Senate Bill 2694

Senate Bill sb2694c1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2694

    By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senator Pruitt


  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to the Lake Okeechobee

  3         Protection Program; amending s. 373.4595, F.S.;

  4         providing legislative findings and intent with

  5         respect to implementation and funding of the

  6         Lake Okeechobee Watershed Phosphorus Control

  7         Program and the Lake Okeechobee Protection

  8         Program; providing for implementation and

  9         funding of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan;

10         providing an effective date.


12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:


14         Section 1.  Paragraphs (j), (k), and (l) of subsection

15  (1) of section 373.4595, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as

16  paragraphs (l), (m), and (n), respectively, and new paragraphs

17  (j), (k), and (o) are added to that subsection, paragraph (b)

18  of subsection (3) is amended, paragraph (g) of that subsection

19  is redesignated as paragraph (h), and a new paragraph (g) is

20  added to that subsection, to read:

21         373.4595  Lake Okeechobee Protection Program.--

22         (1)  FINDINGS AND INTENT.--

23         (j)  The Legislature finds that in order to achieve the

24  goals and objectives of this section and to effectively

25  implement the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Phosphorus Control

26  Program pursuant to paragraph (3)(c), the state must

27  expeditiously implement the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan

28  developed pursuant to paragraph (3)(a).

29         (k)  The Legislature finds that a continuing source of

30  funding is needed to effectively implement a phosphorus

31  control program that initially targets the most significant


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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2694

 1  sources contributing to phosphorus loads within the watershed

 2  and continues to address other sources as needed to achieve

 3  the phased phosphorus load reductions required under this

 4  section.

 5         (o)  It is the intent of the Legislature to provide

 6  funding on a continuing basis for the purpose of implementing

 7  the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan and achieving phosphorus

 8  load reductions consistent with total maximum daily loads

 9  established pursuant to s. 403.067.

10         (3)  LAKE OKEECHOBEE PROTECTION PROGRAM.--A protection

11  program for Lake Okeechobee that achieves phosphorus load

12  reductions for Lake Okeechobee shall be immediately

13  implemented as specified in this subsection. The program shall

14  address the reduction of phosphorus loading to the lake from

15  both internal and external sources. Phosphorus load reductions

16  shall be achieved through a phased program of implementation.

17  Initial implementation actions shall be technology-based,

18  based upon a consideration of both the availability of

19  appropriate technology and the cost of such technology, and

20  shall include phosphorus reduction measures at both the source

21  and the regional level. The initial phase of phosphorus load

22  reductions shall be based upon the district's Technical

23  Publication 81-2 and the district's WOD program, with

24  subsequent phases of phosphorus load reductions based upon the

25  total maximum daily loads established in accordance with s.

26  403.067. In the development and administration of the Lake

27  Okeechobee Protection Program, the coordinating agencies shall

28  maximize opportunities provided by federal cost-sharing

29  programs and opportunities for partnerships with the private

30  sector.



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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2694

 1         (b)  Lake Okeechobee Construction Project.--To improve

 2  the hydrology and water quality of Lake Okeechobee and

 3  downstream receiving waters, the district shall design and

 4  construct the Lake Okeechobee Construction Project.

 5         1.  Phase I.--Phase I of the Lake Okeechobee

 6  Construction Project shall consist of a series of project

 7  features consistent with the recommendations of the South

 8  Florida Ecosystem Restoration Working Group's Lake Okeechobee

 9  Action Plan. Priority basins for such projects include S-191,

10  S-154, and Pools D and E in the Lower Kissimmee River. In

11  order to obtain immediate phosphorus load reductions to Lake

12  Okeechobee as soon as possible, the following actions shall be

13  implemented:

14         a.  The district shall serve as a full partner with the

15  Corps of Engineers in the design and construction of the

16  Grassy Island Ranch and New Palm Dairy stormwater treatment

17  facilities as components of the Lake Okeechobee Water

18  Retention/Phosphorus Removal Critical Project. The Corps of

19  Engineers shall have the lead in design and construction of

20  these facilities. However, the district shall encourage the

21  Corps of Engineers to complete a detailed design document by

22  July 1, 2001. Should delays be encountered in the

23  implementation of either of these facilities, the district

24  shall notify the department and recommend corrective actions.

