October 21, 2019
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_h1839e1
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; deleting an obsolete reporting
7requirement; authorizing the Department of Environmental
8Protection to adopt phased total maximum daily loads for
9specific purposes; providing for the development of basin
10management action plans; revising provisions for the
11implementation of total maximum daily loads; revising
12provisions relating to best management practices;
13authorizing the department to adopt rules for the
14permitting of basin management action plans; requiring the
15department to submit a report to the Governor, the
16President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
17Representatives prior to adopting rules for pollutant
18trading; amending ss. 373.4595 and 570.085, F.S.;
19correcting cross references; providing an effective date.
20
21Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
22
23     Section 1.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) and subsections
24(6), (7), (8), and (11) of section 403.067, Florida Statutes,
25are amended to read:
26     403.067  Establishment and implementation of total maximum
27daily loads.--
28     (2)  LIST OF SURFACE WATERS OR SEGMENTS.--In accordance
29with s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, 33
30U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq., the department must submit periodically
31to the United States Environmental Protection Agency a list of
32surface waters or segments for which total maximum daily load
33assessments will be conducted. The assessments shall evaluate
34the water quality conditions of the listed waters and, if such
35waters are determined not to meet water quality standards, total
36maximum daily loads shall be established, subject to the
37provisions of subsection (4). The department shall establish a
38priority ranking and schedule for analyzing such waters.
39     (d)  If the department proposes to implement total maximum
40daily load calculations or allocations established prior to the
41effective date of this act, the department shall adopt those
42calculations and allocations by rule by the secretary pursuant
43to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 and paragraph (6)(c)(d).
44     (6)  CALCULATION AND ALLOCATION.--
45     (a)  Calculation of total maximum daily load.--
46     1.  Prior to developing a total maximum daily load
47calculation for each water body or water body segment on the
48list specified in subsection (4), the department shall
49coordinate with applicable local governments, water management
50districts, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
51other appropriate state agencies, local soil and water
52conservation districts, environmental groups, regulated
53interests, and affected pollution sources to determine the
54information required, accepted methods of data collection and
55analysis, and quality control/quality assurance requirements.
56The analysis may include mathematical water quality modeling
57using approved procedures and methods.
58     2.  The department shall develop total maximum daily load
59calculations for each water body or water body segment on the
60list described in subsection (4) according to the priority
61ranking and schedule unless the impairment of such waters is due
62solely to activities other than point and nonpoint sources of
63pollution. For waters determined to be impaired due solely to
64factors other than point and nonpoint sources of pollution, no
65total maximum daily load will be required. A total maximum daily
66load may be required for those waters that are impaired
67predominantly due to activities other than point and nonpoint
68sources. The total maximum daily load calculation shall
69establish the amount of a pollutant that a water body or water
70body segment may receive from all sources without exceeding
71water quality standards, and shall account for seasonal
72variations and include a margin of safety that takes into
73account any lack of knowledge concerning the relationship
74between effluent limitations and water quality. The total
75maximum daily load may be based on a pollutant load reduction
76goal developed by a water management district, provided that
77such pollutant load reduction goal is promulgated by the
78department in accordance with the procedural and substantive
79requirements of this subsection.
80     (b)  Allocation of total maximum daily loads.--The total
81maximum daily loads shall include establishment of reasonable
82and equitable allocations of the total maximum daily load
83between or among point and nonpoint sources that will alone, or
84in conjunction with other management and restoration activities,
85provide for the attainment of the pollutant reductions
86established pursuant to paragraph (a) to achieve water quality
87standards for the pollutant causing impairment and the
88restoration of impaired waters. The allocations may establish
89the maximum amount of the water pollutant from a given source or
90category of sources that may be discharged or released into the
91water body or water body segment in combination with other
92discharges or releases. Allocations may also be made to
93individual basins and sources or as a whole to all basins and
94sources or categories of sources of inflow to the water body or
95water body segments. An initial allocation of allowable
96pollutant loads among point and nonpoint sources may be
97developed as part of the total maximum daily load. However, in
98such cases, the detailed allocation to specific point sources
99and specific categories of nonpoint sources shall be established
100in the basin management action plan pursuant to subsection (7).
