Florida Senate - 2014 CS for SB 1576
By the Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation;
and Senators Dean, Montford, Soto, Simmons, Hays, Altman, and
1 A bill to be entitled
3 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section 201.15, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:201.15 Distribution of taxes collected.—All taxes collected under this chapter are subject to the service charge imposed in s. 215.20(1). Prior to distribution under this section, the Department of Revenue shall deduct amounts necessary to pay the costs of the collection and enforcement of the tax levied by this chapter. Such costs and the service charge may not be levied against any portion of taxes pledged to debt service on bonds to the extent that the costs and service charge are required to pay any amounts relating to the bonds. After distributions are made pursuant to subsection (1), all of the costs of the collection and enforcement of the tax levied by this chapter and the service charge shall be available and transferred to the extent necessary to pay debt service and any other amounts payable with respect to bonds authorized before January 1, 2013, secured by revenues distributed pursuant to subsection (1). All taxes remaining after deduction of costs and the service charge shall be distributed as follows:(1) Sixty-three and thirty-one hundredths percent of the remaining taxes shall be used for the following purposes:(c) After the required payments under paragraphs (a) and (b), the remainder shall be paid into the State Treasury to the credit of:1. The State Transportation Trust Fund in the Department of Transportation in the amount of the lesser of 38.2 percent of the remainder or $541.75 million in each fiscal year. Out of such funds, the first $50 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year; $65 million for the 2013-2014 fiscal year; and $75 million for the 2014-2015 fiscal year and all subsequent years, shall be transferred to the State Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund within the Department of Economic Opportunity. The remainder shall
is to be used for the following specified purposes, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary:a. For the purposes of capital funding for the New Starts Transit Program, authorized by Title 49, U.S.C. s. 5309 and specified in s. 341.051, 10 percent of these funds;b. For the purposes of the Small County Outreach Program specified in s. 339.2818, 5 percent of these funds. Effective July 1, 2014, the percentage allocated under this sub-subparagraph shall be increased to 10 percent;c. For the purposes of the Strategic Intermodal System specified in ss. 339.61, 339.62, 339.63, and 339.64, 75 percent of these funds after allocating for the New Starts Transit Program described in sub-subparagraph a. and the Small County Outreach Program described in sub-subparagraph b.; andd. For the purposes of the Transportation Regional Incentive Program specified in s. 339.2819, 25 percent of these funds after allocating for the New Starts Transit Program described in sub-subparagraph a. and the Small County Outreach Program described in sub-subparagraph b. Effective July 1, 2014, the first $60 million of the funds allocated pursuant to this sub-subparagraph shall be allocated annually to the Florida Rail Enterprise for the purposes established in s. 341.303(5).2. The Grants and Donations Trust Fund in the Department of Economic Opportunity in the amount of the lesser of 0.23 .23 percent of the remainder or $3.25 million in each fiscal year to fund technical assistance to local governments.3. The Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund in the amount of:a. The lesser of 2.12 percent of the remainder or $30 million in each fiscal year , to be used for the preservation and repair of the state’s beaches as provided in ss. 161.091-161.212; andb. Thirty-six and nine-tenths percent of the remainder in each fiscal year to be used for restoration and protection of Outstanding Florida Springs pursuant to part VIII of chapter 373, and for the acquisition of lands identified on the most current Board of Trustees Florida Forever Priority List, or by a water management district, which protect the essential parcels of the named spring projects that improve water quality or conserve water use and are located partially or fully within a spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring.4. General Inspection Trust Fund in the amount of the lesser of 0.02 .02 percent of the remainder or $300,000 in each fiscal year to be used to fund oyster management and restoration programs as provided in s. 379.362(3).Moneys distributed pursuant to this paragraph may not be pledged for debt service unless such pledge is approved by referendum of the voters.Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 373.042, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:373.042 Minimum flows and levels.—(1) Within each section, or within the water management district as a whole, the department or the governing board shall establish the following:(a) Minimum flow for all surface watercourses in the area. The minimum flow for a given watercourse is shall be the limit at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area.(b) Minimum water level. The minimum water level is shall be the level of groundwater in an aquifer and the level of surface water at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources of the area.(c) Minimum flow and minimum water level for an Outstanding Florida Spring, as defined in s. 373.802. The minimum flow and minimum water level are the limit and level, respectively, at which further withdrawals would be harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area.The minimum flow and minimum water level shall be calculated by the department and the governing board using the best information available. When appropriate, minimum flows and minimum water levels may be calculated to reflect seasonal variations. The department and the governing board shall also consider, and at their discretion may provide for, the protection of nonconsumptive uses in the establishment of minimum flows and minimum water levels.Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 373.0421, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:373.0421 Establishment and implementation of minimum flows and levels.—(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—(a) Considerations.—When establishing minimum flows and minimum water levels pursuant to s. 373.042, the department or governing board shall consider changes and structural alterations to watersheds, surface waters, and aquifers and the effects such changes or alterations have had, and the constraints such changes or alterations have placed, on the hydrology of an affected watershed, surface water, or aquifer, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall allow significant harm as provided by s. 373.042(1)(a) and (b), or harm as provided by s. 373.042(1)(c), caused by withdrawals.Section 4. Part VIII of chapter 373, Florida Statutes, consisting of sections 373.801, 373.802, 373.803, 373.805, 373.807, 373.808, 373.809, 373.811, and 373.813, Florida Statutes, is created and entitled the “Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act.”Section 5. Section 373.801, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.801 Legislative findings and intent.—(1) The Legislature finds that springs are a unique part of this state’s scenic beauty, deserving the highest level of protection under s. 7., Art. II of the State Constitution. Springs provide critical habitat for plants and animals, including many endangered or threatened species. Springs also provide immeasurable natural, recreational, economic, and inherent value. Flow level and water quality of springs are indicators of local conditions of the Floridan Aquifer, which is the source of drinking water for many residents of this state. Springs are of great scientific importance in understanding the diverse functions of aquatic ecosystems. In addition, springs provide recreational opportunities for swimming, canoeing, wildlife watching, fishing, cave diving, and many other activities in this state. Because of such recreational opportunities and the accompanying tourism, state and local economies benefit from many of the springs in this state.(2) Water quantity and water quality in springs are directly related. For regulatory purposes, the department has primary responsibility for water quality; the water management districts have primary responsibility for water quantity; the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has primary responsibility for the development and implementation of best management practices; and local governments have primary responsibility for providing wastewater and stormwater management. The foregoing responsible entities must work together in a coordinated manner to restore and maintain the water quantity and water quality for Outstanding Florida Springs.(3) The Legislature recognizes that:(a) Springs are only as healthy as their springsheds. The groundwater that supplies springs is derived from water that recharges the aquifer system in the form of seepage from the land surface and through direct conduits such as sinkholes. Springs are adversely affected by polluted runoff from urban and agricultural lands; discharge resulting from inadequate wastewater and stormwater management practices; stormwater runoff; and the reduced water levels of the Floridan Aquifer. As a result, the hydrologic and environmental conditions of a spring or spring run are directly influenced by activities and land uses within a springshed and by water withdrawals from the Floridan Aquifer.(b) Springs, whether found in urban or rural settings, or on public or private lands, are threatened by actual or potential flow reductions and declining water quality. Many of this state’s springs are demonstrating signs of significant ecological imbalance, increased nutrient loading, and declining water flow. Without effective remedial actions, further declines in water quality and water quantity will occur.(c) The state standards regulating both water quality and quantity, including minimum criteria relating to nutrient concentrations in groundwater, need to protect both human health and the complex biological and ecological systems that contribute to the integrity of springs.(d) Springshed boundaries and areas of high vulnerability within a springshed need to be identified and delineated using the best available data.(e) Because springsheds cross water management district and local government jurisdictional boundaries, a coordinated statewide springs protection plan is needed.(f) The aquifers and springs of this state are complex systems affected by many variables and influences.(4) The Legislature recognizes that sufficient information exists to act, action is urgently needed, and action can be continually modified as additional data is acquired. Therefore, state agencies and water management districts shall work together with local governments to delineate springsheds and spring protection and management zones and develop comprehensive plans and land development regulations that protect the springs of this state for future generations.(5) The Legislature intends to establish a spring and aquifer protection program to be administered by the department. Section 6. Section 373.802, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.802 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:(1) “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection, which includes the Florida Geological Survey or its successor agency or agencies.(2) “Local government” means a county or municipal government the jurisdictional boundaries of which include an Outstanding Florida Spring, or any part of a delineated springshed or spring protection and management zone for an Outstanding Florida Spring.(3) “Onsite sewage treatment and disposal system” means a system that contains a standard subsurface, filled, or mound drainfield system; an aerobic treatment unit; a graywater system tank; a laundry wastewater system tank; a septic tank; a grease interceptor; a pump tank; a solids or effluent pump; a waterless, incinerating, or organic waste-composting toilet; or a sanitary pit privy that is installed or proposed to be installed beyond the building sewer on land of the owner or on other land to which the owner has the legal right to install a system. The term includes any item placed within, or intended to be used as a part of or in conjunction with, the system. The term does not include package sewage treatment facilities and other treatment works regulated under chapter 403.