Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Introduction & State regulatory...
 Federal laws and agencies
 State agencies
 Private regulation
 Environmentally safe practices
 Groundwater discharge
 State regulated activities
 Appendix A. List of acronyms
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: Circular
Title: Handbook of Florida water regulation
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014461/00001
 Material Information
Title: Handbook of Florida water regulation
Series Title: Circular
Physical Description: 44 p. : ; 23 x 10 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Olexa, Michael T
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1991
Subject: Water -- Law and legislation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Water-supply -- Law and legislation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: M.T. Olexa
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "November 1991."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014461
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA6896
ltuf - AJB1734
oclc - 25327582
alephbibnum - 001699582

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Introduction & State regulatory powers
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Federal laws and agencies
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    State agencies
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Private regulation
        Page 16
    Environmentally safe practices
        Page 17
    Groundwater discharge
        Page 18
        Page 19
    State regulated activities
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Appendix A. List of acronyms
        Page 38
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Back Matter
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Back Cover
        Page 45
Full Text
November 1991

Handbook of Florida

Water Regulation

M. T. Olexa*

Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension


Circular 1026

This publication is designed to provide accurate, current and
authoritative information on the subject. However, since the laws,
administrative rulings and court decisions on which it is based are
subject to constant revision, portions of this publication could become
outdated at any time.
This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author
is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice, and the
information contained herein should not be regarded, or relied upon, as
a substitute for professional advice.

The author is indebted to the many state and federal agency
personnel and to the individuals who gave of their time and advice in
the preparation of this handbook.
The author is especially indebted to Ms. Heather Weiner for
formatting the handbook.
Appreciation is also extended to several very capable research
assistants of the University of Florida Law School who helped in the
development of the manuscript. These research assistants include
Christopher Fonzi, Michael Maddux, Andrew Norris and Heather

This publication is supported in part by a grant from the Extension
Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

*Michael T. Olexa Is an Associate Professor In the Food and
Resource Economics Department, IFAS, University of Florida,
Gainesville. He Is a plant pathologist, attorney and project
director of the IFAS Agricultural Law Extension Program. He is a
member of The Florida Bar, the Agricultural Law Committee of
The Florida Bar, and former owner and operator of a plant nursery

Table of Contents
Water Protection Manual

1. Introduction ................................... ........... ........ .... 1
General Purpose
IU. State Regulatory Powers
State Law Overview
How are state government actions restricted?.............. 2
What is the structure of Florida Agencies?
What about local governments?
II. Federal Laws and Agencies ......................................... 3
Clean Water Act
Who enforces the CWA?
How is the CWA enforced?
What are point and nonpoint sources?
What about dredge and fill? .......................................4
What about oil and hazardous substances?
What are the penalties?
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Who enforces the RCRA?......................................... 5
How is the RCRA enforced?
What are the penalties?
Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation and Liability Act
W ho enforces CERCLA? ...........................................6
Who investigates CERCLA violations?
What does a clean-up involve?
Who is liable for the clean-up costs?
What are environmental audits? ................................7
Safe Drinking Water Act
Who enforces the SDWA?
What does the SDWA prohibit? ...............................8
What are the penalties?
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
Who enforces the FIFRA?
What do pesticide labels mean?
Which pesticides need registration and/or
W hat are the penalties? .............................................9
Toxic Substances Control Act
Who enforces the TSCA? ........................................ 10
How is the TSCA enforced?
What are the penalties?
Endangered Species Act
Who enforces the ESA?

What does the ESA prohibit? ................................... 11
What is a permit for?
What are the penalties?
IV. State Agencies
Department of Environmental Regulation
Who does the DER share powers with? ................. 12
How is the DER structured?
Water Management Districts
What is the WMD's structure? ............................... 13
What do the WMDs give permits for?
What is the state water quality plan?
What can the WMDs tax? ........................................14
Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services .........15
Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services
Department of Natural Resources .............................. 16
V. Private Regulation
What is Nuisance?
What is the Florida Right-to-Farm Act?
What is Negligence?
What is Negligence Per Se?......................................... 17
What is Strict Liability?
What is Joint and Several Liability?
VI. Environmentally Safe Practices
What are the Soil and Water Conservation Districts?
What are Best Management Practices? .......................18
VII. Groundwater Discharge
How does Florida regulate groundwater discharge?
What are groundwater classifications?
What are groundwater quality standards? ...................19
Does this include stormwater runoff?
What are the permit requirements?
How does the federal government regulate
discharge into groundwater? ................................... 20
VIII. State Regulated Activities
Water Wells
Who regulates water wells?
What are the well construction
requirements? ........................................... .... 21
Where should a well be placed?
What are the well standards and specifications?
What are the well permits and fees? ........................22
What are the penalties?
Consumptive Use
Who regulates consumptive use?
What permits are required?
What are the effects of permits? .............................. 23
When is a permit revoked?
Management and Storage of Surface Waters
Who regulates MSSW?

What does MSSW include?
What are the exemptions? ....................................... 24
What permits are required?
What are the penalties?
Are other permits required?
Activities in Wetlands ......................................... ... 25
Who regulates wetlands?
What is a wetland?
When are wetland permits required?
What is exempt from wetland regulations? .............26
What is reclamation?
W hat about mangroves? ..........................................27
What is the Everglades Act?
What are the penalties?
Solid Waste Management
Who regulates SWM?
What is solid waste? ........................................ ..28
What is sludge?
How is used oil regulated? ....................................... 29
What can be composted from waste?
What should not go into landfills? ............................ 30
Hazardous Waste Management
Who regulates hazardous waste?
What is hazardous waste?
Who is responsible for managing hazardous
Generators ............................................... .....31
Owner/Operators of Treatment, Storage,
Disposal Facilities
W hat are the penalties? ........................................... 32
Pollutant Storage Tanks
Who regulates pollutant storage tanks?
What is a pollutant?
Which tanks are regulated?
What should tank owners do? .................................. 33
What are the Construction, Repair, Testing
What are the cleanup safeguards and
What is the proper procedure for tank
abandonment? ........................................... ... 34
On-site Sewage Disposal
Who regulates on-site sewage disposal?
Are on-site sewage disposal systems acceptable?
Where should on-site systems be placed? ..............35
How should the system be maintained?
What are the procedures for septic tank
What permits and fees are required?
What are the alternatives? ....................................... 36
Who regulates pesticides?
What is so important about pesticide labels?

What are restricted-use pesticides?.........................37
When is a NPDES permit required?
What about drinking water?
How should pesticides be stored and
disposed of?
What are the antisyphon requirements?
Appendix A
List of Acronyms ............................................ ...... 38
Contact Agencies............................................ .... 40
Florida Agencies
EPA National Offices & Numbers ..........................41
Numbers within EPA Region 4 (includes Florida) ....42

I. Introduction
General Purpose
This handbook is designed to act as a compass through the maze
of statutes, regulations and potential liabilities which identify the current
mass of water protection law. Created for readers with no prior
experience in law, it is designed as a necessary first step in recogniz-
ing which agricultural activities merit special attention because of their
groundwater and surface water implications. It also provides an
introduction to the crucial agencies and statutes which govern the
realm of water protection.
The law in this area is evolving rapidly as concern for the environ-
ment increases. Because the sources and goals of the existing
environmental statutes vary, the law as a whole has not developed
with systematic precision. This presents a confusing array of
overlapping, unclear and occasionally even contradictory mandates.
Consequently, this area of law often presents a formidable barrier to
both lawyers and laypersons struggling to determine their exact rights
and responsibilities. Perseverance is necessary, though, as penalties
or liabilities in some instances may be quite substantial.
This work should not be regarded as the final word on any of the
topics discussed, as a comprehensive study of this area is far beyond
the reach of a publication of this size. Rather, the reader should view
this publication as a means to determine the areas in which to seek
more information and as a brief directory of agencies which can help
answer more specific questions. State and federal agencies are
unquestionably the best targets for specific questions, as they are in
close touch with both the formal and practical considerations of the
areas they regulate. Consequently at the end of each subsection of
"Regulated Activities", there are Contact Information codes which refer
to the addresses and/or phone numbers of the agencies and divisions
listed in the Appendix. These agencies can provide more information
on the topic, answer specific questions and often supply free literature.
This publication's effectiveness can only be enhanced by the
submission of ideas and suggestions about the scope and quality of its
coverage. Comments regarding any areas which may have been
omitted, but deserve inclusion, would be particularly valued. Reader
feedback is a necessary ingredient to complete any successful future
editions. With this in mind, please send any comments or suggestions
Michael T. Olexa
Agricultural Law Extension Program
Food and Resource Economics Department
G-155E McCarty Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0141

II. State Regulatory Powers
State law overview
State law fills the gaps and supplements federal law. State law
also often duplicates federal law. In many instances, however, state
law standards are more strict than federal standards. Consequently,
compliance with state law often assures compliance with federal laws
as well.
In a nutshell, state law takes two forms statutes and administra-
tive rules.
Statutes are passed by the state legislature and set out the basic
goals of the legislature and the procedures it wants applied to
accomplish these goals. Although statutes often provide fairly specific
directions or prohibitions, many details of regulating an area of

business or an aspect of the environment are frequently too technical
and minute for the legislature to address.
Administrative Rules- The legislature will generally rely on
administrative agencies to carry out the specific goals of the legisla-
ture. To do so the legislature empowers administrative agencies to
adopt rules (which have the force of law) within the narrow bounds of
their directive from the legislature.
For example, if the legislature decided there was a state interest in
regulating the use of certain pesticides, it might pass a statute that
broadly outlines pesticide uses or prohibitions, then leave it to an
agency, in this instance the Department of Agriculture & Consumer
Services, to make rules about when, by whom, and in what quantities
the pesticide must be applied. In most instances, agencies also have
the power to enforce their rules through both criminal and civil
penalties as well as through permitting/licensing regulations.

How are state government actions restricted?
To ensure that agencies deal fairly with those who are subject to
their regulation, Florida has passed the following laws.
1. Florida Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 120, Florida
Statutes. This Act establishes many procedural rights such as:
the right to be heard by the agency,
the right to receive notice of agency actions,
a guaranteed opportunity for those who are most affected to
use those rights. This Act provides the chief mechanism for
private input into agency actions and rulemaking.
2. Florida Public Records Law, or Chapter 119, Florida Statutes.
Chapter 119 provides that all agency records, with a few
statutory exceptions; are available for public inspection and
copying. Exceptions arise where the confidentiality of the
information is necessary for efficient government administration
or where disclosure would adversely affect law enforcement
3. Florida Sunshine Law, Chapter 286, Florida Statutes, declares
that all meetings of any governmental body where any official
action is taken must be open to the public and the minutes must
be recorded. This statute, like Chapter 119, is not an uncondi-
tional guarantee of access to government, but goes a long way
toward keeping administrative bodies accountable to the public.

What Is the structure of Florida agencies?
The majority of state agencies have similar structures. Most
maintain their headquarters in Tallahassee and have regional offices
throughout the state. Within each agency, there may be various
divisions, each with its own set of duties, such as permitting, enforce-
ment or public information. Many agencies are headed by a secretary
who keeps in dose touch with the Governor. Other agencies are
headed by a cabinet officer or appointed commissioner. All keep in
close touch with the legislature to keep abreast of policy changes and
to maintain accurate, up-to-date rules.

What about local governments?
The structure of city and county government varies from govern-
ment to government, but each has its own divisions from minimum
sized rural areas to populous urban areas. Counties and cities are
headed by an elected commission. Some rely on professional
managers to run the day to day aspects of government, while others
rely on elected officials.

III. Federal Laws and Agencies
Existing federal law relating to preservation of water quality is
described in various acts of Congress. These acts, as well as the
agencies responsible for their enforcement, are discussed below.

Clean Water Act
The Clean Water Act is directed at maintaining and restoring the
quality of the waters of the United States, which are broadly defined as
all waters subject to tidal movements, reaching between states, or
used in interstate or foreign commerce. These include:
territorial seas and larger bodies of water,
lakes, streams, rivers, ponds and other small water bodies if
they have even a remote potential to affect interstate commerce
or people involved in interstate commerce.
wetlands, which are generally defined as lands which are
covered periodically with enough water to support vegetation
especially suited to a wetlands environment.
Primarily through its discharge permitting requirements, the Act
limits the amounts of pollutants which may be released into these
waters in an attempt to keep the water at a level safe for swimming
and other uses, as well as for fish and aquatic life.

Who enforces the Clean Water Act?
The Act in general is enforced by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), but dredge and fill permitting is enforced by the Army
Corps of Engineers. The EPA has established national standards for
the maximum amount of pollutants which may be released under its
permits. States are authorized under the Act to establish their own
standards for allowable levels of pollutants, as long as such standards
are at least as stringent as those mandated by the EPA. The state
may also be delegated permitting authority by the EPA. Currently,
Forida has been delegated enforcement of only portions of the Act;
NPDES permitting, covered below, is still conducted by the EPA.

