Title: House of Representatives Committee on Water & Resource Management Final Bill & Economic Impact Statement
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004706/00001
 Material Information
Title: House of Representatives Committee on Water & Resource Management Final Bill & Economic Impact Statement
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: The Florida Chamber of Commerce
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - House of Representatives Committee on Water & Resource Management Final Bill & Economic Impact Statement
General Note: Box 28, Folder 8 ( Water, Water Everywhere, But... - July 15, 16. 1997 ), Item 5
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004706
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


STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm **AS PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE*
DATE: May 8, 1997 CHAPTER #: 97-160, Laws of Florida
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON
WATER & RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
FINAL BILL RESEARCH & ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT

BILL #: CS/HB 715, HB 1249, HB 1321 and HB 1339, 3rd engrossed and enrolled
RELATING TO: Environmental protection
SPONSOR(S): Committee on Water & Resource Management, Representative Laurent and
others
STATUTE(S) AFFECTED: Amends ss. 253.03, 370.06, 370.092, 370.14, 373.016, 373.019, 373.036, 373.042,
373.046, 373.0693, 373.073, 373.079, 373.139, 373.1963, 373.236, 373.250, 373.309,
373.507, 373.536, 373.59, 376.307, 186.007, 186.009, 373.103, 373.114, 373.418,
373.456, 403.031, and 403.0891, Florida Statutes (F.S.). Creates ss. 370.093, 370.
1405, 373.0361, 373.0421, 373.0381, and 403.0882, F.S. Repeals ss. 373.026(10),
373.039, 373.0735 and 403.061(33), F.S.
COMPANION BILL(S): CS/SB 1428 (s); 18 House and Senate bills listed as comparable
ORIGINATING COMMITTEE(S)ICOMMITTEE(S) OF REFERENCE:
(1) WATER & RESOURCE MANAGEMENT YEAS 9 NAYS 2
(2) GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS YEAS 9 NAYS 0
(3)

I. SUMMARY:
As passed by the Legislature, CS/ HB 715, HB 1249, HB 1321 and HB 1339 primarily amends Chapter 373,
F.S., to address four major issues:
1 Establishment/Implementation of minimum flows and levels (MFLs): Requires the water management
districts (WMDs) to consider changes and structural alterations to wetlands, surface waters and
groundwater, and the effects such changes have had on a water resource when establishing MFLs, but it
precludes WMDs from allowing significant harm caused by withdrawals. It directs the WMDs to implement
a recovery or prevention strategy if a waterbody falls below, or is projected to fall below, its MFL. The
recovery or prevention strategy must include a timetable that will allow for development of additional water
supplies and other measures as an offset concurrent with any reductions in permitted withdrawals. Finally,
the bill recognizes that for some surface waterbodies, recovery of MFLs is not practical, and so gives the
WMDs the discretion to not set MFLs in certain circumstances.
2. WMD Accountability: Provides for staggered appointments of WMD governing board members. The bill
also provides for more extensive review of WMD financial management and budgets; directs the Governor
to approve the appointments of the WMD executive directors; and directs that attorneys employed by the
WMDs must represent the legal interests or position of their governing boards.
3. Water Resource and Water Suoolv Development Directs the WMDs to initiate water resource
development to ensure water is available for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and the
environment It creates stronger linkages among state, WMD and regional water planning. The bill
specifies a number of water resource development activities. It says that while water supply development is
primarily the responsibility of local governments, and publicly or privately owned utilities, the WMDs or the
state shall assist in funding such projects under certain circumstances.
4. Duration of WUPs: Requires WUPs be issued for 20 years if there is sufficient information to provide
reasonable assurance that permit conditions will be met The bill allows the WMDs to require a 5-year
compliance report.
In addition, CS/HB 715, et al establishes guidelines for carrying out the West Coast Regional Water Supply
Authority's proposed change in governance; reclassifies the discharges from drinking water
demineralization facilities from the industrial wastewater classification to a drinking water byproduct
classification; require the State of Florida to subsidize expenses imposed on private citizens by rules
governing new potable water well permitting in delineated areas; and addresses a number of marine
fisheries issues.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 2

II. SUBSTANTIVE RESEARCH:

A. PRESENT SITUATION:

History of the development of water law
Prior to the 1950's, the most common method of managing water in Florida was to
create special single-purpose districts. Examples of special districts which were
legislatively created include irrigation districts, water supply districts, sewer districts
and water control districts. Florida enacted its first major multi-purpose water
management district, the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District, in 1949
in response to a major flood that had occurred two years earlier. Other multi-
purpose districts were created in the mid-1950's, but no single entity was able to
supervise or oversee their projects and operations.

Recognizing that Florida's fragmented approach to handling water issues was
incapable of providing a long-term framework for responding to future problems, the
Florida Legislature in 1955 created the Florida Water Resources Study Commission.
This commission made recommendations that led to the passage of the first major
piece of legislation related to water, the 1957 Florida Water Resources Act (the 1957
Act). The 1957 Act established a statewide administrative agency housed within the
State Board of Conservation to oversee the development of Florida's water
resources. This agency was authorized to issue permits to allow for the capture and
use of excess surface and groundwater. It also allowed the agency to establish
rules to mandate water conservation in areas of the state where withdrawals were
endangering the resource due to the resulting saltwater intrusion.

Despite the the 1957 Act, Florida's water resource problems saltwater intrusion,
water shortages, destruction of wetlands, and deterioration of water quality -
continued to grow through the 1960's and early 1970's. In the early 1970's a group
of water law experts at the University of Florida drafted a Model Water Code for
Florida. The Code took provisions of the western states' prior appropriations system
and provisions of the eastern states' riparian system of water law and melded them
to create a hybrid system of administrative water regulation. In 1972, a Govenor's
task force on resource management recommended that the Legislature adopt the
Code. In !972 the Legislature passed the Florida Water Resources Act (the 1972 act)
which included much of the Model Water Code. This act, incorporated in Chapter
373, F.S., marked the beginning of the modem era of water management for Florida
and remains largely unchanged as part of Florida law.

The 1972 Act created a two-tiered administrative structure. The former Department
of Natural Resources (and later the former Department of Environmental Regulation)
was given responsibility for administering Chapter 373, F.S., at the state level, with
the day-to-day management functions to be carried out by five regional WMDs: the
Northwest Florida, South Florida, Southwest Florida, St. Johns River and Suwannee
River WMDs.

Currently, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), created in 1993
through a merger of the former departments of Natural Resources and
Environmental Regulation, is responsible for water protection at the state level.
Section 373.016(3), F.S., expresses the Legislature's intent to vest in the DEP "the


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE ;AME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 3

power and responsibility to accomplish the conservation, protection, management,
and control of the waters of the state ... with sufficient flexibility and discretion to
accomplish these ends through delegation of appropriate powers to the various
water management districts." Section 373.016(3), F.S., strongly encourages DEP to
delegate this power "to the greatest extent practicable" to the governing boards of
the WMDs, but retains general supervisory authority in DEP. In order to utilize and
conserve the waters of the state, DEP also must coordinate, with local governments
and other state agencies created to deal with water issues. This bifurcation of
responsibility reflected the Legislature's understanding of the importance of the
establishment of a statewide policy, but also its awareness of the diversity of water
problems in different regions of the state and the variety of solutions to those
problems.