101The initial and detailed allocations shall be designed to attain
102the pollutant reductions established pursuant to paragraph (a)
103water quality standards and shall be based on consideration of
104the following:
105     1.  Existing treatment levels and management practices;
106     2.  Best management practices established and implemented
107pursuant to paragraph (7)(c);
108     3.  Enforceable treatment levels established pursuant to
109state or local law or permit;
110     4.2.  Differing impacts pollutant sources and forms of
111pollutants may have on water quality;
112     5.3.  The availability of treatment technologies,
113management practices, or other pollutant reduction measures;
114     6.4.  Environmental, economic, and technological
115feasibility of achieving the allocation;
116     7.5.  The cost benefit associated with achieving the
117allocation;
118     8.6.  Reasonable timeframes for implementation;
119     9.7.  Potential applicability of any moderating provisions
120such as variances, exemptions, and mixing zones; and
121     10.8.  The extent to which nonattainment of water quality
122standards is caused by pollution sources outside of Florida,
123discharges that have ceased, or alterations to water bodies
124prior to the date of this act.
125     (c)  Not later than February 1, 2001, the department shall
126submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate,
127and the Speaker of the House of Representatives containing
128recommendations, including draft legislation, for any
129modifications to the process for allocating total maximum daily
130loads, including the relationship between allocations and the
131watershed or basin management planning process. Such
132recommendations shall be developed by the department in
133cooperation with a technical advisory committee which includes
134representatives of affected parties, environmental
135organizations, water management districts, and other appropriate
136local, state, and federal government agencies. The technical
137advisory committee shall also include such members as may be
138designated by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the
139House of Representatives.
140     (c)(d)  Adoption of rules.--The total maximum daily load
141calculations and allocations established under this subsection
142for each water body or water body segment shall be adopted by
143rule by the secretary pursuant to ss. 120.536(1), 120.54, and
144403.805. Where additional data collection and analysis are
145needed to increase the scientific precision and accuracy of the
146total maximum daily load, the department is authorized to adopt
147phased total maximum daily loads that are subject to change as
148additional data become available. Where phased total maximum
149daily loads are proposed, the department shall, in the detailed
150statement of facts and circumstances justifying the rule,
151explain why the data are inadequate so as to justify a phased
152total maximum daily load. The rules adopted pursuant to this
153paragraph shall not be subject to approval by the Environmental
154Regulation Commission. As part of the rule development process,
155the department shall hold at least one public workshop in the
156vicinity of the water body or water body segment for which the
157total maximum daily load is being developed. Notice of the
158public workshop shall be published not less than 5 days nor more
159than 15 days before the public workshop in a newspaper of
160general circulation in the county or counties containing the
161water bodies or water body segments for which the total maximum
162daily load calculation and allocation are being developed.
163     (7)  DEVELOPMENT OF BASIN MANAGEMENT ACTION PLANS;
164IMPLEMENTATION OF TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS.--
165     (a)  Basin management action plans.--
166     1.  In developing and implementing the total maximum daily
167load for a water body, the department, or the department in
168conjunction with a water management district, may develop a
169basin management action plan that addresses some or all of the
170watersheds and basins tributary to the water body. Such a plan
171shall integrate the appropriate management strategies available
172to the state through existing water quality protection programs
173to achieve the total maximum daily load and may provide for
174phased implementation of these management strategies to promote
175timely, cost-effective actions as provided for in s. 403.151.
176The plan shall establish a schedule for implementing the
177management strategies, establish a basis for evaluating the
178plan's effectiveness, and identify feasible funding strategies
179to implement the plan's management strategies. The management
180strategies may include regional treatment systems or other
181public works, where appropriate, to achieve the needed pollutant
182load reductions.
183     2.  A basin management action plan shall, pursuant to
184paragraph (6)(b), equitably allocate pollutant reductions to
185individual basins, as a whole to all basins, or to each
186identified point source or category of nonpoint sources, as
187appropriate. For nonpoint sources for which best management
188practices have been adopted, the initial requirement specified
189by the plan shall be those practices developed pursuant to
190paragraph (c). Where appropriate, the plan may provide pollutant
191load reduction credit to those dischargers that have implemented
192management strategies to reduce pollutant loads, including best
193management practices, prior to the development of the basin
194management action plan. The plan also shall identify the
195mechanisms by which potential future increases in pollutant
196loading will be addressed.
197     3.  The basin management action planning process is
198intended to involve the broadest possible range of interested
199parties, with the objective of encouraging the greatest amount
200of cooperation and consensus possible. In developing a basin
201management action plan, the department shall ensure that key
202stakeholders, including, but not limited to, applicable local
203governments, water management districts, the Department of
204Agriculture and Consumer Services, other appropriate state
205agencies, local soil and water conservation districts,
206environmental groups, regulated interests, and affected
207pollution sources, are invited to participate in the process.
208The department shall hold at least one public meeting in the
209vicinity of the watershed or basin to discuss and receive
210comments during the planning process and shall otherwise
211encourage public participation to the greatest practical extent.
