DISCUSSION GROUP NOTES -- 1988
Water Management Seminar Vail, Colorado
NOTE: (Notes are rough taken from sketch pads)
January 11, 1988
Discussion Group 1
1. Environmental laws need to be consolidated (403,253,373).
2. Should one agency wear two hats, can they regulate
(a) One agency regulates another is very inefficient
(b) One agency should be able to regulate themselves
3. We want to give permitting to WMD because DER doesn't work.
4. A good comprehensive plan that is followed could increase
5. Regulatory approach to growth control is inefficient because
its too indirect.
Discussion Group 2
1. Some interests are driving the system to the L&W Adj. Comm.
where they have more clout with Cabinet.
2. Funding: NWFWMD consti 1/20 of 1 mil (.5 mil)
(a) Should funding be tied to population so it would be
objective. Legislature might be arbitrary.
(b) Need rational base or formula for funding tied to need.
3. Not concerned about different districts interpreting law
4. Definition of wetland by DER is still very subjective.
5. What do you do about consistency between WMD?
6. Single stop permitting is not problem. Problem is you don't
know which permit governs.
7. Should magnitude of project make a difference? Little
package plant guy with polishing pond gets regulated while
big dairy farmer with feed lot runoff is unregulated.
8. Consensus was that local board will withstand "crowd noise"
better than boot cab. Local boards would take on sacred
cows taster than cab.
9. Personnel NWFWMD will only use four people for Dredge &
Fill where DER now uses 14.
10. You may see reduction in FTES.
11. You may see different types of people making decisions.
engineers v. biologists.
12. Personnel Must motivate lower regulators.
13. Regulatory program is lowest priority. Ex: 3.5% of budget.
6% is large portion of budget.
Discussion Group 3
Leader Hole Godley
Reporter Roen Johnson, R.
1. Concentrate on fine tuning rather than total reorganization.
2. What are perceived problems
(b) Too junior (level of expertise) personnel involved
(young inexperienced; unseasoned)
(c) Lack of competency
(d) Inadequacy of pay
(e) Own agendas
(f) No dual career path opportunity
(g) Duplication overlap
(h) Wetlands definition multiplicity of lines
establishing information needed and process no
endless request for additional information.
3. Are horror stories truly representative of what is
4. Is efficiency an end in itself or a desired part of process
of achieving protection.
5. Who is appropriate to look at problem
(a) Those affected
(b) Impartial (unachievable?) Umv. firms?
6. Is EESC doing job
(a) Created because of public outcry
(b) Concentrating on trees missing forest? i.e. looking
only at permitting issues which are not necessarily the
main business of agencies.
(c) Why have agencies failed to provide desired service?
(i) Too much to do
(ii) Too limited expertise on staff
(iv) Short handed
(d) In giving more to WMD are we risking the failure of the
system again and building in inefficiency again. Do
not take on more. If you are going to take on more
demand tools to do it with.
7. Did committee err in not considering federal and local
regulation as alternatives to state regulation? Strong
recommendation dredge and fill to feds and away from state.
8. Should we be concentrating on holistic approach -
environmental result. Function protection (difficulties
in financing), preservation, planning.
(a) How do we achieve this?
(i) Senior review
(ii) Solution oriented
(iii) Direction, guidance of junior staff
(iv) Review to include all staff involved
(b) Did Warren Henderson Act change DER approach?
9. If looking for efficiency concentrate on training
(a) Training essential not perk or frill
(b) Accountability if junior person not responsive -
senior on carpet
(c) Money people system
10. Concentrating on inefficiency today may result in failure to
look at the long term.
11. What is the motivating force to fuel efficiency -
(a) Unlike private industry no bottom line in gov.
(b) Establish and define goals measure whether achieving
evaluate assess excellence
12. How have agencies perceived recommendations? Pick and
13. Will legislature accept recommendations of EESC? Yes
Discussion Group 4
Leader Wehle Lindsay
Reporter Brightman Knowles
Is EESC the right question?