In 1982, the Legislature provided legislative intent "that future growth and
development planning reflect the limitations of the available ground water or other
available water supplies" (s. 373.0395, F.S.). To that end, the Legislature mandated
that the WMDs develop a groundwater basin resource availability inventory
(commonly called a "safe yield study"). This inventory, once completed, must be
given to each affected municipality, county, and regional planning agency. These
agencies in turn are required to review the inventory for consistency with local
government comprehensive plans and consider the inventory in future revisions of
the plans. Each WMD has completed at least some portion of the required.
inventory.

Part II of Chapter 373, F.S., provides the statutory framework for consumptive use
permitting, now called water use permitting. This regulatory system, enacted in
1972, was intended to supplant the common law doctrine of judicially determined
water rights. It created what the Florida Supreme Court described as a
"comprehensive administrative system of regulation, resource protection and water
use permitting." (See Osceola County v. St. Johns River Water Management
District, 504 So.2d 385 (1987)).
The law specifically recognizes state policy to "preserve natural resources, fish and
wildlife" (s. 373.016(2)(e), F.S.). This policy can be achieved under Part II of
Chapter 373, F.S. through the water use permitting system which regulates human
activities that might adversely affect these resources. Each WMD was required by
1983 to implement a consumptive use permit program (s. 373.216, F. S.), which is
now called a water use permit (WUP) program. District rules can impose reasonable
conditions "to assure that [a] use is consistent with the overall objectives of the
district or department and is not harmful to the water resources of the area" (s.
373.219, F.S.). This program does not apply to domestic consumption of water by
individual users, or to wells under certain sizes.
In defining the criteria under which a WUP may be issued, the Legislature drew on
the common law "reasonable use" test. It adopted a slightly revised standard known
as "reasonable-beneficial use," which was incorporated into the law as one of three
criteria to be used by the districts in issuing permits. The law defines reasonable-
beneficial use as "the use of water in such quantity as is necessary for economic
and efficient utilization for a purpose and in a manner which is both reasonable and
consistent with the public interest" (s. 373.019(4), F.S.).


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 4

Section 373.223, F.S., sets forth the standards to be applied in issuing a permit,
known as the three-prong test. Any applicant for a permit must establish that the
proposed use of water
Is a reasonable-beneficial use as defined in section 373.019(4), F.S.;
Will not interfere with any presently existing legal use of water, and

Is consistent with the public interest.
When the WUP system was instituted, all existing water users who sought permits
within two years after the applicable district adopted its rules were automatically
given permits (s. 373.226, F.S.). All new applicants were subject to the three-prong
test before being issued permits.
Establishment and Implementation of MFLs:
A major feature of the 1972 Act was the establishment of MFLs (s. 373.042, F.S.).
MFLs are a tool for managing water resources in a manner that preserves the
integrity of the hydrologic system while allowing appropriate uses of surface water
and groundwater. MFLs are designed to help determine the amount of water a
particular source can provide without causing "significant harm" to the water
resource, and to facilitate a planning process in which projected demands can be
compared to the available supply.
Until recently, the WMDs had established very few MFLs for surface and
groundwater sources. In its 1996 session the Legislature required the Southwest
Florida WMD (SWFWMD) to establish MFLs for priority water bodies (Chapter 96-
339, Laws of Florida). SWFWMD has made significant progress in setting MFLs,
and SWFWMD is on schedule to meet the statutory deadline of October 1, 1997.
Additionally, the Govemor's Executive Order 96-297 directed the WMDs to establish
MFLs by the end of Fiscal Year 1999 for priority water bodies outside the geographic
area specified in Chapter 96-299. Staff of the five WMDs say they expect to meet
this deadline as well.
To date, MFLs generally have been implemented through WUPs, conservation
measures, and occasionally through water shortage restrictions implemented in
times of severe drought. Generally, WUP allocation levels are set to prevent "harm"
to the water resource (s. 373.219, F.S.). MFLs prevent "significant harm" to the
water resource (s. 373.042, F.S.), and emergency water shortage measures are
taken to prevent "serious harm" to the water resource (s. 373.246, F.S.).

Concerns exists among some water users regarding what impact the establishment
of MFLs will have on existing legal uses. These concerns focus on the issue of
whether the limits set by MFLs will be implemented in a manner that will result in
cutbacks in permitted withdrawals. Some argue that existing uses should be
considered when the MFLs are established, thus protecting existing uses.
Conversely, there is concem that if existing uses are taken into account, those uses
that already have had an adverse impact on water resources or the ecology would
continue, and the establishment of MFLs would not serve the purpose of preventing
significant harm.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 5

WMD Accountability:
In the 1972 Act, the Legislature recognized that the magnitude and complexity of
water resource problems vary by region. As a result, while vesting responsibility in
DEP to manage the waters of the state, the Legislature stated its intent that DEP
delegate program responsibilities to the WMDs. The current water management
system is regional rather than statewide. The DEP is responsible for administration
of Chapter 373, F.S., at the state level, but program responsibilities have largely
been delegated to the districts.
The Governor has some supervisory authority over the WMDs by virtue of his power
to appoint WMD governing board members. One mechanism for increasing WMD
accountability explored in recent years is increasing the Governor's oversight
authority. In its 1996 session the Legislature passed a law providing the Governor
with the authority to review WMD budgets, and to veto a WMD budget, in whole or in
part (Chapter 96-339, Laws of Florida).
Water Resource and Supply Development:
The 1972 Act assigned planning a key role in managing the state's water resources
and required adoption of a comprehensive plan for the development and use of the
state's water resources the State Water Use Plan. DEP has undertaken
development of the plan on three separate occasions but a comprehensive water
use plan has not been adopted.

However, water resources planning has not been lacking. In 1979, DEP offered for
public comment a "state water use plan" based upon individual water management
plans developed by the WMDs. However, that plan was never formally "adopted" as
called for in Chapter 373, F. S., and DEP instead attempted to guide water
resources planning through adoption of a "state water policy" by rule (Chapter 17-40
now Chapter 62-40, Florida Administrative Code). DEP recently completed the
Florida Water Plan, incorporating some requirements of the State Water Use Plan.
The Florida Water Plan is based largely upon the WMD water management plans.
These plans are the result of a five-year planning effort that also has produced
needs and sources assessments, designation of water use caution areas, progress
towards establishing MFLs, and other water planning initiatives, including
development of regional water supply plans by the South Florida WMD.

