(1) The Department of Environmental Protection shall study the efficacy and applicability of water quality and wastewater treatment standards needed to achieve nitrogen reductions protective of surface and groundwater quality within the Wekiva Study Area and report to the Governor and the Department of Community Affairs. The Department of Environmental Protection may adopt rules to implement the specific recommendations set forth in sections C.2. and C.4. of its report entitled “A Strategy for Water Quality Protection: Wastewater Treatment in the Wekiva Study Area,” dated December 2004, in order to achieve nitrogen reductions protective of surface and groundwater quality in the Wekiva Study Area and implement Recommendation 8 of the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee’s final report dated March 16, 2004. The rules shall provide an opportunity for relief from such specific recommendations upon affirmative demonstration by the permittee or permit applicant, based on water quality data, physical circumstances, or other credible information, that the discharge of treated wastewater is protective of surface water and groundwater quality with respect to nitrate nitrogen as set forth in section C.1. of the referenced December 2004 report.
(2) The Department of Health, in coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection, shall study the efficacy and applicability of onsite disposal system standards needed to achieve nitrogen reductions protective of groundwater quality within the Wekiva Study Area including publicly owned lands and report to the Governor and the Department of Community Affairs no later than December 1, 2004. Based on the December 2004 report, the Department of Health shall, if appropriate, by March 1, 2005, initiate rulemaking to achieve nitrogen reductions protective of water quality or recommend legislation for any additional statutory authority needed to implement the report recommendations. The study shall consider:
(a) For new developments within the Wekiva Study Area and any existing development within the Wekiva River Protection Area using onsite disposal systems, a more stringent level of wastewater treatment, including, but not limited to, the use of multiple tanks to combine aerobic and anaerobic treatment to reduce the level of nitrates.
(b) The implementation of a septic tank maintenance and inspection program which includes upgrading certain onsite disposal systems permitted prior to 1982 to meet minimum Department of Health standards; replacement of failing systems and systems not meeting current standards; and providing funding mechanisms for supporting a septic tank inspection and maintenance program.
(3) The St. Johns River Water Management District shall initiate rulemaking to:
(a) Amend the recharge criteria in rule 40C-41.063(3), Florida Administrative Code, to apply to all recharge lands within the Wekiva Study Area.
(b) Adopt a consolidated environmental resources permit/consumptive use permit for projects that require both an environmental resource permit and a consumptive use permit that involve irrigation of urban landscape, golf course, or recreational areas.
(4) By March 1, 2005, the St. Johns River Water Management District in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection, shall initiate rulemaking to amend the recharge criteria in rule 40C-41.063(3), Florida Administrative Code, to provide that the postdevelopment recharge volume conditions within the Wekiva Study Area approximate predevelopment recharge volume conditions. The district shall study and undertake this rulemaking to accomplish this standard on a development-specific basis. The rule shall permit the utilization of existing permitted municipal master stormwater systems with adequate capacity to meet the new standards in lieu of onsite retention and shall provide applicants with the ability to submit appropriate geotechnical information demonstrating that a specific site is not within a most effective recharge area of the Wekiva springshed.
(5) The St. Johns River Water Management District shall complete an assessment of the significance of water uses below the current consumptive use permit thresholds in the Wekiva Study Area to determine if rulemaking should be initiated to lower consumptive use permit thresholds.
(6) The St. Johns River Water Management District shall conduct an analysis of the impact of redevelopment projects in the Wekiva River basin upon aquifer recharge and shall consider whether to adopt a rule amendment to require those redevelopment projects exceeding a specified threshold to meet the Wekiva Basin recharge criteria. The effect of redevelopment upon aquifer recharge shall be analyzed, and then the costs of regulation shall be analyzed.
(7) By December 1, 2007, the St. Johns River Water Management District shall update the minimum flows and levels standards for Rock Springs and Wekiva Springs. Further, the district shall revise the consumptive use permit thresholds in the Wekiva Study Area to address proposed water withdrawals above 50,000 gallons per day. Revisions to the consumptive use thresholds shall provide for a general permit, if possible, and include a transition period that allows continued access to water supply for users that were not previously subject to the permitting process.
(8) By December 1, 2005, the St. Johns River Water Management District shall establish pollution load reduction goals for the Wekiva Study Area to assist the Department of Environmental Protection in adopting total maximum daily loads for impaired waters within the Wekiva Study Area by December 1, 2006.
(9) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall be the lead agency in coordinating the reduction of agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall study, and if necessary, initiate rulemaking to implement new or revised best management practices for improving and protecting water bodies, including those basins with impaired water bodies addressed by the Total Maximum Daily Loads Program.