Title: The Water Management Districts' 1997 Legislative Package
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00001578/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Water Management Districts' 1997 Legislative Package
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: The Water Management Districts' 1997 Legislative Package
General Note: Box 8, Folder 7 ( Vail Conference, 1997 - 1997 ), Item 56
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00001578
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.

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TO: Honorable John F. Laurent, Chairman
Water and Resource Management Committee

Honorable Charles W. Sembler, Chairman
Environmental Protection Committee

FROM: Douglas E. Barr, Executive Director

DATE: January 6, 1997

SUBJECT: Legislative Issues for the Northwest Florida Water Management District

In preparation for the joint meeting of the Water and Resource Management Committee and the
Environmental Protection Committee on January 9, outlined below is a brief overview of priority
legislative issues for the Northwest Florida Water Management District.

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Interstate Compact

For the past several years the states of Florida, Alabama and Georgia along with the U.S. Corps of
Engineers have been conducting a Comprehensive Study of the water resources of the Apalachicola-
Chattahoochee-Flint River (ACF) Basin. The Comprehensive Study is intended to provide
information on the availability of water and the projected water needs through the year 2050 and
serve as the basis for managing the water resources of the basin. Florida's primary interests have
focused on determining the freshwater needs of Apalachicola River and Bay and working to ensure
that any interstate allocation of water accounts for the water needs of the river and bay.

Early in the study process, it was recognized that an interstate coordination mechanism would be
required to establish a water allocation plan for the ACF Basin and provide for continuing
cooperation between the states and federal agencies. Based on an examination of coordination
mechanisms used in other areas of the country, the three states elected to establish the mechanism
through enactment of an Interstate River Basin Compact. Staff from three states have been meeting
on a regular basis to prepare a compact that includes the principles and concepts for development of
water allocations and creating the "Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Commission."

The Compact will become effective when enacted into law by the legislatures of the three states
and by Congress. Each of the three states, therefore, will seek enacting legislation in 1997. Once
enacted by the states, the Compact will be submitted to Congress for ratification. Following
ratification, the Basin Commission will develop and adopt the interstate water allocations by


January 6, 1997
Page 2

December 31, 1998. If the states fail to agree on the establishment of the allocations by the identified
deadline, the Compact will automatically terminate. However, the Compact could be extended to
allow for continuation of negotiations by unanimous agreement by the states.

The ACF Basin Compact will provide an opportunity to reach agreement with the upstream states
on the levels of freshwater flow that will be received by Florida and required for the long-term
protection of the Apalachicola River and Bay system. Enactment of the Compact, therefore, is a high
legislative priority for the District and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Surface Water Improvement and Management Program (SWIM)

The SWIM Program continues to represent one of the most effective resource protection
programs available for northwest Florida. Most of the required technical work associated with the
Interstate Compact and Comprehensive Study for the Apalachicola River and Bay is being
accomplished through the SWIM Program. In addition, the District has active programs directed at
the protection and restoration of Lake Jackson in Leon County, the Escambia Bay System in Santa
Rosa and Escambia counties, and has recently initiated work on the Choctawhatchee River and Bay
System. As with all the water management districts, therefore, continued funding for the SWIM
Program is of critical importance to this District and northwest Florida.

Preservation 2000

Like the SWIM Program, Preservation 2000 is an extremely effective program for preserving and
protecting the water resources of northwest Florida. Continued funding of Preservation 2000 will
allow the District to continue efforts to acquire properties for the protection of the riverine floodplain
of the Apalachicola River (the largest river in the state) and to preserve the primary ground water
recharge areas needed to protect the spring flow of Econfina Creek, the source of public drinking
water supply for the Panama City metropolitan area. Contingent on continuation of the program,
additional acquisition efforts will be directed at the Choctawhatchee, Escambia, Yellow and Chipola
river basins. These are respectively the fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth largest river systems in the




TO: Representative John Laurent, Chairman, House Committee on
Water and Resource Management
Representative Charles W. Sembler, Chairman, House Committee
n Environmental Protection

FRO : avid W. Fisk, Assistant Executive Director, Suwannee River
SWater Management District

DATE: January 6,1997

RE: Suwannee River Water Management District 1997 Legislative

I regret that prior commitments will not allow me to participate in your
January 9, 1997, committee meetings, but I wanted to take this opportunity to
share our Legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

We, in cooperation with the other districts and the Department of
Environmental Protection, continue to strongly support Legislative
appropriations to the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM)
program and the Florida Preservation 2000 program. We are, of course,
prepared to discuss SWIM or P-2000 program funding or any other Legislative
appropriation in detail if you have any specific questions.