Shouldn't we take a more global view?
1. Permit program should be subsidized by public funds not
paid for entirely by permit fees.
2. More enforcement activities.
3. Equalize millage.
4. Preserve the WMD strength of independent funding source.
5. Support, but not pay for.
6. Provide a mechanism to get rid of incompetent people.
7. DER only, not WMD, re: reuse policy.
8. Four want ERC status quo. Four suggest ERC be composed of
one member of each WMD board.
9. LuLu & Nimby Good cop-out!
10. Eliminate RPC's.
11. Global Review
(a) Do we need all these agencies?
(b) That is what sunset is for.
12. Efficiency review should be continuous, in small increments
rather than a complete upheaval every 10 years.
January 12, 1988
Topic: Surface Water Quality
Discussion Group #1
Leader Barice Brightman
Reporter Beasley Callahan
1. Regulate point sources very effectively but water quality
still bad. (Non-point has significant impact.)
(a) Tampa better success story improve
(b) JAX St. Johns improve
(c) Value raise property value benefit public gets for
paying fee to taxpayer.
2. Should districts develop stormwater regional utilities?
(a) Building maintainance force developers to go to city
or local government that can handle project.
(b) Comprehensive land use plan density etc. controlled
(identify Ag, urban growth areas).
(c) Know watershed areas.
(d) Set up to handle design.
(e) WMD do planning/design work.
(f) WMD board reviews sources to handle problem.
3. Should we emphasize protection of good water areas vs.
trying to restore?
(a) If you don't work at protecting, then by the time you
finish Okeechobee and big projects you'll have many
4. What is purpose of protecting lakes?
(a) Is it with cost?
(b) To whom?
(c) Who should pay?
5. Under SWIM can WMD set standards for quality different
(more stringent) from 403 standards.
(a) Is ERC sole authority of this?
(b) Demonstrated need for different standard should WMD
be able to have different ruler.
(c) Should standards be by water body then location on
certain bigger bodies.
(d) Individualize what are we trying to do at the water
body? Needs/purposes/goals. This is what restoration
is about. [Set individual water body standards.]
6. Should less populous areas be able to degrade their water
bodies more than populous? Who should decide? Should there
be more some lakes that are for degradation?
(a) To balance water quality make every drinking water
intakes be below their discharge forcing cleaning up
of effluent (Rhine River compact)
(b) Quality of water under local authority control.
(c) Problem if allow more lenient standard because impact
(d) Expanded use of MTSU's to implement SWIM.
(e) Community development districts
Set up for development
Permit limits "static" comp plan
No need for additional permits/simply go in
and build without limits
DRI used to avoid comp plan
Get WMD out of permitting this way
e.g. farmers this to avoid
7. How do you pay for retrofit?
(a) Polluter and state got benefit
(b) Federal Clean Water Act Amendment doing this now like
(c) Tampa Bay stop all ? air fall out still
(d) Okeechobee Can you clean up without stopping
8. Should WMD really hire personnel versus use consultants who
are specialists in areas?
(a) Wouldn't this be more cost effective?
(b) Florida Dept. Environmental Energy grants/graduate
Discussion Group 2
Leader Erwin Godley
Reporter Clemente Higgins
SWIM A waste of money or the solution?
1. To understand how to protect the surface water of the state?
(a) Lack of goals in bill
(b) Lack of data base
2. Where surface waters ready to be restored? Design, permits,
3. Lack of funding
(a) What do they mean by "clean it up"
(b) What do they mean by "fix it"
(c) Adequate public support
(d) Public awareness
(e) Special interest groups speaker known to resist
4. Local government role
(a) Review management plan funding
(b) Joint effort, local, state WMD lead agency
(c) Stormwater/retrofit/will make or break SWIM
(d) State has not made decision
(e) Dade County is better off than the rest of state.
