(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—In furtherance of public policy established in s. 403.021, the Legislature declares that the waters of the state are among its most basic resources and that the development of a total maximum daily load program for state waters as required by s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq. will promote improvements in water quality throughout the state through the coordinated control of point and nonpoint sources of pollution. The Legislature finds that, while point and nonpoint sources of pollution have been managed through numerous programs, better coordination among these efforts and additional management measures may be needed in order to achieve the restoration of impaired water bodies. The scientifically based total maximum daily load program is necessary to fairly and equitably allocate pollution loads to both nonpoint and point sources. Implementation of the allocation shall include consideration of a cost-effective approach coordinated between contributing point and nonpoint sources of pollution for impaired water bodies or water body segments and may include the opportunity to implement the allocation through nonregulatory and incentive-based programs. The Legislature further declares that the Department of Environmental Protection shall be the lead agency in administering this program and shall coordinate with local governments, water management districts, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, local soil and water conservation districts, environmental groups, regulated interests, other appropriate state agencies, and affected pollution sources in developing and executing the total maximum daily load program. (2) LIST OF SURFACE WATERS OR SEGMENTS.—In accordance with s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq., the department must submit periodically to the United States Environmental Protection Agency a list of surface waters or segments for which total maximum daily load assessments will be conducted. The assessments shall evaluate the water quality conditions of the listed waters and, if such waters are determined not to meet water quality standards, total maximum daily loads shall be established, subject to the provisions of subsection (4). The department shall establish a priority ranking and schedule for analyzing such waters.
(a) The list, priority ranking, and schedule cannot be used in the administration or implementation of any regulatory program. However, this paragraph does not prohibit any agency from employing the data or other information used to establish the list, priority ranking, or schedule in administering any program.
(b) The list, priority ranking, and schedule prepared under this subsection shall be made available for public comment, but shall not be subject to challenge under chapter 120.
(c) The provisions of this subsection are applicable to all lists prepared by the department and submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq., including those submitted prior to the effective date of this act, except as provided in subsection (4).
(d) If the department proposes to implement total maximum daily load calculations or allocations established prior to the effective date of this act, the department shall adopt those calculations and allocations by rule by the secretary pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 and paragraph (6)(c). (3) ASSESSMENT.—
(a) Based on the priority ranking and schedule for a particular listed water body or water body segment, the department shall conduct a total maximum daily load assessment of the basin in which the water body or water body segment is located using the methodology developed pursuant to paragraph (b). In conducting this assessment, the department shall coordinate with the local water management district, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, other appropriate state agencies, soil and water conservation districts, environmental groups, regulated interests, and other interested parties.
(b) The department shall adopt by rule a methodology for determining those waters which are impaired. The rule shall provide for consideration as to whether water quality standards codified in chapter 62-302, Florida Administrative Code, are being exceeded, based on objective and credible data, studies and reports, including surface water improvement and management plans approved by water management districts and pollutant load reduction goals developed according to department rule. Such rule also shall set forth:
1. Water quality sample collection and analysis requirements, accounting for ambient background conditions, seasonal and other natural variations;
2. Approved methodologies;
3. Quality assurance and quality control protocols;
4. Data modeling; and
5. Other appropriate water quality assessment measures.
(c) If the department has adopted a rule establishing a numerical criterion for a particular pollutant, a narrative or biological criterion may not be the basis for determining an impairment in connection with that pollutant unless the department identifies specific factors as to why the numerical criterion is not adequate to protect water quality. If water quality nonattainment is based on narrative or biological criteria, the specific factors concerning particular pollutants shall be identified prior to a total maximum daily load being developed for those criteria for that surface water or surface water segment.
