EEC to Begin Look at Local Governments
The Environmental Efficiency Commission (EEC) in September will
look at local government permitting and dUlvupment review. The EEC,
which for almost a year has been studying ways to streamline permitt-
ing in state and regional agencies, wants to hear from local govern-
ment representatives on what they perceive to be duplication and
inefficiencies in permitting and development review at the local
The draft report, scheduled for released September 9, is
expected to recommend the transferring of most permitting respon-
sibilities from state agencies to the water management districts.
Other recommendations include the creation of a new State Department
of Fish and Game and the strengthening of the Chapter 380 Conceptual
Agency Development of Regional Impact Review to make DRI and permitt-
ing approvals concurrent. However, the Commission has not looked at
possible duplication with regard to local government action, an area
the Legislature added when extending its deadline. The extension
also requires additional reports from state and regional agencies
before September 1.
The EEC will meet September 11 and 12 in Jacksonville to
continue its work which will eventually result in draft legislation.
The initial schedule calls for the Commission to go over the draft
report on Friday and hear testimony on local government conflicts on
Saturday morning. With just five more meetings remaining, the
Commission must finish its report, draft legislation, gain public
input and cover local government issues. The October 9 meeting is
scheduled for Tampa.
Among the determinations made by the Commission meeting recently
in Captiva were to move permit responsibility for dredge and fill,
non-point source, landfill, surface water and water reuse from
Florida Department of Environmental Protection to water management
districts. Some HRS and DNR permitting was assigned to water
management districts, as well. Commission members expressed a desire
to eliminate the "second guessing" on permits after the lead agency
has signed off on a proposal.
Support seems certain on the
need to increase data manage-
ment and research, increase
enforcement, and improve the
personnel benefits for state
workers in an effort to keep