June 24, 2019
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_h1839__
HB 1839

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to total maximum daily loads; amending s.
3403.067, F.S.; providing for the attainment of pollutant
4reductions for the restoration of impaired waters;
5revising provisions for the allocation of allowable
6pollutant loads; authorizing the Department of
7Environmental Protection to adopt phased total maximum
8daily loads for specific purposes; providing for the
9development of basin management action plans; revising
10provisions for the implementation of total maximum daily
11loads; authorizing the department to adopt rules for the
12permitting of basin management action plans; requiring the
13department to submit a report to the Governor, the
14President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
15Representatives prior to adopting rules for pollutant
16trading; amending ss. 373.4595 and 570.085, F.S.;
17correcting cross references; providing an effective date.
18
19Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
20
21     Section 1.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) and subsections
22(6), (7), (8), and (11) of section 403.067, Florida Statutes,
23are amended to read:
24     403.067  Establishment and implementation of total maximum
25daily loads.--
26     (2)  LIST OF SURFACE WATERS OR SEGMENTS.--In accordance
27with s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, 33
28U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq., the department must submit periodically
29to the United States Environmental Protection Agency a list of
30surface waters or segments for which total maximum daily load
31assessments will be conducted. The assessments shall evaluate
32the water quality conditions of the listed waters and, if such
33waters are determined not to meet water quality standards, total
34maximum daily loads shall be established, subject to the
35provisions of subsection (4). The department shall establish a
36priority ranking and schedule for analyzing such waters.
37     (d)  If the department proposes to implement total maximum
38daily load calculations or allocations established prior to the
39effective date of this act, the department shall adopt those
40calculations and allocations by rule by the secretary pursuant
41to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 and paragraph (6)(c)(d).
42     (6)  CALCULATION AND ALLOCATION.--
43     (a)  Calculation of total maximum daily load.--
44     1.  Prior to developing a total maximum daily load
45calculation for each water body or water body segment on the
46list specified in subsection (4), the department shall
47coordinate with applicable local governments, water management
48districts, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
49other appropriate state agencies, local soil and water
50conservation districts, environmental groups, regulated
51interests, and affected pollution sources to determine the
52information required, accepted methods of data collection and
53analysis, and quality control/quality assurance requirements.
54The analysis may include mathematical water quality modeling
55using approved procedures and methods.
56     2.  The department shall develop total maximum daily load
57calculations for each water body or water body segment on the
58list described in subsection (4) according to the priority
59ranking and schedule unless the impairment of such waters is due
60solely to activities other than point and nonpoint sources of
61pollution. For waters determined to be impaired due solely to
62factors other than point and nonpoint sources of pollution, no
63total maximum daily load will be required. A total maximum daily
64load may be required for those waters that are impaired
65predominantly due to activities other than point and nonpoint
66sources. The total maximum daily load calculation shall
67establish the amount of a pollutant that a water body or water
68body segment may receive from all sources without exceeding
69water quality standards, and shall account for seasonal
70variations and include a margin of safety that takes into
71account any lack of knowledge concerning the relationship
72between effluent limitations and water quality. The total
73maximum daily load may be based on a pollutant load reduction
74goal developed by a water management district, provided that
75such pollutant load reduction goal is promulgated by the
76department in accordance with the procedural and substantive
77requirements of this subsection.
78     (b)  Allocation of total maximum daily loads.--The total
79maximum daily loads shall include establishment of reasonable
80and equitable allocations of the total maximum daily load
81between or among point and nonpoint sources that will alone, or
82in conjunction with other management and restoration activities,
83provide for the attainment of the pollutant reductions
84established pursuant to paragraph (a) to restore the designated
85uses water quality standards and the restoration of impaired
86waters. The allocations may establish the maximum amount of the
87water pollutant from a given source or category of sources that
88may be discharged or released into the water body or water body
89segment in combination with other discharges or releases.
