Title: Landers, Jay, Esq., Chairman. EESC; Summary of Final Report, 1986-87. 6p.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00052161/00001
 Material Information
Title: Landers, Jay, Esq., Chairman. EESC; Summary of Final Report, 1986-87. 6p.
Physical Description: Book
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00052161
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Full Text

. impose restrictions on DRIs. Also, although generally
approving the transfer of dredge and fill jurisdiction to
the WMDs as part of a complete system, they did not approve
of the transfer without sufficient legislative resolution of
the policy conflicts involved and appropriate oversight
within DER to make certain that the process operates
consistently and effectively. They found that unless all
water permitting was transferred to the WMDs that transferal
of dredge and fill alone may result in more delays and
inefficiencies as a result of the disruption of agency
personnel and process than the benefits received from
elimination of permitting duplication. The minority opposed
also the delegation of TIITF functions to WMDs.

The minority proposed new agency composition and
responsibilities. A new Department of Environmental
Protection would set standards and maintain oversight, but
all permitting functions would be transferred to the new
Environmental Management Districts except permitting of
district projects. A new Department of Fish and Wildlife
would combine freshwater, saltwater, endangered species and
aquatic weed control authority.

As explained in the chairman's letter which prefaced the
majority report, the EESC was charged with studying the
existing regulatory system and to propose solutions to the
problems we found. We were not charged with preparing a
massive reorganization of the state's environmental agencies
and programs; although we would have recommended such had we
thought it necessary.

Proposed legislation has been drafted to implement the
recommendations of the EESC. When finalized it will be
published as Volume II of the EESC report, and will be
available from the EESC office.


conceptual review process is utilized, regional planning
councils would continue to comment on the regional
implications of an agency's conceptual approval, but would
not be allowed to make conflicting recommendations or
findings regarding conceptual or regular permits in their
report to local government. Likewise the local government's
development order would have to be consistent with the
conceptual approval unless it would conflict with its
adopted comprehensive plan or land development regulations.

The EESC considered and thoroughly debated the issue of
equity between DRI and non-DRI developments; as well as the
impact of stronger and more comprehensive local government
plans and land development regulations which apply to all
developments and must now be reviewed and approved by the
state land planning agency. The EESC discussed whether a
local government should be allowed to impose conditions on a
DRI development based on Chapter 380 that the local
government could not impose on a similar non-DRI project.

A majority of the EESC recommended that limiting language be
added to Chapter 380 specifying that all development order
conditions shall be based upon the local government's
adopted local comprehensive plan and land development
regulations. Once a local comprehensive plan is found to be
in compliance with the Local Government Comprehensive
Planning and Land Development Regulation Act of 1985 the
local government may not impose development order conditions
on a DRI development that could not be imposed on a similar
non-DRI development.

A minority of the EESC is of the opinion that such
provisions ignore the very nature and purpose of the DRI
process, eliminate reduce the role of the Comprehensive
Regional Policy Plans and unnecessarily restrict the
discretion of a local government in its effort to mitigate
the impacts of a DRI.

Three of the fifteen EESC members joined to produce a
minority report which stated that except in a few instances,
the minority does not object to the changes recommended in
the majority report. The objections came more from what is
not in the majority report that what it contains. The
position of the minority is that problems within an
environmental system can only be solved by a cohesive
permitting and enforcement system.

As noted above, the minority did not concur with the
restriction on local government's ability to comment and


constitutional millage cap on WMD levies by a constitutional
amendment raising the constitutional millage cap for
northwest Florida to the one mill level of the other
districts. It also means general revenue funding should go
with the program transfer to the WMDs, and that authority to
levy fees that will cover the costs of processing and
enforcement be granted to the WMDs.

DER should retain authority over all point source
discharges, which includes industrial and domestic waste, as
well as hazardous waste, air quality and solid waste. This
includes.giving DER exclusive authority over effluent
limitations and reuse requirements for point source

By 1992 the legislature should again examine the areas of
water permitting, evaluate how the WMDs have fared and
whether any further changes are proper to further
consolidate all water permitting. DER should be responsible
for drinking water programs. Permitting and regulation of
septic tanks and sewage disposal systems should remain

DER should truly become the state center for water data
management and research as presently mandated by s. 373.026,
F.S. Reliable and accurate data is crucial to competent
standard setting and decision making. There is a great deal
of information in the universities, the WMDs, private
reports and other state agencies that is currently not being
collected and made accessible. DER should also be provided
the resources to conduct major environmental research. A
vital key to Florida's ability to produce and use the best
water information is a reliable source of recurring funds
for water research.

