STATE WATER POLICY ALERT!
The Senate Natural Resources Committee will consider SB 258
relating to State Water Policy on Tuesday, February 22, at 2:00
p.m. in Room A, Senate Office Building. SB 258 is first on the
Rick Dantzler has an amendment to SB 258 which would strike
everything after the enacting clause and insert language
requiring legislative ratification of any amendments to State
Water Policy, Chapter 17-40, F.A.C., adopted after last June 30
We strongly support this amendment.
For your information, Chapter 17-40, F.A.C., was adopted by the
ERC over the strong objections of the business community and is
now the subject of a legal challenge filed by the Association of
Florida Community Developers, Florida Farm Bureau, Florida
Cattlemen's Association, Dairy Farmers, Florida Engineering
Society, Florida Forestry Association, Sugar Cane Growers
Association, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Attached is a
highlighted copy of Chapter 17-40 which points out one of the
many issues under dispute the regulatory application of a very
broad definition of natural systems (see attached).
Some of the arguments for the amendment are as follows:
(1) Water policy is extremely important at least as
important as wetlands jurisdiction and should not be adopted
without approval of the Legislature.
(2) Proposed amendments to Chapter 17-40 exceed statutory
authority. For example, application of broad definition of
natural systems is simply a "back door" approach to regulatory
protection of upland habitat a provision which has been
repeatedly rejected by the Legislature. This is an example of
what has forced the business community into a lengthy and
expensive legal challenge.
(3) ELMS III legislation called for appointment of a Task
Force to integrate land and water management policy. This Task
Force, chaired by Vicki Tschinkel, is working on recommendations
for the 1995 Legislature. These recommendations will be in the
form of statutory amendments to the State Comprehensive Plan.
State Water Policy contained in amendments to Chapter 17-40
(a) Be consistent with whatever the Tschinkel Task
Force comes up with; and
(b) Require the same level of legislative scrutiny
as State Comprehensive Plan amendments.
The Dantzler amendment would accomplish both (a) and (b) above.
(4) This is more than a business community position.
Attached is an excerpt from the latest 1000 Friends newsletter
calling for a delay in consideration of changes to State Water
Policy until after the Tschinkel Task Force makes its
recommendations to the 1995 Legislature.
Please do what you can to support the Dantzler amendment. It
will be heavily lobbied against by Florida Audubon and other