(4) “Outstanding Florida Spring” includes all historic first magnitude springs, as determined by the department using the most recent Florida Geological Survey springs bulletin, and the following springs and their associated spring runs: (a) DeLeon Spring;(b) Peacock Spring;(c) Rock Springs;(d) Wekiwa Spring; and(e) Gemini Spring.(5) “Responsible management entity” means a legal entity established for the purpose of providing localized nutrient management services with the requisite managerial, financial, and technical capacity to ensure long-term management of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems and other local nutrient sources at the option of the local government within its jurisdiction.(6) “Spring protection and management zone” means the area or areas of a springshed where the Floridan Aquifer is vulnerable to surface sources of contamination or reduced levels, as determined by the department in consultation with the appropriate water management districts.(7) “Spring run” means a body of flowing water that originates from a spring or whose primary source of water is a spring or springs under average rainfall conditions.(8) “Springshed” means the areas within the groundwater and surface water basins which have historically contributed to the discharge of a spring as defined by potentiometric surface maps and surface watershed boundaries.(9) “Spring vent” means a location where groundwater flows out of a natural, discernable opening in the ground onto the land surface or into a predominantly fresh surface waterbody.Section 7. Section 373.803, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.803 Delineation of spring protection and management zones for Outstanding Florida Springs.—Using the best data available from the water management districts and other credible sources, the department, in consultation with the water management districts, shall delineate one or more spring protection and management zones for each Outstanding Florida Spring. In delineating spring protection and management zones, the department shall consider groundwater travel time to the spring, hydrogeology, and nutrient load. The delineation of spring protection and management zones must be completed by July 1, 2015. In conjunction with delineating a spring protection and management zone for an Outstanding Florida Spring, the department shall adopt by rule, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, maps and legal descriptions that depict the delineated spring protection and management zone or zones for that spring.Section 8. Section 373.805, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.805 Minimum flow and minimum water level for Outstanding Florida Springs.—(1) Each water management district shall establish a minimum flow and minimum water level for each Outstanding Florida Spring within its jurisdiction by July 1, 2015, in accordance with ss. 373.042 and 373.0421. The deadline may be extended each year until July 1, 2020, if a water management district provides sufficient evidence to the department that an extension is in the best interest of the public. This subsection does not apply to minimum flows and minimum water levels adopted prior to July 1, 2014, for a spring included in the definition of Outstanding Florida Springs in s. 373.802, until such time as the minimum flow or minimum water level is revised, or otherwise amended.(2) By July 1, 2017, each water management district shall approve a recovery or prevention strategy, as required by ss. 373.042 and 373.0421, for each Outstanding Florida Spring in its jurisdiction in which the existing flow or water level of the Outstanding Florida Spring is below, or is projected within the next 20 years to fall below, the applicable minimum flow or minimum water level established pursuant to s. 373.042. The recovery or prevention strategy for each Outstanding Florida Spring must include, at a minimum:(a) A listing of all specific projects identified for implementation of a recovery or prevention strategy.(b) A priority listing of each project.(c) The estimated cost for each listed project.(d) The source and amount of financial assistance to be made available by the water management district for each project, which may not be less than 25 percent of the total project cost unless a specific funding source is identified which will provide more than 75 percent of the total project cost. The Northwest Florida Water Management District and the Suwannee River Water Management District are not required to provide matching funds pursuant to this paragraph.Section 9. Section 373.807, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.807 Protection of water quality in Outstanding Florida Springs.—By July 1, 2015, the department shall assess each Outstanding Florida Spring for which an impairment determination has not been made under the numeric nutrient standards in effect for spring vents.(1) BASIN MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN.—By July 1, 2017, the department shall develop basin management action plans, as specified in s. 403.067(7), for Outstanding Florida Springs impaired by nutrients.(2) SPRING ACTION PLAN.—The department shall begin preparation of a spring action plan for each Outstanding Florida Spring that has an adopted basin management action plan or an implemented recovery or prevention strategy by July 1, 2014, or as soon as a basin management action plan is adopted or a recovery or prevention strategy is implemented.(a) The department shall develop a spring action plan for each Outstanding Florida Spring that:1. Has a basin management action plan adopted pursuant to s. 403.067(7);2. Has a recovery or prevention strategy implemented pursuant to ss. 373.042 and 373.0421; or3. Is projected to be impaired by nutrients within 20 years.