Title: Dep 1995 Legislative Package
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00001466/00001
 Material Information
Title: Dep 1995 Legislative Package
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Dep 1995 Legislative Package, September 2, 1994
General Note: Box 8, Folder 5 ( Vail Conference, 1995 - 1995 ), Item 80
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00001466
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

September 2, 199;


H S Jeremy C-alt
Permits: SPGP (J. ;toutamire)
H S Jere;~y Craft
Permits: Coastal Construction (A. 1'evertaiix).
H S Jeremny C:aft
Exotic Plants in Public Lands. (T. IBrown)
H S Mic;:ey Watson
Ch 376: State/Fed Consistency __. I reble)
H S Micl;ey Watson
Ch 370: Violations/Just Cause Ed C:onklin
(K. "hdmpson/
V. Vail)

H. S Micl:ey Watson
Mandatory Boating Ed. Course (K. "hompson)

H S E.d Conklin
Lobster Traps: Fees/Certs V. Vaill/
A. C:ordero)

H S Ed Coonklin
Marine Turtle Funding (__. 'Arnold)
H S Pete Mallison
State Lands Glitch Bill

Other Issues:

%t.',,. K4tA, J.Z4 ________ ._.__...._.
H S John Ruddell
H S John Ruddell
Petroleum Clean Up Bill
H S Dan Thompson
Mangrove Bill__

H S Howard Rhodes
Title V Air Quality


_' A/= eII1 %& e< .

Post-It" braend fax tnransmittal memo 7671 I'otfp '


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Representative P.verett A. Kelly, Chairman
House Committee on Natural Resources
40, H-ouse Office Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Dear Representative Kelly:

Ihank you for your invitation to participate in your organizational
meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee on January 11, 1995. [
will attend and be prepared to offer brief comments and respond to

On behalf of Florida's five water management districts, I would like to
highlight a few key activities we have been involved in during the last
year and provide you and overview of legislative initiatives we feel are
important. The purpose of this summary is to provide you uan overview
of waler mniutgement issues and programs common to all the districts. In
addition to the summary provided here, each district has issues and
programs unique to their specific regions of the state and we will be happy
tn disrcuss these regional issues with you or the members of the
Committee, either individually or at a future meeting.

The following highlights activities and accomplishments last year:

*In 1994, the Legislature created the Water Management District
Review Commission to look at a full range of issues related to
the districts and water rtjuurce management in Florida. The
Commission is scheduled to report back to the Governor and
Legislature in the fall of 1995 with specific recommendations
regarding the future of the districts or roinnrce management in
Florida. The districts are committed to cooperating with the
Commission to improve water managemenL in Florida.

Pf HXh 2


Each district completed work on its District Water Management
Plan. The DWMPs, and the Florida Water Plan that will be
compiled by Department of Environmental Protection, provides
a comprehensive listing of management policies and action
strategies that will guide implementation of water resource
management programs in Flnrida for years to come.

With the continued support from Florida Preservation 2000, the
Lutal ownership of public lands acquired by the five districts grew
to approximately acres in 1994. The districts
continue to pursue less-than-fee acquisition opportunities and
cooperative land management agreements with other agencies
and local governments. Public recreational use otL district lands
has been expanded significantly: over % of all district lands
are currently open to the public for a variety of recreational uses.

Streamlining of environmental permitting is becoming a reality.
Four of the five of the water management districts and DEP
initiated rule development pursuant to the schedule specified in
the permit streamlining legislation of 1993 and 1994 to merge
separate dredge and fill, stormwater, management and storage of
surface waters and other separate permits into a single
Environmental Resources Permit. Northwest Florida Water
Management District was not required to implement regulations
at this time. The proposed rules were challenged under Chapter
120, F.S., and pending the issuance of the final order from the
Hearing's Officer, the proposed rules will be revised accordingly
and implemented as soon as possible.