The Suwannee River Water Management District is also considering the
potential for federal designation of the Suwannee River region as a National
Heritage Area. Federal designation will perhaps take two to three years and
while the federal designation process does not require action by the Florida
Legislature, we are currently discussing the benefits of reviewing this
designation process with the Florida Legislature before embarking on the first
such designation in Florida. In its simplest form, designation would be the
catalyst for economic development centered on nature and historical/cultural
based tourism with potential for the region receiving significant grant and
economic development revenues from the federal government and/or
private foundations. I would stress this is a totally voluntary, non-regulatory
initiative, and if we are indeed successful, the District's leadership would be
transferred to a not-for-profit foundation formed as a private/public
partnership within three years. I would be happy to discuss this initiative
with you or individual members in more detail.

15 3 20

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S. John R WeIe Assstan Eiecut.e Okraor
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House Governmental Responsibility Council

House Water and Resource Management Committee

House Environmental Protection Committee

FROM: JOHN R. WEHLE, Asst. Executive Director
St. Johns River Water Management District

SUBJECT: SJRWMD 1997 Legislative Issues

During the upcoming Legislative session, the St. Johns River Water Management District
("SJRWMD") will strongly advocate continuation of Preservation 2000 funding and
adequate funding for Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) projects.

Other issues which SJRWMD foresees as arising during this session which could affect
the SJRWMD include:

1. Lake Apopka restoration;

2. Little Wekiva River flooding;

3. Water Supply;

4. Minimum flows and levels; and

5. Peer review.

Wiliam Segal. CH'taA Dan Roach. VIC CA*MAN, Jans T. SwaUm. TAURER Otis Mason, SET
Kathy y GrA en James H. Williams Patricia T. Harden Reid Hughes
Kathy Chinoy Grifn A Greene Jam H-WMams iucro~o ^ ^

Southwest Florida

Water Management District
2379 Broad Street Brooksville. Florida 34609-6899 1-800-423-1476 (Florida Only) or
(352) 796-7211 SUNCOM 628-4150 T.D.D. Number Only (Florida Only): 1-800-231-6103

An Equal Opponunit Emplarw

7601 Highway 301 North
Taiopo Rordo 33637-6759
1-8004360797 or (813) 985-7481
SUNCOM 578-2070

170 Century Boulevrd
Borrow. orido 33830-7700
1-80092-7862 or (941) 534-1448
SUNCOM 572200

115 Corporaion Way
Venice. Forido 34292-3524
1800320-3503 or (941) 486-1212
SUNCOM 5266900

2303 Hghway 44est
Invernes. Ronidc 34453-3809
(352) 637-1360

Roy G. Harel, Jr.
Chairman. St. Petersburg
Joe L Davis, Jr.
Vice Chairman. Wauchula
Cutis L Law
Secretary. Land O Lakes
Sally Thompson
Treasurer. Tampa
Janes L Alen
Romon F. Compo
James L Cox
Rebecca M. Eger
John P. Haride. IV
James E. Main
St. Petersburg
Virginia S. Roo
Peter G. HubbeU
Executive Director
Mark D. Farrel
f istant Executive Director
Edward B. Hetvenston
General Counsel


January 7, 1997



Representative Lee Constantine
Chair, Governmental Responsibility Council
Representative John Laurent
Chair, Water and Resource Management Committee
Representative Charles Sembler
Chair, Environmental Protection Committee

FROM: Edward T. Hobin, Legislative Affairs Coordinat94

SUBJECT: Legislative Priorities

The following is a list of SWFWMD's legislative priorities for the 1997 session:

SSupport for Seventh-year Preservation 2000 Funding. Florida has a nationally
recognized program for the protection of water resources, wetlands, forests,
wildlife habitats, and recreation space through the use of fee and less than fee
acquisition. This landmark program is a major component of that effort.

SSupport Funding Source for SWIM. The restoration of environmentally
impacted surface water bodies continues to be a high public and legislative
priority. For this important program to continue, an adequate funding source
must be found.

SSupport Changes to Chanter 373 F.S. for Local Sources First. Legislation is
needed to assure that population centers and regional water supply authorities
utilize those public water sources, including alternative supplies, that are
geographically within their boundaries before they develop sources that are
more distant. This should not be only an economic issue where the cheap water
is developed first regardless of its location.