To date, the WMDs' primary role in regard to water supply development has been to
regulate water use pursuant to Part II, Chapter 373, F.S., and, to a lesser extent, to
engage in water supply planning. Section 373.1961, F.S., authorizes, but does not
specifically require, the WMDs to engage in a much broader range of water supply
activities, including the authority to develop and operate water production and
transmission facilities for the purpose of supplying water to counties, municipalities,
private utilities, and regional water supply authorities. Generally, the WMDs have
not exercised such authority, although the South Florida WMD's operation of the
Central and Southem Florida Flood Control Project could be considered a water
supply distribution system. The WMDs' role has more typically consisted of water
supply planning and technical assistance and, in some cases, financial assistance.
For instance, SWFWMD has invested substantial sums of money into water
resource development projects through its New Water Source Initiative program,
which matches district and basin board ad valorem tax revenues with local and
federal dollars. SWFWMD projects spending at least $398 million by FY 2007.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)




STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 6

Duration of WUPs:
Section 373.223, F.S., requires applicants for WUPs to meet three criteria prior to
obtaining permits: (1) the proposed use of water must be a reasonable-beneficial
use (defined as "the use of water in such quantity as is necessary for economic and
efficient utilization for a purpose and in a manner which is both reasonable and
consistent with the public interest"); (2) the proposed use must not interfere with any
presently existing legal use of water; and (3) the proposed use must be consistent
with the public interest.
In addition to meeting the above requirements, applicants who are competing to use
the same water supply must meet other statutory criteria. Section 373.233(1), F.S.,
requires WMD governing boards to approve or modify competing applications for
WUPs according to which application best serves the public interest. Section
373.233(2), F.S. allows a governing board to "give preference" to an applicant
seeking renewal of a permit over one seeking an initial permit when the two are
competing for the same water supply. In effect, the provision allows the applicant
who will put the water to the most beneficial use to obtain the permit, but if two or
more applicants propose equally beneficial uses of the water, the applicant who is
seeking renewal of an existing permit likely will be awarded the allocation. It should
be noted that no WMD has ever used this provision and made water allocation
decisions based on competing uses.
Once the goveming board has determined whether an applicant qualifies for a WUP,
it must establish a duration period for the permit, pursuant to section 373.236, F.S.
That provision allows permits to be issued for "any period of time not exceeding 20
years." Under section 373.236(1), F.S., the duration decision may be based on a
reasonable system of classification according to source of water supply or type of
use, or both. Because WMD staff cannot always determine how significant an
impact a proposed water use will have on a water source, or may not have enough
data to determine how much water is available from a source without causing
significant harm to the water resource, WMD governing boards frequently set permit
durations for periods of less than 20 years.
Regional Water Supply Authorities
Article VIII, section 4 of the Florida Constitution allows local governments, by law or
resolution, to transfer any function or power to a special district. Section 373.1962,
F.S., allows the creation of regional water supply authorities to develop, recover,
store and supply water for county and municipal purposes. It requires that such
water supply and development be done in a manner that will reduce the adverse
environmental effects of excessive or improper withdrawals of water from
concentrated areas. Section 373.1962(1), F.S., provides criteria for the DEP to
follow in approving a regional water supply authority agreement. The powers and
duties of the authorities include levying ad valorem taxes; acquiring water and water
rights, and developing, storing and transporting water; collecting, treating and
recovering wastewater, and exercising the power of eminent domain. Section
373.1962(5), F.S., mandates that counties where a regional water supply authority
withdraws water shall retain their prior rights to the reasonable and beneficial use of
water which is required to adequately supply the reasonable and beneficial needs of
the county or any of the inhabitants or property owners therein.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






SSTORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 7

The West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority (WCRWSA) was created in 1974;
its members include the cities of New Port Richey, Tampa, and St. Petersburg, and
Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. It owns and operates some water
supply facilities but also operates facilities owned by individual member
governments; it has water supply contracts with each member government and
develops water to sell at cost to those governments. Under the current organization,
any member government may decline to participate financially in the development of
additional water supply capacity, in effect providing a "veto." That is, unless member
governments choose to fund water supply development without the financial
participation of one or more members who decline to participate, such projects are
effectively blocked.
Section 373.1963, F.S., authorized the Southwest Florida Water Management
District to provide financial assistance to the WCRWSA by levying an ad valorem tax
of 0.05 mill on all taxable property within the water supply authority's area for a
period of five years ending December 31, 1981.

Last year the Legislature adopted Chapter 96-339, L.O.F., which directed the
WCRWSA to submit a report and recommendations to the Legislature on how to
restructure itself so as to better serve the needs of its customers.

New Drinking Water Wells in Delineated Areas
Pursuant to s. 373.309, Florida Statutes (F.S.), areas of known groundwater
contamination have been delineated by DEP. Within these areas strict permitting,
construction and testing requirements are applied to new potable water wells by
DEP, water management districts (WMD) and the Department of Health. These
requirements have been in place since 1991. DEP has recently adopted rules which
delineate larger areas, primarily because of contamination by the pesticide ethylene
dibromide (EDB).
Private citizens, businesses, and developers installing new potable water wells are
required to bear the costs associated with the regulatory requirements in the
delineated areas to ensure drinking water is not contaminated. These costs include
WMD permit fees, protective well construction costs, and well sampling and testing
costs. DEP has received complaints from private citizens and local governments
about the cost of meeting the more stringent permit requirements. According to DEP
staff, s. 376.307, F.S., does not give the agency the authority to subsidize permit
costs. However, the statute does provide authority for DEP to subsidize the
purchase of treatment devices and connections to water systems where potable
water wells are contaminated. Additionally, DEP is authorized to subsidize new
water systems in designated areas.

The existing subsidy program is funded through the Water Quality Assurance Trust
Fund, pursuant to s. 376.307, F.S. This trust fund receives monies from excise
taxes on solvents, lubricants, and other substances that pose a threat to Florida's
groundwater, plus fines, penalties and other charges associated with violations of
state laws designed to protect the state's groundwater resources. Section 376.307,
F.S., provides a list of activities for which the Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund
may be used:


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 8

1. To carry out assessment, cleanup, restoration, monitoring and maintenance
of releases of pollutants which threaten water resources, including dry-
cleaning products, pursuant to ss. 376.30-376.319, F.S.

2. Restoration or replacement of potable water supplies.

3. Response actions carried out pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
4. Restoration or replacement of potable water wells which meet certain
criteria.
At present, DEP requires sampling and testing of potable water wells in delineated
areas to be completed by DEP staff. Some private labs are certified by the
Department of Health to conduct testing for EDB and other contaminants pursuant to
the requirements of the Florida Safe Drinking Water Act. However, because of
quality-control concerns, DEP does not allow testing by these labs.

Demineralized Water Treatment Facility Permitting
An estimated 120 demineralization and desalination facilities in Florida. These
facilities typically withdraw brackish groundwater and treat it to meet drinking water
standards. Treatment often includes reverse osmosis or microfiltration to remove
salts and impurities. The discharges from these demineralization and desalination
facilities are currently classified by DEP rules as industrial wastewater.

Marine fisheries issues
Florida voters in November 1994 passed by a 4-1 margin a constitutional
amendment banning the use of gill and other entangling nets in all Florida waters,
and restricting the use of other types of nets in nearshore waters. Specifically, s. 16,
Art. X of the state Constitution, which took effect July 1, 1995:
SProhibits the use of gill nets or other entangling nets in Florida waters, the
boundaries of which extend three miles from shore into the Atlantic Ocean and
nine miles from shore into the Gulf of Mexico. (A lawsuit is pending on whether
the measurement should actually be in nautical miles or in land miles, which are
shorter.)
SProhibits the use of other types of nets that are more than 500 square feet in
mesh area in nearshore or inshore Florida waters, and provides that no more
than two such nets, which shall not be connected, shall be used from any vessel
where legal in Florida waters. "Nearshore or inshore waters" generally is
defined as one mile from the shore along Florida's Atlantic coast, and three
miles from shore along Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast, although that, too, is the
subject of the lawsuit mentioned above.
Prohibits a person fishing from shore from using more than one such legal net.

