of Brevard County and includes the entirety of Palm Bay, Malabar, and Grant-Valkaria, and portions of Melbourne, West Melbourne, and unincorporated Brevard.

In the legislature, he is the Chairman of Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Vice Chairman of Gaming Control Subcommittee, serves on Health Quality Subcommittee, Business and Professions Subcommittee, Education Committee, Appropriations Committee and Brevard County Delegation.

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