The Water Resources Coordination Commission (composed of
Lt. Governor MacKay, Secretary Wetherell, the chairpersons and
executive directors of each district and certain key staff)
continues to provide an excellent forum for coordination and
cooperation among the districts, DEP and other agencies. Last
year, the WRCC addressed a wide variety of issues including:
completion of the DWMPs; coordination with the Department
of Community Affairs and Regional Planning councils;
establishing customn r service/quality service training for water
management district staff; and, prioritizing the districts'
commitment to assist the Water Management District Review

Legislative initiatives important to the districts include:

SWIM and P2000 Funding The districts have historically
requested lnd continue to support dedicated funding source for

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Sthe SWIM and P2000 programs. In addition, it io important to
return the SWIM Trust Fund to a non-lapsing fund to allow
annual revenues to accumulate to an amount suitable for
funding large, long term restoration (construction) projects.

Land Management As the total acreage of public lands acquired
by the districts grows, land management responsibilities grow
proportionally and land management funding must keep pace.
The districts have committed to working with the Water
Management District Review Commission to identify
opportunities for less-than-fee acquisitions, cooperative land
management agreements with other agencies, private/public
partnerships for acquisition and management, and identifying
necessary funds fur land management.

State Water Policy It is important to resolve outstanding issues
with the development and adoption of State Water Policy. The
districts support the recommendations of the Land Use and
Water Planning Task Force regarding Legislative review and
optional approval of State Water Policy rule amendments.

Chapter.298. F.S.. Drainagp Distrcs The water management
districts support enhanced cooperation and coordhiatiun with
the 298 districts, but the Legislature should move very cautiously
Switch regards to transfer of any oversight responsibilities from
UDIP to water management districts.

*Aquatic and Exotic Plant Management Program funding for
aquatic and exotic plant management activities in Florida must
be addressed. Existing sources of revenue are simply not
adequate to meet the increasing needs for management program

On behalf of the districts, we look forward to working with you and the
Committee. Please feel free to contact me or any of the districts
individually as you develop a need for information or input flonu tie


David W. Fisk, P.G.
Assistant Executive Director


(Not yet approved by Office of the Governr September 12, 1994)

GENERAL PERMIT (SPGP): There are currently defieacies in statutory authority which prevent the
Department from implementing a statewide SPGP as directed by Florida Law 94-122. In 1991, as part of
efforts to streamline wetlands permitting in Flreda, the department began investigating the possibility of
assuming authority for implementing the Federal Clean Wat*r Act Section 404 permitting program currently
administered by the U. S. Environmental Pr':cction Ageicy (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers
(COB). The 1994 Legislature endorsed this effort with the package of SB 1346 which directed the
Governor to pursue assumption or a SPGP wit1 "all deJib *rate peed and due diligence." For a variety
of reasons, bothjurisdictional and procedural, the department has elected to develop a SPGP with the COE
as opposed to assuming the Section 404 program, to a.hieve the same goal. The department is currently
negotiating with the COE to implement a pilot :?GP covei{ag a licmted number of project types in several
counties in the Northeast District. itis plot will al; w die department to resolve a number of
coordination, approval, and time clock issues prior to considering expanding the pilot SPOP to include the
entire state, a broader number of projects, aod projects reviewed by the Water Management Districts.
However, discussions with the EPA and the COE have identified a number of deficiencies in Florida
Statutes that will prevent executing a statewide SPGP. Thiis proposed legislation will enable us to fully
implement a statewide SPGP as directed by the Legislatui :.

CONSTRUCTXON: The number of permits i;;sud per yel r for minor activities to applicants in 24 coastal
counties has grown to 500 1000 permits aIrually. 2M4any of these permits must 'be processed in
Tallahassee, far from the affected area. There i no existing r: authority to issue general or area-wide permit
for coastal construction activities under Chap, : 161.053, F.S.

The department proposes to amend the section to add la:uage to grant the department the authority to
adopt rules to establish a program of general and. area-wide permits for coastal construction activities which
have a minimum adverse effect on the beach uid dune sy.::em.

3. EXOTIC PLANTS IN .PUBLIC LANDS: The 'spc rt to tbh Legislature on the creation of the
Department of Environmental Protection" (D.S.ember 19S 3, page 27) called for the '...establishment of
a comprehensive program for the research into and contrc; of exotic plants and animals that are invasive
to public lands." This issue represents that comrprehersiwv program, and is a result of the study done by
the bureau entitled, An Assessment of Invartlr Non-indigcuowu Sp-cies in Florida's Public Lands.

Currently, the aquatic plant management program which d,;als with non-indigenous invasive aquatic plants
is seriously under-funded and these exotics are sp.readxing rapidly destroying fish and wildlife habitat, and
making waterbodies unusable for meaning .ecreational activities. The adverse economic impacts may
well run into the hundreds of millions of dolls each yeaw.

There is no coordinated effort to deal with non-indigenous ivasive plants on public lands. Invasive exotic
plants (such as melaleuca trees, Australian pians, brazilian: pepper, cogongrass, and mimosa pellita) are
destroying biological diversity, wildlife habitat and recreational values of public lands. They are placing
in danger significant ecosystems such as the I:verglades.

DEP proposes to establish a comprehensive program for th;. research into and control of exotic plants that
are invasive to public lands (which include sovereign watters).


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4. STATE/FEDERAL CONSISTENCY ON CHAPTER 376, F.S.: Currently, Chapter 376, F.S., exists
( in two different parts and there is inconsister.cy between state and federal' law. The first part was
administered by the Department of Natural Rescu rces and thi second by the Department of Environmental
Regulation. Review of the statutory language is called for ,:nce the agencies have merged.

There are different criteria for the preservation of the lihrit of liability oil spills. There is also an
inconsistency between what state and federal f-andm will pay. Changes will improve the enforceability of
Chapter 376, F.S. with respect to these statutory changes which were recommended by the 1989 Oil Spill
Task Force and implemented by the 1990 Legi:bi:arre.

The department proposes to decriminalize most marine resou re violations, particularly small quantity and
first offenses; provide for escalation of violation to misdemznior for those who fail to respond to and act
in accord with infraction citation; provide for fr reiture of d-wices u.ed in the harvest of illegal products.
Provide for enhanced penalties and classification of subsequent violations of fisheries laws within a specific
time frame. These proposals are essential to maintain geani ne deterrence of the casual or opportunistic
violator. The purposeful, calculating violator who pursue; direct monetary reward (profit) for illegal
activities may occasionally be subject to a reduced or noacr.minal penalty, but will then be identified as
a violator and subject to enhanced penalties in i;ubsequent cases.

Another issue to be addressed involves the identifiation and safekeeping (custody) of devices used in the
commission of fisheries violations but not in and of thecsei.es illtgal devices. It is essential to have the
ability to petition the court for forfeiture of tbsae devices, yet it is difficult to assure that the device is
accessible weeks or months after a violator is apprehended.

Under current law and court actions, the ability to maintain custody of these items is difficult while
awaiting the outcome of charges. Statutory aut'.ority is nemied to specifically authorize the department to
maintain absolute custody of nets and other fishing gear u,.td to harvest illegal products, from the time
charges are filed until the adjudication of final outcome of charges, when the court can then be petitioned
for the forfeiture of those items. Vehicles and oltcer titled property need not be retained in custody since
they are readily identifiable and their conversion of anoithr's ownership can be temporarily stopped,
pending.outcome of charges. Through revision of the just cause provisions, habitual offenders will be
identified and based upon past activities could. t denied the renewal of their permits thereby not allowing
them to continue their illegal activities.