90Allocations may also be made to individual basins and sources or
91as a whole to all basins and sources or categories of sources of
92inflow to the water body or water body segments. A preliminary
93allocation of allowable pollutant loads among point and nonpoint
94sources may be developed as part of the total maximum daily
95load. However, in such cases, the final allocation to specific
96point sources and specific categories of nonpoint sources shall
97be established in the basin management action plan pursuant to
98subsection (7). The preliminary and final allocations shall be
99designed to attain the pollutant reductions established pursuant
100to paragraph (a) water quality standards and shall be based on
101consideration of the following:
102     1.  Existing treatment levels and management practices;
103     2.  Best management practices established and implemented
104pursuant to paragraph (7)(c);
105     3.  Enforceable treatment levels established pursuant to
106state or local law or permit;
107     4.2.  Differing impacts pollutant sources may have on water
108quality;
109     5.3.  The availability of treatment technologies,
110management practices, or other pollutant reduction measures;
111     6.4.  Environmental, economic, and technological
112feasibility of achieving the allocation;
113     7.5.  The cost benefit associated with achieving the
114allocation;
115     8.6.  Reasonable timeframes for implementation;
116     9.7.  Potential applicability of any moderating provisions
117such as variances, exemptions, and mixing zones; and
118     10.8.  The extent to which nonattainment of water quality
119standards is caused by pollution sources outside of Florida,
120discharges that have ceased, or alterations to water bodies
121prior to the date of this act.
122     (c)  Not later than February 1, 2001, the department shall
123submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate,
124and the Speaker of the House of Representatives containing
125recommendations, including draft legislation, for any
126modifications to the process for allocating total maximum daily
127loads, including the relationship between allocations and the
128watershed or basin management planning process. Such
129recommendations shall be developed by the department in
130cooperation with a technical advisory committee which includes
131representatives of affected parties, environmental
132organizations, water management districts, and other appropriate
133local, state, and federal government agencies. The technical
134advisory committee shall also include such members as may be
135designated by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the
136House of Representatives.
137     (c)(d)  Adoption of rules.--The total maximum daily load
138calculations and allocations established under this subsection
139for each water body or water body segment shall be adopted by
140rule by the secretary pursuant to ss. 120.536(1), 120.54, and
141403.805. Where additional data collection and analysis are
142needed to increase the scientific precision and accuracy of the
143total maximum daily load, the department is authorized to adopt
144phased total maximum daily loads that establish interim total
145maximum daily loads until the additional data is available. The
146rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph shall not be subject to
147approval by the Environmental Regulation Commission. As part of
148the rule development process, the department shall hold at least
149one public workshop in the vicinity of the water body or water
150body segment for which the total maximum daily load is being
151developed. Notice of the public workshop shall be published not
152less than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the public
153workshop in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or
154counties containing the water bodies or water body segments for
155which the total maximum daily load calculation and allocation
156are being developed.
157     (7)  DEVELOPMENT OF BASIN MANAGEMENT ACTION PLANS;
158IMPLEMENTATION OF TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS.--
159     (a)  Basin management action plans.--
160     1.  In developing and implementing the total maximum daily
161load for a water body, the department, or the department in
162conjunction with a water management district, may develop a basin
163management action plan that addresses some or all of the
164watersheds and basins tributary to the water body. Such a plan
165shall integrate the appropriate management strategies to achieve
166the total maximum daily load and shall provide for phased
167implementation of these management strategies to promote timely,
168cost-effective actions as provided for in s. 403.151. The plan
169shall establish a schedule for implementing the management
170strategies, establish a basis for evaluating the plan's
171effectiveness, and identify feasible funding strategies to
172implement the plan's management strategies. The management
173strategies may include regional treatment systems or other
174public works, where appropriate, to achieve the needed pollutant
175load reductions.
176     2.  A basin management action plan shall, pursuant to
177paragraph (6)(b), equitably allocate pollutant reductions to
178individual basins, as a whole to all basins, or to each
179identified point source or category of nonpoint sources, as
180appropriate. For nonpoint sources for which best management
181practices have been adopted, the initial requirement specified
182by the plan shall be those practices developed pursuant to
183paragraph (c). Where appropriate, the plan may provide pollutant
184load reduction credit to those dischargers that have implemented
185management strategies to reduce pollutant loads, including best
186management practices, prior to the development of the basin
187management action plan. The plan also shall identify the
188mechanisms by which potential future increases in pollutant
189loading will be addressed.
190     3.  The basin management action planning process is intended
191to involve the broadest possible range of interested parties,
192with the objective of encouraging the greatest amount of
193cooperation and consensus possible. In developing a basin
194management action plan, the department shall ensure that key
195stakeholders, including, but not limited to, applicable local
196governments, water management districts, the Department of
197Agriculture and Consumer Services, other appropriate state
198agencies, local soil and water conservation districts,
199environmental groups, regulated interests, and affected pollution
200sources, are invited to participate in the process. The
201department shall hold at least one public meeting in the vicinity
202of the watershed or basin to discuss and receive comments during
203the planning process and shall otherwise encourage public
204participation to the greatest practical extent. Notice of the
205public meeting shall be published in a newspaper of general
206circulation in each county in which the watershed or basin lies
207not fewer than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the public
208meeting. A basin management action plan shall not supplant or
209otherwise alter any assessment made under subsection (3) or
210subsection (4), or any calculation or preliminary allocation made
211under subsection (6), except through rulemaking.