Discussion Group 3
Leader Johnson, M. Lindsay
Reporter Lindahl Livolsi
Question: Annual budgeting
(a) Change Do the basin management planning with existing
funding and legislature ...
(b) No funding earmarked for implementation no defined
(c) Telling WMD and public ... never going to do it; not
serious; won't happen; (infrastructure needs)
competition for dollars
2. Program so large in its current form and dollars projected
are so great it will be "sink" not "swim" program.
Located piece of legislation.
(a) Preserve over restore
(b) Don't spend all money on first three ... Solve others
and get big bang for buck.
4. Does SWIM encourage local government to sit back and wait
for state/WMD to come solve their water quality problems.
5. Don't bother about SWIM bill its ridiculously doomed. Stop
talking about it. However, its law, lets see what we can
6. Good thing public intent evaluation and
prioritization of major business might be the best water
legislation since 1972 water resources act.
7. Need to develop a cost effective index that equates the
expenditure of a dollar against the ability to materially
impact a positive effect.
8. Question -- In the face of budgeting constraints -- is the
scientific community prepared to tell the public we can
restore Okeechobee, Biscayne and Indian River for "X"
dollars Response: if we have a reasonable chance at making
something work we should take a shot at it however; be
realistic as to what kind of restriction/ preservation can
9. Comments: Jack to Bob: What the hell is wrong?
Bob to Jack: Regulate and improve without a No
Jack & Bob: a) Don't solve problem people won't come (it
will get so bad);
b) price everybody out.
Bart:You're dreaming they are going to come anyway.
MAM: I want it nice. Fry the damn problem.
Bart: State Income Tax
10. Direct the program into dealing realistically with
attainable solutions to problems.
11. Financing available see bank; low rates; no points.
Discussion Group 4
Leader Searcy Robertson
Reporter Persons Bromwell
(a) Historical clean-up funding sources
(i) Jacksonville St. Johns River federal funding
(ii) Port St. Lucie special assessment (utility
fee) 403 Authority
(iii) 298 Districts few large landowners
(b) Who pays for water quality improvements?
(i) Future development- impact assessments to
prevent degradation but not to solve existing
(ii) Existing water quality problems state subsidy
for capital improvements.
2. Carrot & Stick:
(a) Cost share with existing polluters; or
(b) Impose wasteload allocation
(c) Ad valorem taxes last
3. Additional funding potential
(a) Use "Save Our Rivers" funds for land acquisition of
flood detention areas
(b) Increase WMD millage to cap
(c) User fees
(i) Tax on public supplies
(ii) Annual fee based on CUP allocations
(d) Documentary stamp tax increase currently at .60 with 7
1/2 cents equal $35 m. water management land trust fund
increase by 7 1/2 cents or 15 cents.
4. Needs, goals, objectives
(a) Definitive, objective water quality goal
(b) Consistant State Action (Ex. Everglades land leases)
(c) Aggressive enforcement within existing system of known
(d) Enhancements to "SWIM" legislation
(i) recurring source of funding not annual
(ii) treat priority water body as regional resource
rather than basin vs. basin
(iii) give water management governing board authority
to amend basin budgets (add and delete).
5. Improved communication/coordination between resource
January 13, 1988
Topic: Endangered species
Discussion Group 1
Leader Maloy Searcy
Reporter Callahan Beasley
1. Process is a problem listing and regulatory efforts
(a) Listing validity and rationale
Premise for listing:
(1) balance of precarious food chain ecosystem;
(2) and emotional/moral.
(b) Top food chain may be of no consequence for "1"
(c) Studies should be adequate to justify legal designation
based on significance not just numbers.
2. Agency action causes private sector non-participation and
creative land management.
3. Endangered and threatened species more disrupting than
hazardous waste "you can clean up hazardous waste" you
live with endangered and threatened species.