6. MAZNDATOP.Y BOATING EDUCATION COU1RSE: St.:istics of boating accidents during the past five
years show that Florida is number one in boat::g fatalities injuries and accidents when compared to all
other states in the nation. Florida's fatality rate :.s 9.29 per 100,000, way above the national norm of 3.9
per 100,000. Boating education in Florida is ci::rently pro''ided on a voluntary basis. Studies show that
only 24% of all boaters have taken a boating education course. For the past six years this agency, as well
as members of the Florida Cabinet have pursu-d legislation. to regulate boating for the purpose of saving
human life. By creating approved boating education courses ;ad making education mandatory, we feel that
boating fatalities can be reduced and accidents avoided.

The department proposes legislation to provide: ifor mandatt-ry boatf.ng education courses for all persons
born after September 30, 1980 who wish to operate a vessl powered by an engine of 20 horsepower or
more. The bill would 'rache up "each year n til the year 2000 and from that date forward anyone 21
years or younger would be required to comply It would also establish procedures for testing.

69043294125 P.03


370.14(2), F.S., requires each crawfish trap to have a :rap nwa-ber issued by the Division of Law
qt Enforcement upon receipt of an application and a $100 fee. The deposition of fees so collected includes
a percentage for the Division of Law Enforce::nent for administration of the licensing and permitting
activities. In July 1994, administration and operation of the Saltwater Licensing and Permitting Section
became the responsibility of the Division of M1.;;rine Resoiurces. And, Section 370.142, F.S., does not
provide for a lease fee and sets the minimum transfer surci arge at SO.50. This suggests that fair market
value is only $2 per certificate. It is necessary to establish -he transfer of the Saltwater Licensing Section
to Marine Resources in the deposition of fees ,"id surcharges.

The department proposes to amend Section 370..14(2), F.S,. to increase the application fee for a lobster
trap number to S200 (up from $100) for the 1995/96 fishing season only and specify allocation of the
additional revenues; to adjust allocation of revonus to reflect transfer of the Saltwater Licensing and
Permitting Section to the Division of Marine Resources Irom the Division of Law Enforcement; and,
operation of the lobster program. Additionali:. it is proposed that Section 370.142, F.S., to provide for
a $2 per certificate fee assessed on each lobster trap cert;ifi .:'.e leased to person or firm/corporation outside
the trap owners immediate family; to establish the surchare on trap certificates assessed the first time
certificates are transferred outside the immediate family as :;2 pet certificate or 25% of the actual market
value, whichever is greater; and, to provide for the disposi.ion of trap certificate fees and surcharges into
the Marine Biological Research Trust Fund for sdministrat on and research of the spiny lobster program.

F.S., provides for protection of marine turtles. As stated, the legislative intent is for the department to
have the appropriate authority and resources tc implemex t its responsibilities under the recovery plans of
the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the five spe.:ies of marine turtles found in Florida waters.
The 1991 Legislature (Ch. 91-215, LOF) created five Carecr Service positions to carry out the provisions
of the Marine Turtle Protection Program. Funding for these positions and the entire program is needed.
f A multiple funding mechanism is recommended to be established to address both short term and long term

The department recommends revenues be generated for deposit into the Marine Turtle Protection Trust
Fund as follows: 1) Creation of a marine turtle license platter by creating a new subsection in Chapter 320,
F.S.; and 2) Modificatior. of subsection 212.65, F.S., to transfer S500,000 annually to the Marine Turtle
Protection Trust Fund from the Gas Tax Colleaotiin Trust Fi od. 'he transfer from the Gas Tax Collection
Trust Fund which is generated from existing tixes collccte.J fromi the sale of boat fuels will not result in
any new taxes, nor will the amount transferx~d. significantly affect any other program currently being
funded from the Gas Tax Collection Trust Fund.

9. STATE LANDS GLITCH BILL: The 1994 Legislature adopted a revision to the land
acquisition statute (Section 259.041. F.S.) past of which ;granted the authority to the Division of State
Lands to waive certain provisions of the statute and tle except in limited circumstances. It has been
discovered that a cross-reference in the sta.tuls makes the intended waiver provisions inoperable.
Therefore, the department proposes to delete the offending c:oss reference which makes intended waiver
provisions inoperable.

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