1997 Legislative Priorities
January 7, 1997
Page 2

SSupport Chanes to Reclassify Desalination Concentrate. Currently the waste streams from
water treatment facilities that use desalination technology are classified as Industrial Waste
Discharges. This incorrect terminology results in a regulatory process that places these
facilities alongside heavy industry, and results in a public impression of unnatural chemicals
and possibly toxic or hazardous materials, when the major component from this filtration
process is simply a somewhat more concentrated salt solution. The correct terminology for
this material is a drinking water by-product

SSupport Funding for Lake/Sumter Stormwater Invetory. Heavy rains and attendant flooding
during the summer and fall of 1995 resulted in the development of an Interagency Advisory
Work Group to determine the causes and to propose solutions. This group was empaneled at
the request of Rep. Everett Kelly, and had representatives from: the Lake and Sumter County
Commissions, Cities of Bushnell, Center Hill, Coleman, Webster, and Wildwood, DCA, DEP,
DOT, DOF, FG&FWFC, Withlacoochee RPC, and the St. Johns and SW Florida Water
Management Districts. The Work Group recommendations include a Legislative request for
$750,000 to accelerate a right of way easement and drainage system inventory to assure
system maintenance and implementation of permanent solutions.

We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss in detail our priority list.

cc: Peter G. Hubbell
Edward B. Helvenston


South Florida Water Management District

1 a3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Floida 33406 (407) 686-8800 FLWATS 1-80432-2045

TO: The Honorable Charles Sembler, Environmental Protection Committee Chair
The Honorable John Laurent, Water and Resource Management Committee

FROM: Mike Slayton, Deputy Executive Director

DATE: January 7, 1997

SUBJECT: Legislative issues for the South Florida Water Management District

The Water Management Districts and the Department of Environmental Protection continue to
support strongly legislative appropriations to the Surface Water Improvement and Management
(SWIM) and the Preservation 2000 (P-2000) programs. We would be happy to discuss any
specific SWIM or P-2000 program issues or other legislative appropriations issues you may have.

Everglades Forever Actl Constitutional Amendment 5:
Background: In 1994, the Legislature passed the Everglades Forever Act (s. 373.4592, F.S.)
which established an aggressive program to restore the Everglades. This act assigns costs
based on responsibility for things such as water pollution, reduced water quantity, and
hydropattem alteration, to agriculture, federal and state agencies and the district's ad valorem tax
payers. This cost allocation formula codifies a negotiated agreement which was a part of a long-
standing federal lawsuit. In November, the electorate passed Amendment #5 which states that
those in the Everglades Agricultural Area who cause water pollution in the Everglades "shall be
primarily responsible" for paying the costs of the abatement of that pollution. After the election,
the Attorney General released an opinion stating that Amendment #5 was self-executing, and
that the Goveming Board was responsible for determining the proper funding allocations.

Present: In light of this opinion, our Goveming Board is analyzing the EFA component cost
estimates, the funding formulas and revenue projections to determine whether the current
funding formula under the EFA implements Amendment #5. The Governing Board will continue
its policy and technical discussions to come to a resolution. In the interim, the South Florida
Water Management District is moving forward on the Everglades Construction Project as well as
the research and monitoring requirements consistent with existing law.

Northwest Dade County Freshwater Lake Plan
Background: In 1984, the Legislature revised the state's wetland regulations and specifically
exempted from mitigation requirements, specific rockmining areas in Dade County. This
exemption was initially granted for 10 years, but was later extended until October, 1997. The
Legislature created the Northwest Dade County Freshwater Lake Plan Implementation
Committee (s. 373.4149, F.S.) to examine the issue and to make recommendations to the
Legislature. The Committee's final report must be finalized prior to the 1997 legislative session
to provide the Legislature an opportunity to act before the expiration date.

Present: Proposed legislation will include such recommendations as: 1) designating areas
suitable for mining and mitigation, 2) authorizing land exchanges in appropriate areas, 3)
establishing fees based on tonnage of mining materials sold, and 4) identifying plan components
that will be further analyzed and refined under the Army Corps of Engineers Restudy of the
S Central and Southem Florida Flood Control Project.
Governing Board
Valerie Boyd, Chairman William Hammond Eugene K. Pettis Samuel E. Poole Il, Executive Director
Frank Williamson, Jr., Vice Chairman Betsy Krant Nathaniel P. Reed Michael Slayton, Deputy Executive Director
William E. Graham Richard A. Machek Miriam Singer

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 24680, West Palm Beach, FL 33416-4680


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