How Is the Clean Water Act enforced?
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits
are the main avenue for the enforcement of the Act. These permits
1. the amount and concentration of pollutants the holder is
authorized to discharge;
2. schedules directing when compliance must be achieved; and
3. the requirements for testing, and monthly or quarterly reporting
to the permitting authority.

What are point source and nonpoint sources?
The Act requires all operators of point sources of pollution to get
permits. A "point source" is any discemable, confined and measurable
conveyance from which a pollutant is or may be discharged. A point
source may be a ditch or pipe discharging pollutants, a container being
rinsed of pollutants or any other source which releases pollutants into a
specific area. Agricultural stormwater discharges and return flow (also
called nonpointt sources") from agricultural irrigation systems are not
point sources, however, and are therefore not covered by the Act (see
Glossary, page 39, for definition of nonpoint sources).

The NPDES permits impose two types of limitations on point-source
Technology-Based Effluent Limitations. or limits upon the
contents of the effluent based upon the available treatment
technology, and
Water-Quality-Based Effluent Limitations. which depend upon
the standards established for the quality of the water body
(including groundwater bodies) into which the discharge takes

What about dredge and fill?
The Clean Water Act requires separate permits for the discharge of
dredge and fill material into navigable waters or wetlands. Dredge and
fill permits are issued by the Corps of Engineers, but the EPA has a
veto power over Corps issued permits. The EPA may enforce permits
issued by the Corps or when delegated to a state.

What about oil and hazardous substances?
The Act also prohibits discharges of oil or specified hazardous
substances. It further requires that all spills be reported immediately if
the amount spilled is greater than the individual "reportable quantities"
which the EPA has specified for each of some 300 designated
"hazardous substances." Reporting spills to the National Response
Center (see Appendix for phone number) quickly insulates the offender
from criminal prosecution, but not from civil liability. It also provides for
the clean-up of oil spills through a revolving fund managed by the U.S.
Coast Guard.

What are the penalties?
Extent of criminal liability under the Act depends primarily on
whether the violator is simply negligent (with fines up to $25,000 per
day and one year in prison), knowing of his violation ($50,000 per day
and three years), or knowingly places others in serious, imminent
danger ($250,000 and 15 years). All these penalties may be doubled
for subsequent violations and some may be greater for corporations.
The Act also provides for civil and administrative penalties of up to
$25,000 per day for each violation of the Act or an NPDES permit.
Injunctive relief (which forces violators to cease polluting) or other
court-ordered relief is also available.
Source: 33 U.S.C. 1251 to 1387.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
The RCRA is intended as a comprehensive authority for all aspects
of managing hazardous wastes, and creates separate requirements for
its categories of generators, transporters, and facilities for treatment,
storage or disposal of hazardous waste. These requirements, which
include permitting for many facilities and exhaustive record keeping for
all phases of management, are intended to track the movement and
handling of the waste until it reaches its final point of disposal. This is
known as the "cradle to grave" approach to monitoring wastes.
The Act also sets out standards for the disposal of solid wastes
which includes
trash, garbage and sludge; and
liquid, semi-solid waste and contained gases.

However, domestic sewage, irrigation return flow, or pollutants
covered under the NPDES permits of the Clean Water Act as
point sources are not considered solid wastes and are therefore
not subject to RCRA's disposal standard.

Who enforces RCRA?
The EPA is responsible for enforcing RCRA, for establishing the
criteria for classifying "hazardous wastes", and for listing those wastes
to which the Act automatically applies. The Act also permits states to
enact their own hazardous waste programs which the state, instead of
the EPA, may enforce. In order for a state to act in lieu of the EPA,
these state acts must be at least as strict as the EPA regulations and
must be approved by the EPA. Florida is authorized to administer all
aspects of RCRA's "base program;" that is, all facets of the Act which
were passed before 1986.

How is RCRA enforced?
Permits are required under RCRA for anyone who owns or
operates a facility for the treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous
wastes. Generators and transporters may operate without an EPA
permit, but must obtain an identification number and may be required
to file reports with the EPA at regular intervals depending upon the
quantity and type of wastes they handle.
The EPA retains broad authority to require tests, inspections or
additional monitoring when it determines there is an enhanced danger
to health or the environment from the facility. This is especially true
with regard to permitted hazardous waste facilities. No federal permits
are required for solid-waste disposal although there are federal
regulations on the subject.

What are the penalties?
The EPA may issue its own administrative rulings to collect the
expenses it incurs by monitoring or testing. The EPA is also empow-
ered to initiate civil actions to enforce its orders or rules. The RCRA
also authorizes private citizens to bring civil suit to enforce its
provisions against offenders, in addition to allowing citizen suits
against the EPA or state administrator to compel enforcement of the
Source: 42 U.S.C. 6901 to 6987.

Comprehensive Environmental Response. Compensation
and Liability Act
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and
Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), was passed in 1980 and
amended in 1986. It empowers and provides a trust fund for the EPA
to investigate and clean up sites contaminated by hazardous sub-
stances. CERCLA also extends liability for site pollution to several tiers
of potential defendants at once and is a potent measure for forcing
responsible parties to contribute to the costs of cleanup.
The EPA has created a list of "hazardous substances" which are
within the reach of CERCLA regulation. In addition, the Act includes
by reference all hazardous substances or hazardous pollutants which
are identified by the federal RCRA, the Clean Air Act, or the Clean
Water Act. The only express exclusions from CERCLA coverage are
petroleum (although the EPA reserves the power to classify specific
petroleum products as hazardous) and natural or synthetic gas.

Who enforces CERCLA?
The EPA is and has been the chief enforcer of CERCLA, although
the President is authorized to enter into agreements with states who
wish to enforce the provisions of the Act. Also, the EPA must consult
with the relevant state and local officials before deciding upon
remedies for pollution at federal facilities, especially where the facilities
or the remedies chosen fall within the reach of state environmental law.

Who Investigates CERCLA violations?
The Administrator of the Act has authority to begin investigations
whenever there is reason to believe that a release has occurred or
may occur. The EPA, or a state or local authority acting under
agreement with the EPA, may require the person or entity under
investigation to provide them with information about the nature and
handling of all hazardous materials on the site, as well as information
related to the subject's ability to pay for the cleanup.
The Act also authorizes entry, at reasonable times, to any site
dealing with hazardous materials and further authorizes the taking of
samples from the site. If EPA requests are denied during the
investigation phase, the agency may issue compliance orders to
compel cooperation. The EPA can enforce these orders with civil fines
of up to $25,000 per day.

What does a cleanup Involve?
If the investigation confirms that a hazardous substance (or a
pollutant or contaminant with the potential to pose an imminent threat
to public health) has been released or may be released, the EPA may
exercise any combination of several response options; removal action,
remedial action, or enforcement. Permanent, cost-effective measures
are encouraged by the Act wherever possible. Also, the cleanup must
be in accordance with other appropriate federal or state environmental
acts. The EPA, or the state in many cases, is empowered to under-
take the cleanup, although the responsible parties may be permitted to
begin a private cleanup if they can demonstrate to the EPA that it will
be as effective as the proposed EPA measures. This option may be
much less costly for parties who would otherwise be forced to pay for
any EPA cleanup.

Who Is liable for the cleanup costs?
CERCLA is aimed at four types of potentially responsible parties:
1. owners of sites,
2. operators of sites,
3. transporters of hazardous substances, and
4. those who arrange for such transportation.
It is important to note that owners may be held liable even if they
purchased land without knowledge of hazardous waste buried there.
This has been a source of great concern to land buyers, foreclosing
banks and others on the verge of acquiring land.
CERCLA requires that the location of any site containing hazardous
materials be reported to the EPA. Additionally, prompt notification is
also required after any spill or release of contaminated materials into
the environment. Failure to report in either case may result in fines
and or imprisonment.
CERCLA imposes strict liability and, therefore, does not require a
specific finding of negligence before penalties may be imposed. Also,
ioint and several liability allows the EPA to force a party who may be
responsible for only part of the damage to pay the entire cost of

cleanup. (The rule of joint and several liability is explained more fully in
the Private Regulation section)
Defenses to liability are limited to
1. acts of God,
2. acts of war,
3. actions of a third party,
4. innocent landowner defense, or
5. security interest exemption.
The third party defense is usable only where someone else is
entirely responsible for the damage and where there is no contractual
relationship between the defendant and the third party. The innocent
landowner defense applies when a new landowner did not know and
had no reason to know that a previous landowner had contaminated
the property. The security interest exemption protects lenders (such
as banks) from liability when the lender does not participate in the
management of the facility.

What are environmental audits?
An audit is basically an evaluation of the land's condition and an
appraisal of the consequent likelihood of the lender becoming subject
to some type of enforcement lien which might impair the lender's
security. Such a lien might arise, for example, from the liability
CERCLA imposes upon owners for hazardous substances buried on
their land. CERCLA is threatening even to innocent buyers, since it
applies even if the pollution was left by a previous owner and the buyer
had no knowledge of it. If the audit reveals that the land is in some
way "unclean," the transaction will inevitably be delayed until the lender
is reassured that its interest in the land will not be devalued.
Source: 42 U.S.C. 9601 to 9675.

Safe Drinking Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed in 1974 and has
been amended several times to expand both its breadth and the EPA's
power to enforce it. The Act's primary purpose of protecting drinking
water systems is accomplished by:
establishing quality standards for drinking water,
monitoring public water systems, and
guarding against groundwater contamination from injection
Among the areas of SDWA coverage, the regulation and permitting
of injection wells probably has the most direct agricultural implications.
Underground injection endangers drinking water sources if such
injection results in the presence in underground water of any contami-
nants which may eventually affect drinking water quality. While
injection well usually implies a very deep well, the definition of injection
under the Act may encompass several types of runoff, including
irrigation return flow, which enters the groundwater.

Who enforces the SDWA?
In virtually all states, including Florida, the EPA has given up
enforcement of the SDWA and now serves only to supervise the state
programs approved to take its place. The 1986 amendments to the
Act, however, gave the EPA increased authority to step in and enforce
the Act if the state takes no action within 30 days of receiving notice
from the EPA that water quality standards of the Act have been

What does the SDWA prohibit?
The SDWA prohibits any leakage of contaminants from injection
wells into groundwater. Facilities which conduct underground injection
are also subject to regulations. The regulations under the Act create
different categories of injection wells with different requirements for
each. Some, like hazardous waste wells, are simply prohibited, while
others are subject to various permitting, recordkeeping, reporting and/
or testing requirements.

What are the penalties?
Violations of underground injection well regulations can result in
administrative penalties of up to $25,000 per violation. Civil penalties
of up to $25,000 per day are also available and, in all cases, the EPA
is required to take action if the states fail to do so.
Source: 42 U.S.C. 300f to 300j-26.

Federal Insecticide. Funaicide and Rodenticlde Act
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA),
was originally passed in 1947 and significantly amended in the 1970's
and in 1988 to regulate all phases of pesticide sale, use, handling and
Pesticide is broadly defined within the meaning of the Act as
essentially any substance used to regulate, prevent, repel or destroy
any pest or plant. Pest includes insects, rodents, nematodes, fungus,
weeds, terrestrial and aquatic plants, viruses, bacteria and any other
living organisms if the EPA designates them as pests.

Who enforces the FIFRA?
FIFRA is administered by the EPA, but the Act specifies that states
are to have primary enforcement responsibility if they demonstrate to
the EPA that they have adopted adequate regulations and enforce-
ment mechanisms. Florida has entered into several cooperative
agreements with the EPA and now shoulders the responsibilities for
testing and training permit applicants. In these areas, the EPA now
has only a supervisory position. However, the registration of pesticides
and the monitoring of pesticide producers is still regulated entirely by
the EPA's central office.

What do pesticide labels mean?
One of the most significant aspects of FIFRA is the body of labeling
requirements. Under the Act pesticides must be labeled with the:
EPA registration number, and
any necessary warnings or restrictions.
FIFRA requires strict compliance to the instructions printed on all
pesticide labels.

Which pesticides need registration and/or permitting?
The Act requires that all pesticides be registered with the EPA
before they may be sold or used. A pesticide's registration may be
canceled by the EPA if the manufacturer fails to have it re-registered or
if the EPA later determines it to be harmful.

States may impose additional conditions on pesticide use where
special problems related to their use are encountered.
General-use pesticides may be applied by anyone and no permit is
required, although the user must still comply with labeling requirements
and other regulations.
Restricted-use pesticides fall under one of three different permitting
1. Private applicators who apply pesticides in producing an
agricultural commodity on their own lands or on lands under
their control.
2. Commercial applicators who are required to have permits in
order to apply pesticides to other people's lands in exchange for
a fee.
3. Experimental use applicators, who are usually manufacturers or
researchers, are required to have an experimental use permit to
test an unregistered pesticide in order to gather data to support
its registration.
Each permitting category is subject to separate testing and
certification procedures and may be subject to different penalties for

What are the penalties?
Commercial applicators, wholesalers, dealers, retailers or distribu-
tors who violate the act or their permits are subject to civil fines of up to
$5,000 per offense. They are also subject to criminal penalties of
$50,000 and one year in prison for knowing violations.
Private applicators are entitled to a written warning, but subsequent
violations may be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 per offense.
Knowing violations may bring criminal fines of $25,000 and one year in
Employers may also be assessed for the violations of their
employees or agents acting on their behalf.
Source: 7 U.S.C. 136 to 136y.

