Rules of the Department of Environmental Regulation

Material Information

Rules of the Department of Environmental Regulation
Alternate Title:
Rules of the Department of Environmental Regulation, Water Policy. Draft No. 3
Publication Date:
Physical Description:


Subjects / Keywords:
Water resources ( jstor )
Water quality ( jstor )
Water usage ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


General Note:
Box 2, Folder 3A ( STATE WATER POLICY ), Item 24
Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Page 10

(4) Flood plain vegetation and natural landforms shall

be protected where appropriate to prevent or reduce

flood damage. s.373.016(2) (d) (e) and (f) .

(a) Dredging, filling, or other alteration of

floodplain vegetation and natural landforms

shall not be undertaken unless it can be shown

that the potential for flood damage is not


(b) Floodplain and natural landform restoration

shall be undertaken in areas where previous

alteration has increased the potential for

flood damage and where restoration is:

(i) cost-effective; or

(ii) necessary to protect public health or


(5) The Department and Districts shall implement a

program to insure the structural safety of dams and

related works.

17-X.08 Wetlands Protection and Floodplain Management

(1) The water uses of wetlands and floodplains are

reasonable-beneficial uses.

(a) Water resources shall be reserved in quantities

and quality sufficient to protect wetlands ad

(b) Water resources shall be reserved in quantities

and quality sufficient to meet the freshwater

needs of estuaries.

(c) Minimum flows and levels shall be established

to protect wetlands r-"t d _fm lu i -1

(2) The natural capacity of wetlands and floodplains to

provide for reasonable-beneficial uses shall be

protected and utilized, including:

(a) Providing for recreation in and on the water;

(b) Providing for fish and wildlife habitats and

the passage of anadromous fish species;

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(c) Maintenance of estuarine resources including

the transfer of detrital material;

(d) Maintenance of freshwater storage and supply;

(e) Providing aesthetic and scenic attributes;

(f) Filtration and absorption of nutrients and

other pollutants;

(g) Reduction of sediment loads; and,

(h) Water quality protection of potable water


(3) Wetlands and floodplains shall not be drained,

discharged into, dredged, filled, or otherwise

altered unless the beneficial values listed in 17-

X.08(2) are fully considered and:

(a) preserved or enhanced;

(b) provided in another manner; or

(c) determined to be of a lesser social, economic,

and environmental value than the purpose of the

proposed alteration.

(4) Water and related land management programs shall be

undertaken by the Department or Districts which

protect or compensate for the previous alteration of

the natural hydroperiod of wetlands and floodplains.

(5) The Department and Districts shall sek 9 acquire / /

wetlands or floodplains where ,.-ai i .-l Lh..j,,

(6) Freshwate springs shall be identified and protected

as integral arts of wetlands and floodplains and as

unique hy rol ical sites.

17-X.09 Water Resource Projects

(1) Structural and non-structural project alternatives

shall be given equal consideration in water resource

project decisions.

(2) The amount of Federal matching funds available shall

not be a factor in the selection between project


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(3) Water resource projects of particular benefit to

limited segments of the population should be financed

by those most directly benefited.

17-X.10 Exceptions

(1) Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the

state as provided in Chapters 253, 373, and 403,

Florida Statutes.

(2) In addition, subject to the provisions of Chapter

120, Florida Statutes, exceptions to this policy may

be granted by the Department or District where:

(a) Particular natural or man-induced circumstances

prevent compliance with certain requirements;


(b) A course of action inconsistent with stated

policy better serves the public interest.

(3) The Department or District shall specify the require-

ments which must be met in lieu of the requirements

for which exception is sought.

17-X.11 Implementation

(1) Corrective action shall be taken where conditions of

development, or other alterations of water or land,

prevent or threaten to prevent the attainment of

reasonable-beneficial uses of water or otherwise

conflict with the public interest, s.373.016(2) (a).

(a) The State Water Plan, which shall include the

regional water use plans submitted to the

department by each water management district,

shall be consistent with requirements of

s.373.036, Florida Statutes, and the state

water policy, s.373.016(3).

(b) The State Water Plan shall identify specific

geographical areas where water shortages,

flooding, over-drainage, water quality degrada-

tion or other environmental problems have

reached, or will reach, critical levels.

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(i) A course of remedial action which is

consistent with the provisions of this

policy shall be specified for each

critical problem.