212     4.  The department shall adopt all or any part of a basin
213management action plan by secretarial order pursuant to chapter
214120 to implement the provisions of this section. Where a basin
215management action plan alters the calculation or preliminary
216allocation made under subsection (6), the revised calculation or
217final allocation shall be adopted by rule.
218     5.  The basin management action plan shall be evaluated on a
219periodic basis to determine whether its management strategies are
220leading to pollutant load reductions in a timely manner and
221whether revisions are needed to achieve the pollutant load
222reductions specified in the adopted total maximum daily load
223calculation or allocation. Revisions to the basin management
224action plan shall be made by the department in cooperation with
225basin stakeholders. Revisions to the management strategies
226required for nonpoint sources shall follow the procedures set
227forth in subparagraph (c)4. Revised basin management action plans
228shall be adopted pursuant to subparagraph 4.
229     (b)  Total maximum daily load implementation.--
230     1.(a)  The department shall be the lead agency in
231coordinating the implementation of the total maximum daily loads
232through water quality protection programs. Application of a
233total maximum daily load by a water management district shall be
234consistent with this section and shall not require the issuance
235of an order or a separate action pursuant to s. 120.536(1) or s.
236120.54 for adoption of the calculation and allocation previously
237established by the department. Such programs may include, but
238are not limited to:
239     a.1.  Permitting and other existing regulatory programs;
240     b.2.  Nonregulatory and incentive-based programs, including
241best management practices, cost sharing, waste minimization,
242pollution prevention, agreements established pursuant to s.
243403.061(21), and public education;
244     c.3.  Other water quality management and restoration
245activities, for example surface water improvement and management
246plans approved by water management districts or watershed or
247basin management action plans developed pursuant to this
248subsection;
249     d.4.  Pollutant trading or other equitable economically
250based agreements;
251     e.5.  Public works including capital facilities; or
252     f.6.  Land acquisition; or.
253     g.  Water quality based effluent limitations developed
254pursuant to Rule 62-6.50, Florida Administrative Code.
255     2.  For a basin management action plan adopted pursuant to
256subparagraph (a)4., any management strategies and pollutant
257reduction requirements associated with a pollutant of concern
258for which a total maximum daily load was developed, including
259effluent limits set forth for a discharger subject to NPDES
260permitting, if any, shall be included in subsequent NPDES
261permits or permit modifications for that discharger in a timely
262manner.
263For holders of NPDES municipal separate storm sewer system
264permits and other stormwater sources, implementation of a total
265maximum daily load or basin management action plan shall be
266achieved, to the maximum extent practicable, through the use of
267best management practices or other management measures.
268     a.  The department shall not impose in a NPDES permit
269additional pollution reduction requirements for a pollutant of
270concern until such time as the total maximum daily load or the
271basin management action plan is revised, the NPDES permit
272expires, or the NPDES permitholder modifies its discharge.
273     b.  The basin management action plan does not relieve the
274discharger from any requirement to obtain, renew, or modify a
275NPDES permit or to abide by other requirements of the permit.
276     c.  Management strategies set forth in a basin management
277action plan to be implemented by a discharger subject to
278permitting by the department shall be completed pursuant to the
279schedule set forth in the basin management action plan. This
280implementation schedule may extend beyond the 5-year term of a
281NPDES permit.
282     d.  Management strategies and pollution reduction
283requirements set forth in a basin management action plan for a
284specific pollutant of concern shall not be subject to challenge
285under chapter 120 at the time they are incorporated, in an
286identical form, into a subsequent NPDES permit or permit
287modification.
288     e.  For nonagricultural pollutant sources not subject to
289NPDES permitting but permitted pursuant to other state,
290regional, or local water quality programs, the pollutant
291reduction actions adopted in a basin management action plan
292shall be implemented to the maximum extent practicable as part
293of those permitting programs.
294     f.  A nonpoint pollutant source discharger included in a
295basin management action plan shall timely implement the
296appropriate best management practices established pursuant to
297paragraph (c) to attain the pollutant reductions established
298pursuant to paragraph (6)(a).