(a) Private sector surveys (2 mil. acres) would be
beneficial but, hesitancy is warranted and probably
(b) Employ management techniques and threshold information
to develop population preservation criteria (e.g.
habitat type size tract)
(c) Public lands survey (inventory)
(i) Public lands management for wildlife may be
contradictory to endangered and threatened species
management in many cases.
(d) Lands purchased via wetlands assessments ($) etc.
(a) Inconsistent enforcement DRI Sub-DRI, etc.
(b) Future eminent Ch. 39 enforcement via third parties
(e.g., Sierra, Audobon, etc.)
(c) Process is problem/change is difficult due to federal
6. Solutions public benefit (basis)
(a) Fund efforts by public since public benefits agency
(FGFWFC) funding should not promote bias
(b) Management of state and federal lands should benefit
endangered and threatened species.
(c) Studies must justify listing and criteria or priorities
(e.g. species of precarious nature).
(d) Focus on wetlands management 70% species associated.
7. Can limit growth
(a) Frustrating issue for all parties vehicle to limit
Discussion Group 2
Leader Johnson, R. Lindahl
Reporter Livolsi Clemente
1. Do we have obligation to protect all species
2. If we do have this obligation then who should decide which
ones get eliminated, if any. Should a system be
3. Significant moral issue is that if we have no desire to
protect them what will we do to humans down the road.
4. Endangered species versus project dollars where do you
draw the line.
(a) Dollars are really the issue. How much should society
be made to pay to protect an endangered species.
(b) Maybe endangered species should be saved regardless of
(c) If this is the case then developers should be made
whole by some organization for hardship and loss,
especially if land can't be used. (Wehle)
5. Should endangered species be preserved in natural habitat or
can they be saved in a zoo.
6. Bottom line very emotional issue
(Various comments were made prior to development of a
solution that will solve the endangered species problem
forever. Things got bad.)
7. 90% Solution: 5% doc stamps to buy endangered species
habitat which will be managed properly (new people are
paying for the habitat). Bonding a must.
8. Agency in charge: pick a state agency.
Discussion Group 3
Leader Knowles Johnson, M.
Reporter Masteller Erwin
Conclusion Need guidance from above -- endangered species
staff cannot make decisions and administer endangered
1. Most endangered species live in dry areas as opposed to
2. Plants faster to save than animals.
3. Question validity of endangered species list how can some
very common plants be on it?
4. Florida flora/fauna well understood Florida has had
5. List to protect habitat and control growth question wisdom
of using it to control growth.
6. Gopher tortoise Program of dedicating (50) acres as for
gopher tortoise community or pay cost of land as into fund.
Program in effect only in N. FL. Program appears good
"i.e." trade-off of money for land.
7. Concept sold to developers by using buffers between
commercial and residential also used as homes for
8. Game and Fish Comm. emphasizes habitat and de-emphasizes
9. Developer should consult with environmental expert prior to
buying land.. Environmental expert looks for woodpecker or
habitat and extent of wetlands.
10. Ultimate goal Comprehensive plan to include "everything".
11. Basic endangered species list Animals got on because
people were studying it -- there are things which should be
on list and things to be taken off.
12. We can't protect all numbers of all species but we should
seek to maintain representative numbers of each species.
13. Lists should be regionalized instead of applied statewide
because different areas of state have different endangered
14. Polish award for best kielbasa (warmed in microwave) to our
Discussion Group #4
Leader Ousley Wilcox
Reporter Lindsay Hole
1. Fish and Game says preserve habitat even though no
endangered species found.
2. Fish and Game needs to put out rules, etc. if they are to
regulate land, etc. Who puts reins on agency?
3. Endangered species- save because:
(a) Aesthetics, i.e. so grandchildren can see?
(b) Canary of civilization?
(c) Used to stop undesirable project?
(d) Growth control?
(a) Isolated pockets productive?
(b) Impact fee (to buy large tracts, etc.)
(i) Does not solve problem of local degradation
(ii) Easy for regulators/owners/developers
(c) What cost? Someone must define value of endangered
species to put regulation in rational perspective.
