021 0/1/1997 11:41
LEHTINEN, O'DONNELL, VARGAS & REINER
ATTORNEY'S AT LAW
Phone No. (305) 279-1166
Facsimile (305) 279-1365
7700 NoGil Kendall Drive
Miami, Forida 33156
FACSIMILE COVER SHEET
PLEASE DELIVER IMMEDIATELY!
February 10, 1997
Dion& C. Carroll
Jake Vain 904-224-1585 904-222-0398
Butch Calhoun 904-877-3181 954-877-0981
Eva Armstrong 904-222-2473 954-224-6056
Oel Wingo 352-629-8401 352-629-8391
Wade Hopping 904-222-7500 904-224-8551
Chuck Littlejohn 904-222-7535 904-681-8796
David Guest 904-681-0031 904-681-0020
Bram Canter 904-222-3533 904-222-2126
John McCue 904-926-8876 904-926-2071
Mike Slayton 561-687-6540 561-687-6200
Janet Llewellyn 904-488-0784 904-922-5380
Charles Pattison 904-488-2356 904-488-3309
Chuck Aller 904-488-3022 904-488-7585
Fred Rapach 407-641-3426
JoAnn Chase 904-413-7003 904-413-7004
Keith Hetrick 904-224-4316 904-224-1359
Debbie Drake 904-222-0973
E.D. "Sonny" Vergara 941-741-3049 941-741-3058
Gene Adams 904-224-1400 904-224-0702
Philip P-arsons I 904-681-0311 904-224-5595
Cascy Gluckman 904-421-0152 904-421-2426
Steve Walker 561-640-0820 561-640-8202
William R. Whitson 904-623-3817 904-626-7570
Bill Segal, Chairman 904-329-4500 904-329-4125
Pam McVety 904-488-7454 904-414-0060
John Williams 904-413-6986 904-413-6987
Roy A. Reynolds 954-831-0767 954-831-0708
Mercer Fearington, Jr. 904-224-1215 904-222-8826
Paula Allen 904-488-5551 904-922-6200
Attached, please find Draft Consolidated Recommendations.
This facsimile consists of 4 page(s). If you do not receive all the pages, or if you encounter
any other difficulty, please contact Marcia at the phone number listed above.
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38527913. LEH-TINEN ODONNELL
82/18/1997 11:41 30527913-4 ,EHTINEN ODONNEL. PAGE 83
ATTONeN'S AT LAW
A PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION
VARGAS & ELNER
TO: Water Supply Development and Funding Work Group
Core Committee Members
RE: Draft Consolidated Recommendations
As a representative of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
(the "Tribe"), I have participated in the vast majority of
meetings of the working group, which has been contemplating
various drafts of a set of comprehensive Water Supply Development
and Funding Recommendations. The ostensible design of the group
is to attain consensus. No representative of the Tribe was
appointed to the "Core" group, but speaking on behalf of the
Tribe and Florida Bay Initiative, Inc. ("FBII"), clearly
interested parties, there remain substantial outstanding
objections to the recommendations.
The objections include, but are not limited to, the following:
Minimum Flows and Levels -- Language in these
recommendations which allows "recovery to the established
minimum flow or level as soon as practicable" and otherwise
diminishes the definition and role of such flows and levels
is completely inappropriate. See 2/4/97 Draft at 6-7.
Minimum flows and levels are regulatory and enforcement
tools to protect all users of water. Immediate adoption of
minimum flows and levels, which require immediate
enforcement for priority water bodies and immediate
implementation of recovery and prevention strategies, is
therefore the only appropriate action. Further delay,
inherent in the planning process, only serves to reinforce
the 25-year non-compliance by state agencies.
Furthermore, the draft states:
When establishing minimum flows and levels,
DEP or the WMDs shall consider alterations to
surface waters which were authorized by a
permit issued under parts I or IV of Chapter
373, F.S., which are exempt from permitting
under those provisions, or which existed
7700 N. KENDALL DRIVE, SurrE 303 MiAMI, FLOIDA 33156 TELEPHONE (305) 279-1166 FAX (305) 279-1365
38527913E5 L,-iTINEN ODONNELIL.
prior to those provisions, and any effects
such alterations have had, including any
constraints they have placed, on the
hydrology of water courses, surface water
bodies, or groundwaters. This provision does
not limit or require water resource
Though this language is largely ambiguous, it implies a
prior appropriation of water and hydrological alterations,
which represents an unacceptable departure from traditional
state water policy and a vesting of water rights.
* Vesting of water rights -- There is a disturbing trend in
recent proposed policies toward the vesting of water rights
with existing water users. This trend is apparent in the
proposal advocating and encouraging issuance of long-term
(20 year) consumptive use permits, and permit review which
is not subject to competing uses. See 2/4/97 Draft at 9.
This is clearly a shift in water policy toward a policy of
prior appropriation (Western Water Law) and away from
Florida's long-standing policy of reasonable beneficial use
of water in the public interest.
* Environmental water needs -- There must be a recognition
that the needs of the environment must take first priority.
As water becomes more scarce, the tendency will inevitably
be to withdraw water needed by the natural system in order
to support the immediate needs of competing water users.
Exploring water supply alternatives is a useful endeavor. The
recommendations, however, go beyond that goal and address issues
at the very heart of long-standing water policy of the state.
Legislative or other policy treatment of such issues is extremely
unwise, absent complete and thorough study and consideration.
The natural system is the foundation for life. Its protection is
of the highest importance.
cc: Paula Allen, Governor's Office