299     g.  A landowner, discharger, or other responsible person
300who is implementing applicable management strategies specified
301in an adopted basin management action plan shall not be required
302by permit, enforcement action, or otherwise to implement
303additional management strategies to reduce pollutant loads to
304attain the pollutant reductions established pursuant to
305paragraph (6)(a) and shall be deemed to be in compliance with
306this section. This subparagraph does not limit the authority of
307the department to amend a basin management action plan as
308specified in subparagraph (a)5.
309     (b)  In developing and implementing the total maximum daily
310load for a water body, the department, or the department in
311conjunction with a water management district, may develop a
312watershed or basin management plan that addresses some or all of
313the watersheds and basins tributary to the water body. These
314plans will serve to fully integrate the management strategies
315available to the state for the purpose of implementing the total
316maximum daily loads and achieving water quality restoration. The
317watershed or basin management planning process is intended to
318involve the broadest possible range of interested parties, with
319the objective of encouraging the greatest amount of cooperation
320and consensus possible. The department or water management
321district shall hold at least one public meeting in the vicinity
322of the watershed or basin to discuss and receive comments during
323the planning process and shall otherwise encourage public
324participation to the greatest practical extent. Notice of the
325public meeting shall be published in a newspaper of general
326circulation in each county in which the watershed or basin lies
327not less than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the public
328meeting. A watershed or basin management plan shall not supplant
329or otherwise alter any assessment made under s. 403.086(3) and
330(4), or any calculation or allocation made under s. 403.086(6).
331     (c)  Best management practices.--
332     1.  The department, in cooperation with the water
333management districts and other interested parties, as
334appropriate, may develop suitable interim measures, best
335management practices, or other measures necessary to achieve the
336level of pollution reduction established by the department for
337nonagricultural nonpoint pollutant sources in allocations
338developed pursuant to this subsection and subsection (6)
339paragraph (6)(b). These practices and measures may be adopted by
340rule by the department and the water management districts
341pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, and where adopted by
342rule, shall may be implemented by those parties responsible for
343nonagricultural nonpoint source pollution pollutant sources and
344the department and the water management districts shall assist
345with implementation. Where interim measures, best management
346practices, or other measures are adopted by rule, the
347effectiveness of such practices in achieving the levels of
348pollution reduction established in allocations developed by the
349department pursuant to paragraph (6)(b) shall be verified by the
350department. Implementation, in accordance with applicable rules,
351of practices that have been verified by the department to be
352effective at representative sites shall provide a presumption of
353compliance with state water quality standards and release from
354the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those pollutants addressed
355by the practices, and the department is not authorized to
356institute proceedings against the owner of the source of
357pollution to recover costs or damages associated with the
358contamination of surface or ground water caused by those
359pollutants. Such rules shall also incorporate provisions for a
360notice of intent to implement the practices and a system to
361assure the implementation of the practices, including
362recordkeeping requirements. Where water quality problems are
363detected despite the appropriate implementation, operation, and
364maintenance of best management practices and other measures
365according to rules adopted under this paragraph, the department
366or the water management districts shall institute a reevaluation
367of the best management practice or other measures.
368     2.(d)1.  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer
369Services may develop and adopt by rule pursuant to ss.
370120.536(1) and 120.54 suitable interim measures, best management
371practices, or other measures necessary to achieve the level of
372pollution reduction established by the department for
373agricultural pollutant sources in allocations developed pursuant
374to this subsection and subsection (6) paragraph (6)(b). These
375practices and measures may be implemented by those parties
376responsible for agricultural pollutant sources and the
377department, the water management districts, and the Department
378of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall assist with
379implementation. Where interim measures, best management
380practices, or other measures are adopted by rule, the
381effectiveness of such practices in achieving the levels of
382pollution reduction established in allocations developed by the
383department pursuant to paragraph (6)(b) shall be verified by the
384department. Implementation, in accordance with applicable rules,
385of practices that have been verified by the department to be
386effective at representative sites shall provide a presumption of
387compliance with state water quality standards and release from
388the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those pollutants addressed
389by the practices, and the department is not authorized to
390institute proceedings against the owner of the source of
391pollution to recover costs or damages associated with the
392contamination of surface or ground water caused by those
393pollutants. In the process of developing and adopting rules for
394interim measures, best management practices, or other measures,
395the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall
396consult with the department, the Department of Health, the water
397management districts, representatives from affected farming
398groups, and environmental group representatives. Such rules
399shall also incorporate provisions for a notice of intent to
400implement the practices and a system to assure the
401implementation of the practices, including recordkeeping
402requirements. Where water quality problems are detected despite
403the appropriate implementation, operation, and maintenance of
404best management practices and other measures according to rules
405adopted under this paragraph, the Department of Agriculture and
406Consumer Services shall institute a reevaluation of the best
407management practice or other measure.
