Title: Form to Buddy Blain from Chuck Littlejohn enclosing Letter from Frank M. Ryll, Jr. to Virginia Wetherell, DER, containing changes in the 6th paragraph
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Title: Form to Buddy Blain from Chuck Littlejohn enclosing Letter from Frank M. Ryll, Jr. to Virginia Wetherell, DER, containing changes in the 6th paragraph
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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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Bibliographic ID: UF00052948
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Full Text
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SCHARLES B. LrTLEJOHN & ASSOCIA7*K
ENVIRONMENTAL ANn GOVERNMENTAL
AFFAIRS


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FAX NUMBER ( -/3)


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

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

NUMBER OF PAGES TO FOLLOW

DATE P9-9- 3


SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS IF ANY:


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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 10
for submission of comments regarding proposed amendments to State
Water Policy, we offer thij.s 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. cunluded
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 conceived
and effectively used to provide broad guidance on the spate's
philosophy and approach to water management and to on occasion
provide more specific guidance on critical water management issues
on an as-needcd basis. In this regard state water policy has
always been responsive and relevant to emerging issues and h's had
enormous practical value.

The Department has historically 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. What is not stated as policy in Chapter 17-40 is
equally important in that a presumption is created 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 in the past, and we think wisely, chosen to u~e
state water policy directives sparingly, and only when absolutely
necessary. The effect has been to elevate the importance of each
such policy statomcnt.

The current draft of changes to water policy reflect al sharp
departure from the past in that the proposed amendments have direct
regulatory impact by providing very specific and binding direction
to water management districts. In our opinion, this will in turn
tend to reduce the regional flexibility and practical problem-







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solving capacity of the districts. We feel that this is not
consistent with legislative intent and not a proper and positive
application of state water policy.

What Florida has always needed and needs now moro than over are
regulatory agencies which make technically based permitting
decisions to best protect Florida's environment consistent with law
and specified physical conditions and circumstances. This isj quite
different than making decisions based on a policy or planning
approach to decision-making and which is more appropriately the
role of other state, regional, and local agencies. Th more
specific "policy direction" created in state water policy or
district rules becomes, the greater the likelihood that regu atory
decisions will become less technically based and more Pasily
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 that the
Florida Legislature has given a great deal of specific direction 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
directions, and to defer unnecessary debate on the proper r le of
state water policy to a later time.


As always, the Florida Chamber appreciates the strong lead
you have provided and stand ready to assist you in ar
possible.

Sincerely,


Frank M. Ryll, Jr.


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