HOPPING GREEN SAMS & SMITH
ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS
JAMES S. ALVES GARY K. HUNTER, JR.
BRIAN H. BIBEAU 123 SOUTH CALHOUN STREET JONATHAN T. JOHNSON
KATHLEEN BLIZZARD POST OFFICE BOX 6526 ROBERT A. MANNING
ELIZABETH C. BOWMAN ANGELA R. MORRISON
RICHARD S. BRIGHTMAN TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA323 14 GARY V. PERKO
PETER C. CUNNINGHAM KAREN M. PETERSON
RALPH A. DeMEO (904) 222-7500 MICHAEL P. PETROVICH
THOMAS M. DrROSE R. SCOTT RUTH
WILLIAM H. GREEN FAX (904) 224-8551 W. STEVE SYKES
WADE L. HOPPING F (904)4253415 T. KENT WETHERELL, II
FRANK E. MATTHEWS
RICHARD D. MELSON OF COUNSEL
DAVID L. POWELL W. ROBERT FOKES
WILLIAM D. PRESTON
CAROLYN S. RAEPPLE
DOUGLAS S. ROBERTS MA .
OARY P. SAMS MEMORANDUM -. .
ROBERT P. SMITH
CHERYL G. STUART.
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Wade Hopping, Frank Matthews E .. .
RE: Executive Order No. 96-297
DATE: October 11, 1996
The enclosed handout from the Governor's office first workshop on water supply and
funding are interesting and troubling. A close look at Executive Order 96-297 reveals the
Executive Branch is seeking to implement a number of issues and initiatives that were either not
approved by the 1996 Legislature, or outright rejected by the Legislature.
A brief summary of the Executive Order indicates the following:
(1) Minimum flow and level priorities are to be designated by November 15, 1996
for surface water courses and aquifers within all 5 water management districts.
(That gives all 5 water management districts 45 days [now 35 days] to develop
a priority list.)
(2) Unpromulgated non-rule guidance is given to water management districts
regarding minimum flows and levels. Without any legislative directive and to a
certain extent contrary to votes taken by the House Select Committee on Water,
water management districts are directed to establish and implement by 1999,
minimum flows and levels that sustain natural systems without any explicit regard
to existing or future consumptive uses by man.
(3) The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the water management
districts are directed to integrate water supply and land planning over a 20 year
horizon. How this differs from the existing elaborate comprehensive planning
process is unclear. In addition, by October, 1998 regions which water
management districts determine have "inadequate sources of water" must initiate
October 11, 1996
water supply planning. These plans are to be completed in 18 months, provide
feasible water supply options with costs and funding recommendations, and must
incorporate minimum flows and levels required by Section 2 of the Executive
Order. This planning layer was precisely what was criticized in the many House
versions of the Select Committee's PCBs.
(4) The public hearing or outreach section of the Executive Order is what was
initiated on September 30, 1996. One of the objectives of the outreach effort is
to compile a report by February 1, 1997 for the 1997 legislative session.
However, the actions undertaken as a result of Sections 1-3 of the Executive
Order, will already put into motion actions which the Legislature has not adopted
(5) Finally, the Executive Order directs DEP to develop a report summarizing what,
if any, of the Water Management District Review Commission's 88
recommendations have been, or would be, implemented. We have already heard
from all water management districts that over a dozen require new legislative
authority and that approximately 20 will not be implemented.
I would not want to prejudge the outcome of the Governor's office outreach program,
but the minimum flow and level planning initiatives promoted by Sections 1-3 of the Executive
Order may put into motion flawed and inappropriate flows and levels which could serve as
severe limitations or restrictions on development. Serious consideration should be given to
whether the Executive Order, usurps legislative prerogatives and results in agencies exceeding
their legislatively created and delegated authority. If the Executive Order is implemented
without challenge, then remedial and superseding legislative action may be required in 1997.
cc: Senator Charles Bronson Representative John Laurent
Senator Jack Latvala Representative Buzz Ritchie
Senator Rick Dantzler Representative Daniel Webster
Representative John Rayson