Toxic Substances Control Act
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 governs the:
distributing, and
processing of all toxic chemicals.
TSCA requires that all such chemicals be inspected and approved
by the EPA before they enter the market. The EPA has the option to
restrict the chemical, run tests, and gather data during its pre-approval
determination of whether the chemical represents a threat to health or
the environment.
TSCA does not cover the following:
pesticides (which are covered by FIFRA),
tobacco or tobacco products,
certain nuclear materials, and
chemicals which are covered by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic
All other chemicals, if they are not already on the EPA's approval
list, are subject to review before they are released into the stream of
commerce. The Act specifically dictates that the EPA create restric-
tions for PCB's (the only chemical identified by name) as part of the
mandate of TSCA.

Who enforces the TSCA?
The EPA is the sole authority for enforcement of TSCA, although
the Act specifically provides that the states are not prohibited from
enacting their own legislation to regulate chemicals. The Act limits the
states' power only to the extent that the state may not test new
chemicals if the EPA is testing for the same purpose, and the state will
be restricted in creating requirements which are different from those of
the EPA concerning chemicals which have already been regulated by
the EPA.

How is TSCA enforced?
The EPA schedule involves gathering information about a vast
number of existing chemicals, the most suspect of which are subject to
more extensive fact-finding.
Anyone introducing, importing or manufacturing a new chemical
must notify the EPA, as must anyone who obtains information which
implies that a chemical represents a risk to health or the environment.
The EPA may enact a wide range of restrictions upon suspect
chemicals, including:
labeling/warning requirements,
limits on concentrations of manufactured quantities,
production/quality controls,
recordkeeping, and
disposal criteria.
The Act also gives the EPA power to enforce its provisions by
injunctions, restraint orders, forced inspections, and other means.
These powers are broader with respect to chemicals which are
identified as posing an imminent and unreasonable risk of serious or
widespread harm. Also, the EPA may require cleanup of areas where
violations resulted in environmental damage.

What are the penalties?
The EPA has authority to impose civil administrative fines of up to
$25,000 for each separate violation of the Act. Each day that a
violation continues represents a separate violation. Also, willful or
knowing violators may be subject to criminal penalties of up to $25,000
per day per violation and up to one year in prison.
Source: 15 U.S.C. 2601 to 2671.

Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1974 to protect fish,
wildlife and plants which are threatened with extinction and also to
protect the ecosystems which are determined critical to their survival.
In many cases these ecosystems are wetlands, so that endangered
species protection often equals water protection.

Who enforces the ESA?
The Act requires all federal agencies to consult with an appropriate
federal department (i.e. Department of the Interior, USDA) to deter-
mine what effects its land use or other actions will have upon endan-
gered species. The agencies are prohibited from taking any action
which will threaten an endangered species without a special waiver
from a committee headed by the Secretary of the Interior.
Agency action might include the issuance of a permit to a private
party, such as when the Corps of Engineers issues permits for dredge

and fill activities. (See Clean Water Act Section). The Act also applies
to private and state actions, although the prohibitions are slightly
The ESA grants enforcement authority to the Secretary of the
Interior, the Secretary of Commerce and, in cases regarding the
importation or exportation of plants, the Secretary of Agriculture.

What does the ESA prohibit?
The Act prohibits the taking of any endangered species. Taking
under the Act means:
collecting, or
harming the species in any way.
The definition of btainD has been extended by the federal courts to
include the destruction of areas designated as "critical habitats" where
the destruction might be reasonably expected to result in a reduction in
the number or distribution of an endangered species.

What is a permit for?
The agencies administering the Act are authorized to grant
exceptions, usually by way of limited permits, to the prohibitions
against takings. Permits may be granted for:
1. scientific purposes, and
2. cases where the applicant became economically dependent
upon the species before it was placed on the endangered
species list. These permits are usually limited to allow takings
only for one year following the designation of the species as

What are the penalties?
Civil penalties may be enforced by any of the agencies in amounts
of up to $25,000 per violation. Criminal penalties for knowing
violations may climb as high as $50,000 per violation plus one year in
Courts are authorized to issue warrants and injunctive relief to
enforce the Act, and private citizens may bring suit against violators,
including the government, or against the agencies to compel enforce-
ment of the Act. Also, any equipment or property used in the violation
of the Act may be declared forfeit and seized by the agencies.
Source: 16 U.S.C. 1531 to 1544.

IV. State Agencies
Department of Environmental Regulation. (DER), F.A.C.
Title 17.
The DER was created by the Florida Environmental Reorganization
Act of 1975. Its primary responsibility is to preserve the environmental
integrity of Florida's air and water. Although this includes a large
number of duties, only those duties relevant to the scope of this
manual are discussed. These include:
the permitting of dredging and filling in waters of the state,
administering the Water Resources Act of 1972, Chapter 373
Florida Statutes (See Consumptive Water Use section),

review of water control districts,
regulation of air, water, and noise pollution,
solid and hazardous waste management,
public drinking water supplies,
the prevention or cleanup of pollutant spills or discharges into
inland waters or lands of the state,
administration of such federal acts as the Clean Water Act and
the Safe Drinking Water Act in Florida.

Who does the DER share powers with?
The Department of Environmental Regulation has specifically
delegated to the water management districts (WMDs) power to
administer and enforce the provisions of Chapter 373 of the Florida
Statutes. (See WMD subsection). The DER has made two other
delegations to the DNR and the DACS.
1. Department of Natural Resources is authorized to administer
permits for discharges of chemicals, biological agents, and other
substances for the purpose of aquatic weed and algae control.
2. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services regulates
certain open buying activities through the Division of Forestry.

How Is the DER structured?
The DER is divided into five divisions and the office of the General
Counsel. Of these, the four most important are:
Administrative and Technical Services,
Air Resources,
Water Facilities, and
Waste Management.
District offices of DER contain their own structure which is usually
similar to the Tallahassee headquarters. Collectively, the Districts are
responsible for policy, planning and rule making activities. Each
district is headed by a Director of District Management. Responsibilities
for permitting, compliance monitoring, and enforcement activities are
split between headquarters and district offices, although the districts do
most of the work in these areas.

Water Manaaement Districts. (WMD), F.A.C. Title 40.
Except for the South Florida and the Southwest Florida Water
Management Districts, which were created statutorily to address
flooding and water shortage problems, the WMDs were created as
public agencies pursuant to Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, known as
the Florida Water Resources Act of 1972. The WMD's play a very
significant role in the regulation of the farmer's water control and use.
The WMDs' responsibilities include:
Management of water and related land resources via promotion
of conservation.
Proper utilization of surface and groundwater resources.
Regulation of dams, impoundments, reservoirs, and other
structures to alter surface water movement.
Combatting damage from floods, soil erosion, and excessive
Assisting local governments in developing comprehensive water
management plans, particularly by providing data on water
resources. To accomplish this, WMD's are authorized to
perform various field investigations and to provide works for the
beneficial storage of water.

Maintenance of navigable rivers and harbors and the promotion
of the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the
state. Directly attached to this general welfare consideration is
the power to implement water shortage emergency plans.
Participation in flood control programs, and the reclamation,
conservation, and protection of lands from water surplus or
Maintaining water management and use facilities of the district
and determining the levels of water to be maintained in the
district bodies of water. To do so, districts may establish
minimum flows for their works and water courses below which
further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water
resources or ecology. This also involves the establishment of
minimum water levels for surface water and groundwater.

What is the WMDs' structure?
Each district is run by a governing board consisting of nine
members, except the Southwest Florida Water Management District
which has eleven. The members serve four year terms and are
appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state. The goveming
board sets the policies that will best effectuate the districts powers.
Generally, an executive director is responsible for the operation of the
district including the implementation of policies and rules. Typically,
each district is divided into departments which handle the various
permitting programs. Each district is fully equipped to conduct its own
inspections, testing, and impact studies.
One district, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, is
further divided into watershed basins, which are overseen by basin
boards. The board must consist of at least three people, one from
each member county. Basin board members have authority to prepare
engineering plans for development of water resources, develop
secondary water-use plans, submit an annual budget, approve
construction plans for works of the district, and plan and provide
assistance to local water supply authorities.

What do the WMDs give permits for?
WMD governing board powers include administering the permit
programs of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes. Thus, WMDs are
responsible for permitting:
1. wells,
2. management and storage of surface waters, and
3. consumptive uses of water.
Each WMD has specific criteria detailing the types of activities that
require permits, the contents of permit applications, the procedures
that surround submission of an application, and areas specifically
exempted from permitting requirements.
The Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Land and Water
Adjudicatory Commission, have authority to review any order or rule of
a WMD.

What is the state water quality plan?
The DER has been directed to prepare the state water use plan
and to foster to "the greatest extent possible" interagency agreements
to achieve the State Water Quality Plan. The water use plan is
developed by DER through consultation with federal, state, and local
agencies, and particularly the WMDs. The plan includes all water in
the state. Its main purpose is to recognize various interests competing
for water use rights and to allocate for these rights while retaining
reasonable water quality and quantity control, thus promoting the goals

of environmental protection, proper drainage, flood control and water
In addition, the State Water Quality Plan links the purposes of the
Florida Water Resources Act with the purposes of the Florida Air and
Water Pollution Control Act, Chapter 403, through its water quality
standards. The net result is that the DER retains central responsibility
for the collection of scientific data and information regarding water
resources, with the central permitting responsibilities being assigned to
The DER also retains direct regulatory power over:
point source discharges,
dredge and fill,
groundwater discharges,
solid and hazardous waste concerns, and
leaking underground storage tanks.
In contrast, WMDs are largely responsible for issuing permits for
various types of water use, and are the governmental bodies in charge
of allocation and control of water resources for which there are many
competing interests.

What can the WMDs tax?
Most indicative of their broad powers is the ability of WMD's to levy
ad valorem taxes (property taxes). Ad valorem taxes are levied based
on the value of the property in question. The Florida Constitution
establishes a millage cap, and millage rates are additionally limited by
Each WMD is different. Taxing authority is vested in the WMDs
with basin boards. Basin boards may request that taxes be levied, but
may not impose taxes themselves. As with other government tax
provisions, failure to pay can result in a lien on the taxed property,
including the homestead, and ultimately, the vesting of tite by tax
forfeiture in the state.

Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission. (GFWFC), F.A.C.
Title 39.
This agency was created by Article IV, Section 9, of the 1968
Florida Constitution. The purpose of the agency is the management,
protection and conservation of wild animal life and fresh water aquatic
life. Some of the agency's activities include:
habitat improvement,
inspection of construction and development projects,
development of public recreational areas,
running a conservation information service program,
updating a list of threatened and endangered freshwater aquatic
and land species.
The Department of Natural Resources has a list of marine species
and the U.S. Department of Interior maintains a national list. (See
Endangered Species Act Section). The Act makes the killing,
harassment, or destruction of these animals or their nests or eggs
Although GFWFC has jurisdiction over any fresh running waters of
the state, the DER is the agency primarily responsible for enforcement
of water regulations. Jurisdictional directives in this area are over-
lapping, as many agencies have been granted the authority to address
this concern.

Department of Aariculture & Consumer Services. (DACS),
F.A.C. Title 5.
DACS carries out functions related to farming practices and
products. Responsibilities include:
the registration, labeling, and inspection of commercial
fertilizers, pesticides, and gasolines and oils.
registration (i.e. licensing and regulation) of pesticide applica-
tors, and
soil and water conservation.
Like the other state agencies, DACS is divided into divisions, each
with a separate concern. They are:
Inspection Division: responsible for the administration and
enforcement of laws relating to fertilizers and pesticides. This
division has the authority to inspect commodities and farms, to
require registration and licensing of products, to destroy
violative products, to stop the sale of goods, and to seek judicial
intervention where appropriate.
Chemistry Division: tests pesticides and fertilizers to assure that
they meet state standards.
Standards Division: responsible for petroleum and underground
tank inspections. Its functions include testing fuel quality and
assuring fuel dispenser, scale, and measuring device accuracy.
Division of Forestry: manages forest resources. Within this
division is the Bureau of Forest Resources and Economic
Planning which includes the Watershed Protection Section
(WPS). The WPS offers professional hydrology (water use
science) services to the public and other state agencies. It is
also responsible for developing the silviculture (forestry)
elements of the State Water Quality Plan (discussed under DER
section). Most importantly, the WPS monitors impacts of water
regulation on forestry and could be most helpful in assisting the
farmer in managing their forest resources.
Division of Administration: employs staff to administer soil and
water conservation programs and coordinate efforts with the 63
organized Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Includes
Bureau of Soil and Water Conservation (See Environmentally
Safe Practices Section).

Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services. (DHRS),
F.A.C. Title 10.
The DHRS is largely responsible for implementing procedures to
preserve the public health. Farmers must be conceded with DHRS
when they are involved in activities which might pollute public drinking
supplies. Of particular concern to the agency is sewage pollution of
the State's groundwater.
The Department issues permits for construction or installation of
onsite sewage disposal systems. These permits include requirements
distance and set backs from wells and surface waters,
soil conditions,
water table elevation, and
daily flow thresholds (See Onsite Sewage Disposal Section).
Written permits from DHRS are required for any corporation or
person discharging any sewage or draining any surface waters into the
underground waters of the state when the discharge is within 5 miles of

the city limits. Unlawful deposition of filth or polluting substances can
be punished by the Department.

Department of Natural Resources. (DNR), F.A.C. Title 9.
DNR supervises and develops the State's natural resources and
manages state-owned lands. Important functions of the agency
1. Administration of the Pollutant Discharge Act. The Act
addresses pollution of certain coastal waters.
2. Regulation of injection wells and wells related to oil exploration.
3. Drilling on government owned submerged lands and wetlands.
4. Authority to control noxious aquatic weeds. Farmers attempting
to control aquatic weeds or algae under a program approved by
DNR, or in the case of insect control, a program approved by
DHRS, should check with other agencies to be certain they are
exempt from other statutory mandates that they discharge no
wastes into Florida waters.

V. Private Regulation
Another form of water quality regulation is through private law suits.
These law suits are often based on the nuisance and negligence
principles of law. Also, some federal laws have clauses that allow
citizens to enforce those laws. It is important to understand how you
may be held liable by other members of the public for your actions.

What is nuisance?
The theory of nuisance, a common basis of pollution litigation, is
basically that one may not use one's own property in a way that
causes harm to others. Nuisances are categorized as either public or
private, depending upon whether the nuisance affects the rights of the
public or only the rights of an individual. Public nuisance actions may
be brought by a public official on behalf of the public at large and
certain types of public nuisances may be criminal acts.
In nuisance actions, the court will often balance the social value of
the nuisance against the harm it causes. If the harm is slight and the
social value is great, the suit will fail. But if the social value is small
and the harm is great, the plaintiff may recover both monetary
damages and prohibit the defendant from continuing the activity.

What is the Florida Right-To-Farm Act?
The Florida Right-To-Farm Act [ 823.14, Fla. Stat.] restricts
nuisance suits against farmers by providing that no farm, which has
been in operation for one year or more and was not a nuisance when it
was established, will not constitute a public or private nuisance.
Change of ownership does not affect the provisions of the Act
This does not give the farmer a license to violate the principles of
negligence or nuisance. Contaminating a water well or misapplying
pesticides will still open the farmer up to a potential law suit. The Act
does not extend protection to unsanitary conditions or health hazards,
or changes of use, either in type or intensity.

What is negligence?
Negligence basically means causing harm to someone else by
failing to do what a reasonable person would have done under the
same circumstances. The harm may be economic, physical or

emotional. Anyone seeking to recover for someone else's negligence
must prove four legal ingredients: duty, breach of duty, causation of
damage and value of damage.
1. DuJt- an individual's responsibility to govern his or her own
conduct so that others are not harmed.
2. Breach of duty- occurs where one of the parties does not fulfill
his or her duty of care. That is, he or she does not act with the
degree of caution or foresight that a reasonably prudent person
would have used in the same situation.
3. Causation- that the defendant's failure to use due care was the
cause of the plaintiff's harm. Proving this step may be difficult if
the damage is only indirectly related to the defendants act or if
there are other possible causes for the harm.
4. Damage- the plaintiff must prove actual damage suffered from
the defendants act. If no damage resulted, even where the
defendant's conduct was admittedly negligent, the plaintiff has
no claim for negligence.

What Is negligence per se?
Where a defendant's acts subject him or her to private suit and, at
the same time, violate a statute, the court will usually regard the
violation of the statute as enough evidence of wrongful conduct to find
the defendant guilty of negligence in the private suit as well. This rule
applies, however, only if the damage complained of in the lawsuit is of
the type the statute is intended to prevent, and the plaintiff is a member
of the class of persons the statute is intended to protect.
It should be noted that compliance with all statutes does not
guarantee immunity from negligence actions, as lawful behavior may
still be negligent.

What is strict liability?
Strict liability means liability imposed without evidence of negli-
gence. That is, the defendant may be found guilty upon a showing that
his or her action resulted in harm, without consideration of whether or
not he or she acted reasonably. Strict liability is usually imposed upon
those who engage in abnormally dangerous or "ultrahazardous"
activities, like handling explosives, or other activities defined by statute,
e.g. CERCLA.

What is joint and several liability?
Where two or more parties, acting independently, are the source of
a plaintiff's injuries, the law (or the courts) may impose the principle of
joint and several liability. This principle allows the plaintiff to recover
from either defendant the full amount of his damage and forces the
defendants to apportion the loss among themselves.

VI. Environmentally Safe Practices
What are the Soil and Water Conservation Districts?
Florida currently has 63 Soil and Water Conservation Districts
(SWCDs); these districts are self-governed by a board composed of
five locally elected supervisors. Under the authority of the Soil
Conservation Act, the SWCDs identify areas within each district that
require further conservation measures. SWCDs are advisory in nature
and do not enforce regulations.
The SWCDs may conduct research, construct works for soil and
water conservation, and develop comprehensive plans for soil erosion
control and flood prevention. The Districts may also adopt land use

regulations that may require certain agricultural practices, such as
contour cultivation, strip cropping and the planting of erosion-
preventative vegetation. The SWCDs do not have the power to
enforce these regulations, however.
The Soil Conservation Service, a branch of the USDA, works with
the SWCD boards to offer farmers assistance in limiting water
contamination and water misuse. All SCS measures are voluntary and
are often referred to as Best Management Practices.

What are Best Management Practices?
Farmers interested in limiting their exposure to unwanted penalties
and liabilities should utilize BMPs. BMPs are management and
cultural practices that allow the farmer to get the most beneficial use
out of the land while preserving the purity of water bodies. The primary
sources of water contamination are suspended solids, nutrients, animal
wastes, and pesticides. When these substances are present in
excess, algae blooms, fish kills, sedimentation, health hazards,
aesthetic changes, and modifications of plant and animal species
diversity may result.
The Soil Conservation Service limits these problems by involving
farmers in a variety of conservation practices. The practices vary given
the agricultural system in use, the land involved, the waters being
affected, and the potential pollutants. The SCS will identify the
problem, design an appropriate Best Management Practice, oversee
the implementation of the BMP, and monitor the effectiveness of the
BMP. The SCS will not pay for the BMP, however.
An example of a BMP is a natural or constructed waterway
maintained with vegetative cover in order to prevent soil erosion and to
filter nutrients. BMPs change often as technology changes. Be sure to
keep abreast of the most current BMPs available. Specific inquiries
should be directed to your local Cooperative Extension Service and
Soil and Water Conservation District.

VII. Groundwater Discharge
How does Florida regulate groundwater discharge?
Discharge of waste- into State waters is prohibited unless permitted
by a state agency. Because underground water is included in the
definition of water, this also applies to groundwater. A discharge
activity will not be permitted if contaminants reduce ground or surface
water quality below the required DER classification standard. A
contaminant is any substance which is harmful to plant or animal life.
Anplication of chemicals- to control insect and aquatic weeds for
agricultural purposes is exempt. However, the chemicals must be
approved for the particular use by the EPA or DACS, application must
be made according to the label, and state standards as well as the
Florida Pesticide Law, F.S. Chapter 487, must be followed.

What are groundwater classifications?
Groundwater is classified into four categories based first on
whether the water is potable (drinkable) or non-potable, and then on
the total of dissolved solids the water contains. F.A.C. 17-23.403(1).
Under the classification scheme, aquifers (geographic formations that
supply groundwater to wells, springs, or surface waters) retain the
highest protection and are known as G-1 waters. Class G-4 waters are
non-potable, located in confined aquifers only, and receive the least
amount of protection. Unconfined groundwater always receives more
protection as it is susceptible to contamination from another aquifer.

What are groundwater quality standards?
1. Minimum criteria- all groundwater must not be contaminated by
carcinogenic or toxic substance discharges.
2. Maximum contaminant- standard represents the maximum
amount of particular contaminants that will be tolerated in a
particular class of water. Maximum contaminant levels (Primary
Drinking Water Standards) are generally in accord with EPA
standards contained in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Permits will not be issued under F.S. 403.088 when maximum
contaminant levels are exceeded by a discharge activity.
Secondary standards are also monitored for compliance in new
facilities. Existing facilities are exempted from monitoring and
compliance with the secondary standards.
Under Chapter 403, Florida Statutes, discharge permits for
stationary installations (structures which may emit water contaminants
in quantities prohibited by the rules) are required. Agricultural water
management systems are exempt from this requirement under F.S.
403.927(2), but are regulated pursuant to Chapter 373. However, the
ultimate point of discharge is still regulated by DER. Subsequently,
when a farming activity pollutes water bodies outside the system, or
the groundwater is polluted due to leaching which causes distant
points in the aquifer to be polluted, the farmer may be liable.
The Water Management Districts have the power to control
consumptive uses of groundwater in areas of known groundwater
contamination. In other words, through Florida Statutes Ch. 373, the
WMD's can restrict consumptive use through permitting when
contamination is found.

Does this Include stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is water flowing off of the land into streams and
the ground after a rainstorm. This stormwater is often contaminated
with the chemicals and products used on the land the stormwater runs
off of.
EPA regulates stormwater discharges associated with agriculture.
At the time of publication, EPA exempts from permitting agricultural
stormwater discharges and agricultural return flows composed entirely
of return flow from irrigated areas. However, EPA does not exempt
agricultural return flows that are not composed entirely of return flows
from irrigated agriculture.
EPA has stricter stormwater runoff requirements for industrial and
municipal runoff.

What are the permit requirements?
Generally, permits will be issued only when an applicant can
establish that the activity or installation in question will not degrade
receiving waters below applicable standards. Test results and the
installation of pollution control equipment are often required to
guarantee such claims. The burden of proving entitlement to a permit
is on the applicant.
In its rules DER expressly provides that groundwater discharge
considerations are to be incorporated into existing permit requirements.
The main purpose of this rule is to prohibit discharging into groundwa-
ter where the discharge causes a violation of the water quality
standards and groundwater minimum criteria.
However, a zone of discharge (also known as a "mixing zone") may
be established by permit or rule. A zone of discharge is a predefined
three dimensional area in the ground around an installation where
most primary and secondary ground water quality standards do not
apply and effluents have an opportunity to diffuse or degrade some-
what before leaving the boundaries of the zone of discharge.

The following activities are currently exempt from permitting
agricultural fields;
ditches and canals;
livestock waste lagoons; and
stormwater facilities (special limitations apply).
When discharges from these bodies (e.g. canals, lagoons) reach
common waters (e.g. rivers, lakes, groundwater) the standards
increase for pesticide residues and other contaminants. This rule
requires the revocation of the exemption and the issuance of a permit
when an activity causes pollution. Also, contaminating common waters
can result in both criminal and civil penalties. The farmer may gain
the best results by following Best Management Practices in order to
alleviate these problems.

How does the federal government regulate discharge Into
Federal regulation of groundwater consists of a variety of statutory
directives administered by a host of administrative agencies. Over 16
pieces of federal legislation have some effect on groundwater or have
the potential of effecting activities and programs relevant to its use.
Clean Water Act-The most important piece of federal legislation is
the Clean Water Act (discussed in The Clean Water Act Section). The
chief purpose of the Act is the elimination of point source pollution to
surface water. Groundwater is directly implicated due to the natural
linkage of surface and groundwater resources. When a party pollutes
the surface water, the hydrologic water cycle makes it more likely than
not that groundwater is simultaneously being contaminated.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)- places
flow limitations on point sources (a recognizable origin of pollution, for
example, a pipe, well, or leaking container) of water pollution.
Currently, the EPA administers the program. If Florida were to adopt
the NPDES program, the DER would be the sole agency issuing the
NPDES permits, except for stormwater discharge permitting which is
the responsibility of WMDs.
Safe Drinkina Water Act- establishes maximum contamination
levels for drinking water and serves to protect "sole source' aquifers
(aquifers whose main use is to provide drinking water). Perhaps most
significantly, the Act monitors the underground injection of contami-
nants into groundwater used for the public drinking water supply. The
Underground Injection Control (UIC) program is the vehicle used to
protect underground sources of drinking water. The UIC program is
delegated to Florida by the EPA.

ViII. State Regulated Activities
Water Wells
Who regulates water wells?
Federal law does not directly regulate the construction of wells.
However, because there is potential for groundwater pollution and
other environmental damage through well structures, some of the
broad federal environmental protection statutes might come into play.
For example, seepage of hazardous waste from a polluted well which
contaminated one of Florida's many aquifers would come under
CERCLA clean-up provisions.
The DER has delegated most of its statutory authority to regulate
water wells to the individual Water Management Districts (WMDs), and
therefore the appropriate WMD should always be contacted before
taking any action involving water wells. The statutes and rules are

designed to safeguard both the quality of water extracted from the
wells and the quality of the aquifer water, both of which could poten-
tially be polluted by intruding wells.

