Title: Florida Chamber of Commerce. Letter to Virginia Wetherell, DER, from Frank M. Ryll, Jr. {Content similar to letters in No. 000004 and No. 000005.} Sep
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00052950/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida Chamber of Commerce. Letter to Virginia Wetherell, DER, from Frank M. Ryll, Jr. {Content similar to letters in No. 000004 and No. 000005.} Sep
Physical Description: Book
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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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


September 10, 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 this short commentary in hopes that there
will be further opportunity to repond in more detail at a later
date. 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 ate Water Policyas been very carefully conceived
and effectively us. to provide general guidance on the state's
philosophy and approach to water management and to onoccassion
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 management
districts and other agencies involved with water management.

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

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

The current draft of proposed changes to state water policy reflect
a sharp departure from the past in that the proposed amendments
provide very specific and binding direction on water management

Florida Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
136 S. Bronough St. P.O. Box 11309 Tallahossee, FL 32302-3309 (904) 425-1200 FAX (904) 425-1260

districts. State water policy stated in this manner has a very
direct regulatory impact and tends to reduce the regional
flexibility of water management districts in developing solutions
to Florida's complex water resource problems.

We feel it is vitally important that Florida's regulatory agencies
make technically based permitting decisions which protect Florida's
environment consistent with law and physical conditions and
circumstances. This is in contrast to decisions based on a policy
or planning approach which is more appropriately the role of other
state, regional, and local agencies. The more specific the "policy
direction" created in state water policy or district rules, the
greater the tendency for regulatory decisions to become 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. The Florida
Legislature has given a great deal of very specific instruction to
water management districts and the Department with passage of
merger and streamlining legislation during the 1993 session. We
respectfully suggest that your Department focus instead on the
practical difficulties of implementating these laws, and to defer
unnecessary debate on the proper role of state water policy to a
later time.

Finally, we feel there is little or no statutory authority for much
of what is contained in proposed revisions to Chapter 17-40 and
would argue that this kind of policy direction is more
appropriately the responsibility of the Legislature.

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

Frank M. Ryll, Jr.


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