(b) A spring action plan must include all of the following:1. All projects in the basin management action plan which are located within a spring protection and management zone.2. All projects in the regional water supply plan which are located within a spring protection and management zone.3. All projects included in a recovery or prevention strategy which are within a spring protection and management zone.4. All projects proposed by the department which will prevent or stop potential nutrient impairment.5. An estimate of a listed project’s reduction of nutrient loading.6. A map and legal descriptions depicting the spring protection and management zones established pursuant to s. 373.803.7. Identification of each point source or category of nonpoint sources, including but not limited to, urban fertilizer, turf fertilizer, agricultural fertilizer, onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, wastewater treatment facilities, animal wastes, and stormwater facilities. A detailed allocation of the pollutant load shall be provided for each point source or category of nonpoint sources.(3) REQUIREMENTS.—(a) Within 6 months of the delineation of a spring protection and management zone or zones of an Outstanding Florida Spring that is fully or partially within the jurisdiction of a local government, a local government must develop, enact, and implement an ordinance that meets or exceeds the requirements of the department’s Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes. Such ordinance must require that, within a spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring impaired by nutrients, the nitrogen content of any fertilizer applied to turf or landscape plants may not exceed the lowest, basic maintenance rate of the most recent recommendations by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The department shall adopt rules to implement this paragraph which establish reasonable minimum standards and reflect advancements or improvements regarding nutrient load reductions.(b) Until adequate funding becomes available pursuant to s. 373.808, or until the Legislature provides an additional adequate funding source, remedial actions required under this paragraph are not required, unless they are included in an adopted basin management action plan.1. The owner or operator of each existing wastewater treatment facility in a spring protection and management zone shall meet a standard of no more than 3 mg/L Total Nitrogen, expressed as N, on an annual permitted basis by July 1, 2021, unless granted a variance or exemption pursuant to s. 373.813.2. By July 1, 2016, the owner or operator of each existing wastewater treatment facility in a spring protection and management zone shall file for approval by the department a plan for complying with this paragraph. Upon a showing to the department of inordinate expense or that a delay is in the best interest of the public, the department may grant a local government or wastewater treatment facility an extension of up to 2 years to implement the plan. The owner or operator shall submit a proposal for funding at least once every 2 years until the plan is fully implemented.3. By July 1, 2019, each agricultural producer in a spring protection and management zone must implement best management practices or other measures necessary to achieve pollution reduction levels established by the department. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation with the department, shall adopt rules to implement this subparagraph.4. By July 1, 2016, the department, in consultation with the Department of Health and local governments, must identify onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems serving single-family residential properties of less than 1 acre and multi-family residential, commercial, and industrial properties located within a spring protection and management zone. Within 1 year of identification of these systems, and in consultation with the department, the local governments in which they are located shall develop an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system remediation plan. For each onsite sewage treatment and disposal system, the plan must include whether the system requires upgrading, connection to a central sewerage system, or no action. The plan must also include a priority ranking for each system or group of systems that requires remediation. Each remediation plan must be submitted to the department for approval. After approval of the remediation plan, the local government shall begin implementing the approved remediation plan. The costs of connection to a central sewerage system or upgrading the onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems may not be imposed on the property owner. The local government shall submit a proposal for funding at least every 2 years until the plan is fully implemented.Section 10. Section 373.808, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.808 Funding for the restoration of Outstanding Florida Springs.—(1) In order to satisfy the requirements under this part, state agencies, water management districts, local governments, special districts, utilities, and regional management entities, if applicable, shall cooperate with property owners and agricultural producers to submit project proposals to the department in order to receive funding for up to 75 percent of the total project cost. Project submittals for upgrades or connections of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, and those submitted by a fiscally constrained county as described in s. 218.67(1) or in a municipality located therein, are eligible for funding of up to 100 percent of the total project cost.(2) Projects approved by the department shall be funded by moneys from documentary stamp tax revenues deposited into the Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund in accordance with s. 201.15(1)(c)3.b. The Legislature may use other sources of revenue to fund projects submitted to the department pursuant to this part.(3) The department may distribute moneys deposited into the Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund pursuant to subsection (2) to any person who submits a project proposal application to the department for which funding is approved. The department shall distribute moneys to state agencies and water management districts for all reasonable administrative costs related to implementing this part. In addition, the department may adopt rules to develop grant application procedures to cover reasonable administrative costs of a fiscally constrained county as described in s. 218.67(1) or a municipality located therein.