Attempted to define "gill net" and "mesh area" in order to clearly delineate what
types of nets would be illegal under the implementation of the constitutional
amendment.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 9

Specified that no implementing legislation was needed, but that the Legislature
could adopt more restrictions on the use of nets to harvest marine life.

Hardest hit were the net fishermen who relied on mullet and baitfishing to make a
living. The Legislature enacted Chapter 95-414, L.O.F., relating to net-ban
compensation to help out the disenfranchised fishermen. Among other things the
act created a net buy-back program, where the state would pay fishermen between
$500 and $3,500 for their nets.
Controversy continues over the types of nets can be legally fished. Shrimpers won
court case over DEP and the MFC concerning how to measure trawls. The practice
effect of the court ruling is that trawls may be larger than 500 square feet of mesh
area. The most recent legal challenges involve the use of nets augmented by
sheets of tarpaulin, tobacco shade cloth, and plastic. DEP is appealing a Gulf
County judge's August 1996 decision that fishing mesh attached to "shade tarp"
(large plastic sheets with holes in them, commonly used to cover tobacco plants)
and totaling more than 500 square feet in area is not a net, but a legal "harvesting
device." The devices are being used to harvest bait fish. DEP and the MFC argue
that the device is an illegal net, because the holes in the shade tarp act as open
mesh. In any event, the judge's ruling does not extend beyond the boundaries of
Gulf County.
Some fishermen in Florida's Panhandle are using a similar "harvesting device"
where solid plastic tarp is stitched on each side of a 500-square-foot mesh net, like
wings. These devices can be as large as 880 square feet. The plastic wings corral
fish, and as they are pulled together by rope, force the fish into the center mesh net
These devices also are mainly being used to catch bait fish. The MFC and the
Florida Marine Patrol (FMP) have determined that these devices may not be illegal
under the letter of the law, although they may violate the intent of the constitutional
amendment.
A third type of "harvesting device" that uses plastic tarp has been determined to be
illegal by the MFC. This device includes two mesh nets connected by plastic
sheeting in the middle. As stated earlier, the constitutional amendment clearly
prohibits connecting two or more mesh nets. No fishermen has been caught actual
using one of these devices.
On November 7, 1996, the Governor and Cabinet adopted an emergency rule
proposed by the MFC which prohibits the harvest of mullet with nets larger than 50(
square feet total, including plastic tarp or any other attachment. The greatest impac
has been to the mullet fishery, which until the next in which cast nets are now the
most efficient legal gear, but which are difficult to master and which reduce the size
of the harvest. Recently, there have been attempts to evade the constitutional
limitation on the size of nets used in inshore waters by attaching various types of
unmeshed materials to legal nets to increase their size. There are no statutory
definitions of the terms "net" and "netting."

The MFC, which is responsible for developing rules to govem the state's marine
resources, is currently assigned to the Board of Trustees. The Trustees must
approve all MFC rules. With the exception of endangered species and the
regulation of fishing gear in residential, manmade saltwater canals, the MFC has
exclusive rulemaking authority over marine resources.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/9






STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 10

In testimony before the House Committee on Water and Resource Management,
Florida Marine Patrol staff reported that more than 600 arrests had been made for
violations of the constitutional and statutory limitations on the use of nets. Nearly
400 of these arrests occurred since July 1, 1996. Conservation groups and the
Florida Marine Patrol, the enforcement arm of DEP, have expressed concems that
existing penalties may not be tough enough to deter unlawful behavior.

Currently, s. 370.092(3)(a), F.S., imposes additional penalties for violation of the
constitutional limitation on the use of nets and any MFC rules implementing it. These
penalties are:

o For a first major violation within a seven-year period, a civil penalty of $2,500
and suspension of all saltwater products license privileges for 90 calendar
days.

o For a second major violation charged within seven years of a previous
judicial disposition, which results in a second judicial disposition other than
acquittal or dismissal, a civil penalty of $5,000 and suspension of all
saltwater products license privileges for 12 months.

o For a third and subsequent major violation, charged within a seven-year
period, resulting in a third or subsequent judicial disposition other than
acquittal or dismissal, a civil penalty of $5,000, lifetime revocation of the
saltwater products license, and forfeiture of all gear and equipment used in
the violation.

State law currently allows the courts to withhold adjudication of guilt, or to suspend a
sentence, for a commercial fisherman's first major violation of the net ban. However,
the Florida Marine Patrol has reported that some Panhandle judges are withholding
adjudication of guilt and suspending sentences in most instances, even for multiple
offenders.
Crawfish issues
Existing law permits the importation of crawfish during the closed season, but
requires that a Marine Patrol officer be present when a shipment is weighed. This
requirement is a burden on the Marine Patrol's already-thin personnel resources.
The marine patrol wishes to be authorized, but not required, to be present for weigh-
ins.

The state's limited entry crawfish fishery requires trap tags and trap certificates,
which are limited annually by the MFC. Section 370.142(2), F.S., currently provides
for an additional civil penalty to be assessed for violations relating to traps. The DEP
reports that at least one court has found this statute ambiguous. Currently, seafood
dealers may not possess domestic crawfish during the closed season.

B. EFFECT OF PROPOSED CHANGES:

Establishment and Implementation of MFLs:
As passed by the Legislature, CS/HB 715, et al requires the WMDs to consider
changes and structural alterations to wetlands, surface waters, and groundwater,
and the effects such changes have had on the water resource, when establishing


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 11

MFLs. This provision would require the WMDs to consider the effect of structural
changes to water bodies, such as dams or channelization of rivers, as well as the
impacts of major flood control works such as the South Florida WMD's Central and
Southern Florida Flood Control Project. In addition to considering the direct
alterations caused by structural changes, the WMDs also would be required to
consider indirect changes, such as changes to groundwater levels or hydrologically
connected wetlands. The legislation specifies that DEP and the WMDs, when
establishing MFLs, shall not allow "significant harm" to the resource to be caused by
withdrawals.

CS/HB 715, et al also recognizes that some waterbodies can never be restored to
their historic hydrologic functions, or that it is not practicable or technically feasible to
do so. In such cases, the WMDs and DEP would have the discretion to not set
MFLs. The WMDs also are directed to not set MFLs for surface waterbodies less
than 25 acres in area, unless the surfacewater bodies, individually or cumulatively,
have significant economic, environmental, or hydrologic value. Also exempt would
be man-made waterbodies such as cooling ponds, drainage ditches, borrow pits,
and mining pits that were constructed prior to a permitting program or are
constructed pursuant to the conditions of a permit or a reclamation plan, unless they
have a unique hydrologic value or are an essential element of an area's water
resources.

The WMDs are further directed to implement a recovery or prevention strategy if a
waterbody falls below, or is projected to fall below, its MFL within 20 years. The
recovery or prevention strategy must include a timetable that will allow for
development of additional water supplies to offset any reduction in permitted
withdrawals. To the extent to which it is practical, the offset must be provided
concurrent with any reductions in permitted withdrawals.