(ii) Measures may include federal public works

programs; state water resources restoration

projects; purchase of lands by the state;

enforcement of state laws and rules; and

local government activities conducted

pursuant to a local government comprehensive

plan, local ordinance, or zoning regulation.

s.373.016; 373.036.

(2) Administration of state water laws and policies

shall be responsive to the needs of the public.

(a) Water laws shall be uniformly administered to

the greatest extent practicable, but standards

and regulations shall take into account differ-

ing regional water resource characteristics,

and needs, s.373.016(3).

(b) The state water policy shall be reviewed period-

ically, but in no case less frequently than

once every four years. Revisions, if any,

shall be adopted by rule. s.373.016(3).

(c) Each water management district may adopt re-

gional water policies based upon the policies

set forth in this rule. In the event that the

state water policy is revised pursuant to (b),

each district policy shall be revised accord-

ingly. s.373.016(3).

(d) Department and water management district rules

shall be consistent with the state water policy.

(e) The Department and Districts shall review all

Local Government Comprehensive Plans and inform

local government of potential conflicts with

state water policy.

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(3) Water quality, quantity, and land management shall

be integrated to the greatest extent practicable.

(a) Water Quantity shall be a major consideration

in all water quality management decisions, and


(b) The requirements of Adopted Legal Government

Comprehensive Plans shall be a major considera-

tion in all water quantity and quality manage-

ment decisions.

(c) The Department and Districts shall assist local

government in the development of plans, ordinances,

or other programs, which are consistent with

the requirements of state water policy.

(d) Duplication of water quality and quantity

permitting functions shall be eliminated where

appropriate through the use of joint permitting

forms, collocation of offices and delegation or

consolidation of agency responsibilities.

(4) The Department and Districts shall assist state

universities in the development of educational

curricula and research programs which meet Florida's

present and future water management needs.

(5) Interstate agreements and cooperative programs with

Alabama and Georgia shall be undertaken to provide

for coordinated management of interstate waters.

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17-X.01 Declaration and Intent

(1) Article II, Section 7 of he Florida Constitution

requires abatement of wa er pollution, and conser-

vation and protection of Florida's natural resources

and scenic beauty.

(2) Section 373.016(1) (2), Florida Statutes, declares

that the waters in the state are among its basic

resources, and that sich waters have not heretofore

been conserved or fu ly controlled as to realize

their full beneficial use. In addition, this section

,, declares it to be he policy of the Legislature:

S(a) to provide f r the management of water and

related land' resources;

(b) to promote the conservation, development, and

Proper utilization of surface and ground water;

(c) to develop and regulate dams, impoundments,

reservoirs and other works and to provide water

storage for beneficial purposes;

(d) to prevent damage from flood, soil erosion, and

excessive drainage;

(e) to preserve natural resources, fish and wildlife;

(f) to promote recreational development, protect

public lands, and assist in maintaining the

navigability of rivers and harbors; and

(g) otherwise, to promote the health, safety and

general welfare of the people of this state.

(3) Furthermore, the Florida Legislature in Section

373.016(3), Florida Statutes, vested in the Depart-

ment of Environmental Regulation the power and

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responsibility to accomplish the conservation,

protection, management and control of the waters of

the s ate and with sufficient flexibility and dis-

cretioyp to accomplish these ends through delegation

of appropriate powers to the various water management

district s. The Legislature further provided that

the Depa tment may exercise any power granted to a

water ma agement district but "to the greatest

extent pr cticable, such power should be delegated

to the gov rning board of a water management dis-


(4) Section 403 021, Florida Statutes, declares that the

public policy of the state is to conserve the waters

of the state and to protect, maintain and improve

the quality th reof for public water supplies, for

the propagatio\ of wildlife, fish and other aquatic

life, and for domestic, agricultural, industrial,

recreational, and other beneficial uses. It also

prohibits the discharge of wastes into Florida

waters without treatment necessary to protect those

beneficial uses of the waters.

(5) Chapter 253, Florida Statutes, gives control of

submerged lands and associated water resources to

the State by right of sovereignty in navigable

freshwater lakes, rivers\ and streams, and sets forth

management statements for\such areas; requires

biological surveys, ecological studies, and hydro-

logic surveys to be completed for sovereignty areas

before a permit may be issues for the removal or

placement of sand, rock, eartl or other solid mate-

rials within sovereignty areas\ to determine if such

actions will interfere with the\ conservation of

aquatic or terrestrial wildlife resources and habi-

tat, and if such actions will obstruct or alter the

natural flow of navigable water to an extent con-

trary to the public interest.