212Notice of the public meeting shall be published in a newspaper
213of general circulation in each county in which the watershed or
214basin lies not fewer than 5 days nor more than 15 days before
215the public meeting. A basin management action plan shall not
216supplant or otherwise alter any assessment made under subsection
217(3) or subsection (4), or any calculation or initial allocation.
218     4.  The department shall adopt all or any part of a basin
219management action plan by secretarial order pursuant to chapter
220120 to implement the provisions of this section.
221     5.  A basin management action plan shall include milestones
222for implementation and water quality improvement and an
223associated water quality monitoring component sufficient to
224evaluate whether reasonable progress in pollutant load
225reductions is being achieved over time. An assessment of
226progress toward these milestones shall be conducted every 5
227years, and revisions to the plan shall be made as appropriate.
228Revisions to the basin management action plan shall be made by
229the department in cooperation with basin stakeholders. Revisions
230to the management strategies required for nonpoint sources shall
231follow the procedures set forth in subparagraph (c)4. Revised
232basin management action plans shall be adopted pursuant to
233subparagraph 4.
234     (b)  Total maximum daily load implementation.--
235     1.(a)  The department shall be the lead agency in
236coordinating the implementation of the total maximum daily loads
237through existing water quality protection programs. Application
238of a total maximum daily load by a water management district
239shall be consistent with this section and shall not require the
240issuance of an order or a separate action pursuant to s.
241120.536(1) or s. 120.54 for adoption of the calculation and
242allocation previously established by the department. Such
243programs may include, but are not limited to:
244     a.1.  Permitting and other existing regulatory programs,
245including water-quality-based effluent limitations;
246     b.2.  Nonregulatory and incentive-based programs, including
247best management practices, cost sharing, waste minimization,
248pollution prevention, agreements established pursuant to s.
249403.061(21), and public education;
250     c.3.  Other water quality management and restoration
251activities, for example surface water improvement and management
252plans approved by water management districts or watershed or
253basin management action plans developed pursuant to this
254subsection;
255     d.4.  Pollutant trading or other equitable economically
256based agreements;
257     e.5.  Public works including capital facilities; or
258     f.6.  Land acquisition.
259     2.  For a basin management action plan adopted pursuant to
260subparagraph (a)4., any management strategies and pollutant
261reduction requirements associated with a pollutant of concern
262for which a total maximum daily load was developed, including
263effluent limits set forth for a discharger subject to NPDES
264permitting, if any, shall be included in subsequent NPDES
265permits or permit modifications for that discharger in a timely
266manner. The department shall not impose limits or conditions
267implementing an adopted total maximum daily load in an NPDES
268permit until the permit expires, the discharge is modified, or
269the permit is reopened pursuant to an adopted basin management
270action plan.
271     a.  Absent a detailed allocation, total maximum daily loads
272shall be implemented through NPDES permit conditions that afford
273a compliance schedule. In such instances, a facility's NPDES
274permit shall allow time for the issuance of an order adopting
275the basin management action plan. The time allowed for the
276issuance of an order adopting the plan shall not exceed 5 years.
277Upon the issuance of an order adopting the plan, the permit
278shall be reopened as necessary and permit conditions consistent
279with the plan shall be established. Notwithstanding the other
280provisions of this subparagraph, upon request by an NPDES
281permittee, the department, as part of a permit renewal or
282modification, may establish individual allocations prior to the
283adoption of a basin management action plan.
284     b.  For holders of NPDES municipal separate storm sewer
285system permits and other stormwater sources, implementation of a
286total maximum daily load or basin management action plan shall
287be achieved, to the maximum extent practicable, through the use
288of best management practices or other management measures.
289     c.  The basin management action plan does not relieve the
290discharger from any requirement to obtain, renew, or modify an
291NPDES permit or to abide by other requirements of the permit.
292     d.  Management strategies set forth in a basin management
293action plan to be implemented by a discharger subject to
294permitting by the department shall be completed pursuant to the
295schedule set forth in the basin management action plan. This
296implementation schedule may extend beyond the 5-year term of an
297NPDES permit.
298     e.  Management strategies and pollution reduction
299requirements set forth in a basin management action plan for a
300specific pollutant of concern shall not be subject to challenge
301under chapter 120 at the time they are incorporated, in an
302identical form, into a subsequent NPDES permit or permit
303modification.
304     f.  For nonagricultural pollutant sources not subject to
305NPDES permitting but permitted pursuant to other state,
306regional, or local water quality programs, the pollutant
307reduction actions adopted in a basin management action plan
308shall be implemented to the maximum extent practicable as part
309of those permitting programs.