CS/HB 715, et al also extends the scientific peer review process to the
establishment of MFLs in all five WMDs and makes several other refinements.
However, exempted from any new procedures or requirements created by this
legislation are the establishment and implementation of MFLs for listed water bodies
in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, which shall continue to be performed
pursuant to chapter 96-339, L.O.F. The only exception is the Hillsborough River and
the Palm River/Tampa By-Pass Canal, whose MFL will be set according to the
provisions of this act.
WMD Accountability:
As passed by the Legislature, CS/HB 715, et al provides for staggered appointments
of WMD governing board members. Beginning January 1, 1999, in the first year of a
Goveror's four-year term in office the Governor shall appoint three members to the
goveming board of each WMD. In the second and third years the Governor shall
appoint two members to the governing board of each WMD, except for SWFWMD,
where the shall appoint three members the SWFWMD board. In the fourth year the
Governor shall appoint two members of the governing board in each WMD, including
SWFWMD.
The legislation also directs the Governor to appoint board members based on their
"significant experience" in one or more of the following areas, including but not
limited to: agriculture, development, local government, water utilities, law, civil
engineering, environmental science, hydrology, accounting or finance.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 12

Also, the Governor shall approve the appointments of the five executive directors
hired by their respective WMD governing boards. In addition to an initial
confirmation by the Senate, each executive director must be reconfirmed by the
Senate during the second regular session of the Legislature following a gubernatorial
election.
CS/HB 715, et al also requires WMD Basin Boards to prepare post audits, and it
requires each WMD provide: 1) the tentative budget, 2) the adopted budget, 3) the
past year's expenditures, and 4) the post audit to the Governor, the Speaker of the
House, the President of the Senate, the chairs of the legislative committees with
substantive or appropriations jurisdiction, the secretary of DEP, and to each county
in which it has jurisdiction.
Additionally, the bill requires attorneys employed by the WMDs to represent the legal
interests or position of the governing board. Explicitly stating that the attorney is
employed by the governing board would place WMD attorneys in the same position
as most other attorneys employed in local government. Attomeys employed by a
school board, city council, county commission, or another local government board
are employed by the board and represent the interests of the board. This would be
a change from the way attorneys employed by the WMDs currently appear to
operate. Most WMD attorneys appear to consider themselves employed by the
organization, as would an attorney hired by an executive agency or a corporation.
This view could be consistent with Rule 4-1.13, Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.
This rule establishes a general principle that a "lawyer employed or retained by an
organization represents the organization acting through its duly authorized
constituents." However, under the provisions of the bill, WMD attorneys would
clearly be in the employ of the goveming board, not the WMD as a whole.
Finally, the legislation tightens up severance pay for WMD employees and calls for a
salary study of WMD employees.
Water Resource and Supply Development:
CS/HB 715, et al defines "water resource development" as the formulation and
implementation by the WMDs of regional water resource management strategies
that range from data-collection to construction of groundwater storage systems.
Water resource development is declared to be the responsibility of the WMDs.

Also defined is "water supply development," which is the planning, design,
construction, operation and maintenance of public or private facilities for water
collection, treatment, transmission or distribution for sale, resale or end use. Water
supply development is declared to be the responsibility of local governments and of
government-owned and privately owned utilities, although the bill provides
circumstances under which DEP and the WMDs can assist in such development.
The bill also clarifies existing water planning language, and forges stronger links
among the Florida Water Plan (currently called the state water use plan), the WMD
district water management plans, and the regional water supply plans. The WMDs
are directed to plan on a 20-year time frame the development, management and
protection of water resources needed to meet the existing and reasonably projected
future uses. When planning to meet these needs, the WMD are directed to assure


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE NAME: h071531z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 13

that water would be available to meet these needs during a 1-in-10 year drought
event.

WMDs are directed to initiate water resource development to ensure water is
available for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and the environment,
and participate in the following activities:

formulate and implement regional water resources development strategies
and programs;
collect data and conduct research to improve the use of surface and
groundwater resources for water supply purposes;
implement nonstructural programs to protect and manage water resources;

provide for the construction, operation, and maintenance of major public
works facilities for replenishment, recapture, storage, and enhancement of
surface and ground water resources;

encourage and promote the development of new technology to maximize the
reasonable-beneficial use of surface and groundwater resources;

cooperate with and assist public and private utilities, regional water supply
authorities, and public service corporations in the development of water
supply delivery systems.

Duration of WUPs:
As passed by the Legislature, CS/HB 715, et al requires WUPs be issued for 20
years if there is sufficient information to provide reasonable assurance that permit
conditions will be met, and if requested by the applicant. The bill allows the WMDs to
require a 5-year compliance report when it is necessary to maintain reasonable
assurance that the conditions of the permit can continue to be met. The WMD may
modify the permit after receipt of the compliance report Permit modifications based
on the 5-year compliance report shall not subject the permit to competition from
other uses, if there is no increase in water allocation or permit duration, and no
change in water source other than a change requested by a WMD. The bill also
clarifies that these changes shall not be construed to limit the WMDs' or DEP's
existing authority to modify or revoke WUPs.

Regional Water Supply Authorities
As passed by the Legislature, CS/HB 713, et al, expresses legislative intent to
encourage and facilitate the implementation of changes in governance
recommended by the WCRWSA. Any change in governance and structure of West
Coast will be guided by an interlocal agreement, which as of the date of this
document still had not been signed by the member governments.

The statutory language anticipates that the member governments will agree to
relinquish their individual rights to develop potable water supplies, and that the
WCRWSA will be the sole supplier of their potable water needs. The WCRWSA
also anticipates acquiring full or lesser interests in regionally significant, member
government water facilities.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715siz.wrm
DATE: May 8,1997
PAGE 14

Upon execution of the interlocal agreement, the WCRWSA and the Southwest
Florida WMD shall jointly develop alternative water sources and treatment and
transmission facilities.

The WCRWSA also is directed to submit to the Legislature by February 5, 1997, a
supplemental status report on its governance changes.

The legislation also, in general, authorizes regional water supply authorities to
develop, construct and operate desalination plants and other alternative water
supply facilities.
New Drinking Water Wells in Delineated Areas
As passed by the Legislature, CS/HB 715, et al requires the state to subsidize
expenses imposed on private citizens pursuant to chapter 62-524, F.A.C. This
would include one-half of the increased cost of a resident's new drinking water well
in areas where groundwater is contaminated, including testing for contaminants.
Alternatively, the state could pay one-half of the present worth of the 10-year cost of
providing and maintaining filters on an existing well, if this measure is less
expensive. The payment plan would not include households that are part of
subdivisions or developments that the DEP finds would be better served by a public
water supply system.

CS/HB 715, et al does not include a specific appropriation to pay for these costs.
The funds for the subsidy required from this bill would come from the Water Quality
Assurance Trust Fund. However, at present, the DEP can only use trust fund mone"
appropriated for the existing subsidy program to pay for the additional costs.
The bill would also direct DEP to develop criteria for acceptance of tests for drinking
water contaminants by private laboratories which are certified by the Department of
Health. This provision would allow laboratories certified by the Department of Health
to do drinking water testing, and to provide testing for DEP if the labs meet quality-
assurance and quality-control requirements established by DEP for field sampling
and analysis of compounds such as EDB.
Finally, the legislation directs DEP to restudy those areas of the state which have
been delineated because of contaminated water to determine to what degree such
contamination remains.
Demineralized Water Treatment Facility Permitting
CS/HB 715, et al reclassifies the discharges from water demineralization facilities to
provide a new wastewater discharge classification and permitting requirements for
drinking water byproduct. It creates a presumption that discharges from plants
which qualify for the classification would be permittable as long as the standards in
s. 403.086(4), F.S., (advanced wastewater treatment and high-level disinfection) are
met, and the discharge would result in minimal negative impact to the receiving
water body.