408     3.  Where interim measures, best management practices, or
409other measures are adopted by rule, the effectiveness of such
410practices in achieving the levels of pollution reduction
411established in allocations developed by the department pursuant
412to this subsection and subsection (6) shall be verified at
413representative sites by the department. The department shall use
414best professional judgment in making the initial verification
415that the best management practices are effective and, where
416applicable, shall notify the appropriate water management
417district or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
418prior to the adoption of a rule proposed pursuant to this
419paragraph in the event it is unable to make such verification.
420Implementation, in accordance with rules adopted under this
421paragraph, of practices that have been initially verified to be
422effective, or verified to be effective by monitoring at
423representative sites, by the department shall provide a
424presumption of compliance with state water quality standards and
425release from the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those
426pollutants addressed by the practices, and the department is not
427authorized to institute proceedings against the owner of the
428source of pollution to recover costs or damages associated with
429the contamination of surface or ground water caused by those
430pollutants.
431     4.  Where water quality problems are detected, or predicted
432during the development or amendment of a basin management action
433plan, despite the appropriate implementation, operation, and
434maintenance of best management practices and other measures
435according to rules adopted under this paragraph, the department,
436or a water management district or the Department of Agriculture
437and Consumer Services in consultation with the department, shall
438institute a reevaluation of the best management practice or
439other measure. Should the reevaluation determine that the best
440management practice or other measure requires modification, the
441department, a water management district, or the Department of
442Agriculture and Consumer Services, as appropriate, shall revise
443the rule to require implementation of the modified practice
444within a reasonable time period as specified in the rule.
445     5.2.  Individual agricultural records relating to processes
446or methods of production, or relating to costs of production,
447profits, or other financial information which are otherwise not
448public records, which are reported to the Department of
449Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to subparagraphs 3.
450and 4. this paragraph or pursuant to any rule adopted pursuant
451to subparagraph 2. this paragraph shall be confidential and
452exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
453Constitution. Upon request of the department or any water
454management district, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
455Services shall make such individual agricultural records
456available to that agency, provided that the confidentiality
457specified by this subparagraph for such records is maintained.
458This subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset
459Review Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand
460repealed on October 2, 2006, unless reviewed and saved from
461repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
462     6.(e)  The provisions of subparagraphs 1. and 2. paragraphs
463(c) and (d) shall not preclude the department or water
464management district from requiring compliance with water quality
465standards or with current best management practice requirements
466set forth in any applicable regulatory program authorized by law
467for the purpose of protecting water quality. Additionally,
468subparagraphs 1. and 2. paragraphs (c) and (d) are applicable
469only to the extent that they do not conflict with any rules
470adopted promulgated by the department that are necessary to
471maintain a federally delegated or approved program.
472     (8)  RULES.--The department is authorized to adopt rules
473pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 for:
474     (a)  Delisting water bodies or water body segments from the
475list developed under subsection (4) pursuant to the guidance
476under subsection (5).;
477     (b)  Administration of funds to implement the total maximum
478daily load and basin management action planning program.;
479     (c)  Procedures for pollutant trading among the pollutant
480sources to a water body or water body segment, including a
481mechanism for the issuance and tracking of pollutant credits.
482Such procedures may be implemented through permits or other
483authorizations and must be legally binding. Prior to adopting
484rules for pollutant trading under this paragraph, and no later
485than November 30, 2006, the Department of Environmental
486Protection shall submit to the Governor, the President of the
487Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report
488containing recommendations on such rules, including the proposed
489basis for equitable economically based agreements and the
490tracking and accounting of pollution credits or other similar
491mechanisms. Such recommendations shall be developed in
492cooperation with a technical advisory committee that includes
493representatives of environmental organizations, industry, local
494government, homebuilders, water management districts,
495agriculture, stormwater utilities, and municipal utilities. No
496rule implementing a pollutant trading program shall become
497effective prior to review and ratification by the Legislature;
498and
499     (d)  The total maximum daily load calculation in accordance
500with paragraph (6)(a) immediately upon the effective date of
501this act, for those eight water segments within Lake Okeechobee
502proper as submitted to the United States Environmental
503Protection Agency pursuant to subsection (2).