310     g.  A nonpoint pollutant source discharger included in a
311basin management action plan shall demonstrate compliance with
312the pollutant reductions established pursuant to subsection (6)
313by either implementing the appropriate best management practices
314established pursuant to paragraph (c) or conducting water
315quality monitoring prescribed by the department or a water
316management district.
317     h.  A nonpoint source discharger included in a basin
318management action plan may be subject to enforcement action by
319the department or a water management district based upon a
320failure to implement the responsibilities set forth in sub-
321subparagraph g.
322     i.  A landowner, discharger, or other responsible person
323who is implementing applicable management strategies specified
324in an adopted basin management action plan shall not be required
325by permit, enforcement action, or otherwise to implement
326additional management strategies to reduce pollutant loads to
327attain the pollutant reductions established pursuant to
328subsection (6) and shall be deemed to be in compliance with this
329section. This subparagraph does not limit the authority of the
330department to amend a basin management action plan as specified
331in subparagraph (a)5.
332     (b)  In developing and implementing the total maximum daily
333load for a water body, the department, or the department in
334conjunction with a water management district, may develop a
335watershed or basin management plan that addresses some or all of
336the watersheds and basins tributary to the water body. These
337plans will serve to fully integrate the management strategies
338available to the state for the purpose of implementing the total
339maximum daily loads and achieving water quality restoration. The
340watershed or basin management planning process is intended to
341involve the broadest possible range of interested parties, with
342the objective of encouraging the greatest amount of cooperation
343and consensus possible. The department or water management
344district shall hold at least one public meeting in the vicinity
345of the watershed or basin to discuss and receive comments during
346the planning process and shall otherwise encourage public
347participation to the greatest practical extent. Notice of the
348public meeting shall be published in a newspaper of general
349circulation in each county in which the watershed or basin lies
350not less than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the public
351meeting. A watershed or basin management plan shall not supplant
352or otherwise alter any assessment made under s. 403.086(3) and
353(4), or any calculation or allocation made under s. 403.086(6).
354     (c)  Best management practices.--
355     1.  The department, in cooperation with the water
356management districts and other interested parties, as
357appropriate, may develop suitable interim measures, best
358management practices, or other measures necessary to achieve the
359level of pollution reduction established by the department for
360nonagricultural nonpoint pollutant sources in allocations
361developed pursuant to this subsection and subsection (6)
362paragraph (6)(b). These practices and measures may be adopted by
363rule by the department and the water management districts
364pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, and, where adopted by
365rule, shall may be implemented by those parties responsible for
366nonagricultural nonpoint source pollution pollutant sources and
367the department and the water management districts shall assist
368with implementation. Where interim measures, best management
369practices, or other measures are adopted by rule, the
370effectiveness of such practices in achieving the levels of
371pollution reduction established in allocations developed by the
372department pursuant to paragraph (6)(b) shall be verified by the
373department. Implementation, in accordance with applicable rules,
374of practices that have been verified by the department to be
375effective at representative sites shall provide a presumption of
376compliance with state water quality standards and release from
377the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those pollutants addressed
378by the practices, and the department is not authorized to
379institute proceedings against the owner of the source of
380pollution to recover costs or damages associated with the
381contamination of surface or ground water caused by those
382pollutants. Such rules shall also incorporate provisions for a
383notice of intent to implement the practices and a system to
384assure the implementation of the practices, including
385recordkeeping requirements. Where water quality problems are
386detected despite the appropriate implementation, operation, and
387maintenance of best management practices and other measures
388according to rules adopted under this paragraph, the department
389or the water management districts shall institute a reevaluation
390of the best management practice or other measures.
391     2.(d)1.  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer
392Services may develop and adopt by rule pursuant to ss.
393120.536(1) and 120.54 suitable interim measures, best management
394practices, or other measures necessary to achieve the level of
395pollution reduction established by the department for
396agricultural pollutant sources in allocations developed pursuant
397to this subsection and subsection (6) paragraph (6)(b). These
398practices and measures may be implemented by those parties
399responsible for agricultural pollutant sources and the
400department, the water management districts, and the Department
401of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall assist with
402implementation. Where interim measures, best management
403practices, or other measures are adopted by rule, the
404effectiveness of such practices in achieving the levels of
405pollution reduction established in allocations developed by the
406department pursuant to paragraph (6)(b) shall be verified by the
407department. Implementation, in accordance with applicable rules,
408of practices that have been verified by the department to be
409effective at representative sites shall provide a presumption of
410compliance with state water quality standards and release from
411the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those pollutants addressed
412by the practices, and the department is not authorized to
413institute proceedings against the owner of the source of
414pollution to recover costs or damages associated with the
415contamination of surface or ground water caused by those
416pollutants. In the process of developing and adopting rules for
417interim measures, best management practices, or other measures,
418the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall
419consult with the department, the Department of Health, the water
420management districts, representatives from affected farming
421groups, and environmental group representatives. Such rules
422shall also incorporate provisions for a notice of intent to
423implement the practices and a system to assure the
424implementation of the practices, including recordkeeping
425requirements. Where water quality problems are detected despite
426the appropriate implementation, operation, and maintenance of
427best management practices and other measures according to rules
428adopted under this paragraph, the Department of Agriculture and
429Consumer Services shall institute a reevaluation of the best
430management practice or other measure.
