Title: Form to Buddy Blain from Chuck Littlejohn enclosing Letter from Frank M. Ryll, Jr. to Virginia Wetherell, Secretary, DER, stating that we have studied
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Title: Form to Buddy Blain from Chuck Littlejohn enclosing Letter from Frank M. Ryll, Jr. to Virginia Wetherell, Secretary, DER, stating that we have studied
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Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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,JCHARLES B. LITTLEJOHN & ASSOCIATF"o
ENVIRONMENTAL AND GOVERNMENTAL
AFFAIRS







FACSIMILE HEADER SHEET


FAX NUMBER ( 13 )


TO: C d


FROM: CHUCK LITTLEJOHN
310 WEST COLLEGE AVENUE
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301

PHONE NUMBER (904) 222-7535
FAX NUMBER (904) 681-8796

NUMBER OF PAGES TO FOLLOW


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SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS IF ANY:


310 WEST COLLEGE AVENUE o TALLAHASSEE, FLORII


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September 9, 1993


Virginia Wetherell
Secretary, Department of
Environmental Protection
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32303

Dear Ginger:

In order to meet your Department's stated deadline of September 0
for submission of comments regarding proposed amendments to State
Water Policy, we offer this short commentary in hopes that there
will be further opportunity to repond in more detail at a later
time. We have taken the time to review the numerous and
controversial changes to chapter 17-40, F,A.C., and have concluded
that the proposed changes are not appropriate and urge the
Department not to go forward with further rulemaking at this time.

Historically state Water Policy has been very carefully con eived
and effectively used to provide general guidance on the state's
philosophy and approach to water management and to on occasion
provide more specific guidance on critical water management issues
on an as-needed basis. In this way, State Water Policy has been
responsive and relevant to emerging issues and has also been of
practical value in providing broad direction to water man gement
districts and other agencies involved with water management.

The Department has recognized the technical strengths of water
management districts to address most water management questions on
a regional basis consistent with the policy direction provided by
the Legislature in Chapters 403, 373, and other applicable laws.
By not stating policy in 17-40, the Department takes the position
that existing law, rules, and agency practices are sufficient to
address a given water management issue and no further clarification
is necessary.

The Department has wisely chosen to use state water policy
directives sparingly, and only when absolutely necessary. The
effect has been to elevate the importance of each such policy
statement.

The current draft of changes to water policy reflect a sharp
departure from the past in that the proposed amendments hav direct
regulatory impact by providing very specific and binding direction
to water management districts. In our opinion, this will in turn


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tend to reduce the regional flexibility and practical pr blem-
solving capacity of the districts. We feel that this is neit er an
appropriate nor a positive application of state water police .
It is vitally important that Florida's regulatory agencies make
technically based permitting decisions which best protect Florida's
environment consistent with law and specific physical cond tions
and circumstances. This is very different than making decisions
based on a policy or planning approach to decision-making which is
more appropriately the role of other state, regional, and local
agencies. The more specific the "policy direction" crea ed in
state water policy or district rules becomes, the great r the
likelihood that regulatory decisions will bRcome less technically
based and more easily influenced by opinion and politics.

As a secondary consideration, we also feel the timing of water
policy rulemaking is not ideal, to say the least, in th t the
Florida Legislature has given a great deal of specific instruction
to water management districts and the Department with passage of
Chapter 93- We respectfully suggest that your Department focus
instead on the practical difficulties of implementating these new
directions, and to defer unnecessary debate on the proper role of
state water policy to a later time.

As always, the Florida Chamber appreciates the strong leadership
you have provided and stand ready to assist you in any way
possible.
Sincerely,


Frank M. Ryll, Jr,

FMR/11


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