Title: Minimum Flows and Levels Technical Committee Meetings
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 Material Information
Title: Minimum Flows and Levels Technical Committee Meetings
Alternate Title: Memorandum to SWFWMD Technical Committee re: Minimum Flows and Levels Technical Committee Meetings, Notice for April 10 and 17, May 1, 7, 8, 9, 1997, with Summaries of Meetings held on January 30, 23, 16. and 9, together with names of attendees at each m
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
General Note: Box 5, Folder 12 ( SF MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS, Volumes 1 and 2 ), Item 5
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00052658
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Southwest Florida

Water Management District
2379 Broad Street Brooksville, Florida 34609-6899 1-800-423-1476 (Florida Only) or
(352) 796-7211 SUNCOM 628-4150 T.D.D. Number Only (Florida Only): 1-800-231-6103
EM 7601 Highway 301 North 170 Century Boulevard 115 Corporation Way 2303 Highway 44 West
Tampa, Florida 33637-6759 Bartow, Florida 33830-7700 Venice, Florida 34292-3524 Inverness, Florida 34453-3809
1-800-836-0797 or (813) 985-7481 1-800-492-7862 or (941) 534-1448 1-800-320-3503 or (941) 486-1212 (352) 637-1360
An Equal Opportunity Enployer SUNCOM 578-2070 SUNCOM 572-6200 SUNCOM 526-6900


Roy G. Harrell, Jr.
Chairman, St. Petersburg April 4, 1997
Joe L. Davis, Jr.
Vice Chairman, Wauchula
Curtis L. Law
Secretary, Land 0' Lakes
Sally Thompson MEMORANDUM
Treasurer. Tampa
James L. Allen
Bushnell
Ramon F. Campo TO: Technical Committee
Brandon
Rebecca M. Eger
Sarasota FROM: David L. Moore, Deputy Executive Director
John P. Harllee, IV
Bradenton
James E. Martin
St. Petersburg SUBJECT: Minimum Flows and Levels Technical Committee Meeting Notice
Virginia S. Roo
Tampa
E.D. "Sonny" Vergara
Executive Director The Minimum Flows and Levels Technical Committee will meet on April 10, 1997,
Edward B. Helvenston
GeneralCounsel at the Tampa Service Office from 12:30 p.m. until ? to discuss the work to date of
the work teams. Additional meetings will be held as follows:

DATE AND TIME:

April 17, 1997 9 a.m. 5 p.m.
May 1, 1997 9 a.m. 5 p.m.
May 7, 1997 9 a.m. 5 p.m.
May 8, 1997 9 a.m. 5 p.m.
May 9, 1997 9 a.m. 5 p.m.

PLACE: The District's Tampa Service Office, 7601 U.S. Highway 301 North,
Tampa, Florida.















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Minimum Flows and Levels Community Committee
Summary of January 30, 1997 Meeting

A. Discussion of Option C

The group discussed factors that the Board might use to set the MFL either above or
below the scientific level. The MFL might be set above the scientific level in the case of a
system that has been impounded, where water levels in the reservoir are above pre-impact levels.
The MFL might be set below the science level where a system has been drawndown or
downstream of an impoundment, where water levels are below pre-impact levels. The discussion
generally led to the idea that Option B would still be used, with a capability to change the MFL
if there are unique circumstances.

It was discussed that these factors should relate to unique circumstances and not be
applicable to the majority ofMFLs. A set of factors was developed ("unattainability factors")
that might be considered by the Board when establishing the MFL, as follows:

1. Physical impediments (e.g. dams, control structures on lakes)
2. Existing ecological features in the impacted system (net benefit of restoring the
environment compared to the existing environment)
3. More defensible data ( where there is a choice of data, allowing Board to select
the data they use to set the MFL)
4. Non-consumptive uses ( as expressed in the statute, including recreation,
navigation, and aesthetics)
5. Economics

After much discussion, the only item that was unanimously agreed upon was item 1. It
was noted, however, that even physical impediments are not necessarily insurmountable (e.g. a
control structure could be moved or eliminated; the flow reduced by a dam could be replaced by
another source).

B. Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, February 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Tampa
Service Office, focusing on discussion of the "p-factors" that would be used in permitting.
















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Minimum Flows and Levels Community Committee
Summary of January 23, 1997 Meeting

A. Discussion of Options A and B
As a preamble, Rich McLean stated that District staff envision using a long- term average
minimum level for purposes of allocation (permitting). In areas where existing levels are above
the minimum level, the District would be able to permit new uses until cumulative permitted
withdrawals would exceed the level. In areas where existing levels are below the minimum level
the District would not be able to permit new uses whose withdrawals, when combined with other
withdrawals, would impact the minimum level Existing users would be addressed on a case-by-
case basis at permit renewal using the practicability factors to see what could be reasonably
accomplished to move toward the minimum level during the permit term. It is possible that
multiple levels reflecting shorter-term conditions might be utilized at some point in the future for
water shortage purposes. The group then discussed the pros and cons of options A and B.