431     3.  Where interim measures, best management practices, or
432other measures are adopted by rule, the effectiveness of such
433practices in achieving the levels of pollution reduction
434established in allocations developed by the department pursuant
435to this subsection and subsection (6) shall be verified at
436representative sites by the department. The department shall use
437best professional judgment in making the initial verification
438that the best management practices are effective and, where
439applicable, shall notify the appropriate water management
440district or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
441of its initial verification prior to the adoption of a rule
442proposed pursuant to this paragraph. Implementation, in
443accordance with rules adopted under this paragraph, of practices
444that have been initially verified to be effective, or verified
445to be effective by monitoring at representative sites, by the
446department shall provide a presumption of compliance with state
447water quality standards and release from the provisions of s.
448376.307(5) for those pollutants addressed by the practices, and
449the department is not authorized to institute proceedings
450against the owner of the source of pollution to recover costs or
451damages associated with the contamination of surface or ground
452water caused by those pollutants.
453     4.  Where water quality problems are demonstrated despite
454the appropriate implementation, operation, and maintenance of
455best management practices and other measures according to rules
456adopted under this paragraph, the department, or a water
457management district or the Department of Agriculture and
458Consumer Services in consultation with the department, shall
459institute a reevaluation of the best management practice or
460other measure. Should the reevaluation determine that the best
461management practice or other measure requires modification, the
462department, a water management district, or the Department of
463Agriculture and Consumer Services, as appropriate, shall revise
464the rule to require implementation of the modified practice
465within a reasonable time period as specified in the rule.
466     5.2.  Individual agricultural records relating to processes
467or methods of production, or relating to costs of production,
468profits, or other financial information which are otherwise not
469public records, which are reported to the Department of
470Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to subparagraphs 3.
471and 4. this paragraph or pursuant to any rule adopted pursuant
472to subparagraph 2. this paragraph shall be confidential and
473exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
474Constitution. Upon request of the department or any water
475management district, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
476Services shall make such individual agricultural records
477available to that agency, provided that the confidentiality
478specified by this subparagraph for such records is maintained.
479This subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset
480Review Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand
481repealed on October 2, 2006, unless reviewed and saved from
482repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
483     6.(e)  The provisions of subparagraphs 1. and 2. paragraphs
484(c) and (d) shall not preclude the department or water
485management district from requiring compliance with water quality
486standards or with current best management practice requirements
487set forth in any applicable regulatory program authorized by law
488for the purpose of protecting water quality. Additionally,
489subparagraphs 1. and 2. paragraphs (c) and (d) are applicable
490only to the extent that they do not conflict with any rules
491adopted promulgated by the department that are necessary to
492maintain a federally delegated or approved program.
493     (8)  RULES.--The department is authorized to adopt rules
494pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 for:
495     (a)  Delisting water bodies or water body segments from the
496list developed under subsection (4) pursuant to the guidance
497under subsection (5).;
498     (b)  Administration of funds to implement the total maximum
499daily load and basin management action planning program.;
500     (c)  Procedures for pollutant trading among the pollutant
501sources to a water body or water body segment, including a
502mechanism for the issuance and tracking of pollutant credits.
503Such procedures may be implemented through permits or other
504authorizations and must be legally binding. Prior to adopting
505rules for pollutant trading under this paragraph, and no later
506than November 30, 2006, the Department of Environmental
507Protection shall submit to the Governor, the President of the
508Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report
509containing recommendations on such rules, including the proposed
510basis for equitable economically based agreements and the
511tracking and accounting of pollution credits or other similar
512mechanisms. Such recommendations shall be developed in
513cooperation with a technical advisory committee that includes
514representatives of environmental organizations, industry, local
515government, homebuilders, water management districts,
516agriculture, stormwater utilities, and municipal utilities. No
517rule implementing a pollutant trading program shall become
518effective prior to review and ratification by the Legislature;
519and
520     (d)  The total maximum daily load calculation in accordance
521with paragraph (6)(a) immediately upon the effective date of
522this act, for those eight water segments within Lake Okeechobee
523proper as submitted to the United States Environmental
524Protection Agency pursuant to subsection (2).