25         b.  By January 1, 2001, the district shall obtain

26  permits and complete construction of two of the isolated

27  wetland restoration projects that are part of the Lake

28  Okeechobee Water Retention/Phosphorus Removal Critical

29  Project. The additional isolated wetland projects included in

30  this critical project shall be permitted and constructed by



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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2694

 1  January 1, 2003, to further reduce phosphorus loading to Lake

 2  Okeechobee.

 3         c.  By January 31, 2002, the district shall design and

 4  complete implementation of the Lake Okeechobee Tributary

 5  Sediment Removal Pilot Project. This project shall consist of

 6  testing two alternative technologies for trapping and

 7  collecting phosphorus-laden sediment in the secondary drainage

 8  system prior to its discharge into the primary canal system

 9  and Lake Okeechobee, thereby further reducing the total

10  sediment loading to the lake.

11         d.  The district shall work with the Corps of Engineers

12  to expedite initiation of the design process for the Taylor

13  Creek/Nubbins Slough Reservoir Assisted Stormwater Treatment

14  Area, a project component of the Restudy. The district shall

15  propose to the Corps of Engineers that the district take the

16  lead in the design and construction of the Reservoir Assisted

17  Stormwater Treatment Area and receive credit towards the local

18  share of the total cost of the Restudy.

19         2.  Phase II.--By January 1, 2004, the district, in

20  cooperation with the other coordinating agencies and the Corps

21  of Engineers, shall develop an implementation plan for Phase

22  II of the Lake Okeechobee Construction Project. Phase II shall

23  include construction of additional facilities in the priority

24  basins identified in subparagraph (b)1., as well as facilities

25  for other basins in the Lake Okeechobee watershed. The

26  implementation plan shall:

27         a.  Identify Lake Okeechobee Construction Project

28  facilities to be constructed to achieve a design objective of

29  40 parts per billion (ppb) for phosphorus measured as a

30  long-term flow weighted average concentration, unless an



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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2694

 1  allocation has been established pursuant to s. 403.067 for the

 2  Lake Okeechobee total maximum daily load.

 3         b.  Identify the size and location of all such Lake

 4  Okeechobee Construction Project facilities.

 5         c.  Provide a construction schedule for all such Lake

 6  Okeechobee Construction Project facilities, including the

 7  sequencing and specific timeframe for construction of each

 8  Lake Okeechobee Construction Project facility.

 9         d.  Provide a land acquisition schedule for lands

10  necessary to achieve the construction schedule.

11         e.  Provide a detailed schedule of costs associated

12  with the construction schedule.

13         f.  Identify, to the maximum extent practicable,

14  impacts on wetlands and state-listed species expected to be

15  associated with construction of such facilities, including

16  potential alternatives to minimize and mitigate such impacts,

17  as appropriate.

18         3.  Evaluation.--By January 1, 2004, and every 3 years

19  thereafter, the district, in cooperation with the coordinating

20  agencies, shall conduct an evaluation of any further

21  phosphorus load reductions necessary to achieve compliance

22  with the Lake Okeechobee total maximum daily load established

23  pursuant to s. 403.067. Additionally, the district shall

24  identify modifications to facilities of the Lake Okeechobee

25  Construction Project as appropriate if the design objective of

26  40 parts per billion (ppb) or the allocation established

27  pursuant to s. 403.067 for the Lake Okeechobee total maximum

28  daily load established pursuant to s. 403.067 is not being

29  met. The evaluation shall be included in the applicable annual

30  progress report submitted pursuant to paragraph (h) (g).



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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 2694

 1         4.  Coordination and review.--To ensure the timely

 2  implementation of the Lake Okeechobee Construction Project,

 3  the design of project facilities shall be coordinated with the

 4  department and other interested parties to the maximum extent

 5  practicable. Lake Okeechobee Construction Project facilities

 6  shall be reviewed and commented upon by the department prior

 7  to the execution of a construction contract by the district

 8  for that facility.

 9         (g)  Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan

10  implementation.--The coordinating agencies shall be jointly

11  responsible for implementation of the Lake Okeechobee

12  Protection Plan, consistent with the statutory authority and

13  responsibility of each agency. Annual funding priorities shall

14  be jointly established and the highest priority shall be

15  assigned to programs and projects that address phosphorus

16  sources that have the highest relative contribution to

17  phosphorus loading and the greatest potential for phosphorus

18  reduction. In determining funding priorities, the coordinating

19  agencies shall also consider the need for regulatory

20  compliance, the extent to which the program or project is

21  ready to proceed, and the availability of federal matching

22  funds or other nonstate funding, including public-private

23  partnerships. Federal and other nonstate funding shall be

24  maximized to the greatest extent practicable.

25         Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.


                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
28                         Senate Bill 2694


30  The committee substitute removes the appropriation of $5
    million from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of
31  Environmental Protection.


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