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TO: CLYDE HOBBY
FROM: FRED REEVES
DATE: JANUARY 30, 1997
RE: PROPOSED DRAFTS OF SEC. 373.1715
I have reviewed two similar drafts of proposed Sec.
373.1715, one entitled "Subcommittee Report (Consensus Not
Reached)" and the other entitled "Alternative Proposal of DEP".
I. Subcommittee Report
1. Paragraph 1 would unacceptably delay the implementation of
mfls. The language stating that, if mfls are below the minimum
level or projected to fall below the minimum level, water
resource development strategies and other actions are to be
initiated so that mfls will recover "as soon as practicable" will
have the effect of delaying the implementation of adopted mfls
for years, since new or alternative sources of water can take an
extremely long time to bring online.
2. While mfls are delayed in their implementation,
environmental damage would continue to occur in stressed areas
(e.g., areas suffering from overpumpage from wellfields),
significant harm continues to occur to the water resource, and
damage continues to occur to private owners' property and
3. Delay in implementation of mfle is virtually guaranteed by
the requirement in paragraph 1 that "(a)ny such strategies or
actions shall include phasing or a timetable that will allow the
development and implementation of conservation or efficiency
measures and water resource development...in conjunction with,
and to the extent practicable concurrent with, any reductions in
permitted allocations or current withdrawals of existing users."
4. "Phasing" or "timetable" requirements that allow for new
conservation and water sources again could delay implementation
of mfls for years, with the resulting harm to the environment,
water resources, and private property. New water sources are
expensive and take an extremely long time to come online, and
impacted areas such as the wellfield areas in Pasco don't have
that much time to wait.
5. Paragraph 2, requires that preexisting alterations to
surface waters be considered when establishing mfls. This comes
dangerously close to grandfathering impacts which may have
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January 30, 1997
occurred prior to mfl adoption, and should not play a part in mfl
6. Mfls should be established, as presently required by Sec.
373.042, at an environmentally sustainable level, without
considering mitigation, grandfathering of impacts, and related
issues. These issues could be addressed in the permitting
process or other rule criteria.
II. Alternative Proposal by DEP
7. Paragraph 1 changes "water resource development strategies
and other actions" to "a recovery or prevention strategy", but my
same criticisms to the "Subcommittee Report" paragraph 1 would
apply to DEP's paragraph 1.
8. For paragraph 2, my same criticisms to the "Subcommittee
Report" paragraph 2 would apply.
III. Exemption to Legislation
9. If this legislation becomes law, those areas and waters
identified in Sec. 373.042(2), Fla. Stat. (1996 Supp.)(priority
areas and waters for establishment of mfls for surface
watercourses, aquifers, and surface water in Hillsborough, Pasco
and Pinellas counties) should be exempted from the law's
operation and effect so that no delay results in the
implementation of mfls in these highly stressed areas.