(4) APPROVED LIST.—If the department determines, based on the total maximum daily load assessment methodology described in subsection (3), that water quality standards are not being achieved and that technology-based effluent limitations and other pollution control programs under local, state, or federal authority, including Everglades restoration activities pursuant to s. 373.4592 and the National Estuary Program, which are designed to restore such waters for the pollutant of concern are not sufficient to result in attainment of applicable surface water quality standards, it shall confirm that determination by issuing a subsequent, updated list of those water bodies or segments for which total maximum daily loads will be calculated. In association with this updated list, the department shall establish priority rankings and schedules by which water bodies or segments will be subjected to total maximum daily load calculations. If a surface water or water segment is to be listed under this subsection, the department must specify the particular pollutants causing the impairment and the concentration of those pollutants causing the impairment relative to the water quality standard. This updated list shall be approved and amended by order of the department subsequent to completion of an assessment of each water body or water body segment, and submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Each order shall be subject to challenge under ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
(5) REMOVAL FROM LIST.—At any time throughout the total maximum daily load process, surface waters or segments evaluated or listed under this section shall be removed from the lists described in subsection (2) or subsection (4) upon demonstration that water quality criteria are being attained, based on data equivalent to that required by rule under subsection (3).
(6) CALCULATION AND ALLOCATION.— (a) Calculation of total maximum daily load.
1. Prior to developing a total maximum daily load calculation for each water body or water body segment on the list specified in subsection (4), the department shall coordinate with applicable local governments, water management districts, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, other appropriate state agencies, local soil and water conservation districts, environmental groups, regulated interests, and affected pollution sources to determine the information required, accepted methods of data collection and analysis, and quality control/quality assurance requirements. The analysis may include mathematical water quality modeling using approved procedures and methods.
2. The department shall develop total maximum daily load calculations for each water body or water body segment on the list described in subsection (4) according to the priority ranking and schedule unless the impairment of such waters is due solely to activities other than point and nonpoint sources of pollution. For waters determined to be impaired due solely to factors other than point and nonpoint sources of pollution, no total maximum daily load will be required. A total maximum daily load may be required for those waters that are impaired predominantly due to activities other than point and nonpoint sources. The total maximum daily load calculation shall establish the amount of a pollutant that a water body or water body segment may receive from all sources without exceeding water quality standards, and shall account for seasonal variations and include a margin of safety that takes into account any lack of knowledge concerning the relationship between effluent limitations and water quality. The total maximum daily load may be based on a pollutant load reduction goal developed by a water management district, provided that such pollutant load reduction goal is promulgated by the department in accordance with the procedural and substantive requirements of this subsection.
(b) Allocation of total maximum daily loads. The total maximum daily loads shall include establishment of reasonable and equitable allocations of the total maximum daily load between or among point and nonpoint sources that will alone, or in conjunction with other management and restoration activities, provide for the attainment of the pollutant reductions established pursuant to paragraph (a) to achieve water quality standards for the pollutant causing impairment. The allocations may establish the maximum amount of the water pollutant that may be discharged or released into the water body or water body segment in combination with other discharges or releases. Allocations may also be made to individual basins and sources or as a whole to all basins and sources or categories of sources of inflow to the water body or water body segments. An initial allocation of allowable pollutant loads among point and nonpoint sources may be developed as part of the total maximum daily load. However, in such cases, the detailed allocation to specific point sources and specific categories of nonpoint sources shall be established in the basin management action plan pursuant to subsection (7). The initial and detailed allocations shall be designed to attain the pollutant reductions established pursuant to paragraph (a) and shall be based on consideration of the following:
1. Existing treatment levels and management practices;
2. Best management practices established and implemented pursuant to paragraph (7)(c);
3. Enforceable treatment levels established pursuant to state or local law or permit;
4. Differing impacts pollutant sources and forms of pollutant may have on water quality;
5. The availability of treatment technologies, management practices, or other pollutant reduction measures;
6. Environmental, economic, and technological feasibility of achieving the allocation;
7. The cost benefit associated with achieving the allocation;
8. Reasonable timeframes for implementation;
9. Potential applicability of any moderating provisions such as variances, exemptions, and mixing zones; and
10. The extent to which nonattainment of water quality standards is caused by pollution sources outside of Florida, discharges that have ceased, or alterations to water bodies prior to the date of this act.