504     (e)  Any other purpose specifically provided for in this
505section.
506     (11)  IMPLEMENTATION OF ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS.--
507     (a)  The department shall not implement, without prior
508legislative approval, any additional regulatory authority
509pursuant to s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act or 40 C.F.R. part
510130, if such implementation would result in water quality
511discharge regulation of activities not currently subject to
512regulation.
513     (b)  Interim measures, best management practices, or other
514measures may be developed and voluntarily implemented pursuant
515to subparagraph (7)(c)1. or subparagraph (7)(c)2. paragraph
516(7)(c) or paragraph (7)(d) for any water body or segment for
517which a total maximum daily load or allocation has not been
518established. The implementation of such pollution control
519programs may be considered by the department in the
520determination made pursuant to subsection (4).
521     Section 2.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section
522373.4595, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
523     373.4595  Lake Okeechobee Protection Program.--
524     (3)  LAKE OKEECHOBEE PROTECTION PROGRAM.--A protection
525program for Lake Okeechobee that achieves phosphorus load
526reductions for Lake Okeechobee shall be immediately implemented
527as specified in this subsection. The program shall address the
528reduction of phosphorus loading to the lake from both internal
529and external sources. Phosphorus load reductions shall be
530achieved through a phased program of implementation. Initial
531implementation actions shall be technology-based, based upon a
532consideration of both the availability of appropriate technology
533and the cost of such technology, and shall include phosphorus
534reduction measures at both the source and the regional level.
535The initial phase of phosphorus load reductions shall be based
536upon the district's Technical Publication 81-2 and the
537district's WOD program, with subsequent phases of phosphorus
538load reductions based upon the total maximum daily loads
539established in accordance with s. 403.067. In the development
540and administration of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Program,
541the coordinating agencies shall maximize opportunities provided
542by federal cost-sharing programs and opportunities for
543partnerships with the private sector.
544     (c)  Lake Okeechobee Watershed Phosphorus Control
545Program.--The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Phosphorus Control
546Program is designed to be a multifaceted approach to reducing
547phosphorus loads by improving the management of phosphorus
548sources within the Lake Okeechobee watershed through continued
549implementation of existing regulations and best management
550practices, development and implementation of improved best
551management practices, improvement and restoration of the
552hydrologic function of natural and managed systems, and
553utilization of alternative technologies for nutrient reduction.
554The coordinating agencies shall facilitate the application of
555federal programs that offer opportunities for water quality
556treatment, including preservation, restoration, or creation of
557wetlands on agricultural lands.
558     1.  Agricultural nonpoint source best management practices,
559developed in accordance with s. 403.067 and designed to achieve
560the objectives of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Program, shall
561be implemented on an expedited basis. By March 1, 2001, the
562coordinating agencies shall develop an interagency agreement
563pursuant to ss. 373.046 and 373.406(5) that assures the
564development of best management practices that complement
565existing regulatory programs and specifies how those best
566management practices are implemented and verified. The
567interagency agreement shall address measures to be taken by the
568coordinating agencies during any best management practice
569reevaluation performed pursuant to sub-subparagraph d. The
570department shall use best professional judgment in making the
571initial determination of best management practice effectiveness.
572     a.  As provided in s. 403.067(7)(c)(d), by October 1, 2000,
573the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in
574consultation with the department, the district, and affected
575parties, shall initiate rule development for interim measures,
576best management practices, conservation plans, nutrient
577management plans, or other measures necessary for Lake
578Okeechobee phosphorus load reduction. The rule shall include
579thresholds for requiring conservation and nutrient management
580plans and criteria for the contents of such plans. Development
581of agricultural nonpoint source best management practices shall
582initially focus on those priority basins listed in subparagraph
583(b)1. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in
584consultation with the department, the district, and affected
585parties, shall conduct an ongoing program for improvement of
586existing and development of new interim measures or best
587management practices for the purpose of adoption of such
588practices by rule.
589     b.  Where agricultural nonpoint source best management
590practices or interim measures have been adopted by rule of the
591Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the owner or
592operator of an agricultural nonpoint source addressed by such
593rule shall either implement interim measures or best management
594practices or demonstrate compliance with the district's WOD
595program by conducting monitoring prescribed by the department or
596the district. Owners or operators of agricultural nonpoint
597sources who implement interim measures or best management
598practices adopted by rule of the Department of Agriculture and
599Consumer Services shall be subject to the provisions of s.
600403.067(7). The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
601in cooperation with the department and the district, shall
602provide technical and financial assistance for implementation of
603agricultural best management practices, subject to the
604availability of funds.