(4) Moneys in the fund not needed in the current fiscal year to meet obligations incurred under this part shall be deposited to the credit of the fund and may be invested in the manner provided by law. Interest received on such investments shall be credited to the Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund for the purposes specified in s. 201.15(1)(c)3.b.(5) By December 31, 2014, the department shall adopt rules to fund pilot projects that test the effectiveness of innovative or existing nutrient reduction or water conservation technologies designed to minimize nutrient pollution in the springs of this state. The department must approve funding for at least two pilot projects in each project selection cycle if the department determines that the project will not be harmful to the ecological resources in the study area.(6) By December 31, 2014, the department shall develop and recommend rules to competitively evaluate, select, and rank projects eligible for partial or complete funding under this section. In developing these rules, the department shall give preference to the projects that it estimates will result in the greatest improvement to water quality and water quantity for the dollars to be expended for the project. At a minimum, the department shall consider the following criteria:(a) Whether the project is within a spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring impaired by nutrients.(b) The level of nutrient impairment of the Outstanding Florida Spring in which the project is located.(c) The quantity of pollutants, particularly total nitrogen, the project is estimated to remove from a spring protection and management zone.(d) Whether the project is within a spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring that is not meeting its adopted minimum flow or minimum water level.(e) The flow necessary to restore the Outstanding Florida Spring to its adopted minimum flow or minimum water level.(f) The anticipated impact the project will have on restoring or increasing water flow or water level.(g) Whether the project facilitates or enhances an existing basin management action plan adopted by the department to address pollutant loadings.(h) Whether the project is identified and prioritized in an adopted regional water supply plan.(i) The percentage by which the amount of matching funds provided by the applicant exceeds the statutory minimum required under s. 373.805 or s. 373.807.(j) For multiple-year projects, whether the project has funding sources that are identified and assured through the expected completion date of the project.(k) The cost of the project and the length of time it will take to complete relative to its expected benefits.(l) Whether the applicant, since July 1, 2009, has used its own funds for projects to improve water quality or conserve water use within a springshed or spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring, with preference given to those applicants that have expended such funds.(7) In addition to the criteria set forth in subsection (6), a project may not be funded by the department under this part unless it is listed on a spring action plan.Section 11. Section 373.809, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.809 Prohibited activities within a spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring.—The following activities are prohibited within a spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring:(1) New municipal or industrial wastewater disposal systems, including rapid infiltration basins, except those systems that meet an advanced wastewater treatment standard of no more than 3 mg/L Total Nitrogen, expressed as N, on an annual permitted basis, or a higher treatment standard if the department determines the higher standard is necessary to prevent impairment or aid in the recovery of an Outstanding Florida Spring.(2) New onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems on lots less than 1 acre, except for active or passive nitrogen removing onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems approved by the Department of Health.(3) New facilities for the disposal of hazardous waste.(4) The land spreading, dumping, or disposal of all domestic wastewater residuals or septage.(5) Concentrated animal feeding operations or intense cattle finishing and slaughter operations. This subsection does not apply to operations permitted by July 1, 2014, or the future expansion of livestock or poultry operations engaged in the occupation of bona fide agriculture as of July 1, 2014.Section 12. Section 373.811, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.811 Rules.—(1) The department shall adopt rules to create a program to improve water quantity and water quality pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this part, as applicable. In developing rules to administer s. 373.808, the department shall use the Total Maximum Daily Load Water Quality Restoration Grants rule as guidance to develop a comparable program for the restoration and protection of the water quality and water quantity for Outstanding Florida Springs.(2) The Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the water management districts, and responsible management entities may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this part, as applicable.(3)(a) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the lead agency coordinating the reduction of agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution for the protection of Outstanding Florida Springs. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the department, pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(c)4., shall study new or revised best management practices for improving and protecting Outstanding Florida Springs and, if necessary, in cooperation with applicable local governments and stakeholders, initiate rulemaking to require the implementation of such practices within a reasonable time period.