However, it also allows the presumption to be rebutted if the discharge would be
directly into an Outstanding Florida Water, would be directly into class I or class II
waters; would be into a water body with a total maximum daily load established by
DEP, and the discharge would cause or contribute to a violation of the established


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 15

load; fails to meet the DEP anti-degradation policy; would be to a sole-source
aquifer; or would violate rules 62-302, and 62-520, Florida Administrative Code. In
those cases, conditions could be placed on the permit, or the permit could be denied
altogether.

Additionally, the legislation:
allows blending of concentrate with domestic wastewater effluent or
reclaimed water under certain conditions;
provides authority for DEP to promulgate rules to regulate demineralization
facilities;
provides that discharges of 50,000 gallons per day, or less, will be presumed
to have a mixing zone of a certain size and dilution;
limits the instances in which DEP may require toxicity testing;
precludes DEP from requiring a water-quality-based effluent limitation
determination; and
provides a schedule for demineralization facilities to apply for permits.

Fisheries issues
As passed by the Legislature, CS/HB 715, et al, clarifies that the MFC has the
authority to implement the provisions of s. 16, Art. X of the state Constitution by rule,
and to regulate the size of commercial fishing nets. It toughens penalties for repeat
offenders of the net ban; a person whose saltwater products license has been
suspended or revoked because of past violations of the net ban, and who is
convicted for a third or subsequent time with harvesting or attempting to harvest
marine life with an illegal net will be punished as a third-degree felon, which means a
maximum five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Additionally, the legislation:

o Creates a paper-trail process by which Floridians who have caught mullet
legally in Alabama waters using gill nets can transport them over land to
Panhandle seafood dealers, and not be charged with violating Florida's net
ban laws.

o Defines "net and "netting" as being "broadly construed to include all manner
or combination of mesh or webbing or any other solid or semi-solid fabric or
other material used to comprise a device that is used to take or harvest
marine life."

o Creates a baitfish pilot program, where a small number of commercial
fishermen can use purse seines not to exceed 600 yards in length to harvest
cigar minnows, Spanish sardines, and other baitfish species in the waters off
Wakulla, Franklin, Gulf, Bay, Walton and Okaloosa counties. Only seven
licenses shall be issued by DEP for this pilot program, and preference will be
given to those fishermen who have saltwater product licenses with purse


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 16

seine endorsements, and who reported landings of baitfish in 1996 in those
six Panhandle counties.

o Creates a special activity license for aquaculture operators who raise
sturgeon.


o Streamlines the crawfish weigh-in requirements, and imposes additional
reporting requirements for seafood dealers who import crawfish during
Florida's closed season.

C. APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES:

1. Less Government:

a. Does the bill create, increase or reduce, either directly or indirectly:

(1) any authority to make rules or adjudicate disputes?

Yes. Section 3 of CS/HB 715, et al requires the WMDs to adopt by rule
those portions of their regional water supply plans necessary for
implementation.

Section 39 reiterates the MFC's existing authority to draft and implement
rules related to marine fisheries regulation, by specifically granting the
MFC the authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 370.025 and 370.027,
F.S., implementing the prohibitions and restrictions of s. 16, Art. X, of
the state Constitution.
And, while not specifically stated, the baitfish quotas mentioned in
section 42 will be set by the MFC by rule, as it does for all fishing
quotas.

(2) any new responsibilities, obligations or work for other governmental or
private organizations or individuals?
Yes. The water resources development provisions require the WMDs to
"ensure sufficient water is available for all existing and future
reasonable-beneficial uses and the environment..." These activities
include planning, research, and construction and maintenance of public
works projects. Some WMDs already have programs to develop water
resources, such as SWFWMD's New Water Source Initiative.

(3) any entitlement to a government service or benefit?
No.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8,1997
PAGE 17

b. If an agency or program is eliminated or reduced:
Not applicable.
2. Lower Taxes:
a. Does the bill increase anyone's taxes?
Not specifically. If the WMDs are required to bear the cost of ensuring water
is available for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses these costs
will be bore by the landowners in the WMDs through ad valorem taxes.
The WMDs which do not already levy their maximum ad valorem tax rate
have the authority to raise property taxes to pay for these additional costs.
b. Does the bill require or authorize an increase in any fees?
No.
c. Does the bill reduce total taxes, both rates and revenues?
No.
d. Does the bill reduce total fees, both rates and revenues?
No.
e. Does the bill authorize any fee or tax increase by any local government?
No.
3. Personal Responsibility:
a. Does the bill reduce or eliminate an entitlement to government services or
subsidy?
No.
b. Do the beneficiaries of the legislation directly pay any portion of the cost of
implementation and operation?
Section 16 of the bill states that "generally, direct beneficiaries of water
supply development projects should pay the costs of the projects from which
they benefit...." For all practical purposes, this is no change from the current
situation of water and wastewater utility customers paying, through rate
adjustments, for improvements or expansions to those systems. As
mentioned in C.2.a. above, if the WMDs must ensure adequate water exists
for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses, then they may raise
their ad valorem rates to generate the revenue needed to finance such
projects. In this case, property owners most of whom benefit to some
extent would be paying for water resource development.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 18


4. Individual Freedom:

Not applicable.
5. Family Empowerment:

Not applicable.

D. SECTION-BY-SECTION RESEARCH:
Section 1: Amends s. 373.016, F.S., the declaration of state water policy, to include
the replenishment, recapture, and enhancement of surface or groundwater, and
promotion of the availability of sufficient water for all existing and future reasonable-
beneficial uses and the environment. Specifies that DEP and the WMDs shall take
into account cumulative impacts on water resources and manage them to assure
sustainability. Requires DEP and the WMDs to construe and apply the policies in
the subsection (3) as a whole.
Section 2: Amends s. 373.019, F.S., to add definitions of "district water
management plan;" "Florida water plan;" "regional water supply plan;" "water
resource development;" and "water supply development." Renames "state water
policy" to "water resource implementation rule." Renumbers existing definitions
throughout.
Section 3: Amends s. 373.036, F.S. throughout. Renames the "state water use
plan" to the "Florida Water Plan," and revises current requirements. Specifies that
the Florida Water Plan shall include, but not be limited to, DEP programs and
activities related to water supply, water quality, flood protection, floodplain
management, and natural systems; DEP water quality standards; WMD water
management plans; and the water resource implementation plan (currently the state
water policy rule, Chapter 62-40, Florida Administrative Code). Directs each WMD
to develop a water management plan to address water supply, water quality, flood
protection, floodplain management, and natural systems. Specifies that these plans
shall be based on a 20-year planning horizon, and shall be updated every 5 years in
cooperation with private interests and other governmental entities. Specifies public
hearing requirements. Lists minimum types of information to be included in these
plans, such as all established MFLs and a districtwide water supply assessment.
Deletes less-specific provisions in the current statute that would be replaced by new
requirements. Directs WMD goveming boards to also give consideration to public
recreation and the protection of fish and wildlife when developing the plans required
under this section. Removes DEP authority to designate certain uses of a particular
water supply, and gives it to the WMDs.
Section 4: Creates s. 373.0361, F.S., related to regional water supply planning.
Directs each WMD governing board to initiate, by October 1, 1998, water supply
planning for each water supply planning region identified in its district water
management plan, where it determines that existing sources of water are inadequate
over the 20-year planning period to supply water for all existing and projected
reasonable-beneficial uses, and to sustain water resources and the related natural
systems. Requires the WMDs to assure water would be available to meet these