What are the well construction requirements?
"Well" is defined basically as any excavation to remove, locate, or
artificially recharge groundwater. Under the statutes, the construction,
repair or abandonment of wells must be performed only by licensed
contractors. The WMDs provide testing and other licensing proce-
dures for contractors. There are, however, a few important exceptions
to the requirement that a licensed contractor do the work as long as all
other local or state laws are complied with. No license is required:
for homeowners (or renters) to construct a well 2" or less in
diameter on their property so long as used only for personal or
farming use.
in situations where the WMD determines that compliance with
the rules would result in unnecessary hardship for the appli-
To qualify for the undue hardship exemption, a written request must be
made to the governing WMD. Regardless of exemption qualification,
the department must be notified of a well once it comes into existence.
The construction, repair or abandonment of a well will probably also
require a well permit from the appropriate District. The primary
exceptions to this rule are:
Construction permits need not be obtained retroactively for
wells constructed before 1972 (although permits are required to
repair or abandon these wells).
When one wants to temporarily operate equipment for
Where the district determines that requiring a permit would
result-in unnecessary hardship for the applicant.
Remember that the districts also require a consumptive use permit for
many withdrawals or diversions of water regardless of applicable well
permitting exemptions.
Also, imprudent pesticide use near wells may result in contamina-
tion of groundwater in the underlying aquifer, causing widespread
pollution. Consequently, the farmer should be familiar with all
regulations designed to prevent water contamination before taking any
action involving water wells.

Where should a well be placed?
All proposed well sites must be pre-approved by the appropriate
district. This guards against the possibility that a well will unknowingly
be drilled into an area of existing groundwater contamination. The
DER provides continually updated maps of contaminated sections of
the aquifer to the Districts and pertinent County Health Departments.
This information is available upon request to applicants. The Districts
and County Health Departments also prescribe the minimum distances
from the contaminated areas in which wells may be constructed. The
Districts are also responsible for advising applicants on the minimum
well placement distances from septic tanks, drain fields, chemical
storage areas, and other potential pollution sources.

What are the well standards and specifications?
The DER also publishes basic requirements for drilling techniques
and materials, grouting and sealing, identification and labeling of well
heads, and other, highly specific areas. These standards must be
observed even where it is not necessary to obtain a permit or license.

Again, the District rules supplement DER requirements and should be

What are the well permits and fees?
Each WMD sets permit application fees depending primarily upon
the nature of the activity and the size of the well. The fees may be as
little as $1 for some activities such as abandonment, but may not
exceed $100 for private residential wells or $500 for public supply
wells. Fees will be assessed for modification or renewal of existing
permits or for transfer of a permit.
Construction permits last from 30-180 days depending on the
District. Most Districts require a consumptive use permit before a well
construction permit will be approved. Some Districts require an
artificial recharge permit to put water into the ground. Some basics
about consumptive use permits, which are also regulated by the
individual districts, are outlined in the "Consumptive Use Permits"

What are the penalties?
The DER, Districts, or other govemmental bodies may bring both
civil and criminal penalties against violators of the statutes or rules.
Constructing, repairing or abandoning wells without a license or in
violation of the other requirements is a second-degree misdemeanor.
Each agency is also authorized to bring civil suit for damages up to
$10,000 per violation. The Districts also have the authority to impose
administrative fines not to exceed $1000 for each offense.
Sources: Fla. Stat. 373.302-.342; Chs. 17-531, 17-532, F.A.C.;
and Title 40. F.A.C. Contact Information: S-1, F-2, L-3

Consumptive Use
Who regulates consumptive use?
Issuance of permits for consumptive use is the exclusive function of
the various water management districts, who are charged with
maintaining the state's reserves of usable water at an acceptable level.
This is in accordance with Florida's water use policy, which gives
preference to desirable uses and thus promotes natural resource, fish
and wildlife preservation.

What permits are required?
When a party's water usage reaches any of certain pre-determined
threshold levels, the WMD will require a permit. Threshold levels are
determined by the individual districts; it is important to consult the
appropriate WMD regarding this threshold. Two types of permits,
individual and general, are relevant to water consumption:
1. Individual permits are required when withdrawal exceeds
established daily limits which are measured in gallons per day.
2. General permits apply where the amount of the withdrawal will
be minimal as set forth in the various districts' rules.
All uses must be permitted unless exempted, including existing
uses. This means there are no special exemptions for withdrawals
from ground or surface waters which were in existence before the
consumptive permitting requirements became effective.
Exemptions generally include:
residential consumption;
wells for testing or monitoring;
private, shallow wells;
certain heating and cooling systems; and

dewatering activities necessary for construction, if they are
completed in less than six months.
The statutory exemption, however, does not absolve farmers who
are making residential use of water from observing common law duties
(See the Private Regulation Section for examples). Generally, this
means that the use of the water supply must be reasonable. Several
factors may be used by the courts to determine the "reasonableness"
of the use, including:
the purpose of the use;
the suitability of the body of water;
the relative economic and social values;
the degree of harm to the environment;
the practicality of avoiding the harm or the practicality of
adjusting the quantity of the usage.

What are the effects of permits?
Permits are only granted for fixed periods of time. Except for public
facilities, they may not exceed 20 years and are usually granted for
much shorter periods. When the nature of a proposed use is such that
the permit application process may be lengthy, the district may issue a
temporary permit.
Transfer of permits between activities identical in nature at the
same location is usually allowed and conditions of the permit usually
remain the same.

When is a permit revoked?
Any failure to continually observe the terms required by a permit
may result in its revocation. Other grounds for revocation may include
nonuse of the permitted area or facility, or unsatisfactory mitigation
(reduction or lessening) of environmental damage from the use.
Sources: F.S. 373.203 .249; Title 40 F.A.C. (Individual WMD
Contact Information: S-1

Management and Storaae of Surface Waters
Who regulates the management and storage of surface
In order to prevent harm to the state's waters, the water manage-
ment districts' governing boards and the DER are vested with the
authority to require management and storage of surface water permits
(MSSW permits) and impose conditions upon those permits. This
authority is delegated almost entirely to the water management
districts, who should be consulted before any alteration of surface
water is undertaken.

What does MSSW Include?
The scope of the statutes and rules governing surface water
management extends basically to the construction, operation, or
alteration of any "stormwater management system, dam, impound-
ment, reservoir, appurtenant work or works." The statutory definitions
of these terms generally amount to a capability to collectively regulate
virtually every type of artificial or natural structure or construction that
can be used to connect to, draw water from, drain water into, or be
placed in or across surface water. In essence, they include all
structures and constructions that can have an effect on surface water.
These include:

filling, and
activities which create canals, ditches, culverts, impoundments,
fill roads, buildings and other impervious surfaces.

What are the exemptions?
In order to avoid putting unduly burdensome permitting require-
ments on farmers, the statute contains a qualified exception. People
engaged in agriculture, silviculture, floriculture or horticulture may alter
any tract of land without an MSSW permit so long as the practices are
normal occupational activities whose sole or predominant purpose is
not to obstruct or impound surface water. These "activities" include:
site preparation, clearing, fencing or contouring to prevent soil
soil preparation, plowing, planting or harvesting.
Construction or maintenance performed on dikes, dams or levees
in an agricultural dosed system will be exempt from MSSW permitting
requirements. (Closed system meaning a self-contained irrigation
system used in farming which does not discharge off-site.) Nonethe-
less, these works must still comply with generally accepted engineering
standards and, where the engineering practice is regulated by the
state, this might require proper certification of the project and strict
adherence with the original plans.
It is always wise to consult with the specific district when attempting
to determine if a proposed activity is exempt.

What permits are required?
Certain districts rely on the "threshold" concept to determine when
a permit is required. For example, once a certain quantity of water is
impounded by an activity or a certain size project is proposed, the
district will require a permit unless the activity is somehow exempt.
Although statutory exemptions apply in all 5 WMD's, permitting
thresholds and exemptions adopted by rule will vary from district to
district. Water quality and quantity considerations, as well as general
environmental concems, will be addressed in the MSSW permit
application process.
As with other types of permits, revocation or modification of the
MSSW permit may occur if the permit conditions or the statutory
mandates are not complied with.

What are the penalties?
Aside from modification and revocation of permits, the districts are
empowered to impose civil penalties up to $10,000 per offense per day
for mismanagement of surface water in violation of the statutes or
permit conditions. Further, intentional violations of the statute may be
a second degree misdemeanor, giving rise to both imprisonment and
heavy fines.

Are other permits required?
Regardless of whether MSSW permit requirements attach to the
surface water management system, other permits may be necessary.
For example, consumptive use permit provisions apply to the taking
and discharging of water for filling, replenishing and maintaining the
water level in an agricultural closed system. (See "Consumptive Use"
Section.) Also, below-threshold-dike (a dike that exists below water
line) building projects might need a fill permit. Any fill permit require-
ments would involve wetland considerations and federal regulations.
(See "Activities in Wetlands" Section.)

After permit approval, following certain Best Management Practices
is an excellent way to help ensure continuing compliance with
government regulations (See "Best Management Practices" Section.)
Some examples include establishing buffer strips and streamside
management zones around a system, maintaining streams and
culverts so as not to affect upstream or downstream culverts, and
careful construction of access roads.
Sources: Fla. Stat. 373.403 .459; Title 40, F.A.C. (Individual
WMD rules).
Contact Information: S-1,

Activities In Wetlands
Who regulates wetlands?
CorDs of Enaineers- Federal protection of wetlands stems from
several sources. Under the Clean Water Act, the Corps of Engineers
is authorized to issue permits for the discharge of dredge and fill
material into waters of the United States. Coupled with this authority,
and pursuant to the National Environmental Policies Act (NEPA), the
Corps must complete an "environmental assessment" study before
issuing a permit for work in sensitive areas, especially wetlands.
If the Corps determines that the activity will have a significant
impact on the wetlands, a more thorough "environmental impact study"
will be required as well. As added checks on the Corps' authority to
issue dredge and fill permits, the Corps is required to consult with other
federal and state agencies whenever relevant and, by virtue of the
Clean Water Act, the Administrator of the EPA retains the power to
veto Corps-issued permits at the EPA's discretion. While this veto is
rarely used, it creates a type of power-sharing system.
DEB-On the state level, the DER is responsible for administering
the Warren S. Henderson Wetlands Protection Act of 1984. This act is
aimed at protecting environmentally sensitive wetland areas and
designated areas of critical state concem. More prominent examples
include the Florida Keys, Big Cypress Area, Green Swamp Area and
the Apalachicola Bay Area.
In addition, the appropriate water management district should be
consulted with regard to any work to be done near wetlands, whether
individually owned or not. The districts have adopted MSSW rules
which regulate activities in wetlands under DER supervision. Also, the
districts are authorized to establish specific permitting criteria for
dredge and fill operations in connected and isolated wetlands not
covered by the Henderson Wetlands Protection Act.

What is a wetland?
For the purpose of Corp of Engineers permitting, wetlands basically
includes those areas with a prevalence of vegetation adapted to live in
saturated soil conditions. With regard to the DER's jurisdiction,
detailed indexes have been compiled to determine which soil and plant
characteristics identify wetlands.
On request, the Department of Environmental Regulation will issue
declaratory statements for particular sites regarding whether or not its
jurisdiction extends to that area. Confirmation tests from the U. S.
Department of Agriculture are available where the applicant disagrees
with the DER's findings. These declarations are valid for up to five
years. The Districts' definitions of wetlands depend on hydrologic,
vegetative and soil characteristics of an area.

When are wetland permits required?
Dredge and fill permits are required for any non-exempt activity
under F.S. Chapter 403. The first step in obtaining a permit is assuring

DER (or the WMD) that state water quality standards will not be
violated by the proposed dredging and filling activity.
Second, the project cannot be contrary to the public interest.
Several factors must be considered in this determination, including:
the effect on public health, safety, welfare and property rights;
the effects on fish and wildlife (especially on threatened or
endangered species);
adverse effects on navigation or harmful erosion,
a variety of other factors like the effects on marine productivity,
the temporary or permanent nature of the project, and effects on
archaeological resources.
In the final analysis, factors which mitigate destruction of the
wetlands are also considered where some damage to the environment
is inevitable.
Duration of permits is generally for 5 years and does not exceed 10
years, unless the project cannot reasonably be completed within that
time. In these exceptional circumstances, the DER may issue 25-year
permits. Permitting fees range from $400 to $25,000 depending on
duration and wetlands that are affected.