525     (e)  Any other purpose specifically provided for in this
526section.
527     (11)  IMPLEMENTATION OF ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS.--
528     (a)  The department shall not implement, without prior
529legislative approval, any additional regulatory authority
530pursuant to s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act or 40 C.F.R. part
531130, if such implementation would result in water quality
532discharge regulation of activities not currently subject to
533regulation.
534     (b)  Interim measures, best management practices, or other
535measures may be developed and voluntarily implemented pursuant
536to subparagraph (7)(c)1. or subparagraph (7)(c)2. paragraph
537(7)(c) or paragraph (7)(d) for any water body or segment for
538which a total maximum daily load or allocation has not been
539established. The implementation of such pollution control
540programs may be considered by the department in the
541determination made pursuant to subsection (4).
542     Section 2.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section
543373.4595, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
544     373.4595  Lake Okeechobee Protection Program.--
545     (3)  LAKE OKEECHOBEE PROTECTION PROGRAM.--A protection
546program for Lake Okeechobee that achieves phosphorus load
547reductions for Lake Okeechobee shall be immediately implemented
548as specified in this subsection. The program shall address the
549reduction of phosphorus loading to the lake from both internal
550and external sources. Phosphorus load reductions shall be
551achieved through a phased program of implementation. Initial
552implementation actions shall be technology-based, based upon a
553consideration of both the availability of appropriate technology
554and the cost of such technology, and shall include phosphorus
555reduction measures at both the source and the regional level.
556The initial phase of phosphorus load reductions shall be based
557upon the district's Technical Publication 81-2 and the
558district's WOD program, with subsequent phases of phosphorus
559load reductions based upon the total maximum daily loads
560established in accordance with s. 403.067. In the development
561and administration of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Program,
562the coordinating agencies shall maximize opportunities provided
563by federal cost-sharing programs and opportunities for
564partnerships with the private sector.
565     (c)  Lake Okeechobee Watershed Phosphorus Control
566Program.--The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Phosphorus Control
567Program is designed to be a multifaceted approach to reducing
568phosphorus loads by improving the management of phosphorus
569sources within the Lake Okeechobee watershed through continued
570implementation of existing regulations and best management
571practices, development and implementation of improved best
572management practices, improvement and restoration of the
573hydrologic function of natural and managed systems, and
574utilization of alternative technologies for nutrient reduction.
575The coordinating agencies shall facilitate the application of
576federal programs that offer opportunities for water quality
577treatment, including preservation, restoration, or creation of
578wetlands on agricultural lands.
579     1.  Agricultural nonpoint source best management practices,
580developed in accordance with s. 403.067 and designed to achieve
581the objectives of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Program, shall
582be implemented on an expedited basis. By March 1, 2001, the
583coordinating agencies shall develop an interagency agreement
584pursuant to ss. 373.046 and 373.406(5) that assures the
585development of best management practices that complement
586existing regulatory programs and specifies how those best
587management practices are implemented and verified. The
588interagency agreement shall address measures to be taken by the
589coordinating agencies during any best management practice
590reevaluation performed pursuant to sub-subparagraph d. The
591department shall use best professional judgment in making the
592initial determination of best management practice effectiveness.
593     a.  As provided in s. 403.067(7)(c)(d), by October 1, 2000,
594the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in
595consultation with the department, the district, and affected
596parties, shall initiate rule development for interim measures,
597best management practices, conservation plans, nutrient
598management plans, or other measures necessary for Lake
599Okeechobee phosphorus load reduction. The rule shall include
600thresholds for requiring conservation and nutrient management
601plans and criteria for the contents of such plans. Development
602of agricultural nonpoint source best management practices shall
603initially focus on those priority basins listed in subparagraph
604(b)1. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in
605consultation with the department, the district, and affected
606parties, shall conduct an ongoing program for improvement of
607existing and development of new interim measures or best
608management practices for the purpose of adoption of such
609practices by rule.
610     b.  Where agricultural nonpoint source best management
611practices or interim measures have been adopted by rule of the
612Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the owner or
613operator of an agricultural nonpoint source addressed by such
614rule shall either implement interim measures or best management
615practices or demonstrate compliance with the district's WOD
616program by conducting monitoring prescribed by the department or
617the district. Owners or operators of agricultural nonpoint
618sources who implement interim measures or best management
619practices adopted by rule of the Department of Agriculture and
620Consumer Services shall be subject to the provisions of s.