605     c.  The district or department shall conduct monitoring at
606representative sites to verify the effectiveness of agricultural
607nonpoint source best management practices.
608     d.  Where water quality problems are detected for
609agricultural nonpoint sources despite the appropriate
610implementation of adopted best management practices, the
611Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation
612with the other coordinating agencies and affected parties, shall
613institute a reevaluation of the best management practices and
614make appropriate changes to the rule adopting best management
615practices.
616     2.  Nonagricultural nonpoint source best management
617practices, developed in accordance with s. 403.067 and designed
618to achieve the objectives of the Lake Okeechobee Protection
619Program, shall be implemented on an expedited basis. By March 1,
6202001, the department and the district shall develop an
621interagency agreement pursuant to ss. 373.046 and 373.406(5)
622that assures the development of best management practices that
623complement existing regulatory programs and specifies how those
624best management practices are implemented and verified. The
625interagency agreement shall address measures to be taken by the
626department and the district during any best management practice
627reevaluation performed pursuant to sub-subparagraph d.
628     a.  The department and the district are directed to work
629with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and
630Agricultural Sciences to develop appropriate nutrient
631application rates for all nonagricultural soil amendments in the
632watershed. As provided in s. 403.067(7)(c), by January 1, 2001,
633the department, in consultation with the district and affected
634parties, shall develop interim measures, best management
635practices, or other measures necessary for Lake Okeechobee
636phosphorus load reduction. Development of nonagricultural
637nonpoint source best management practices shall initially focus
638on those priority basins listed in subparagraph (b)1. The
639department, the district, and affected parties shall conduct an
640ongoing program for improvement of existing and development of
641new interim measures or best management practices. The district
642shall adopt technology-based standards under the district's WOD
643program for nonagricultural nonpoint sources of phosphorus.
644     b.  Where nonagricultural nonpoint source best management
645practices or interim measures have been developed by the
646department and adopted by the district, the owner or operator of
647a nonagricultural nonpoint source shall implement interim
648measures or best management practices and be subject to the
649provisions of s. 403.067(7). The department and district shall
650provide technical and financial assistance for implementation of
651nonagricultural nonpoint source best management practices,
652subject to the availability of funds.
653     c.  The district or the department shall conduct monitoring
654at representative sites to verify the effectiveness of
655nonagricultural nonpoint source best management practices.
656     d.  Where water quality problems are detected for
657nonagricultural nonpoint sources despite the appropriate
658implementation of adopted best management practices, the
659department and the district shall institute a reevaluation of
660the best management practices.
661     3.  The provisions of subparagraphs 1. and 2. shall not
662preclude the department or the district from requiring
663compliance with water quality standards or with current best
664management practices requirements set forth in any applicable
665regulatory program authorized by law for the purpose of
666protecting water quality. Additionally, subparagraphs 1. and 2.
667are applicable only to the extent that they do not conflict with
668any rules promulgated by the department that are necessary to
669maintain a federally delegated or approved program.
670     4.  Projects which reduce the phosphorus load originating
671from domestic wastewater systems within the Lake Okeechobee
672watershed shall be given funding priority in the department's
673revolving loan program under s. 403.1835. The department shall
674coordinate and provide assistance to those local governments
675seeking financial assistance for such priority projects.
676     5.  Projects that make use of private lands, or lands held
677in trust for Indian tribes, to reduce nutrient loadings or
678concentrations within a basin by one or more of the following
679methods: restoring the natural hydrology of the basin, restoring
680wildlife habitat or impacted wetlands, reducing peak flows after
681storm events, increasing aquifer recharge, or protecting range
682and timberland from conversion to development, are eligible for
683grants available under this section from the coordinating
684agencies. For projects of otherwise equal priority, special
685funding priority will be given to those projects that make best
686use of the methods outlined above that involve public-private
687partnerships or that obtain federal match money. Preference
688ranking above the special funding priority will be given to
689projects located in a rural area of critical economic concern
690designated by the Governor. Grant applications may be submitted
691by any person or tribal entity, and eligible projects may
692include, but are not limited to, the purchase of conservation
693and flowage easements, hydrologic restoration of wetlands,
694creating treatment wetlands, development of a management plan
695for natural resources, and financial support to implement a
696management plan.