What is exempt from wetland regulations?
Federal- normal farming, silviculture and ranching activities in
wetlands are exempt from the fill permitting mandates of the Clean
Water Act. This exemption does not apply to mechanized equipment
used in land clearing, as this has been held to represent a point source
of pollution, i.e. fill.
Florida- agricultural activities and agricultural water management
systems are exempt from Florida's Henderson Wetlands Act and the
DER water quality standards. "Agricultural activities" are defined to
include all necessary farming and forestry activities which are normal
and customary for a particular area provided such operations do not
impede or divert the flow of surface waters.
"Agricultural water management" includes farming or forestry water
management systems and farm ponds which are permitted pursuant to
Chapter 373 or exempted from the permitting requirement of the
surface water management statutes (See "Management and Storage
of Surface Waters" Section).

What Is reclamation?
Reclamation is the process of returning land that has been mined to
a higher dollar value by physically changing the land to a more usable
state. Under Florida's land reclamation statute, F. S. Chapter 378,
land, including wetlands, must be restored to an acceptable condition
after a mining operation. Furthermore, reclamation activities must
meet the surface and groundwater management requirements of DER
and the appropriate WMD, including design standards for water
In accordance with these requirements, Best Management
Practices should be undertaken to minimize erosion (see the Best
Management Practices Section). Also, specific procedures for
shoreline treatment are prescribed by the BMPs where digging results
in the formation of a water body:
1. The WMD executive director must be notified of a party's intent
to extract minerals, clay, peat, gravel, sand, or other solid
substance of commercial value. Usually submission of a
conceptual reclamation plan is appropriate.
2. All reclamation activities should be conducted in a manner
which reduces adverse impacts on surface and groundwater
resources, wildlife, and adjacent lands.

An exemption from the notification requirement applies for digging
confined to one acre or less in a given year, not to exceed five acres
over the life of the mine or the party who extracts. On a similar note,
fuller's day, heavy minerals, limestone and phosphate are covered
separately by permitting requirements.

What about mangroves?
The cutting or removing of mangroves is only allowed when
authorized by dredge and fill permits. The penalty for unauthorized
destruction of mangroves is the cost of restoration. To avoid such a
penalty, permits should be obtained, and a variance exemption may be
granted where unique and unnecessary hardship will otherwise result
to the applicant. Permits of this type are issued by DER or the Army
Corps of Engineers, and such cutting or removing is allowed where the
environmental impact is minimal. In some cases, selective trimming
may be permitted to facilitate enjoyment or riparian rights.
Applications to cut or remove mangroves are transferred to county
or municipal offices having jurisdiction over the area for which the
permit is being requested. Applicants should be aware that there are
department-approved dredge and fill regulatory programs to advise
applicants on this concem.

What is the Everglades Act?
The Everglades Act empowers the South Florida Water Manage-
ment District to do the following:
adopt the Surface Water Improvement Manangement plan;
acquire land by eminent domain for treatment and storage of
water prior to its release into the Everglades Protection Area;
create and administer a stormwater management system.

What are the penalties?
Civil liability exists for damage caused to water from unlawful
dredging, filling or destruction of wetlands. Fines may run as high as
$10,000 per offense and liability may be joint and several. (See
"Private Regulation" Section for discussion of joint and several liability.)
Criminal sanctions apply for willful pollution or contamination,
making these violations third-degree felonies. Fines up to $50,000 per
offense and imprisonment up to 5 years may be imposed. Further,
each day of non-compliance may create a separate violation. Reck-
less indifference or disregard of the probability of harm to the state's
water resources is a second-degree felony. Failure to obtain a permit,
failure to comply with regulations, or making false statements to the
permitting authorities are all first-degree felonies.
Sources: Fla. Stat. 403.91 .938.
Contact Information: S-1, S-2, L-1

Solid Waste Management
Who regulates solid waste management?
Both Florida and the federal governments have enacted Resource
Conservation and Recovery (RCRA) legislation to deal with the
disposal of solid wastes. The state rules are administered by the DER,
and the federal rules by the EPA.
Both RCRAs are aimed at protecting health and the environment
and at recycling or reclaiming solid wastes to the greatest extent
practicable. Because improperly handled solid waste represents such
a grave threat to water quality, it also falls within the scope of other
federal regulations, most notably the National Pollutant Discharge

Elimination System (NPDES) of the Federal Clean Water Act. NPDES
is an EPA and state-enforced system requiring permits for all point
source pollution discharges into navigable waters.
Aside from the areas of special state and federal interest, local
authorities are basically free to set their own rules, within broad state
guidelines, for the collection and disposal of solid wastes. Cities,
counties or municipalities should be consulted regarding problems
involving the locations of disposal facilities, frequency of waste pickup,
and other day-to-day waste disposal questions.

What Is solid waste?
Solid waste has been defined as any garbage, refuse, sludge or
other discarded materials, and liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous
materials. Furthermore, waste from agricultural activities is expressly
The only relevant materials which are expressly listed as NOT
within the RCRA definition of "solid waste" are:
domestic sewage;
waste from irrigation return flows; and
point source discharges which are permitted for release under
NPDES of the Clean Water Act.
If none of these exceptions apply, and if the material involved may
be said to be discarded or to have served its useful purpose, it is a
solid waste. Solid waste may be recycled, reused, discarded,
reclaimed or stored, depending on its nature. Many solid wastes may
also be hazardous wastes, and so subject to other, more restrictive
regulations. Therefore the section on hazardous waste must also be
consulted when considering solid wastes.
NPDES coverage extends only to discharges into navigable waters
and sets different standards for the amount of waste which may be
discharged based upon:
1) the type of industry involved;
2) the toxicity of the waste; and
3) the acceptable maximum amounts of harmful elements which
can be released into the body of water which is being polluted.
The Act's broad definition of "Navigable waters" is covered in the
Clean Water Act Subsection of "Federal Regulation" in this manual.
Facilities which are disposing of wastes in any way not in accor-
dance with the federal RCRA guidelines or NPDES requirements for
discharging water are deemed to be violators of the law.

What Is sludge?
The DER has established detailed regulations controlling the
application of sludge to land. Sludge is basically solid, liquid or
semisolid waste generated from wastewater treatment plants. This
system requires all producers to have their sludge tested so it may be
classified as one of the three grades of sludge recognized by DER.
(Grade I is the least hazardous; grade 11l, the most hazardous.)
No permit is required to apply sludge to the land of the sludge
generator as long as the sludge is treated for bacteria and
insect infestation and handled in accordance with DER rules.
No permit is required for "normal farming operations," which
include the application to farm land of:
grade I domestic, or grade I composite sludge;
domestic septate which has been properly treated
to kill microorganisms;
food service sludge.

The application of grade II sludge is not a normal farming operation
under the rules. Since grade III sludge must generally be disposed of
where it will have the least harmful effect on the environment, it is
unsuitable for application to farm land. All uses which are not normal
farming operations will require DER permits. The DER may require a
general permit for application of less harmful sludge, but may require
more restrictive permits (including solid waste disposal site permits) for
the application or disposal of more harmful sludge.
auctions that apply to the use or disposal of sludge:
Sludge may never be dumped into the ocean, surface or ground
Sludge ponds may only be used for the temporary storage of
sludge, generally for 12 hours or less.
Sludge containing hazardous wastes may never be applied to
agricultural lands, and may require disposal under more
restrictive, hazardous waste regulations.
Separate restrictions apply where sludge is being applied to
public access lands, like parks or playgrounds.
Depending upon the type of the sludge and land involved, there
may be waiting periods of various lengths which must be
observed before the public may be allowed access to any land
to which sludge has been applied.

How Is used oil regulated?
Both state and federal laws are consistent in their prohibitions
against the haphazard disposal of used oil. It is clearly a violation to:
discharge oil into sewers, drainage systems, septic tanks,
surface or groundwaters, watercourses or marine waters.
dispose of oil in a landfill, or commingle (mix) oil with other
wastes for the purpose of disposing of it in a landfill.
release used oil into the environment through any process,
including, for example, weed control, in an area where a sole
source aquifer has been designated.
Further, all processors and transporters of used oil must register
with the DER yearly, and all facilities for handling used oil must obtain
DER permits.

What can be composted from waste?
The DER has established detailed regulations for the production
and use of compost created from waste. The scope of these regula-
tions does not encompass the use of compost obtained from normal
farming operations on the land where it was generated.
You may compost:
Wastes produced in "normal farming operations", such as
activities used in the production of poultry, livestock or agricul-
tural crops. Normal waste from these operations includes
organic waste, manure and wastes derived solely from
agricultural crops.
Any facilities producing compost must obtain permits from the
DER and comply with detailed DER regulations.
You may not compost:
Compost from solid waste may never be used as fill material in
any body of surface water. Also, the DER regulations prohibit
any application of compost that would endanger public health or
the environment.

What should not go into landfills?
Florida has taken an interest in limiting the types of solid waste to
be disposed of through landfills, and has specifically prohibited the use
of landfills to dump:
used oil,
lead-add batteries,
yard trash, or
white goods (meaning discarded appliances like refrigerators or
water heaters).
The buying of solid waste is also prohibited except under the
conditions expressly approved by the rules for disposal facilities.
Sources: 42 U.S.C. 6901 to 6987; 40 C.F.R. 240 et seq.; 33
U.S.C. 1251 to 1387; Fla. Stat. 403.702 .7893; F.A.C. Title 17.
Contact Information: S-2, L-4, L-5, F-3, F-5

Hazardous Waste Management
Who regulates hazardous waste?
RCRA expressly provides that the EPA need no longer enforce its
rules within states that have passed their own, EPA-approved
hazardous waste management programs. The EPA will approve those
state programs that are at least as strict as the EPA regulations. Both
the state and federal authorities have power to enforce essentially the
same rules, although the DER has made a few important additions
which will be noted.
Hazardous waste management also falls into the realm of EPA
regulation through two other acts: the federal Clean Water Act, which
prohibits all discharges of hazardous materials into navigable waters,
and CERCLA, which provides a comprehensive approach to financing
and executing hazardous waste spill cleanup. Both acts are covered
in more detail in the "Federal Regulation" section of this manual.

Whate is a hazardous waste?
The EPA has compiled a lengthy list of specific chemicals and
materials which are hazardous, and has also designated materials with
certain characteristics as hazardous. Broadly stated, a hazardous
waste is anything that can result in a serious threat to health or the
environment if mismanaged. More particularly, the EPA will look to
each material's characteristics, such as toxicity, flammability, combusti-
bility, corrosiveness and reactiveness.
Certain materials have been specifically designated as NOT
hazardous, including:
Household waste (for example, garbage, trash and septic tank
wastes), and
Solid wastes which are generated by the growing or harvesting
of agricultural crops or by the raising of animals (including
manure) AND which are returned to the soil as fertilizer.
Slight residues in otherwise empty containers are generally not
subject to regulation as hazardous waste (40 C.F.R. 261.7).

Who is responsible for managing hazardous waste?
Three basic categories of individuals are liable for hazardous waste
clean up costs under CERCLA: generators, transporters and owner/
operators of treatment, storage or disposal facilities. To ensure
compliance with all statutes and rules, it is essential to determine if an
individual fits into one or more of these categories.

1. Generators A generator is anyone who produces a hazardous
waste, as loosely defined above. The EPA requires that all generators
must obtain an identification number before they can treat, store,
dispose of or transport their waste. Further, the EPA sets standards
for pre-transportation packaging and labeling of waste, and provides
for an elaborate manifest record-keeping system which allows the
government to account for the waste from the point of its creation to its
final disposal.
Generators may accumulate a limited amount of waste on-site for
up to 90 days without a permit. After that, unless the EPA grants a 30-
day extension for unforeseen delays in removing the waste, an owner/
operator permit is required. No more than 55 gallons of hazardous
waste and one gallon of "acutely" hazardous waste may be accumu-
lated during this 90-day period.
In addition to the EPA requirements, Florida law requires any
generator that produces more than 1,000 Ibs. of hazardous waste in a
year to file a separate report with the DER at the end of that year.
Federal law allows for certain exemptions to the permitting
requirements. The two most important are listed below:
Small Quantity Generators Generators who produce less than
220 pounds of hazardous waste per month may be entitled to
status as "small quantity generators." SQG's are entitled under the
federal rules to some "conditional exemptions," like an exemption
from certain land-disposal restrictions, a right to accumulate waste
on-site for longer periods of time without a permit, and greater
disposal options.
Under Florida law, all SQG's should be notified by the DER,
by mail, of their legal responsibilities and disposal alteratives. In
response, each SQG is required to disclose to the DER all waste
management practices, including the types and quantities of waste
dealt with. Failure to disclose this information can lead to fines of up
to $100 per day, for not more than 100 days.
Farmer's Pesticide Exemption Specifically exempt from the
requirements governing generators are farmers who dispose of
their own pesticides. They must, however, comply with the
disposal instructions on the pesticide label and must triple-rinse
each container.
2. Transporters Like generators, transporters must obtain an ID
number from the EPA and maintain detailed records of all wastes they
handle. Transporters are not required to obtain an owner/operator
permit so long as they do not store waste more than 10 days.
In the event of a spill, transporters must take all necessary action,
including notification of crisis management authorities, in order to
protect public health and the environment and to dean up the spill.
Florida rules impose financial responsibility on transporters of up to $1
million per accident and require that all transporters submit evidence of
adequate insurance coverage.
Transporters should note that they may also be subject to regula-
tion by the U. S. Secretary of Transportation under the Hazardous
Materials Transportation Act. This act governs vehicular activities such
as driving, parking and refueling of vehicles which are hauling, in
commerce, any poisonous, flammable, combustible, corrosive or other
materials "which may pose an unreasonable risk to health and safety
or property."
3. Owner/Operators of Treatment, Storage, Disposal Facilities-
Anyone involved in the treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous
waste must have a permit from the DER and the EPA. The only
relevant exceptions to this rule are the limited on-site accumulations
allowed to generators, the farm pesticide exceptions, and facilities
which completely re-use waste in some other production process.