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)






STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 19

needs in a 1-in-10 drought event. Requires public input into this planning process.
Specifies minimum components of each regional water supply plan, including water
supply development options and time-tables and costs of water resource
development projects. Specifies that the plan for funding water resource
development shall be financially feasible. Directs the goveming boards to adopt
portions of their regional water supply plans by rule. Beginning November 15, 1997,
directs DEP to submit to the Governor and the Legislature annual reports on the
status of regional water supply planning. Specifies contents of report.
Section 5: Amends s. 373.042, F.S., to directs each WMD, beginning November
15, 1997, to annually submit to DEP for review and approval a priority list and
schedule for establishing MFLs. Specifies that the lists identify those waterbodies
which the WMD will voluntarily undertake independent scientific peer review. Directs
each WMD to publish its approved priority list in the Florida Administrative Weekly,
beginning by January 1, 1998. Significantly revises scientific peer review
procedures. Applies scientific peer review MFLs established in all 67 counties by all
five WMDs, not only to the Southwest Florida WMD in establishing MFLs for
Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Adds scientific or technical assumptions
used to develop models to the type of information subject to peer review. Specifies
that no MFL adopted by rule or formally noticed for adoption on or before May 2,
1997, shall be subject to peer review as provided in this section. Deletes obsolete
language.
Section 6: Creates s. 373.0421, F.S. to require the WMDs to consider changes and
structural alterations to wetlands, surface waters, and groundwater, and the effects
such changes have had on the water resource when establishing MFLs. Specifies
that the WMDs and DEP cannot allow significant harm caused by withdrawals.
Recognizes existence of certain historic waterbodies that no longer serve their
historic purpose, and that recovery of such waterbodies would not be economically
or technically feasible, or which would cause adverse environmental or hydrologic
impacts. Allows WMDs to decide not to set MFLs for such waterbodies. Directs the
WMDs to implement a recovery or prevention strategy if a waterbody falls below, or
is projected to fall below, its MFL within 20 years. Specifies that the recovery or
prevention strategy must include a timetable that will allow for development of
additional water supplies, etc. as an offset concurrent with any reductions in
permitted withdrawals. Requires WMDs, beginning January 1, 1998, to begin
submitting an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature on their progress in
water resource management that addresses, at a minimum, all of the elements of
this section.

Section 7: Amends s.373.046, F.S., related to interagency agreements. Allows
WMDs to establish, where project or local government boundaries cross WMD lines,
"single affected districts" for regulatory purposes.

Section 8: Amends s. 373.0693, F.S. to conform a cross-reference with statutory
changes made in section 13 of the bill.
Section 9: Amends s. 373.073, F.S. to provide for staggered appointment of
governing board members, commencing January 1, 1999. Directs Governor to
appoint governing board members who have significant experience in certain areas
of expertise. Deletes language made obsolete by the changes, and renumbers
subsections, paragraphs and sub-paragraphs throughout.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 20

Section 10: Amends s. 373.079, F.S. to provide that attorneys employed by the
WMDs shall represent the legal interests or position of the governing board. Directs
Governor to approve appointments of executive directors by their respective
goveming boards. Provides for reconfirmation of executive directors.
Section 11: Creates s. 373.0831, F.S. Expresses legislative findings. Directs the
WMDs to initiate water resource development to ensure water is available for all
existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and the environment. Specifies what
constitutes water resource development activities. Specifies the role of local
governments, government-owned and privately owned water utilities in taking the
lead on water supply development. Directs WMDs to include in their budgets
funding for water resource development projects. Specifies that water supply
development projects which meet certain criteria are eligible for state and WMD
funding assistance. Lists minimum criteria.

Section 12: Amends s. 373.139, F.S., to allow WMD lands to be used for multiple
uses, except when prohibited by a covenant or condition of conveyance.
Section 13: Amends s. 373.236, F.S. to require WUPs be issued for 20 years if
there is sufficient information to provide reasonable assurance that permit conditions
will be met, and if that duration is requested. Allows the WMDs to require a 5-year
compliance report when it is necessary to maintain reasonable assurance that the
conditions of the permit can continue to be met and to modify the permit after receipt
of the compliance report. Provides that permit modifications based on the
compliance report shall not subject the permit to competition from other uses, if there
is no increase in the permitted allocation, the duration of the permit, or no change in
source unless the WMD requests such change. Clarifies that this subsection shall
not be construed to limit the existing authority of the DEP or a WMD to modify or
revoke WUPs.
Section 14: Directs DEP, in coordination with the state Department of Health and the
appropriate WMD, to develop a proposal to re-evaluate areas of the state previously
delineated because of ethylene dibromide (EDB) and other chemical contamination
of groundwater.
Section 15: Amends s. 373.507, F.S. to require WMD basin boards to prepare
postaudits. Provides that each WMD provide: 1.) the tentative budget; 2.) the
adopted budget; 3.) the past year's expenditures; and 4.) the postaudit to the
Governor, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the chairs of the
legislative committees with substantive or appropriations jurisdiction, the secretary of
DEP, and each county in which it has jurisdiction.
Section 16: Amends s. 373.536,.F.S. to provide notice provisions for WMD budget
hearings. Requires WMDs to specifically identify administrative and operating
expenses in the budget, and how they allocated for these activities and programs in
proportion to the time, personnel, and resources devoted to them. Requires the
WMDs to submit by August 1 of each year a tentative budget to the Governor, the
Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the chairs of the legislative
committees with substantive or appropriations jurisdiction, the secretary of DEP, and
each county in which it has jurisdiction.



STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





iTORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
)ATE: May 8, 1997
*AGE 21

Section 17: Amends s. 373.59, F.S., to allow WMD lands acquired with funds from
the Water Management Lands Trust Fund to be used for permittable water resource
and water supply development projects when MFLs have been established for
priority water bodies on the land; the project complies with consumptive use
permitting criteria; and the project is compatible with the purposes for which the
lands were acquired. Deletes obsolete language.
Section 18: Amends s. 186.007, F.S., to correct a cross-reference.
Section 19: Amends s. 186.009, F.S., to correct a cross-reference.

Section 20: Amends s. 373.103, F.S., to correct a cross-reference.
Section 21: Amends s. 373.114, F.S., to correct a cross-reference.

Section 22: Amends s. 373.418, F.S., to correct a cross-reference.

Section 23: Amends s. 373.456, F.S., to correct a cross-reference.
Section 24: Amends s. 403.031, F.S., to correct a cross-reference.

Section 25: Amends s. 403.0891, F.S., to correct a cross reference.

Section 26: Repeals subsection (10) of s. 373.026, F.S.; s. 373.039, F.S.; and
subsection (33) of s. 403.061, F.S.
Section 27: Repeals s. 373.0735, F.S., effective January 1, 1999.
Section 28: Exempts from the provisions of this act the establishment and
implementation of MFLs for only those priority waterbodies in Hillsborough, Pasco
and Pinellas counties listed pursuant to Chapter 96-339, Laws of Florida, and
scientific peer review of the data, etc. used in establishing said MFLs. Provides that
MFL for the Hillsborough River and the Palm River/Tampa By-Pass Canal shall be
governed by the new law.
Section 29: Amends s. 373.1962, F.S. to specify that regional water supply
authorities are authorized to develop, construct, operate, maintain, or contract for
alternative water supplies, including desalinated water.