621403.067(7). The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
622in cooperation with the department and the district, shall
623provide technical and financial assistance for implementation of
624agricultural best management practices, subject to the
625availability of funds.
626     c.  The district or department shall conduct monitoring at
627representative sites to verify the effectiveness of agricultural
628nonpoint source best management practices.
629     d.  Where water quality problems are detected for
630agricultural nonpoint sources despite the appropriate
631implementation of adopted best management practices, the
632Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation
633with the other coordinating agencies and affected parties, shall
634institute a reevaluation of the best management practices and
635make appropriate changes to the rule adopting best management
636practices.
637     2.  Nonagricultural nonpoint source best management
638practices, developed in accordance with s. 403.067 and designed
639to achieve the objectives of the Lake Okeechobee Protection
640Program, shall be implemented on an expedited basis. By March 1,
6412001, the department and the district shall develop an
642interagency agreement pursuant to ss. 373.046 and 373.406(5)
643that assures the development of best management practices that
644complement existing regulatory programs and specifies how those
645best management practices are implemented and verified. The
646interagency agreement shall address measures to be taken by the
647department and the district during any best management practice
648reevaluation performed pursuant to sub-subparagraph d.
649     a.  The department and the district are directed to work
650with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and
651Agricultural Sciences to develop appropriate nutrient
652application rates for all nonagricultural soil amendments in the
653watershed. As provided in s. 403.067(7)(c), by January 1, 2001,
654the department, in consultation with the district and affected
655parties, shall develop interim measures, best management
656practices, or other measures necessary for Lake Okeechobee
657phosphorus load reduction. Development of nonagricultural
658nonpoint source best management practices shall initially focus
659on those priority basins listed in subparagraph (b)1. The
660department, the district, and affected parties shall conduct an
661ongoing program for improvement of existing and development of
662new interim measures or best management practices. The district
663shall adopt technology-based standards under the district's WOD
664program for nonagricultural nonpoint sources of phosphorus.
665     b.  Where nonagricultural nonpoint source best management
666practices or interim measures have been developed by the
667department and adopted by the district, the owner or operator of
668a nonagricultural nonpoint source shall implement interim
669measures or best management practices and be subject to the
670provisions of s. 403.067(7). The department and district shall
671provide technical and financial assistance for implementation of
672nonagricultural nonpoint source best management practices,
673subject to the availability of funds.
674     c.  The district or the department shall conduct monitoring
675at representative sites to verify the effectiveness of
676nonagricultural nonpoint source best management practices.
677     d.  Where water quality problems are detected for
678nonagricultural nonpoint sources despite the appropriate
679implementation of adopted best management practices, the
680department and the district shall institute a reevaluation of
681the best management practices.
682     3.  The provisions of subparagraphs 1. and 2. shall not
683preclude the department or the district from requiring
684compliance with water quality standards or with current best
685management practices requirements set forth in any applicable
686regulatory program authorized by law for the purpose of
687protecting water quality. Additionally, subparagraphs 1. and 2.
688are applicable only to the extent that they do not conflict with
689any rules promulgated by the department that are necessary to
690maintain a federally delegated or approved program.
691     4.  Projects which reduce the phosphorus load originating
692from domestic wastewater systems within the Lake Okeechobee
693watershed shall be given funding priority in the department's
694revolving loan program under s. 403.1835. The department shall
695coordinate and provide assistance to those local governments
696seeking financial assistance for such priority projects.
697     5.  Projects that make use of private lands, or lands held
698in trust for Indian tribes, to reduce nutrient loadings or
699concentrations within a basin by one or more of the following
700methods: restoring the natural hydrology of the basin, restoring
701wildlife habitat or impacted wetlands, reducing peak flows after
702storm events, increasing aquifer recharge, or protecting range
703and timberland from conversion to development, are eligible for
704grants available under this section from the coordinating
705agencies. For projects of otherwise equal priority, special
706funding priority will be given to those projects that make best
707use of the methods outlined above that involve public-private
708partnerships or that obtain federal match money. Preference
709ranking above the special funding priority will be given to
710projects located in a rural area of critical economic concern
711designated by the Governor. Grant applications may be submitted
712by any person or tribal entity, and eligible projects may
713include, but are not limited to, the purchase of conservation
714and flowage easements, hydrologic restoration of wetlands,
715creating treatment wetlands, development of a management plan
716for natural resources, and financial support to implement a
717management plan.