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(6) The Departm nt finds tha the aforementioned dec-

larations of policy direction from the Florida

Constitution, t e F /rida Water Resources Act of

1972, the Land Ac isition Trust Fund, and the

Florida Air and at r Pollution Control Act provide

a sound base or the management of Florida's water


(7) ,, he Department also recognizes that the

Complexity of water management, with the increasing

competition for use of the state's finite water

resources, has led to the necessity for a more

refined, categorical set of management guidelines.

In response to this substantial need, the Department

has developed the water policy directives as set

forth in this Chapter to insure the conservation,

protection, management and reasonable-beneficial use

of the waters, f the state.

(8) The water policy directives set forth in this Chapter

are intended to provide general policy guidance to

the Department and water management districts in the

development of more detailed and regional specific

policy, ruagu ntin, and plans. The Department

recognizes that, due to particular circumstances,

\ exceptions to general policy may be required. Such

--^ exception may be granted by the Department or water

management district subject to the provisions of
SFlorida Administrative Law.


17-X.02 Transferability of Definitions

(1) Definitions contained in Chapters 23, 373, and 403,

Florida Statutes, and those definitions contained in

other chapters of the Department's rules may be

utilized to clarify the meaning of terms used herein

z unless such terms are defined in this section, or

^ unless the transfer of such definition would defeat

the purpose or alter the intended effect of the

provisions of this Chapter 35 ^ 65

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(2) When appearing in this chapter, the following words

shall, unless the context clearly indicates other-

wise, mean:

(a) "Department" means the Department of Environ-

mental Regulation.

(b) "District" means a water management district

created pursuant to Chapter 373, Florida Statutes.

(c) "Basin" means a basin established/by a- ___a

and administered by a basin governing board.

(d) "Flood Hazard Area" means

(e) "Wetland" means

(f) "Floodplain" means

(g) "Water Resource Project" means

(h) "Safe Yield" means

(i) "Present and Future Most Beneficial Use" means


17-X.03 Water Use

( S An adequate and affordable supply of water hall/be

sought for all reasonable-beneficial uses. s.373.016

(2) (b) and (g).

f/ ) All waters of the state shall be managed to
maximize reasonable-beneficial uses. s.373.016

(2) (a) (b)(f).

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/5 The use of water to suppo natural systems,
including such uses which ob urally is a

reasonable-beneficial use. s.373.016(2) (b)

and (e).

(c No/person may take water for other than a

easonable-beneficial use. s.373.016(1) (2) (b)

/nand" (e).

(d) Waters sJl1 be managed to achieve multiple

reasonable-beneficial uses where appropriate.

s.373.016 (2) (b) (c) (e).

(e) A water use which causes a violation of water

o, quality standards is not a reasonable-beneficial

;i (f) A water use which causes an increase in flooding
/ !
or potential flood damage is not a reasonable-

beneficial use.

S / (2) A reasonable-beneficial use shall be preserved

unless a competing reasonable-beneficial use better

serves the public interest, s.373.223(1) and (2).

S(3) An existing legal use shall be preserved during the

term of a permit. s.373.223(1) (6).

S(4) The determination of the reasonable-beneficial use
\ of water shall be based upon consideration of:

\ (a) The demonstrated need for the use.

\ \ (b) The suitability of the use to the source of

(c) The social, economic and environmental value of

the use.

(d) The extent and amount of social, economic or

environmental harm caused.

(e) The practicality of avoiding the harm by adjust-

ing the use or method of use.

(f) The efficiency of use.

(g) The practicality of adjusting the quantity to
be used.

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(h) The practicality of reuse, or the use of waters

of more suitable quality.

(i) The projected demand for r


S(j) The amount of land owned or legally controlled

by the user.

(k) The extent and amount of water quality degrada-

l tion caused.

(1) Other factors which the state may deem appro-


17-X.04 Water Supply Development

(1) [Intracoun intrabasin, and intradistrict water

supplies should be developed to the maximum extent/
practicable prior to consideration of (ntercounty,

interbasin or interdistrict transfers.

(2) The transfer of water supplies across water manage-

ment district, basin, or county boundaries which the

state determines to have regional significance may

be undertaken if the transfer is a reasonable-

beneficial use, does not interfere with existing

legal uses, and is in the public interest.

(3) In deciding if the proposed transfer is in the

public interest, the Department or District shall

consider 'whether:

(a) A comprehensive water conservation and reuse

program is implemented and enforced in the area

of need.