Why spend great sums to preserve species whose demise
5. Why WMD is responsible for endangered species
(a) Why give WMD responsibility for wildlife?
(b) Henderson Act faulty. Should not place responsibility
(c) Endangered species could bring entire regulatory
process to a halt.
(d) WMD should not be responsible for fish and wildlife.
6. Guidance must come from political process rather than
7. Engineers/developers/etc. want precise answers. Biologists
cannot provide (i.e. exact water levels desired).
(a) Short list of endangered species (10 plants, 5 animals)
(b) Large tracts (corridors, etc.)
(i) Use impact fees, etc. to buy
(ii) May be more productive in the long term.
(iii) Small tracts probably won't be maintained
9. WMD should not issue permits on wildlife matters.
(a) WMD should be agency to maintain large reservation
(b) (D.O.T. can do it after they get rid of exotics on
10. Change focus from individual to habitat. Maintain species
v. maintain individuals.
January 14, 1988
Topic: What Is Really Important?
Discussion Group 1
Leader Lindahl Erwin
Reporter McEwen Maloy
1. Information Management A sufficient base of data to
support informed decisions to support all other activities.
Data/info. readily available to decision makers in
sufficient time to take effective action. Nobody likes to
screw up a good opinion with facts.
2. Shift from regulatory and reactive mode to management and
Overall List (1/19/88)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Dependable Potable Water
Supply (WS) X X X X X
Agricultural WS X
Water Quality X X X X X
Environmental Resources X X X
Recreation Uses X X X X
Flood Control X X X X X X
Gathering & Dissemina-
tion of Data X X
Rechange (Surface &
Solutions X X X X X X X X X
Water Reuse/Conservation X X
Political Structure to
Deal w/related problems X X X X
Integrated Land and
Water Management X X X
Numbers in heading above correlate to subjects below:
2. Urban households
3. Environment (natural systems not constituents)
6. Financial Comm.
7. Gov. local (municipalities and counties)
8. Gov. state
9. Business and industry
Discussion Group 2
Leader Roen Bentley
Reporter Wilcox Fisk
What is important? (In order each emerged in discussion)
1. Water supply: long range planning (needs and sources);
research into R.O. aquifer storage/recovery; and even
wholesaling water if no one else will do it.
2. Flood control
3. Establishment of a watershed (basin) management frame work
for #1 and #2 as well as wetlands, endangered species, etc.
Special emphasis on operation and maintenance of permitted
4. Development of resource data base and info. mgmt. and
transfer programs. Don't let this historic strength of the
WMD's be diluted by new responsibilities. One prime vehicle
should be local gov. comp. plans.
5. Regulation although important due to its magnitude... it
is not the tool of first choice.
6. Get a handle on agriculture. Too many exemptions.
7. Public education: especially as needed to support major
8. Fast horses
9. Bird dog puppies
10. Old whiskey
11. New friends
12. More powder
Discussion Group 3
Leader Lindsay Young
Reporter Higgins Callahan
A. Natural Resource Managment (include water management)
2. Law enforcement (prisons)
4. Social Services
5. Healthy economy
6. Funding (for 1-5 above)
B. Natural Resource Management (breakdown)
1. Water supply
2. Flood protection
3. Water quality
4. Habitat management
5. Air quality
Discussion Group 4
Leader Robertson Masteller
Reporter Godley Clemente
What's important brevity
1. Flood protection maintenance of existing systems
2. Water reuse
3. Water supply (quantity) availability
4. Groundwater potable water contamination
5. Water quality ground/surface/marine
6. Natural resource protection management
9. Public awareness/education
How to accomplish?
(a) Public awareness long term legislative
responsibility improved public forum for priorities and
rule making environmental forum.
(c) Coordination/efficiency DER/WMD some areas/some
(d) Regional concept to watershed management.
(e) WMD's with basin boards.
(f) Dodge long-term management plans for what's important.