(c) Adoption of rules. The total maximum daily load calculations and allocations established under this subsection for each water body or water body segment shall be adopted by rule by the secretary pursuant to ss. 120.536(1), 120.54, and 403.805. Where additional data collection and analysis are needed to increase the scientific precision and accuracy of the total maximum daily load, the department is authorized to adopt phased total maximum daily loads that are subject to change as additional data becomes available. Where phased total maximum daily loads are proposed, the department shall, in the detailed statement of facts and circumstances justifying the rule, explain why the data are inadequate so as to justify a phased total maximum daily load. The rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph are not subject to approval by the Environmental Regulation Commission and are not subject to the provisions of s. 120.541(3). As part of the rule development process, the department shall hold at least one public workshop in the vicinity of the water body or water body segment for which the total maximum daily load is being developed. Notice of the public workshop shall be published not less than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the public workshop in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or counties containing the water bodies or water body segments for which the total maximum daily load calculation and allocation are being developed. (7) DEVELOPMENT OF BASIN MANAGEMENT PLANS AND IMPLEMENTATION OF TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS.— (a) Basin management action plans.— 1. In developing and implementing the total maximum daily load for a water body, the department, or the department in conjunction with a water management district, may develop a basin management action plan that addresses some or all of the watersheds and basins tributary to the water body. Such plan must integrate the appropriate management strategies available to the state through existing water quality protection programs to achieve the total maximum daily loads and may provide for phased implementation of these management strategies to promote timely, cost-effective actions as provided for in s. 403.151. The plan must establish a schedule implementing the management strategies, establish a basis for evaluating the plan’s effectiveness, and identify feasible funding strategies for implementing the plan’s management strategies. The management strategies may include regional treatment systems or other public works, where appropriate, and voluntary trading of water quality credits to achieve the needed pollutant load reductions.
2. A basin management action plan must equitably allocate, pursuant to paragraph (6)(b), pollutant reductions to individual basins, as a whole to all basins, or to each identified point source or category of nonpoint sources, as appropriate. For nonpoint sources for which best management practices have been adopted, the initial requirement specified by the plan must be those practices developed pursuant to paragraph (c). Where appropriate, the plan may take into account the benefits of pollutant load reduction achieved by point or nonpoint sources that have implemented management strategies to reduce pollutant loads, including best management practices, before the development of the basin management action plan. The plan must also identify the mechanisms that will address potential future increases in pollutant loading.
3. The basin management action planning process is intended to involve the broadest possible range of interested parties, with the objective of encouraging the greatest amount of cooperation and consensus possible. In developing a basin management action plan, the department shall assure that key stakeholders, including, but not limited to, applicable local governments, water management districts, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, other appropriate state agencies, local soil and water conservation districts, environmental groups, regulated interests, and affected pollution sources, are invited to participate in the process. The department shall hold at least one public meeting in the vicinity of the watershed or basin to discuss and receive comments during the planning process and shall otherwise encourage public participation to the greatest practicable extent. Notice of the public meeting must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in which the watershed or basin lies not less than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the public meeting. A basin management action plan does not supplant or otherwise alter any assessment made under subsection (3) or subsection (4) or any calculation or initial allocation.
4. The department shall adopt all or any part of a basin management action plan and any amendment to such plan by secretarial order pursuant to chapter 120 to implement the provisions of this section.
5. The basin management action plan must include milestones for implementation and water quality improvement, and an associated water quality monitoring component sufficient to evaluate whether reasonable progress in pollutant load reductions is being achieved over time. An assessment of progress toward these milestones shall be conducted every 5 years, and revisions to the plan shall be made as appropriate. Revisions to the basin management action plan shall be made by the department in cooperation with basin stakeholders. Revisions to the management strategies required for nonpoint sources must follow the procedures set forth in subparagraph (c)4. Revised basin management action plans must be adopted pursuant to subparagraph 4.
6. In accordance with procedures adopted by rule under paragraph (9)(c), basin management action plans, and other pollution control programs under local, state, or federal authority as provided in subsection (4), may allow point or nonpoint sources that will achieve greater pollutant reductions than required by an adopted total maximum load or wasteload allocation to generate, register, and trade water quality credits for the excess reductions to enable other sources to achieve their allocation; however, the generation of water quality credits does not remove the obligation of a source or activity to meet applicable technology requirements or adopted best management practices. Such plans must allow trading between NPDES permittees, and trading that may or may not involve NPDES permittees, where the generation or use of the credits involve an entity or activity not subject to department water discharge permits whose owner voluntarily elects to obtain department authorization for the generation and sale of credits.