(b) The major costs and benefits are adequately

determined for both the supplying and the

receiving areas.
(c) The transfer is the most economical method to

supply water for the given purpose.
(d) The projected water needs of the supplying and

the receiving areas are reasonably determined

and can be met if the transfer takes place.

(e) The transfer plan incorporates a regional

approach to water supply and distribution

including, where appropriate, plans for eventual

SD ^ T 10/28/80
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interconnection of water supply sources.

s.373.016(1) (2)(b)(g).

(f) The supplying area is not deprived of the prior

right to the reasonable beneficial use of the

water transferred.

17-X.05 Water Conservation

(1) Conservation of water shall be a requirement of

reasonable-beneficial use,, s. 373. 016 (2) (a) and (b) .

(a) Water resource be managed such that the

"safe yield" 1 u LL' ------ F 1 r_ is not

exceeded. s.373.016(2) (a) (b) and (g).

(b) Water use permits shall require conservation as

a condition of the permit.

(c) The use and reuse of nonpotable water supplies

of the lowest acceptable quality for each

intended use shall required where appropri-

ate. s.373.031 ) (2)(b)(g).

(2) A salt water barrier line shall be established and

enforced throughout coastal areas of the state.

s.373.016(2) (b) .

(3) Drainage or artificial recharge which adversely

impacts reasonable-beneficial uses of water shall be

prevented or eliminated, s.373.016(2)(d).

(4) The natural aquifer recharge characteristics of land

shall be protected to the greatest extent practicable.

s.373.016(2) (c) and (f).

(5) The natural water storage characteristics of land

shall be protected to the greatest extent practicable.

17-X.06 Water Quality

(1) Water quality standards shall protect the present

and future most beneficial uses of all waters of the

state, s.403.021(2) (6).

(a) Present and future most beneficial uses shall

be designated by the state for the purpose of

establishing water quality standards.

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(b) Water quality standards shall be established

and enforced to preserve the uses designated by

the state.

(c) Potable water supplies, waters of exceptional

recreational or ecological significance, and

waters which contain commercially harvested

shellfish shall be identified and protected

from degradation.

(2) Waste treatment shall be required to the extent

necessary to achieve water quality standards or to

prevent degradation pursuant to 17-X.06(1)(c).

(a) Point sources of pollution shall be controlled

as specified in Chapters 17-3, 17-4, and 17-6,

Florida Administrative Code.

(b) Non-point sources of pollution, including

pollution from stormwater runoff, shall be

controlled as specified in s. 17-4.248, Florida

Administrative Code.

17-X.07 Flood Prevention and Control

(1) Flood hazard areas shall be managed to prevent loss

of life and property.

(a) Plans, projects and budget requests subject to

state approval shall reflect consideration of

flood hazard management.

(b) The Department and Districts shall designate,

or assist local government, in the designation

of flood hazard areas.

(c) The Department and Districts shall assist local

government in the development and implementa-

tion of floodplain ordinances.

(d) Flood hazard information shall be provided to

the general public and to lending institutions

where appropriate.

(e) Construction in a designated flood hazard area

shall not be undertaken unless:

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(i) the construction is designed to with-

stand the damaging effects of flooding;

(ii) the construction does not cause a

significant increase in flooding; and

(iii) the construction is consistent with the

achievement of reasonable-beneficial

uses of waters, s.373.016(2) (a) and (d).

(f) Facilities financed in whole or in part by a

state agency shall not be constructed in

designated flood hazard areas unless the

criteria listed in 17X.07(1)(e) are met and

their purpose expressly requires such location,

(2) Water resource programs shall be sought which pre-

vent or reduce flood damage.

(a) Structural and non-structural alternatives

shall be given equal consideration.

(b) Programs shall be sought for the mitigation of

damage caused by the construction and operation

of flood control projects.

(c) Funding shall be sought for the acquisition of

floodplains, wetlands, and other natural water

storage areas where consistent with the achieve-

ment of reasonable-beneficial uses of water.

(3) Stormwater runoff shall be controlled to prevent

increased flooding. S.373.016(2)(d);

(a) Retention, detention, or other control measures

which prevent an increase in off-site flooding

shall be required in areas of new development.

(b) Retention, detention, or other control measures

shall be required in areas of existing develop-

ment where such controls are necessary to

prevent or reduce flood damage and are:

(i) cost-effective; or

(ii) necessary to protect public health or