The EPA has established extensive, detailed rules providing for the
operation and security of such facilities. EPA also addresses
personnel, safety, closure, and virtually every other aspect of
maintaining a treatment, storage or disposal facility.
On the state level, the DER requires owner/operators to monitor
and maintain the groundwater standards of their land and to report any
changes to the DER. Owner/operators, like transporters under Florida
law, must be bonded and insured against accidents.
No waste may be treated, stored or disposed of anywhere except at
a licensed facility. Waste may never be dumped into a sewage system
or septic tank. Florida is working to discontinue the disposal of
hazardous wastes through landfills.
The Florida statutes authorize and subsidize local governments to
set up local hazardous waste collection centers and instruct the DER
to set up "amnesty days" in community centers where generators can
deliver small amounts of hazardous waste (less than 100 Ibs.).

What are the penalties?
Both civil and criminal penalties, including prison, are available
under the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and RCRA. The least severe
penalties accompany negligent violations, while knowing violations and
intentional violations each carry significantly greater penalties.
Sources: 42 U.S.C. 6901 to 6987; 9601 to 9687; 33 U.S.C. 1251
to 1387; 40 C.F.R. 260 272; Fla. Stat. 403.702 .7893; 17-730,
Contact Information: L-2, L-5, F-3, F-4, F-6

Pollutant Storaae Tanks
Who regulates pollutant storage tanks?
Statewide regulation of stationary storage tanks is primarily the
domain of the DER. Subsequently, most of the rules covered in this
section are those of the DER. It is important to note, however, that the
regulations allow individual county governments to promulgate their
own regulations if these local regulations are more stringent than those
of the DER. County authorities should be consulted, then, even if the
storage tank activity or condition is apparently within the statewide

What is a pollutant?
A tank will fall within the scope of the regulations if it holds a
pollutant. "Pollutant" is basically defined as:
any type of oil or gasoline;
any pesticide; or
any ammonia or chlorine compound or derivative.

Which tanks are regulated?
The bulk of the regulations only apply to tanks which store more
than 1,000 gallons in any given month, or more than 10,000 gallons in
a year. Tanks smaller than this need only comply with the general
requirement that they do not discharge their contents into the environ-
ment, and that they conform to fire prevention standards.
Certain tanks are expressly excluded from coverage:
Liquid petroleum (propane) tanks.
Tanks whose contents have a softening point above 100
degrees fahrenheit.

"Tank farms," or groups of tanks whose total combined storage
capacity exceeds 500,000 gallons (These are regulated under
entirely separate standards).
The DER makes important distinctions between new tanks and
those which were already in operation before 1984. New tanks are
subject to the strictest safety standards, but existing tanks must be
brought into compliance with many of the same standards for overfill
protection, monitoring systems, and tank linings within a given period.
The time allowed for this "retrofitting" varies depending upon the year
the tank was installed, but the DER contemplates the complete
retrofitting of all existing tanks by 1998.
Abovearound tanks are subject to less restrictive regulations (A
"aboveground" tank has no more than 10 percent of its volume buried,
including integral piping). These tanks, however, are subject to similar
record keeping rules as buried tanks and must be equipped with an
impervious containment barrier to catch spills. Further, any part of the
tank in contact with the ground must be protected against corrosion.

What should tank owners do?
Tank owners must:
Register tanks with the DER within 10 days of the start of
installation or within 10 days of the date they are converted to
pollutant storage tanks.
Notify DER of the abandonment, sale or retrofitting of any tank
within 10 days after it occurs, and DER must further be notified
of any testing for leaks within 3 days.
Immediately report any spills which represent a threat to
environmental quality. This includes discharges in excess of
100 gallons into pervious surfaces.

What are the construction, repair, and testing standards?
All new tanks must comply with a comprehensive list of safety
requirements including double-wall or reinforced construction,
monitoring systems (including monitoring wells), strike plates, electric
isolation systems and other such specifics. Similar requirements have
been promulgated for the pipe systems used in connection to the
The DER also provides extensive requirements for testing the
integrity of tanks, and for taking samples from tanks, monitoring wells,
and soil in the vicinity of the tank. All testing must be performed by
trained personnel. Although the testing intervals are specified in the
rules, the DER retains the authority to order complete system testing
whenever it deems it necessary, based upon:
the operator's failure to comply with rules; or
evidence of a discharge or of contamination in the area.
Operators of storage facilitiesare required to keep records for DER
inspection. These records must include the results of all tests and
inspections, as well as maintenance and inventory notes on the tanks
or their contents. The records must date back at least two years and
must be made available to the DER within two days notice.

What are the cleanup safeguards and procedures?
Operators may be required, by both state and federal law, to adopt
a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan before they begin
installation of a tank. This is pursuant to the federal policy of monitor-
ing anyone with the potential to pollute the environment through
petroleum discharge. This plan, or a DER-approved alternative plan,
should detail the drainage and other engineering measures taken to

mitigate the damage of spills and may require an advance, written
commitment of materials and manpower that will be used to clean up
any spills that occur.
As noted earlier, spills must be reported immediately and the owner
or operator must take immediate steps to "contain, remove or abate
the discharge." If groundwater quality is threatened by the spill, the
DER may also order the owner to take whatever corrective action is
necessary to reduce the hazard to the public.

What Is the proper procedure for tank abandonment?
1. Abandoned tanks must be pumped out and thoroughly cleaned
of vapor.
2. Underground tanks need not be removed from the ground, but
may instead be filled with sand, concrete or similar inert
3. Tanks which are disposed of as junk must be perforated or
otherwise made unusable.
4. Petroleum tanks which are intended for reuse must be dearly
labeled as "Not for food use."
5. No abandoned tank may be used to store pollutants. Aban-
doned tanks may not be reused unless completely retrofitted to
comply with the standards for new tanks.
Under CERCLA, landowners may be held liable for leakage from
tanks which have been abandoned on their property by previous
owners. Consequently, buyers should thoroughly inspect property
before purchase. (See sections on Environmental Audits and
CERCLA.) If leaking tanks are discovered, the cleanup may be
supervised by the landowner or by the EPA. It will inevitably be costly.
Sources: Fla. Stat. Chapter 376; 17-61, F.A.C.; 40 C.F.R. 280,
Contact Information: S-2, L-4, F-3, F-4

On-site Sewage Disposal
Who regulates on-site sewage disposal?
While the Florida Statutes contain a set of broad guidelines
regulating sewage disposal, the Florida Department of Health &
Rehabilitative Services is the primary authority for specific, statewide
regulations controlling the installation and use of on-site sewage
disposal systems.
Nonetheless, the waste disposal rules of the DER will apply if:
the volume of water to be processed exceeds 5,000 gallons per
day; or
the water contains or will contain industrial or hazardous waste;
the system is located in an area which is zoned for industry or
If the system falls into one of these categories, the DER will likely
require a separate permit and impose further restrictions on the
system. In addition to the statewide rules, local govemments will
typically have their own rules and requirements for permitting and
regulating the disposal system.

Are on-site sewage disposal systems acceptable?
The state does not encourage the use of on-site sewage disposal
systems (which generally takes the form of septic tanks and drain
fields). Both the statutes and the DHRS rules require the use of public
or investor-owned sewage systems in areas where they are available.

Unless the system is being used to dispose entirely of graywater, it
must be connected to a public sewage system within one year from the
date such a public system becomes available in the area.
Gravwater is residential wastewater from bathroom or lavatory
sinks and washing machines.
Blackwater is basically all other residential wastewater, like water
from toilets and kitchen drains.

Where should on-site systems be placed?
The system's location is a key factor in determining the potential for
groundwater damage.
Septic tanks must be distanced 75 ft. from private potable wells
and surface waters, and from 100 to 200 ft. from public wells.
Placement of drain fields 5 ft. from building foundations or
property lines, 50 ft. from non-potable wells and 10 ft. from
potable water supply lines (unless the lines are encased in
concrete or double pipe) is required.
New fill soil or unsettled ground is seen as least favorable to the
placement of disposal systems.
Special standards apply to the placement of systems in
limestone soil, which is particularly common in South Florida.
The land use zoning of the area where the system is to be installed
is also crucial. If an area is zoned for industry or manufacturing, the
DER will closely monitor the system to insure that it receives no toxic
or hazardous wastes. Additionally, the system will probably not be
permitted if a public sewage system is available.
The size of the tank and drain field is also prescribed by the rules,
which list the minimum sizes of tanks required for every size of
residence or other building. The size regulations are based on the
amount of waste the DHRS estimates each type of building will

How should the system be maintained?
The owner of the property is responsible for maintenance and
upkeep of the system. Under DHRS rules, the owner should check the
level of the tank a minimum of once every three years. Both the
statute and the rules prohibit the use of organic chemical solvents to
degrease or declog the system. Pumping out the system requires a
permit from the DHRS which will require proof that the proper pump,
truck and expertise will be used.

What are the procedures for septic tank abandonment?
No permit is required from the DHRS to abandon a septic tank, but
these steps must be followed:
The tank should be pumped out.
The bottom should be opened or ruptured to prevent water
The tank should be filled with clean sand or similar material.

What permits and fees are required?
The DHRS requires a permit for the installation or repair of all on-
site sewage systems. Prior to the issuance of a permit the DHRS may
inspect the site and perform any necessary tests to determine whether
the system has any potential to cause harm. The DHRS will also
require an inspection of newly installed tanks before burial.
The DHRS should conduct this inspection within two days after it
has been notified that the tank installation is complete. A fee will be

collected for the permit, the inspections and any other necessary
services performed by the DHRS. Generally, the fees range from $5 to
$100. The inspection and permitting of a standard residential system
is about $50.
It is essential to note that local governments will often require
separate permits (like plumbing permits) and impose separate
requirements for the installation and repair of disposal systems. In
many cases, the issuance of these permits will be contingent upon the
applicant having already obtained a DHRS permit.

What are the alternatives?
The rules give the individual county public health departments the
authority to approve alternative on-site systems like mounds, gravity
sewers, low pressure pipe and other systems so long as the county
feels there will be no adverse effects. The DHRS retains authority to
approve the use of temporary measures, like portable toilets, as well.
The DHRS rules also create a statewide board which hears
requests for variances. The board has the power to excuse compli-
ance from the rules where it deems compliance to be unduly burden-
some on the applicant.
Sources: Fla. Stat. 381.272; 100-6, F.A.C.
Contact Information: S-6, S-2

Who regulates pesticides?
The use of agricultural pesticides falls within the purview of several
federal statutes as well as Florida law. Under federal law, pesticides
are primarily regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and
Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Many other federal statutes and agencies
come into play, though, in more particular situations.
Florida has passed additional legislation designed specifically to
cover the use of pesticides, with enforcement authority vested primarily
in the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (DACS).
Many of these laws and regulations are similar to those enacted by the
federal government.

What Is so Important about pesticide labels?
Pesticide labels have become a central tool for enforcement of both
FIFRA and state law. Under FIFRA. users must comolv with all the
application and precautionary instructions on the label. In this sense.
the label is the law. Failure to comply with the label can result in strict
penalties. It is important to note that the farmer can be penalized even
if an employee of the farmer was responsible for the failure to follow
the label instructions.
The Florida statutes excuse pesticide users from following the
instructions on the label only to the extent that:
the pesticide may be applied in lesser dosages, concentrations,
or frequencies than recommended by the label; or
the pesticide may be used against a pest not specified as a
target pest by the label, so long as the application is to a crop,
animal or site specified by the label and the label does not
prohibit the application; or
applicators may employ any method of application not prohib-
ited by the labeling; or
applicators may mix the pesticide with a fertilizer when not
prohibited by the labeling.

What are restricted-use pesticides?
Both the EPA and the Florida DACS have classified all pesticides,
based on their active ingredient, as either "general-use pesticides" or
"restricted-use pesticides."
General-use pesticides may be applied by anyone who follows
the label instructions and adheres to the law.
Restricted-use pesticides, however, may only be applied by
licensed applicators or those working under the direct supervi-
sion of a licensed applicator. All EPA-classified restricted-use
pesticides are incorporated into the DACS list by reference.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has also
issued its own list, however, so a pesticide could conceivably be
restricted in Florida while still open to general use under EPA
Both federal and state law provide for different types of licenses for
private and commercial applicators of restricted-use pesticides.
Generally, private applicators are authorized to apply pesticides to their
land only. Testing and other requirements are different for private and
commercial applicators. The distinction is also important with regard to
license violations, as commercial applicators are subject to substan-
tially more severe penalties than private applicators.