7. The provisions of the department’s rule relating to the equitable abatement of pollutants into surface waters do not apply to water bodies or water body segments for which a basin management plan that takes into account future new or expanded activities or discharges has been adopted under this section.
(b) Total maximum daily load implementation.— 1. The department shall be the lead agency in coordinating the implementation of the total maximum daily loads through existing water quality protection programs. Application of a total maximum daily load by a water management district must be consistent with this section and does not require the issuance of an order or a separate action pursuant to s. 120.536(1) or s. 120.54 for the adoption of the calculation and allocation previously established by the department. Such programs may include, but are not limited to:
a. Permitting and other existing regulatory programs, including water-quality-based effluent limitations;
b. Nonregulatory and incentive-based programs, including best management practices, cost sharing, waste minimization, pollution prevention, agreements established pursuant to s. 403.061(21), and public education;
c. Other water quality management and restoration activities, for example surface water improvement and management plans approved by water management districts or basin management action plans developed pursuant to this subsection;
d. Trading of water quality credits or other equitable economically based agreements;
e. Public works including capital facilities; or
f. Land acquisition.
2. For a basin management action plan adopted pursuant to paragraph (a), any management strategies and pollutant reduction requirements associated with a pollutant of concern for which a total maximum daily load has been developed, including effluent limits set forth for a discharger subject to NPDES permitting, if any, must be included in a timely manner in subsequent NPDES permits or permit modifications for that discharger. The department may not impose limits or conditions implementing an adopted total maximum daily load in an NPDES permit until the permit expires, the discharge is modified, or the permit is reopened pursuant to an adopted basin management action plan.
a. Absent a detailed allocation, total maximum daily loads must be implemented through NPDES permit conditions that provide for a compliance schedule. In such instances, a facility’s NPDES permit must allow time for the issuance of an order adopting the basin management action plan. The time allowed for the issuance of an order adopting the plan may not exceed 5 years. Upon issuance of an order adopting the plan, the permit must be reopened or renewed, as necessary, and permit conditions consistent with the plan must be established. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subparagraph, upon request by an NPDES permittee, the department as part of a permit issuance, renewal, or modification may establish individual allocations before the adoption of a basin management action plan.
b. For holders of NPDES municipal separate storm sewer system permits and other stormwater sources, implementation of a total maximum daily load or basin management action plan must be achieved, to the maximum extent practicable, through the use of best management practices or other management measures.
c. The basin management action plan does not relieve the discharger from any requirement to obtain, renew, or modify an NPDES permit or to abide by other requirements of the permit.
d. Management strategies set forth in a basin management action plan to be implemented by a discharger subject to permitting by the department must be completed pursuant to the schedule set forth in the basin management action plan. This implementation schedule may extend beyond the 5-year term of an NPDES permit.
e. Management strategies and pollution reduction requirements set forth in a basin management action plan for a specific pollutant of concern are not subject to challenge under chapter 120 at the time they are incorporated, in an identical form, into a subsequent NPDES permit or permit modification.
f. For nonagricultural pollutant sources not subject to NPDES permitting but permitted pursuant to other state, regional, or local water quality programs, the pollutant reduction actions adopted in a basin management action plan must be implemented to the maximum extent practicable as part of those permitting programs.
g. A nonpoint source discharger included in a basin management action plan must demonstrate compliance with the pollutant reductions established under subsection (6) by implementing the appropriate best management practices established pursuant to paragraph (c) or conducting water quality monitoring prescribed by the department or a water management district. A nonpoint source discharger may, in accordance with department rules, supplement the implementation of best management practices with water quality credit trades in order to demonstrate compliance with the pollutant reductions established under subsection (6).
h. A nonpoint source discharger included in a basin management action plan may be subject to enforcement action by the department or a water management district based upon a failure to implement the responsibilities set forth in sub-subparagraph g.
i. A landowner, discharger, or other responsible person who is implementing applicable management strategies specified in an adopted basin management action plan may not be required by permit, enforcement action, or otherwise to implement additional management strategies, including water quality credit trading, to reduce pollutant loads to attain the pollutant reductions established pursuant to subsection (6) and shall be deemed to be in compliance with this section. This subparagraph does not limit the authority of the department to amend a basin management action plan as specified in subparagraph (a)5.