(b) The department, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences shall cooperate in conducting the necessary research and demonstration projects to develop improved or additional nutrient management tools, including the use of controlled release fertilizer that can be used by agricultural producers as part of an agricultural best management practices program. The development of such tools must reflect a balance between water quality improvement and agricultural productivity and, when applicable, must be incorporated into the revised best management practices adopted by rule of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.Section 13. Section 373.813, Florida Statutes, is created to read:373.813 Variances and exemptions.—A person may apply to the appropriate agency or a water management district for a variance or exemption from any requirement in this part. An agency or a water management district may approve the application upon receiving reasonable assurance that the applicant’s proposed activity, evaluated individually and as part of cumulative impacts, will not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards, minimum flows, or minimum water levels in an Outstanding Florida Spring.Section 14. Present paragraphs (n) through (q) of subsection (2) of section 381.0065, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as paragraphs (o) through (r), respectively, a new paragraph (n) is added to that subsection, and subsection (7) is added to that section, to read:381.0065 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; regulation.—(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in ss. 381.0065-381.0067, the term:(n) “Responsible management entity” has the same meaning as in s. 373.802.(7) RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT ENTITIES.—(a) By March 1, 2015, the department and the Department of Environmental Protection shall submit a report and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the creation and operation of responsible management entities within spring protection and management zones of Outstanding Florida Springs, as defined in s. 373.802. The report must focus on the feasibility of different management models to prevent, reduce, and control nutrient pollution from onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, including the costs associated with each model. In addition, the report must compare the results of the differing management models to a mandatory onsite sewage treatment and disposal system evaluation and assessment program or any other option that would achieve similar nutrient pollution reductions in the short and long term.(b) A local government may not create a responsible management entity without the prior approval of the department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection. In reviewing requests for the creation of a responsible management entity, the local government must demonstrate to the department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, that it has the management skills, personnel, financial capacity, and technical expertise to properly operate and maintain such an entity.(c) The department shall ensure that responsible management entities adopt rules and policies that are at least as restrictive as state law.Section 15. Section 381.00651, Florida Statutes, is repealed.Section 16. Comprehensive study on nutrient reduction improvements and the beneficial use of reclaimed water, stormwater, and excess surface water.—(1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the five water management districts, shall conduct a comprehensive study on the expansion of the beneficial use of reclaimed water, stormwater, and excess surface water in this state. The final report of the study must:(a) Describe factors that currently prohibit or otherwise complicate the expansion of the beneficial use of reclaimed water and include recommendations for the mitigation or elimination of such factors.(b) Identify environmental, public health, public perception, engineering, and fiscal issues, and user fee amounts, including utility rate structures for potable and reclaimed water.(c) Identify areas in the state where making reclaimed water available for irrigation or other uses is necessary because the use of traditional water supply sources is constrained by limitations on availability.(d) Evaluate the costs to users of reclaimed water compared to the cost associated with traditional water sources, including an examination of the nutrient concentrations in reclaimed water and the necessity for additional fertilizer supplementation.(e) Evaluate permitting incentives, such as further extending current authorization for long-term consumptive use permits to all entities substituting reclaimed water for traditional water sources or including in such permits a provision that authorizes conversion to traditional water sources if reclaimed water becomes unavailable or cost prohibitive.(f) Describe the basic feasibility, benefit, and cost estimates for the infrastructure needed to construct regional storage features on public or private lands for reclaimed water, stormwater, or excess surface water, including collection and delivery mechanisms for beneficial uses rather than discharge to tide, such as agricultural irrigation, power generation, public water supply, wetland restoration, groundwater recharge, and water body base flow augmentation.(g) Describe any other alternative processes, systems, or technology that may be comparable or preferable to a regional storage system or that may effectively complement or be a substitute for a regional storage system.(h) Evaluate the impact of implementation of a comprehensive reclaimed water plan on traditional water sources and aquifer levels.(2) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Environmental Protection shall jointly hold a public meeting to gather input on the design of the comprehensive study and to provide an opportunity for public comment before publishing the final report of the study.(3) The final report shall be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 1, 2015.(4) This section expires on December 1, 2015.Section 17. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.