718     6.a.  The department shall require all entities disposing
719of domestic wastewater residuals within the Lake Okeechobee
720watershed and the remaining areas of Okeechobee, Glades, and
721Hendry Counties to develop and submit to the department an
722agricultural use plan that limits applications based upon
723phosphorus loading. By July 1, 2005, phosphorus concentrations
724originating from these application sites shall not exceed the
725limits established in the district's WOD program.
726     b.  Private and government-owned utilities within Monroe,
727Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River,
728Okeechobee, Highlands, Hendry, and Glades Counties that dispose
729of wastewater residual sludge from utility operations and septic
730removal by land spreading in the Lake Okeechobee watershed may
731use a line item on local sewer rates to cover wastewater
732residual treatment and disposal if such disposal and treatment
733is done by approved alternative treatment methodology at a
734facility located within the areas designated by the Governor as
735rural areas of critical economic concern pursuant to s.
736288.0656. This additional line item is an environmental
737protection disposal fee above the present sewer rate and shall
738not be considered a part of the present sewer rate to customers,
739notwithstanding provisions to the contrary in chapter 367. The
740fee shall be established by the county commission or its
741designated assignee in the county in which the alternative
742method treatment facility is located. The fee shall be
743calculated to be no higher than that necessary to recover the
744facility's prudent cost of providing the service. Upon request
745by an affected county commission, the Florida Public Service
746Commission will provide assistance in establishing the fee.
747Further, for utilities and utility authorities that use the
748additional line item environmental protection disposal fee, such
749fee shall not be considered a rate increase under the rules of
750the Public Service Commission and shall be exempt from such
751rules. Utilities using the provisions of this section may
752immediately include in their sewer invoicing the new
753environmental protection disposal fee. Proceeds from this
754environmental protection disposal fee shall be used for
755treatment and disposal of wastewater residuals, including any
756treatment technology that helps reduce the volume of residuals
757that require final disposal, but such proceeds shall not be used
758for transportation or shipment costs for disposal or any costs
759relating to the land application of residuals in the Lake
760Okeechobee watershed.
761     c.  No less frequently than once every 3 years, the Florida
762Public Service Commission or the county commission through the
763services of an independent auditor shall perform a financial
764audit of all facilities receiving compensation from an
765environmental protection disposal fee. The Florida Public
766Service Commission or the county commission through the services
767of an independent auditor shall also perform an audit of the
768methodology used in establishing the environmental protection
769disposal fee. The Florida Public Service Commission or the
770county commission shall, within 120 days after completion of an
771audit, file the audit report with the President of the Senate
772and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and shall
773provide copies to the county commissions of the counties set
774forth in sub-subparagraph b. The books and records of any
775facilities receiving compensation from an environmental
776protection disposal fee shall be open to the Florida Public
777Service Commission and the Auditor General for review upon
778request.
779     7.  The Department of Health shall require all entities
780disposing of septage within the Lake Okeechobee watershed and
781the remaining areas of Okeechobee, Glades, and Hendry Counties
782to develop and submit to that agency, by July 1, 2003, an
783agricultural use plan that limits applications based upon
784phosphorus loading. By July 1, 2005, phosphorus concentrations
785originating from these application sites shall not exceed the
786limits established in the district's WOD program.
787     8.  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
788shall initiate rulemaking requiring entities within the Lake
789Okeechobee watershed and the remaining areas of Okeechobee,
790Glades, and Hendry Counties which land-apply animal manure to
791develop conservation or nutrient management plans that limit
792application, based upon phosphorus loading. Such rules may
793include criteria and thresholds for the requirement to develop a
794conservation or nutrient management plan, requirements for plan
795approval, and recordkeeping requirements.
796     9.  Prior to authorizing a discharge into works of the
797district, the district shall require responsible parties to
798demonstrate that proposed changes in land use will not result in
799increased phosphorus loading over that of existing land uses.
800     10.  The district, the department, or the Department of
801Agriculture and Consumer Services, as appropriate, shall
802implement those alternative nutrient reduction technologies
803determined to be feasible pursuant to subparagraph (d)6.
804     Section 3.  Subsection (1) of section 570.085, Florida
805Statutes, is amended to read:
806     570.085  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
807agricultural water conservation.--The department shall establish
808an agricultural water conservation program that includes the
809following:
810     (1)  A cost-share program, coordinated where appropriate
811with the United States Department of Agriculture and other
812federal, state, regional, and local agencies, for irrigation
813system retrofit and application of mobile irrigation laboratory
814evaluations for water conservation as provided in this section
815and, where applicable, for water quality improvement pursuant to
816s. 403.067(7)(c)(d).
817     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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