(c) Best management practices.—
1. The department, in cooperation with the water management districts and other interested parties, as appropriate, may develop suitable interim measures, best management practices, or other measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution reduction established by the department for nonagricultural nonpoint pollutant sources in allocations developed pursuant to subsection (6) and this subsection. These practices and measures may be adopted by rule by the department and the water management districts and, where adopted by rule, shall be implemented by those parties responsible for nonagricultural nonpoint source pollution.
2. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may develop and adopt by rule pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 suitable interim measures, best management practices, or other measures necessary to achieve the level of pollution reduction established by the department for agricultural pollutant sources in allocations developed pursuant to subsection (6) and this subsection or for programs implemented pursuant to 1paragraph (13)(b). These practices and measures may be implemented by those parties responsible for agricultural pollutant sources and the department, the water management districts, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall assist with implementation. In the process of developing and adopting rules for interim measures, best management practices, or other measures, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall consult with the department, the Department of Health, the water management districts, representatives from affected farming groups, and environmental group representatives. Such rules must also incorporate provisions for a notice of intent to implement the practices and a system to assure the implementation of the practices, including recordkeeping requirements. 3. Where interim measures, best management practices, or other measures are adopted by rule, the effectiveness of such practices in achieving the levels of pollution reduction established in allocations developed by the department pursuant to subsection (6) and this subsection or in programs implemented pursuant to 1paragraph (13)(b) must be verified at representative sites by the department. The department shall use best professional judgment in making the initial verification that the best management practices are reasonably expected to be effective and, where applicable, must notify the appropriate water management district or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of its initial verification before the adoption of a rule proposed pursuant to this paragraph. Implementation, in accordance with rules adopted under this paragraph, of practices that have been initially verified to be effective, or verified to be effective by monitoring at representative sites, by the department, shall provide a presumption of compliance with state water quality standards and release from the provisions of s. 376.307(5) for those pollutants addressed by the practices, and the department is not authorized to institute proceedings against the owner of the source of pollution to recover costs or damages associated with the contamination of surface water or groundwater caused by those pollutants. Research projects funded by the department, a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop or demonstrate interim measures or best management practices shall be granted a presumption of compliance with state water quality standards and a release from the provisions of s. 376.307(5). The presumption of compliance and release is limited to the research site and only for those pollutants addressed by the interim measures or best management practices. Eligibility for the presumption of compliance and release is limited to research projects on sites where the owner or operator of the research site and the department, a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have entered into a contract or other agreement that, at a minimum, specifies the research objectives, the cost-share responsibilities of the parties, and a schedule that details the beginning and ending dates of the project.
4. Where water quality problems are demonstrated, despite the appropriate implementation, operation, and maintenance of best management practices and other measures required by rules adopted under this paragraph, the department, a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation with the department, shall institute a reevaluation of the best management practice or other measure. Should the reevaluation determine that the best management practice or other measure requires modification, the department, a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as appropriate, shall revise the rule to require implementation of the modified practice within a reasonable time period as specified in the rule.
5. Agricultural records relating to processes or methods of production, costs of production, profits, or other financial information held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to subparagraphs 3. and 4. or pursuant to any rule adopted pursuant to subparagraph 2. are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Upon request, records made confidential and exempt pursuant to this subparagraph shall be released to the department or any water management district provided that the confidentiality specified by this subparagraph for such records is maintained.
6. The provisions of subparagraphs 1. and 2. do not preclude the department or water management district from requiring compliance with water quality standards or with current best management practice requirements set forth in any applicable regulatory program authorized by law for the purpose of protecting water quality. Additionally, subparagraphs 1. and 2. are applicable only to the extent that they do not conflict with any rules adopted by the department that are necessary to maintain a federally delegated or approved program.
(8) WATER QUALITY CREDIT TRADING.—
(a) Water quality credit trading must be consistent with federal law and regulation.
(b) Water quality credit trading must be implemented through permits, including water quality credit trading permits, other authorizations, or other legally binding agreements as established by department rule.
(c) The department shall establish the pollutant load reduction value of water quality credits and is responsible for authorizing their use.