697     6.a.  The department shall require all entities disposing
698of domestic wastewater residuals within the Lake Okeechobee
699watershed and the remaining areas of Okeechobee, Glades, and
700Hendry Counties to develop and submit to the department an
701agricultural use plan that limits applications based upon
702phosphorus loading. By July 1, 2005, phosphorus concentrations
703originating from these application sites shall not exceed the
704limits established in the district's WOD program.
705     b.  Private and government-owned utilities within Monroe,
706Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River,
707Okeechobee, Highlands, Hendry, and Glades Counties that dispose
708of wastewater residual sludge from utility operations and septic
709removal by land spreading in the Lake Okeechobee watershed may
710use a line item on local sewer rates to cover wastewater
711residual treatment and disposal if such disposal and treatment
712is done by approved alternative treatment methodology at a
713facility located within the areas designated by the Governor as
714rural areas of critical economic concern pursuant to s.
715288.0656. This additional line item is an environmental
716protection disposal fee above the present sewer rate and shall
717not be considered a part of the present sewer rate to customers,
718notwithstanding provisions to the contrary in chapter 367. The
719fee shall be established by the county commission or its
720designated assignee in the county in which the alternative
721method treatment facility is located. The fee shall be
722calculated to be no higher than that necessary to recover the
723facility's prudent cost of providing the service. Upon request
724by an affected county commission, the Florida Public Service
725Commission will provide assistance in establishing the fee.
726Further, for utilities and utility authorities that use the
727additional line item environmental protection disposal fee, such
728fee shall not be considered a rate increase under the rules of
729the Public Service Commission and shall be exempt from such
730rules. Utilities using the provisions of this section may
731immediately include in their sewer invoicing the new
732environmental protection disposal fee. Proceeds from this
733environmental protection disposal fee shall be used for
734treatment and disposal of wastewater residuals, including any
735treatment technology that helps reduce the volume of residuals
736that require final disposal, but such proceeds shall not be used
737for transportation or shipment costs for disposal or any costs
738relating to the land application of residuals in the Lake
739Okeechobee watershed.
740     c.  No less frequently than once every 3 years, the Florida
741Public Service Commission or the county commission through the
742services of an independent auditor shall perform a financial
743audit of all facilities receiving compensation from an
744environmental protection disposal fee. The Florida Public
745Service Commission or the county commission through the services
746of an independent auditor shall also perform an audit of the
747methodology used in establishing the environmental protection
748disposal fee. The Florida Public Service Commission or the
749county commission shall, within 120 days after completion of an
750audit, file the audit report with the President of the Senate
751and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and shall
752provide copies to the county commissions of the counties set
753forth in sub-subparagraph b. The books and records of any
754facilities receiving compensation from an environmental
755protection disposal fee shall be open to the Florida Public
756Service Commission and the Auditor General for review upon
757request.
758     7.  The Department of Health shall require all entities
759disposing of septage within the Lake Okeechobee watershed and
760the remaining areas of Okeechobee, Glades, and Hendry Counties
761to develop and submit to that agency, by July 1, 2003, an
762agricultural use plan that limits applications based upon
763phosphorus loading. By July 1, 2005, phosphorus concentrations
764originating from these application sites shall not exceed the
765limits established in the district's WOD program.
766     8.  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
767shall initiate rulemaking requiring entities within the Lake
768Okeechobee watershed and the remaining areas of Okeechobee,
769Glades, and Hendry Counties which land-apply animal manure to
770develop conservation or nutrient management plans that limit
771application, based upon phosphorus loading. Such rules may
772include criteria and thresholds for the requirement to develop a
773conservation or nutrient management plan, requirements for plan
774approval, and recordkeeping requirements.
775     9.  Prior to authorizing a discharge into works of the
776district, the district shall require responsible parties to
777demonstrate that proposed changes in land use will not result in
778increased phosphorus loading over that of existing land uses.
779     10.  The district, the department, or the Department of
780Agriculture and Consumer Services, as appropriate, shall
781implement those alternative nutrient reduction technologies
782determined to be feasible pursuant to subparagraph (d)6.
783     Section 3.  Subsection (1) of section 570.085, Florida
784Statutes, is amended to read:
785     570.085  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
786agricultural water conservation.--The department shall establish
787an agricultural water conservation program that includes the
788following:
789     (1)  A cost-share program, coordinated where appropriate
790with the United States Department of Agriculture and other
791federal, state, regional, and local agencies, for irrigation
792system retrofit and application of mobile irrigation laboratory
793evaluations for water conservation as provided in this section
794and, where applicable, for water quality improvement pursuant to
795s. 403.067(7)(c)(d).
796     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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