1. Option A The "St. Petersburg" option where the minimum level would be set at
the existing level with the scientifically derived level being set as a goal to achieve. The
minimum level would be re-established over time if the actual level rose above the
established minimum level.
PROS:
a. Permittees would not be in violation "day one"
b. Other WMD's may be considering a similar approach
c. Simpler and quicker to get level
d. Recognizes existing users
e. Recognizes land alterations
f Less cost to users
g. Preserves minimally impacted systems
h. Allows more time to analyze the goal level
CONS:
a. Not consistent with statute
b. Would grandfather existing damage
c. Reduces urgency to restore
d. Removes legal necessity to restore
e. Not equitable to users
Doesn't protect resource
g. Misleading to public
h. Results in repetitive rulemaking
i. Economic impact to individuals in donor counties
j. Bert Harris Act issue
k. Minimum level not based on science

2. Option B The minimum level is based on science and established at the level
that would sustain the natural system. Where the existing level is above the minimum
level allocations could continue; Where the existing level is below the minimum level,
new allocations would not be permitted, and existing users would be evaluated at permit
renewal using the practicability factors to determine what could be done to move the


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existing level toward the minimum level.
PROS:
a. Consistent with statute
b. Based on science
c. Clearly identifies the amount of recovery needed
d. Preserves minimally impacted systems
e. Results in single rulemaking
f Predictability for water supply planning
g. Protects upland habitat
h. Consistent with State Water Policy
i. Increases wetland acreage
j. Legal necessity to restore
k. Consistent approach for both impacted and non-impacted systems
CONS:
a. May set unattainable level
b. Unbridled discretion to District
c. Potential significant economic impact
d. Uncertainty to existing users
e. Insuffcient time for scientific analysis of minimum level
f Prohibits optimum use of the Floridan aquifer
g. Existing permits are immediately out of compliance

It was then discussed as to which of the Cons of Option B could be addressed through
rulemaking, and it was decided that items a, b, e, and g, could be addressed in a fashion
that might alleviate concerns of the existing users.

B. Option C
There followed discussion that Option B might be modified so that where there are
known factors that would result in the science-based minimum level being unattainable, the level
might be modified to reflect the attainable level. It was discussed that this could either be done
by establishing the minimum level lower taking these factors into account, or by deriving this
lower level and establishing it as the goal while leaving the minimum level as the science based
level. It was discussed that it would only be necessary to address attainabilityy" in those areas
where the science based level could be shown to be clearly unattainable under any circumstances
or time-frame, and that these situations would be few. It was discussed that setting the level
lower than the pure-science level where there are known factors that would result in the pure-
science level not being attained would be realistic and reasonable. There was also discussion
that this approach could result in inconsistent methodology being used to set levels, and might
not be physically possible to achieve in the time-frame involved.

C. Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Thursday, January 30, at 6:00 p.m. in the Tampa
Service Office. The agenda will include a discussion of factors that could be used in Option C
to determine the "attainable" level. We will also discuss in detail how the practicability factors
would be used in example situations in order to further flesh them out.



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01/17/97 11:39 e813 987 6726 TPA COMM AFFAIRS - LEGAL DEPARTMENT 002/002




Minimum Flows and Levels Community Committee
Summary of January 16, 1997 Meeting

The following is a summary of Committee consensus, and is not intended to reflect all discussion
that occurred in the meeting.

A. St. Petersburg option for setting MFLs
There was a short presentation of the St. Petersburg option (option 2 discussed the
previous week) which would establish the MFLs at the existing flow or level with a goal
of restoring them to a higher flow or level. It was decided that the committee would
review this option again, in addition to the committee's chosen option, after the
practicability factors have been discussed, as these factors are relevant to either approach.

B. Defning the Practicability Factors
Where the system is below the MFL, get back to the MFL if practicable based on
public-interest factors which include but are not limited to:
1. Cost cost to the user to implement
2. Time time involved in achieving the desired flow or level
3. Environmental feasibility feasibility of restoring the environment
4. Technical feasibility (New Factor) feasibility of technically accomplishing the
tasks related to restoring the flow or level
5. Public interest undefined
NOTE: It was not resolved whether this should remain as an individual factor to
serve as a "catch-all" category, or whether to just insert it in the preamble above.
6. Not cause other environmental impacts or other impacts balancing the benefit of
restoring an environmental feature vs. other impacts that occur as a result of the
activities involved in the restoration
7. Environmental value (1) how long and at what cost would it take to restore the
system; (2) whether the system has any environmental value; (3) prioritizing
systems to be restored based on relative environmental value assuming limited
restoration resources
8. Public Health, Safety, and Welfare (New Factor) undefined
9. Alternatives types of alternatives that could be used to achieve the MFL
NOTE: It was not resolved whether this should remain as an individual factor, or
whether to insert it in the preamble above stating that the list of practicability
factors would also apply to evaluation of alternatives.

C. Next Meeting
At the next meeting the group will discuss how the practicability factors would be used in
implementing both the committee's chosen option and the St. Petersburg option. The meeting
will be held on Thursday, January 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the Tampa Service Office.






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01/10/97 11:54 0813 987 6126 TPA COMM AFFAIRS -+-, LEGAL DEPARTMENT 1002/003





Minimum Flows and Levels Community Committee
Summary of January 9, 1997 Meeting



A. Goals of MFL's
The goals ofMFL's were refined, as follows:

1. Protect systems where levels/flows are above the MFL by not allowing them to go
below the MFL.

2. Where the system is below the MFL, get back to the MFL if practicable, based on the
following factors:
a. cost
b. time
c. environmental feasibility
d. public interest
e. not cause other environmental impacts or other impacts
f. environmental value
g. alternatives

3. If impracticable, do what can be done to affect or recover the level (i.e. mitigation).

4. Provide guidance for water and land resources management decisions.

B. Where should the level be set for systems that are impacted?
The option chosen is to set the MFL based purely on science, so that the level represents
that level which would have been established prior to impacts that lowered the actual level. The
practicability factors would then be evaluated to determine how much, if any, the existing level
can be raised toward the MFL. This results in a consistent approach being used to set the level,
while site-specific factors would be evaluated to determine if, how, and when the existing levels
can be moved toward the MFL.

C. Next Meeting
At the next meeting the group will discuss practicability factors to be used in getting
toward the MFL from the existing level that is below the MFL. The meeting will be on
Thursday, January 16, at 6:00 p.m. in the Tampa Service Office.





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