When Is a NPDES permit required?
Under the federal Clean Water Act (as outlined in the "Solid Waste"
section), any point source pollution of a navigable waterway must have
a NPDES permit from the EPA. (See also: "Clean Water Act") While
irrigation return flow is exempted from this requirement, other
agricultural polluting activities are not. For instance, a ditch containing
fertilizers or pesticides entering navigable waterways is a point source
of pollution, and is subject to the permitting requirements of this act.

What about drinking water?
Any pollutant introduced into a source of drinking water, including
wells and aquifers, is subject to regulation under the federal Safe
Drinking Water Act. It should be mentioned that this act has been
interpreted to cover irrigation retum flow which seeps back into
subsurface water as an "underground injection" if the flow carries any

How should pesticides be stored and disposed of?
The FIFRA requirements for adherence to label instructions also
extends to the storage and disposal of pesticides. Further, pesticides
often fall within the "hazardous waste" classifications of RCRA, and are
usually subject to "solid waste" disposal regulations. The RCRA or
FIFRA sections of this publication should be reviewed before storing or
disposing of any pesticides.
The EPA provides guidelines for the storage and disposal of
pesticides which, while not mandatory, are helpful in dealing with
specifics of locating storage sites, protecting groundwater and other
ways of avoiding environmental contamination.

What are the antisyphon requirements?
Florida law requires that all irrigation systems which are used to
administer crop management materials, such as pesticides or
fertilizers, be equipped with antisyphon devices to prevent the backflow
of pesticide- or fertilizer-contaminated water to the aquifer. These
rules also apply to pesticides pre-mixed with fertilizer, although such

mixtures must be clearly labeled as such before they may be offered
for sale. The specifications for antisyphon devices are spelled out in
the rules promulgated by DACS.
Sources: 7 U.S.C. 136 to 136y; 40 U.S.C. 300f to 300j-26; 33
U.S.C. 1251 to 1387; Fla. Stat. Chapter 487; 5E, F.A.C.
Contact Information: S-2, S-5, F-7, F-8

Appendix A
List of acronyms
BMP Best Management Practice
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation
and Liability Act (or Superfund)
CWA Clean Water Act
DACS Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
DER Department of Environmental Regulation
DHRS Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
DNR Department of Natural Resources
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
ESA Endangered Species Act
FAC Florida Administrative Code
FIFRA Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
FWPCA Federal Water Pollution Control Act
GFWFC Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
MSSW Management and Storage of Surface Waters
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act
NPDES- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
SCS Soil Conservation Service
SDWA Safe Drinking Water Act
SFWMD South Florida Water Management District
SQG Small Quantity Generator
SWCD Soil and Water Conservation District
SWIM Surface Water Improvement Management
TSCA Toxic Substances Control Act
UIC Underground Injection Control
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
WMD Water Management District
WPS Watershed Protection Section

Glossary / Index
Ad Valorem Tax tax imposed on the value of property, p. 14
Appurtenant any artificial improvements to a dam which might
effect the safety of such dam, or when employed might affect the
holding capacity of such dam or of the reservoir or impoundment
created by such dam. p. 23
Aquifer huge underground supply of water, in Florida stored in
cavities of porous limestone, p. 18
Basin Boards water management board with authority to develop
water use plans, p. 13
Best Management Practices (BMP) management and cultural
practices designed to efficiently use and conserve the land. p. 18
Blackwater residential wastewater from toilets or kitchens. p. 35
Carcinogen an agent that has been scientifically proven to cause
Closed System- system that exchanges neither matter nor energy
with its surroundings. p. 24
Common Law- law determined by courts or custom, in contrast with
statutory law or legislatively made law.

mixtures must be clearly labeled as such before they may be offered
for sale. The specifications for antisyphon devices are spelled out in
the rules promulgated by DACS.
Sources: 7 U.S.C. 136 to 136y; 40 U.S.C. 300f to 300j-26; 33
U.S.C. 1251 to 1387; Fla. Stat. Chapter 487; 5E, F.A.C.
Contact Information: S-2, S-5, F-7, F-8

Appendix A
List of acronyms
BMP Best Management Practice
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation
and Liability Act (or Superfund)
CWA Clean Water Act
DACS Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
DER Department of Environmental Regulation
DHRS Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
DNR Department of Natural Resources
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
ESA Endangered Species Act
FAC Florida Administrative Code
FIFRA Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
FWPCA Federal Water Pollution Control Act
GFWFC Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
MSSW Management and Storage of Surface Waters
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act
NPDES- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
SCS Soil Conservation Service
SDWA Safe Drinking Water Act
SFWMD South Florida Water Management District
SQG Small Quantity Generator
SWCD Soil and Water Conservation District
SWIM Surface Water Improvement Management
TSCA Toxic Substances Control Act
UIC Underground Injection Control
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
WMD Water Management District
WPS Watershed Protection Section

Glossary / Index
Ad Valorem Tax tax imposed on the value of property, p. 14
Appurtenant any artificial improvements to a dam which might
effect the safety of such dam, or when employed might affect the
holding capacity of such dam or of the reservoir or impoundment
created by such dam. p. 23
Aquifer huge underground supply of water, in Florida stored in
cavities of porous limestone, p. 18
Basin Boards water management board with authority to develop
water use plans, p. 13
Best Management Practices (BMP) management and cultural
practices designed to efficiently use and conserve the land. p. 18
Blackwater residential wastewater from toilets or kitchens. p. 35
Carcinogen an agent that has been scientifically proven to cause
Closed System- system that exchanges neither matter nor energy
with its surroundings. p. 24
Common Law- law determined by courts or custom, in contrast with
statutory law or legislatively made law.

Contaminant measurable amount of a foreign substance.
Effluent liquid discharge from point source, sometimes refers to
liquid that comes out of treatment plant after completion of
treatment process. p. 4
Felony/Misdemeanor felonies are usually punished with high fines
and/or prison sentences, while misdemeanors are offenses lower
than felonies and punishable by lesser fines or shorter imprison-
Graywater residential wastewater (showers, washing machines).
p. 35
Hazardous Waste wastes considered a threat to human health or
the environment by EPA; does not include petroleum, although
some petroleum products are hazardous wastes, pp. 4, 30
Injection Well source of water or other liquids entering ground-
water; can be very deep well or several types of runoff. pp. 7, 37
Injunctive Relief court order to prohibit someone from doing some
specified act or to command someone to undo some wrong or
injury; example is a restraining order, p. 16
Joint and Several Liability when a wronged party may sue one or
more of the offending parties either separately or together.
Responsible together and individually. pp. 6, 17
Len a claim or charge on property for payment of some debt,
obligation or duty. p. 7
Liability the state of being bound or obliged in law to do, pay or
make good on something. p. 17
Leaching process by which nutrient chemicals or contaminants are
dissolved and carried away by water or are moved into a lower
layer of soil. p. 19
Mitigation to make less severe, to reduce a penalty or punishment
imposed by law. p. 33
Minimum Water Levels level of water below which withdrawals
would be harmful to the ecosystem or water resources; set by
water management districts. p. 13
Negligence- failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and
careful person would use under similar circumstances, p. 16
Negligence per se a form of negligence that results from violation
of a statute. Running a red light is negligence per se. p. 17
Nonpoint Source nondiscernable source of pollution, i.e. agricultural
runoff, urban runoff. p. 3
PCB Polycholorinated Biphenyls, common human-produced
Pesticide- any substance used to regulate, prevent, repel or destroy
any pest or plant, p. 8
Point Source- discernible channel through which wastes are
discharged, i.e. pipes, sewers, channels. p. 3
Pollutant presence of contaminants in water, soil, or air to such a
degree that the use of the resource is impaired, includes gasoline
or oil, any pesticide, or any ammonia or chlorine compound or
derivative. p. 32
Reclamation process of increasing mined land or other used
resource to a higher value by physically changing the land, i.e.
wetland reclamation, p. 26
Solid Waste trash, sludge, some liquid and gaseous wastes; does
not include domestic sewage, irrigation return flow, or pollutants
included in NPDES permits, pp. 4, 28
Strict Liability liability without fault, when one is responsible for all
consequences of actions or employees regardless of one's fault.
pp. 6, 17
Threatened/Endangered Species species of plants or animals
which are threatened with extinction or are in danger of extinction.
p. 10

Toxic Substances substances carrying a risk to produce birth
defects, heart disease, emphysema or other health effects in
humans or carrying a risk to injure the environment. p. 9
Wetlands lands supporting vegetation suited to a wetland environ-
ment and/or covered periodically with water. pp. 3, 26
Zone of Discharge predefined three dimensional area underground
around a source of water going into the ground, usually has more
relaxed water quality standards before the water reaches ground-
water supply. p. 19

Contact agencies
Florida Agencies
S-1. Water Management Districts
a.) Southwest Florida Water Management District
2379 Broad Street
Brooksville, FL 34609-6899
(904) 796-7211
b.) South Florida Water Management District
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
or P.O. Box 24680
West Palm Beach, FL 33416
(800) 432-2045
(407) 686-8800
c.) St. Johns River Water Management District
Highway 100, West
Palatka, FL 32177
or P. 0. Box 1429
Palatka, FL 32178-1429
(904) 329-4500
d.) Suwannee River Water Management District
Route 3, Box 64
Live Oak, FL 32060
(904) 362-6909
e.) Northwest Florida Water Management District
Route 1, Box 3100
Havana, FL 32333
(904) 539-5999
S-2. Department of Environmental Regulation
Twin Towers, 2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400
(904) 488-4805
S-3. Department of Natural Resources
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000
(904) 488-1554
S-4. Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission
Farris Bryant Building
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
(904) 488-2975
S-5. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0810
(904) 488-3022

a.) Division of Standards
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
(904) 488-0645
b.) Division of Forestry
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
(904) 488-4274
c.) Division of Inspection
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
(904) 488-3731
d.) Division of Chemistry
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
(904) 488-0295
S-6. Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services
1323 Winewood Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700
(904) 488-7721
S-7. Department of Labor and Employment Security
(800) 367-4378
(904) 488-3044
Call for information on Florida's Worker Right-To-Know Program

EPA National Offices & Numbers
F-1 Safe Drinking Water Hotline
Provides information on EPA drinking water regulations and
Operating Mon. Fri., 8:30 A.M. 5:00 P.M., EST
Toll Free, 1-800-426-4791
F-2 Office of Drinking Water
Dealing with questions about federal drinking water regulation
and water wells.
401 M. Street SW
Washington, DC 20460
F-3 RCRA/ CERCLA (Superfund) Hotline
Provides information on RCRA and CERCLA and responds to
document requests.
Operating Mon. Fri., 8:30 A.M. 7:30 P.M., EST
Toll Free, 1-800-424-9346
F-4 Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know
Information Hotline
Provides information about planning and preparation involving
accidental releases of toxic chemicals.
Operating Mon. Fri., 8:30 A.M. 7:30 P.M., EST
Toll Free 1-800-535-0202
F-5 Office of Water
Provides Information on Clean Water Act and related water
pollution regulations.
WH 556, 401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 382-5700

F-6 TSCA Assistance Information Service
Provides information about toxic substances and compliance
with TSCA regulations. Also supplies publications and other
materials to aid in compliance.
Operating Mon. Fri., 8:30 A.M. 5:00 P.M., EST
(202) 554-1404
F-7 National Pesticide Telecommunications Network
Provides information on pesticides and pesticide poisonings.
Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Toll Free, 1-800-858-7378
F-8 Florida Administrator of EPA Pesticide Regulation
Bureau of Pesticides/ Division of Inspection
Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
3125 Conner Blvd., MD-2
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
(904) 487-2130

Numbers within EPA Region 4 (Includes Florida)
L-1 General Information for Region 4:
345 Courtland Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30365
(Written questions may be sent to this

L-2 Hazardous Waste Section
Helps resolve citizen problems dealing with hazardous waste
(404) 347-7603

L-3 Groundwater Technology & Management Section
Dealing with Groundwater Pollution, including violations of
(404) 347-3866

L-4 Emergency Response and Removal Branch
Handling response to spills and other CERCLA RCRA issues
(404) 347-3931

L-5 Waste Compliance Section
Supervising compliance with RCRA
(404) 347-7603

L-6 Clean Water Act Facilities and Performance Branch/ Compli
ance Section
Dealing with compliance with Clean Water Act.
(404) 347-7428



ENCES, John T. Woeste, director, in cooperation with the United
States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to
further the purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of
Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational
information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function
without regard to race, color, sex, handicap or national origin. Single copies of
extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to
Florida residents from county extension offices. Information on bulk rates or copies
for out-of-state purchasers is available from C.M. Hinton, Publications Distribution
Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before
publicizing this publication, editors should contact this address to determine
availability. Printed 11/91.

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