The EESC recommended that programs be delegated to local
governments wherever an acceptable local program exists.
State and regional agencies that delegate regulatory
programs to a local government should be required to
transfer funds that the agency would have expended on the
program. Also, s. 373.109, F.S., should be amended to allow
local governments authority to set fees to reflect the
actual costs of permitting and regulation.

The EESC took a long look at the Development of Regional
Impact (DRI) process under Chapter 380. Recommendations are
intended to integrate the agency permitting process into the
DRI review and to prevent the DRI review from overlapping on
issues dealt with by the permitting agencies. Where the


operate, and that this is not possible if the Department of
Environment Regulation (DER) has authority for the
management and storage of surface water and stormwater
permitting. Therefor, the EESC recommends transfer of DER
statutory dredge and fill permitting authority to the WMDs
effective January 1, 1990. As of that same date original
jurisdiction for non-point source programs should also be
placed in the WMDs.

Policy conflicts arise in attempting to consolidate the
diverse authorities of the Henderson Wetlands Act and other
dredge and fill legislation. These policy issues include
jurisdiction, mitigation, gandfathering, cumulative impacts,
etc. These conflicts should be reviewed and resolved by the
legislature since they are inherent in the legislative
grants of authority.

The EESC also recommends that transfer legislation require
that between July 1, 1989 and November 15, 1989 the WMDs,
operating under the guidance of DER and pursuant to
authority in Chapter 373, adopt rules governing dredge and
fill in wetlands and waters of the state. The rules shall
strive to achieve statewide uniformity and consistency but
allow for regional variations. The DER secretary shall
review the rules using his general supervisory authority and
consistency review authority pursuant to Chapter 17-40

Regarding the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
administration of the sovereign submerged lands and aquatic
preserve rules of the Trustees of the Internal Improvement
Trust Fund (TIITF), the EESC recommends that this should
also be placed under the WMDs with rulemaking, appeal rights
and review authority retained in the governor and cabinet.

The TIITF would continue to adopt rules pertaining to
sovereign submerged lands and the management of aquatic
preserves. Except for the sale of fee title to submerged
"land these rules should be administered by the WMDs
effective January 1, 1990. The decisions of the WMDs
pursuant to these rules should be final unless within 30
days there is an appeal pursuant to s. 373.114, F.S., or
unless review is initiated by the TIITF pursuant to rules
adopted by the TIITF.

In making these organizational shifts of authority from DER
and DNR to the WMDs, the EESC also recognizes the need to
make the WMDs financially capable of carrying out their new
responsibilities. This means an equalization of the


Environmental Efficiency Study Commission
Summary of Final Report

Jay Landers, Chairman

In establishing the Environmental Efficiency Study
Commission (EESC), the legislature expressed concern that
the state's environmental permitting process had become
inefficient, confusing and overly complex. The EESC found
that although complex, Florida's multi-level regulation
system is basically sound, but can be made to work more

The history of environmental regulation in Florida reveals
two recurring conditions that have created many of the
management problems detailed in the report. Those
conditions are continual expansion of programs and
consistent underfunding.

Lack of adequate funding leads directly to an inability to
attract and keep experienced people. Staff can preserve the
institutional memory, and can often prevent duplication and
work out the glitches between agencies. The drain of
dedicated people to the private sector must be slowed by
insuring adequate salary and career paths for qualified
environmental professionals. The insights of scientific and
enforcement personnel may be retained by insuring
satisfactory career ladders that do not force ambitious
experts to abandon their expertise in order to pursue
advancement as administrators.

The EESC found that we currently have a "front loaded"
system where most of the attention is paid to permitting,
and little follow-up is devoted to compliance with the
permits. Enforcement efforts should be supported with fees
paid by the applicants wherever possible.

The major problem area for duplication and conflicting
authority is surface water management. The confusion
develops in the many areas where authority for stormwater,
dredge and fill, isolated wetlands, connected wetlands,
surface water storage, and Water Management District (WMD)
projects overlap.

The EESC found that WMDs must have control over the amount
of water that goes into the flood control system they


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