(d) A person who acquires water quality credits (“buyer”) shall timely submit to the department an affidavit, signed by the buyer and the credit generator (“seller”), disclosing the term of acquisition, number of credits, unit credit price paid, and any state funding received for the facilities or activities that generate the credits. The department may not participate in the establishment of credit prices.
(e) Sellers of water quality credits are responsible for achieving the load reductions on which the credits are based and complying with the terms of the department authorization and any trading agreements into which they may have entered.
(f) Buyers of water quality credits are responsible for complying with the terms of the department water discharge permit.
(g) The department shall take appropriate action to address the failure of a credit seller to fulfill its obligations, including, as necessary, deeming the seller’s credits invalid if the seller cannot achieve the load reductions on which the credits were based in a reasonable time. If the department determines duly acquired water quality credits to be invalid, in whole or in part, thereby causing the credit buyer to be unable to timely meet its pollutant reduction obligations under this section, the department shall issue an order establishing the actions required of the buyer to meet its obligations by alternative means and a reasonable schedule for completing the actions. The invalidation of credits does not, in and of itself, constitute a violation of the buyer’s water discharge permit.
(h) The department may authorize water quality credit trading in adopted basin management action plans. Participation in water quality credit trading is entirely voluntary. Entities that participate in water quality credit trades shall timely report to the department the prices for credits, how the prices were determined, and any state funding received for the facilities or activities that generated the credits. The department may not participate in the establishment of credit prices.
(9) RULES.—The department may adopt rules for:
(a) Delisting water bodies or water body segments from the list developed under subsection (4) pursuant to the guidance under subsection (5).
(b) Administering of funds to implement the total maximum daily load and basin management action planning programs.
(c) Water quality credit trading among the pollutant sources to a water body or water body segment. The rules must provide for the following:
1. The process to be used to determine how credits are generated, quantified, and validated.
2. A publicly accessible water quality credit trading registry that tracks water quality credits, trading activities, and prices paid for credits.
3. Limitations on the availability and use of water quality credits, including a list of eligible pollutants or parameters and minimum water quality requirements and, where appropriate, adjustments to reflect best management practice performance uncertainties and water-segment-specific location factors.
4. The timing and duration of credits and allowance for credit transferability.
5. Mechanisms for determining and ensuring compliance with trading procedures, including recordkeeping, monitoring, reporting, and inspections.
At the time of publication of the draft rules on water quality credit trading, the department shall submit a copy to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for review.
(d) The total maximum daily load calculation in accordance with paragraph (6)(a) immediately upon the effective date of this act, for those eight water segments within Lake Okeechobee proper as submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to subsection (2).
(e) Implementation of other specific provisions.
(10) APPLICATION.—The provisions of this section are intended to supplement existing law, and may not be construed as altering any applicable state water quality standards or as restricting the authority otherwise granted to the department or a water management district under this chapter or chapter 373. The exclusive means of state implementation of s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq. shall be in accordance with the identification, assessment, calculation and allocation, and implementation provisions of this section.
(11) CONSTRUCTION.—This section does not limit the applicability or consideration of any mixing zone, variance, exemption, site specific alternative criteria, or other moderating provision.
(12) IMPLEMENTATION OF ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS.—
(a) The department may not implement, without prior legislative approval, any additional regulatory authority pursuant to s. 303(d) of the Clean Water Act or 40 C.F.R. part 130, if such implementation would result in water quality discharge regulation of activities not currently subject to regulation.
(b) Interim measures, best management practices, or other measures may be developed and voluntarily implemented pursuant to paragraph (7)(c) for any water body or segment for which a total maximum daily load or allocation has not been established. The implementation of such pollution control programs may be considered by the department in the determination made pursuant to subsection (4).
(13) RULE CHALLENGES.—In order to provide adequate due process while ensuring timely development of total maximum daily loads, proposed rules and orders authorized by this act are ineffective pending resolution of a s. 120.54(3), s. 120.56, s. 120.569, or s. 120.57 administrative proceeding. However, the department may go forward prior to resolution of such administrative proceedings with subsequent agency actions authorized by subsections (2)-(6) if the department can support and substantiate those actions using the underlying bases for the rules or orders without the benefit of any legal presumption favoring, or in deference to, the challenged rules or orders.