Section 30: Amends s. 373.1963, F.S., to provide that it is the intent of the
Legislature to encourage and facilitate the implementation of changes in governance
recommended by the West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority in its report to
the Legislature dated February 1, 1997. Directs WCRWSA to submit a supplemental
report to the Legislature on the status of implementing its prior recommendations for
changes in governance by January 5, 1998. Once reconstituted, the WCRWSA
shall:

*Acquire, in the manner prescribed, full or lesser interest in the water production,
supply, delivery and related property and facilities of the existing authority and
the similar property and facilities owned by the members of the existing authority
and either operated by an existing authority in its name or operated by a


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715s1z.wrm
DATE: May 8,1997
PAGE 24

deny the permit. Additionally, discharges under 50,000 gallons per day are
presumed to have a mixing zone of a certain size and dilution.

Section 44: Provides that this act shall take effect July 1, 1997, unless otherwise
provided herein.

III. FISCAL RESEARCH & ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT:
A. FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AGENCIES/STATE FUNDS:
1. Non-recurring Effects:

None.
2. Recurring Effects:

Indeterminate. The legislation indicates that water supply development projects
that meet certain criteria would be eligible for state funding. It does not specify
the source of the funding or from which state agency budget this funding would
be made available.
3. Long Run Effects Other Than Normal Growth:

None.
4. Total Revenues and Expenditures:

See A.2.

B. FISCAL IMPACT ON LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AS A WHOLE:
1. Non-recurring Effects:

None.
2. Recurring Effects:
The water resource development provisions of this committee substitute could
have a significant recurring fiscal impact on the WMDs. The size of the fiscal
impact cannot be determined at this time, in part because this proposed
legislation does not specify who will bear the cost of the water resource
development. For instance, the legislation requires the WMDs to "provide for the
construction, operation, and maintenance of major public works facilities for
replenishment, recapture, storage, and enhancement or surface and
groundwater resource in the district." If the WMDs pay for these major public
works facilities out of their ad valorem tax revenues, the fiscal impact on the
WMDs will be substantial. However, if these public works programs are paid for
through another funding mechanism, or cost sharing with the direct beneficiaries
of the project, the fiscal impact will not be as great


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8,1997
PAGE 25
Similarly, legislative direction for the WMDs to contribute funding assistance to
eligible water supply development projects would have an indeterminate
financial impact on the agencies' budgets.

Also, it is unknown at this time how much funding the Southwest Florida WMD
will have to contribute to the WCRWSA for water supply development.

3. Long Run Effects Other Than Normal Growth:

Indeterminate.

C. DIRECT ECONOMIC IMPACT ON PRIVATE SECTOR:
1. Direct Private Sector Costs:

Indeterminate. If the WMDs are required to bear the cost of ensuing water is
available for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses these costs will be
bome by the land-owners in the WMDs through ad valorem taxes. The WMDs
which do not already levy their maximum ad valorem tax rate may raise property
taxes to help pay for these projects.
2. Direct Private Sector Benefits:

Indeterminate, but many provisions of the committee substitute are expected to
be beneficial to the private sector. First, it expresses legislative intent for the
WMDs to "ensure sufficient water is available for all existing and future
reasonable-beneficial uses and the environment," so water should always be
plentiful to practically anyone who needs or wants it. Second, the required
phased-in implementation of MFLs could benefit the private sector, because in
the event that a reduction in water withdrawals from a particular source is
necessary in order to avoid violation of an MFL, the reduction cannot be
implemented until the WMD develops an alternative water source.
Additionally, longer-duration permits could benefit the private sector by reducing
the number of permit renewal applications (and thus the total costs) a water user
may be required to file over time. The longer-duration permits also would
provide business with a longer period in which to recover the costs of capital
investment necessary to receive and utilize the water.
3. Effects on Competition. Private Enterprise and Employment Markets:

Indeterminate. The legislative direction to the WMDs to promote the availability
of water for all existing and ftiture reasonable-beneficial uses likely would
eliminate the current potential for competition among water users for a finite
supply of water.
The three-year baitfish pilot project will likely create jobs for out-of-work
commercial fishermen. Although only seven licenses will be issued, and only
seven of the large nets can be used, a number of fishermen will hired to crew
the license-holders' boats.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE NAME: h0715siz.wrm
DATE: May 8,1997
PAGE 26

D. FISCAL COMMENTS:



IV. CONSEQUENCES OF ARTICLE VII. SECTION 18 OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION:

A. APPLICABILITY OF THE MANDATES PROVISION:
The mandates provision is not applicable to a research discussion of CS/HB 715, et
al because the bill does not require cities and counties to expend funds or to take
actions requiring the expenditure of funds.
B. REDUCTION OF REVENUE RAISING AUTHORITY:
Not applicable.
C. REDUCTION OF STATE TAX SHARED WITH COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES:
Not applicable.
V. COMMENTS:

Sections 31 and 32 are identical to provisions in HB 151, and Section 43 is identical to
HB 1195. Additionally, some of the marine fisheries language is similar to provisions in
HB 693 and CS/HB 1491.
VI. AMENDMENTS OR COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE CHANGES:

The General Govemment Appropriations Committee adopted 5 amendments on April
15, 1997, which clarify the status of regional water supply plans under Chapter 120, F.S.,
clarify and detail the requirement for the districts to submit regional water supply plans to
the Governor and Legislature, and provide additional budget reporting requirements,
including a 5-year water resources development program to be included in the tentative
budget.
On April 24, 1997, the House adopted a number of amendments to the bill, key among
them being the removal of all references to environmental compliance costs which water
and wastewater utilities could build into their rate bases, and to margin reserves as set
by the Florida Public Service Commission. Also deleted was language that would have
allowed water resource and water supply development projects on state-owned
conservation lands. The following day, the bill passed the House by a vote of 74-36.
The Senate adopted a strike-everything-after-the-enacting clause amendment on May
30, 1997, that incorporated the WCRWSA language and the provisions on demineralized
water treatment facilities, state funding for well improvements, and the marine fisheries
language. Omitted from the strike-everything amendment was the House language on
"Local Sources First." On May 1, 1997, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 38-0.
On May 2, 1997, the House passed the bill as amended by the Senate, on a vote of 114-
3.


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1/97)





STORAGE IAME: h0715slz.wrm
DATE: May 8, 1997
PAGE 27


VII. SIGNATURES:

COMMITTEE ON WATER & RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:
Prepared by: Legislative Research Director


Charles R. Fletcher/Jovce Pugh


Joyce Pugh


AS FURTHER REVISED BY THE COMMITTEE ON GENERAL GOVERNMENT
APPROPRIATIONS:
Prepared by: Legislative Research Director


Cynthia P. Kelly


Cynthia P. Kelly


FINAL RESEARCH PREPARED BY COMMITTEE ON WATER & RESOURCE
MANAGEMENT:


Prepared by:


Charles R. Fletcher


Legislative Research Director


/J y ugh


STANDARD FORM (REVISED 1197)


Prepared by:




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs