Florida Senate - 2014 CS for CS for SB 1576
By the Committees on Agriculture; and Environmental Preservation
and Conservation; and Senators Dean, Montford, Soto, Simmons,
Hays, Altman, and Abruzzo
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to springs; amending s. 201.15, F.S.;
3 specifying distributions to the Ecosystem Management
4 and Restoration Trust Fund; amending s. 373.042, F.S.;
5 requiring the Department of Environmental Protection
6 or the governing board of a water management district
7 to establish the minimum flow and water level for an
8 Outstanding Florida Spring; specifying minimum flows
9 and water levels for an Outstanding Florida Spring;
10 amending s. 373.0421, F.S.; conforming a cross
11 reference; creating part VIII of chapter 373, F.S.,
12 entitled “Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act”;
13 creating s. 373.801, F.S.; providing legislative
14 findings and intent; creating s. 373.802, F.S.;
15 defining terms; creating s. 373.803, F.S.; requiring
16 the Department of Environmental Protection to
17 delineate the spring protection and management zone
18 for each Outstanding Florida Spring; requiring the
19 department to adopt by rule maps that depict the
20 delineation of each spring protection and management
21 zone for each Outstanding Florida Spring; creating s.
22 373.805, F.S.; requiring the water management
23 districts to adopt minimum flows and levels for
24 Outstanding Florida Springs; requiring a water
25 management district to implement a recovery or
26 prevention strategy under certain circumstances;
27 authorizing the water management districts to adopt
28 rules; creating s. 373.807, F.S.; providing procedures
29 for improving water quality in Outstanding Florida
30 Springs; requiring the Department of Environmental
31 Protection to develop a spring action plan; providing
32 requirements; creating s. 373.808, F.S.; providing for
33 funding mechanisms for the restoration of Outstanding
34 Florida Springs; prohibiting a project from being
35 funded under this part unless it is listed on a spring
36 action plan; creating s. 373.809, F.S.; specifying
37 prohibited activities within a spring protection and
38 management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring;
39 creating s. 373.811, F.S.; providing rulemaking
40 authority; creating s. 373.813, F.S.; providing for
41 variances and exemptions under certain circumstances;
42 amending s. 381.0065, F.S.; defining the term
43 “responsible management entity”; requiring the
44 Department of Health to submit a report to the
45 Governor and the Legislature on responsible management
46 entities; authorizing the establishment of responsible
47 management entities; repealing s. 381.00651, F.S.,
48 relating to periodic evaluation and assessment of
49 onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems;
50 requiring the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
51 Services and the Department of Environmental
52 Protection to conduct a comprehensive study on
53 nutrient reduction improvements and the expansion of
54 the beneficial use of reclaimed water; requiring the
55 departments to jointly hold a public meeting to gather
56 input on the design of the comprehensive study and
57 provide an opportunity for public comment; requiring
58 the final report to be submitted to the Governor and
59 the Legislature by a certain date; providing for
60 future expiration; providing effective dates.
62 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
64 Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
65 201.15, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
66 201.15 Distribution of taxes collected.—All taxes collected
67 under this chapter are subject to the service charge imposed in
68 s. 215.20(1). Prior to distribution under this section, the
69 Department of Revenue shall deduct amounts necessary to pay the
70 costs of the collection and enforcement of the tax levied by
71 this chapter. Such costs and the service charge may not be
72 levied against any portion of taxes pledged to debt service on
73 bonds to the extent that the costs and service charge are
74 required to pay any amounts relating to the bonds. After
75 distributions are made pursuant to subsection (1), all of the
76 costs of the collection and enforcement of the tax levied by
77 this chapter and the service charge shall be available and
78 transferred to the extent necessary to pay debt service and any
79 other amounts payable with respect to bonds authorized before
80 January 1, 2013, secured by revenues distributed pursuant to
81 subsection (1). All taxes remaining after deduction of costs and
82 the service charge shall be distributed as follows:
83 (1) Sixty-three and thirty-one hundredths percent of the
84 remaining taxes shall be used for the following purposes:
85 (c) After the required payments under paragraphs (a) and
86 (b), the remainder shall be paid into the State Treasury to the
87 credit of:
88 1. The State Transportation Trust Fund in the Department of
89 Transportation in the amount of the lesser of 38.2 percent of
90 the remainder or $541.75 million in each fiscal year. Out of
91 such funds, the first $50 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year;
92 $65 million for the 2013-2014 fiscal year; and $75 million for
93 the 2014-2015 fiscal year and all subsequent years, shall be
94 transferred to the State Economic Enhancement and Development
95 Trust Fund within the Department of Economic Opportunity. The
96 remainder shall
is to be used for the following specified
97 purposes, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary:
98 a. For the purposes of capital funding for the New Starts
99 Transit Program, authorized by Title 49, U.S.C. s. 5309 and
100 specified in s. 341.051, 10 percent of these funds;
101 b. For the purposes of the Small County Outreach Program
102 specified in s. 339.2818, 5 percent of these funds. Effective
103 July 1, 2014, the percentage allocated under this sub
104 subparagraph shall be increased to 10 percent;
105 c. For the purposes of the Strategic Intermodal System
106 specified in ss. 339.61, 339.62, 339.63, and 339.64, 75 percent
107 of these funds after allocating for the New Starts Transit
108 Program described in sub-subparagraph a. and the Small County
109 Outreach Program described in sub-subparagraph b.; and
110 d. For the purposes of the Transportation Regional
111 Incentive Program specified in s. 339.2819, 25 percent of these
112 funds after allocating for the New Starts Transit Program
113 described in sub-subparagraph a. and the Small County Outreach
114 Program described in sub-subparagraph b. Effective July 1, 2014,
115 the first $60 million of the funds allocated pursuant to this
116 sub-subparagraph shall be allocated annually to the Florida Rail
117 Enterprise for the purposes established in s. 341.303(5).
118 2. The Grants and Donations Trust Fund in the Department of
119 Economic Opportunity in the amount of the lesser of 0.23 .23
120 percent of the remainder or $3.25 million in each fiscal year to
121 fund technical assistance to local governments.
122 3. The Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund in
123 the amount of:
124 a. The lesser of 2.12 percent of the remainder or $30
125 million in each fiscal year , to be used for the preservation and
126 repair of the state’s beaches as provided in ss. 161.091
127 161.212; and
128 b. Thirty-six and nine-tenths percent of the remainder in
129 each fiscal year to be used for the restoration and protection
130 of Outstanding Florida Springs pursuant to part VIII of chapter
131 373 and for the acquisition of lands identified on the most
132 current Board of Trustees Florida Forever Priority List, or by a
133 water management district, which protect the essential parcels
134 of the named spring projects that improve water quality or
135 conserve water use and are located partially or fully within a
136 spring protection and management zone of an Outstanding Florida
138 4. General Inspection Trust Fund in the amount of the
139 lesser of 0.02 .02 percent of the remainder or $300,000 in each
140 fiscal year to be used to fund oyster management and restoration
141 programs as provided in s. 379.362(3).
143 Moneys distributed pursuant to this paragraph may not be pledged
144 for debt service unless such pledge is approved by referendum of
145 the voters.
146 Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 373.042, Florida
147 Statutes, is amended to read:
148 373.042 Minimum flows and levels.—
149 (1) Within each section, or within the water management
150 district as a whole, the department or the governing board shall
151 establish the following:
152 (a) Minimum flow for all surface watercourses in the area.
153 The minimum flow for a given watercourse is shall be the limit
154 at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to
155 the water resources or ecology of the area.
156 (b) Minimum water level. The minimum water level is shall
157 be the level of groundwater in an aquifer and the level of
158 surface water at which further withdrawals would be
159 significantly harmful to the water resources of the area.
160 (c) Minimum flow and minimum water level for an Outstanding
161 Florida Spring, as defined in s. 373.802. The minimum flow and
162 minimum water level are the limit and level, respectively, at
163 which further withdrawals would be harmful to the water
164 resources or ecology of the area.
166 The minimum flow and minimum water level shall be calculated by
167 the department and the governing board using the best
168 information available. When appropriate, minimum flows and
169 minimum water levels may be calculated to reflect seasonal
170 variations. The department and the governing board shall also
171 consider, and at their discretion may provide for, the
172 protection of nonconsumptive uses in the establishment of
173 minimum flows and minimum water levels.
174 Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
175 373.0421, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
176 373.0421 Establishment and implementation of minimum flows
177 and levels.—
178 (1) ESTABLISHMENT.—
179 (a) Considerations.—When establishing minimum flows and
180 minimum water levels pursuant to s. 373.042, the department or
181 governing board shall consider changes and structural
182 alterations to watersheds, surface waters, and aquifers and the
183 effects such changes or alterations have had, and the
184 constraints such changes or alterations have placed, on the
185 hydrology of an affected watershed, surface water, or aquifer,
186 provided that nothing in this paragraph shall allow significant
187 harm as provided by s. 373.042(1)(a) and (b), or harm as
188 provided by s. 373.042(1)(c), caused by withdrawals.
189 Section 4. Part VIII of chapter 373, Florida Statutes,
190 consisting of sections 373.801, 373.802, 373.803, 373.805,
191 373.807, 373.808, 373.809, 373.811, and 373.813, Florida
192 Statutes, is created and entitled the “Florida Springs and
193 Aquifer Protection Act.”
194 Section 5. Section 373.801, Florida Statutes, is created to
196 373.801 Legislative findings and intent.—
197 (1) The Legislature finds that springs are a unique part of
198 this state’s scenic beauty, deserving the highest level of
199 protection under s. 7, Art. II of the State Constitution.
200 Springs provide critical habitat for plants and animals,
201 including many endangered or threatened species. Springs also
202 provide immeasurable natural, recreational, economic, and
203 inherent value. Flow level and water quality of springs are
204 indicators of local conditions of the Floridan Aquifer, which is
205 the source of drinking water for many residents of this state.
206 Springs are of great scientific importance in understanding the
207 diverse functions of aquatic ecosystems. In addition, springs
208 provide recreational opportunities for swimming, canoeing,
209 wildlife watching, fishing, cave diving, and many other
210 activities in this state. Because of such recreational
211 opportunities and the accompanying tourism, state and local
212 economies benefit from many of the springs in this state.
213 (2) Water quantity and water quality in springs are
214 directly related. For regulatory purposes, the department has
215 primary responsibility for water quality; the water management
216 districts have primary responsibility for water quantity; the
217 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has primary
218 responsibility for the development and implementation of best
219 management practices; and local governments have primary
220 responsibility for providing wastewater and stormwater
221 management. The foregoing responsible entities must work
222 together in a coordinated manner to restore and maintain the
223 water quantity and water quality for Outstanding Florida
225 (3) The Legislature recognizes that:
226 (a) Springs are only as healthy as their springsheds. The
227 groundwater that supplies springs is derived from water that
228 recharges the aquifer system in the form of seepage from the
229 land surface and through direct conduits such as sinkholes.
230 Springs are adversely affected by polluted runoff from urban and
231 agricultural lands; discharge resulting from inadequate
232 wastewater and stormwater management practices; stormwater
233 runoff; and the reduced water levels of the Floridan Aquifer. As
234 a result, the hydrologic and environmental conditions of a
235 spring or spring run are directly influenced by activities and
236 land uses within a springshed and by water withdrawals from the
237 Floridan Aquifer.
238 (b) Springs, whether found in urban or rural settings, or
239 on public or private lands, are threatened by actual or
240 potential flow reductions and declining water quality. Many of
241 this state’s springs are demonstrating signs of significant
242 ecological imbalance, increased nutrient loading, and declining
243 water flow. Without effective remedial actions, further declines
244 in water quality and water quantity will occur.
245 (c) The state standards regulating both water quality and
246 quantity, including minimum criteria relating to nutrient
247 concentrations in groundwater, need to protect both human health
248 and the complex biological and ecological systems that
249 contribute to the integrity of springs.
250 (d) Springshed boundaries and areas of high vulnerability
251 within a springshed need to be identified and delineated using
252 the best available data.
253 (e) Because springsheds cross water management district and
254 local government jurisdictional boundaries, a coordinated
255 statewide springs protection plan is needed.
256 (f) The aquifers and springs of this state are complex
257 systems affected by many variables and influences.
258 (4) The Legislature recognizes that sufficient information
259 exists to act, action is urgently needed, and action can be
260 continually modified as additional data is acquired. Therefore,
261 state agencies and water management districts shall work
262 together with local governments to delineate springsheds and
263 spring protection and management zones and develop comprehensive
264 plans and land development regulations that protect the springs
265 of this state for future generations.
266 (5) The Legislature intends to establish a spring and
267 aquifer protection program to be administered by the department.
268 Section 6. Section 373.802, Florida Statutes, is created to
270 373.802 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
271 (1) “Department” means the Department of Environmental
272 Protection, which includes the Florida Geological Survey or its
273 successor agency or agencies.
274 (2) “Local government” means a county or municipal
275 government the jurisdictional boundaries of which include an
276 Outstanding Florida Spring, or any part of a delineated
277 springshed or spring protection and management zone for an
278 Outstanding Florida Spring.
279 (3) “Onsite sewage treatment and disposal system” means a
280 system that contains a standard subsurface, filled, or mound
281 drainfield system; an aerobic treatment unit; a graywater system
282 tank; a laundry wastewater system tank; a septic tank; a grease
283 interceptor; a pump tank; a solids or effluent pump; a
284 waterless, incinerating, or organic waste-composting toilet; or
285 a sanitary pit privy that is installed or proposed to be
286 installed beyond the building sewer on land of the owner or on
287 other land to which the owner has the legal right to install a
288 system. The term includes any item placed within, or intended to
289 be used as a part of or in conjunction with, the system. The
290 term does not include package sewage treatment facilities and
291 other treatment works regulated under chapter 403.
292 (4) “Outstanding Florida Spring” includes all historic
293 first magnitude springs, as determined by the department using
294 the most recent Florida Geological Survey springs bulletin, and
295 the following springs and their associated spring runs:
296 (a) DeLeon Spring;
297 (b) Peacock Spring;
298 (c) Poe Spring;
299 (d) Rock Springs;
300 (e) Wekiwa Spring; and
301 (f) Gemini Spring.
302 (5) “Responsible management entity” means a legal entity
303 established for the purpose of providing localized nutrient
304 management services with the requisite managerial, financial,
305 and technical capacity to ensure long-term management of onsite
306 sewage treatment and disposal systems and other local nutrient
307 sources at the option of the local government within its
309 (6) “Spring protection and management zone” means the area
310 or areas of a springshed where the Floridan Aquifer is
311 vulnerable to sources of contamination or reduced levels, as
312 determined by the department in consultation with the
313 appropriate water management districts.
314 (7) “Spring run” means a body of flowing water that
315 originates from a spring or whose primary source of water is a
316 spring or springs under average rainfall conditions.
317 (8) “Springshed” means the areas within the groundwater and
318 surface water basins which contribute, based upon all relevant
319 facts, circumstances, and data, to the discharge of a spring as
320 defined by potentiometric surface maps and surface watershed
322 (9) “Spring vent” means a location where groundwater flows
323 out of a natural, discernable opening in the ground onto the
324 land surface or into a predominantly fresh surface waterbody.
325 Section 7. Section 373.803, Florida Statutes, is created to
327 373.803 Delineation of spring protection and management
328 zones for Outstanding Florida Springs.—Using the best data
329 available from the water management districts and other credible
330 sources, the department, in consultation with the water
331 management districts, shall delineate one or more spring
332 protection and management zones for each Outstanding Florida
333 Spring. In delineating spring protection and management zones,
334 the department shall consider groundwater travel time to the
335 spring, hydrogeology, and nutrient load. The delineation of
336 spring protection and management zones must be completed by July
337 1, 2015. In conjunction with delineating a spring protection and
338 management zone for an Outstanding Florida Spring, the
339 department shall adopt by rule, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and
340 120.54, maps and legal descriptions that depict the delineated
341 spring protection and management zone or zones for that spring.
342 Section 8. Section 373.805, Florida Statutes, is created to
344 373.805 Minimum flow and minimum water level for
345 Outstanding Florida Springs.—
346 (1) Each water management district shall establish a
347 minimum flow and minimum water level for each Outstanding
348 Florida Spring within its jurisdiction by July 1, 2015, in
349 accordance with ss. 373.042 and 373.0421. The deadline may be
350 extended each year until July 1, 2020, if a water management
351 district provides sufficient evidence to the department that an
352 extension is in the best interest of the public. This subsection
353 does not apply to minimum flows and minimum water levels adopted
354 before July 1, 2014, for a spring included in the definition of
355 Outstanding Florida Springs in s. 373.802, until such time as
356 the minimum flow or minimum water level is revised, or otherwise
358 (2) By July 1, 2017, each water management district shall
359 approve a recovery or prevention strategy, as required by ss.
360 373.042 and 373.0421, for each Outstanding Florida Spring in its
361 jurisdiction in which the existing flow or water level of the
362 Outstanding Florida Spring is below, or is projected within the
363 next 20 years to fall below, the applicable minimum flow or
364 minimum water level established pursuant to s. 373.042. The
365 recovery or prevention strategy for each Outstanding Florida
366 Spring must include, at a minimum:
367 (a) A listing of all specific projects identified for
368 implementation of a recovery or prevention strategy.
369 (b) A priority listing of each project.
370 (c) The estimated cost for each listed project.
371 (d) The source and amount of financial assistance to be
372 made available by the water management district for each
373 project, which may not be less than 25 percent of the total
374 project cost unless a specific funding source or sources are
375 identified which will provide more than 75 percent of the total
376 project cost. The Northwest Florida Water Management District
377 and the Suwannee River Water Management District are not
378 required to provide matching funds pursuant to this paragraph.
379 Section 9. Section 373.807, Florida Statutes, is created to
381 373.807 Protection of water quality in Outstanding Florida
382 Springs.—By July 1, 2015, the department shall assess each
383 Outstanding Florida Spring for which an impairment determination
384 has not been made under the numeric nutrient standards in effect
385 for spring vents.
386 (1) BASIN MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN.—By July 1, 2017, the
387 department shall develop basin management action plans, as
388 specified in s. 403.067(7), for Outstanding Florida Springs
389 impaired by nutrients.
390 (2)(a) SPRING ACTION PLAN.—By July 1, 2014, the department
391 shall begin preparation of a spring action plan for each
392 Outstanding Florida Spring that has an adopted basin management
393 action plan or an implemented recovery or prevention strategy,
394 or as soon as a basin management action plan is adopted, a
395 recovery or prevention strategy is implemented, or the
396 department projects the Outstanding Florida Spring will be
397 impaired by nutrients within 20 years. Each initial spring
398 action plan shall be adopted within one year of when the
399 department begins preparation of the spring action plan.
400 Further, the spring action plan must be continually updated to
401 reflect newly added and completed projects.
402 (b) A spring action plan must include all of the following:
403 1. All projects in the basin management action plan which
404 are located fully or partially within a spring protection and
405 management zone.
406 2. All projects in the regional water supply plan which are
407 located fully or partially within a spring protection and
408 management zone.
409 3. All projects included in a recovery or prevention
410 strategy which are located fully or partially within a spring
411 protection and management zone.
412 4. All projects proposed to or by the department that will
413 prevent or stop potential nutrient impairment.
414 5. An estimate of each listed project’s reduction of
415 nutrient loading.
416 6. A map and legal descriptions depicting the spring
417 protection and management zones established pursuant to s.
419 7. Identification of each point source or category of
420 nonpoint sources, including but not limited to, urban turf
421 fertilizer, sports turf fertilizer, agricultural fertilizer,
422 onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, wastewater
423 treatment facilities, animal wastes, and stormwater facilities.
424 An estimated allocation of the pollutant load shall be provided
425 for each point source or category of nonpoint sources.
426 (3) REQUIREMENTS.—
427 (a) Within 6 months of the delineation of a spring
428 protection and management zone or zones of an Outstanding
429 Florida Spring that is fully or partially within the
430 jurisdiction of a local government, a local government must
431 develop, enact, and implement an ordinance that meets or exceeds
432 the requirements of the department’s Model Ordinance for
433 Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes. Such
434 ordinance must require that, within a spring protection and
435 management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring impaired by
436 nutrients, the nitrogen content of any fertilizer applied to
437 turf or landscape plants may not exceed the lowest, basic
438 maintenance rate of the most recent recommendations by the
439 Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The department
440 shall adopt rules to implement this paragraph which establish
441 reasonable minimum standards and reflect advancements or
442 improvements regarding nutrient load reductions.
443 (b) By July 1, 2016, the owner or operator of each existing
444 wastewater treatment facility in a spring protection and
445 management zone shall file for approval by the department a plan
446 for complying with this paragraph. Upon a showing to the
447 department of inordinate expense or that a delay is in the best
448 interest of the public, the department may grant a local
449 government or wastewater treatment facility an extension of up
450 to 2 years to implement the plan. The owner and operator shall
451 submit a proposal for funding at least once every 2 years until
452 the plan is fully implemented.
453 (c) By July 1, 2016, the department, in consultation with
454 the Department of Health and local governments, must identify
455 onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems within a spring
456 protection and management zone. Within 60 days of the
457 department’s completion of the identification of these systems,
458 the department shall provide the location of these systems to
459 the local governments in which these systems are located. Within
460 1 year of identification of these systems, and in consultation
461 with the department, the local governments in which they are
462 located shall develop an onsite sewage treatment and disposal
463 system remediation plan. For each onsite sewage treatment and
464 disposal system or group of systems, the plan must include
465 whether the systems require upgrading, connection to a central
466 sewerage system, or no action. The plan must also include a
467 priority ranking for each system or group of systems that
468 require remediation. Each remediation plan must be submitted to
469 the department for approval. In reviewing and approving the
470 remediation plans, the department shall consider, at a minimum,
471 all of the following:
472 1. The density of the onsite sewage treatment and disposal
474 2. The number of onsite sewage treatment and disposal
476 3. The proximity of the onsite sewage treatment and
477 disposal system or systems to an Outstanding Florida Spring
478 4. The estimated nutrient loading of the onsite sewage
479 treatment and disposal system or systems.
480 5. The cost of the proposed remedial action.
481 (d) Remedial actions required under this paragraph are not
482 required until adequate funding for the specific project is
483 provided pursuant to s. 373.808. As used in this paragraph, the
484 term “adequate funding” means that the department has agreed to
485 provide 100 percent of the state’s portion of funding requested
486 for the project under s. 373.808. The provisions of this
487 paragraph are supplemental to any other specific requirements or
488 authority provided by law.
489 1. By July 1, 2021, the owner or operator of each existing
490 wastewater treatment facility in a spring protection and
491 management zone shall meet a standard of no more than 3 mg/L
492 Total Nitrogen, expressed as N, on an annual permitted basis,
493 unless granted a variance or exemption pursuant to s. 373.813.
494 2. By July 1, 2019, each agricultural producer in a spring
495 protection and management zone must implement best management
496 practices or other measures necessary to achieve pollution
497 reduction levels established by the department. The Department
498 of Agriculture and Consumers Services, in consultation with the
499 department, shall adopt rules to implement this subparagraph.
500 3. Within 6 months after approval of the onsite sewage
501 treatment and disposal system remediation plan by the
502 department, the local government shall begin implementing the
503 approved remediation plan by making proposals to the department
504 for funding pursuant to s. 373.808. The costs of connection to a
505 central sewerage system or upgrading the onsite sewage treatment
506 and disposal systems are eligible for funding of up to 100
507 percent of the total project cost. Further, the costs of
508 connection to a central sewerage system or upgrading the onsite
509 sewage treatment and disposal system may not be imposed on the
510 property owner. The local government shall submit a proposal for
511 funding at least every two years until the remediation plan is
512 fully implemented.
513 Section 10. Section 373.808, Florida Statutes, is created
514 to read:
515 373.808 Funding for the restoration of Outstanding Florida
517 (1) In order to satisfy the requirements under this part,
518 state agencies, water management districts, local governments,
519 special districts, utilities, and regional management entities,
520 if applicable, shall cooperate with property owners and
521 agricultural producers to submit project proposals to the
522 department in order to receive funding for up to 75 percent of
523 the total project cost. Project submittals for upgrades or
524 connections of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, and
525 those submitted by a fiscally constrained county as described in
526 s. 218.67(1) or in a municipality located therein, are eligible
527 for funding of up to 100 percent of the total project cost.
528 (2) Projects approved by the department shall be funded by
529 moneys from documentary stamp tax revenues deposited into the
530 Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund in accordance
531 with s. 201.15(1)(c)3.b. The Legislature may use other sources
532 of revenue to fund projects submitted to the department pursuant
533 to this part.
534 (3) The department may distribute moneys deposited into the
535 Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund pursuant to
536 subsection (2) to any person who submits a project proposal
537 application to the department for which funding is approved. The
538 department shall distribute moneys to state agencies and water
539 management districts for all reasonable administrative costs
540 related to implementing this part. In addition, the department
541 may adopt rules to develop grant application procedures to cover
542 reasonable administrative costs of a fiscally constrained county
543 as described in s. 218.67(1) or a municipality located therein.
544 (4) Moneys in the fund not needed in the current fiscal
545 year to meet obligations incurred under this part shall be
546 deposited to the credit of the fund and may be invested in the
547 manner provided by law. Interest received on such investments
548 shall be credited to the Ecosystem Management and Restoration
549 Trust Fund for the purposes specified in s. 201.15(1)(c)3.b.
550 (5) By December 31, 2014, the department shall adopt rules
551 to fund pilot projects that test the effectiveness of innovative
552 or existing nutrient reduction or water conservation
553 technologies or practices designed to minimize nutrient
554 pollution in the springs of this state. The department must
555 approve funding for at least two pilot projects in each project
556 selection cycle if the department determines that the project
557 will not be harmful to the ecological resources in the study
559 (6) By December 31, 2014, the department shall develop and
560 recommend rules to competitively evaluate, select, and rank
561 projects eligible for partial or complete funding under this
562 section. In developing these rules, the department shall give
563 preference to the projects that it estimates will result in the
564 greatest improvement to water quality and water quantity for the
565 dollars to be expended for the project. At a minimum, the
566 department shall consider the following criteria:
567 (a) Whether the project is within a spring protection and
568 management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring impaired by
570 (b) The level of nutrient impairment of the Outstanding
571 Florida Spring in which the project is located.
572 (c) The quantity of pollutants, particularly total
573 nitrogen, the project is estimated to remove from a spring
574 protection and management zone.
575 (d) Whether the project is within a spring protection and
576 management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring that is not
577 meeting its adopted minimum flow or minimum water level.
578 (e) The flow necessary to restore the Outstanding Florida
579 Spring to its adopted minimum flow or minimum water level.
580 (f) The anticipated impact the project will have on
581 restoring or increasing water flow or water level.
582 (g) Whether the project facilitates or enhances an existing
583 basin management action plan adopted by the department to
584 address pollutant loadings.
585 (h) Whether the project is identified and prioritized in an
586 adopted regional water supply plan.
587 (i) The percentage by which the amount of matching funds
588 provided by the applicant exceeds the statutory minimum required
589 under s. 373.805 or s. 373.807.
590 (j) For multiple-year projects, whether the project has
591 funding sources that are identified and assured through the
592 expected completion date of the project.
593 (k) The cost of the project and the length of time it will
594 take to complete relative to its expected benefits.
595 (l) Whether the applicant, since July 1, 2009, has used its
596 own funds for projects to improve water quality or conserve
597 water use within a springshed or spring protection and
598 management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring, with
599 preference given to those applicants that have expended such
601 (7) In addition to the criteria set forth in subsection
602 (6), a project may not be funded by the department under this
603 part unless it is listed on a spring action plan.
604 Section 11. Section 373.809, Florida Statutes, is created
605 to read:
606 373.809 Prohibited activities within a spring protection
607 and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring.—The
608 following activities are prohibited within a spring protection
609 and management zone of an Outstanding Florida Spring:
610 (1) New municipal or industrial wastewater disposal
611 systems, including rapid infiltration basins, except those
612 systems that meet an advanced wastewater treatment standard of
613 no more than 3 mg/L Total Nitrogen, expressed as N, on an annual
614 permitted basis, or a higher treatment standard if the
615 department determines the higher standard is necessary to
616 prevent impairment or aid in the recovery of an Outstanding
617 Florida Spring.
618 (2) New onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems on
619 lots less than 1 acre, except for active or passive nitrogen
620 removing onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems approved
621 by the Department of Health. This subsection shall take effect
622 July 1, 2015.
623 (3) New facilities for the disposal of hazardous waste.
624 (4) The land spreading, dumping, or disposal of all
625 domestic wastewater residuals or septage.
626 (5) Concentrated animal feeding operations or intense
627 cattle finishing and slaughter operations. This subsection does
628 not apply to operations permitted by July 1, 2014, or the future
629 expansion of livestock or poultry operations engaged in the
630 occupation of bona fide agriculture as of July 1, 2014.
631 Section 12. Section 373.811, Florida Statutes, is created
632 to read:
633 373.811 Rules.—
634 (1) The department shall adopt rules to create a program to
635 improve water quantity and water quality pursuant to ss.
636 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this part, as applicable. In
637 developing rules to administer s. 373.808, the department shall
638 use the Total Maximum Daily Load Water Quality Restoration
639 Grants rule as guidance to develop a comparable program for the
640 restoration and protection of the water quality and water
641 quantity for Outstanding Florida Springs.
642 (2) The Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture
643 and Consumer Services, the water management districts, and
644 responsible management entities may adopt rules pursuant to ss.
645 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this part, as applicable.
646 (3)(a) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
647 is the lead agency coordinating the reduction of agricultural
648 nonpoint sources of pollution for the protection of Outstanding
649 Florida Springs. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer
650 Services and the department, pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(c)4.,
651 shall study new or revised best management practices for
652 improving and protecting Outstanding Florida Springs and, if
653 necessary, in cooperation with applicable local governments and
654 stakeholders, initiate rulemaking to require the implementation
655 of such practices within a reasonable time period.
656 (b) The department, the Department of Agriculture and
657 Consumer Services, and the University of Florida’s Institute of
658 Food and Agricultural Sciences shall cooperate in conducting the
659 necessary research and demonstration projects to develop
660 improved or additional nutrient management tools, including the
661 use of controlled release fertilizer that can be used by
662 agricultural producers as part of an agricultural best
663 management practices program. The development of such tools must
664 reflect a balance between water quality improvement and
665 agricultural productivity and, when applicable, must be
666 incorporated into the revised best management practices adopted
667 by rule of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
668 Section 13. Section 373.813, Florida Statutes, is created
669 to read:
670 373.813 Variances and exemptions.—A person may apply to the
671 appropriate agency or a water management district for a variance
672 or exemption from any requirement in this part. An agency or a
673 water management district may approve the application upon
674 receiving reasonable assurance that the applicant’s proposed
675 activity, evaluated individually and as part of cumulative
676 impacts, will not cause or contribute to violations of water
677 quality standards, minimum flows, or minimum water levels in an
678 Outstanding Florida Spring.
679 Section 14. Present paragraphs (n) through (q) of
680 subsection (2) of section 381.0065, Florida Statutes, are
681 redesignated as paragraphs (o) through (r), respectively, a new
682 paragraph (n) is added to that subsection, and subsection (7) is
683 added to that section, to read:
684 381.0065 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems;
686 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in ss. 381.0065-381.0067, the
688 (n) “Responsible management entity” has the same meaning as
689 in s. 373.802.
690 (7) RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT ENTITIES.—
691 (a) By March 1, 2015, the department and the Department of
692 Environmental Protection shall submit a report and
693 recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate,
694 and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the creation
695 and operation of responsible management entities within spring
696 protection and management zones of Outstanding Florida Springs,
697 as defined in s. 373.802. The report must focus on the
698 feasibility of different management models to prevent, reduce,
699 and control nutrient pollution from onsite sewage treatment and
700 disposal systems, including the costs associated with each
701 model. In addition, the report must compare the results of the
702 differing management models to a mandatory onsite sewage
703 treatment and disposal system evaluation and assessment program
704 or any other option that would achieve similar nutrient
705 pollution reductions in the short and long term.
706 (b) A local government may not create a responsible
707 management entity without the prior approval of the department,
708 in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection.
709 In reviewing requests for the creation of a responsible
710 management entity, the local government must demonstrate to the
711 department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental
712 Protection, that it has the management skills, personnel,
713 financial capacity, and technical expertise to properly operate
714 and maintain such an entity.
715 (c) The department shall ensure that responsible management
716 entities adopt rules and policies that are at least as
717 restrictive as state law.
718 Section 15. Section 381.00651, Florida Statutes, is
720 Section 16. Comprehensive study on nutrient reduction
721 improvements and the beneficial use of reclaimed water,
722 stormwater, and excess surface water.—
723 (1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and
724 the Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with
725 the five water management districts, shall conduct a
726 comprehensive study on the expansion of the beneficial use of
727 reclaimed water, stormwater, and excess surface water in this
728 state. The final report of the study must:
729 (a) Describe factors that currently prohibit or otherwise
730 complicate the expansion of the beneficial use of reclaimed
731 water and include recommendations for the mitigation or
732 elimination of such factors.
733 (b) Identify environmental, public health, public
734 perception, engineering, and fiscal issues, and user fee
735 amounts, including utility rate structures for potable and
736 reclaimed water.
737 (c) Identify areas in the state where making reclaimed
738 water available for irrigation or other uses is necessary
739 because the use of traditional water supply sources is
740 constrained by limitations on availability.
741 (d) Evaluate the costs to users of reclaimed water compared
742 to the cost associated with traditional water sources, including
743 an examination of the nutrient concentrations in reclaimed water
744 and the necessity for additional fertilizer supplementation.
745 (e) Evaluate permitting incentives, such as further
746 extending current authorization for long-term consumptive use
747 permits to all entities substituting reclaimed water for
748 traditional water sources or including in such permits a
749 provision that authorizes conversion to traditional water
750 sources if reclaimed water becomes unavailable or cost
752 (f) Describe the basic feasibility, benefit, and cost
753 estimates for the infrastructure needed to construct regional
754 storage features on public or private lands for reclaimed water,
755 stormwater, or excess surface water, including collection and
756 delivery mechanisms for beneficial uses rather than discharge to
757 tide, such as agricultural irrigation, power generation, public
758 water supply, wetland restoration, groundwater recharge, and
759 water body base flow augmentation.
760 (g) Describe any other alternative processes, systems, or
761 technology that may be comparable or preferable to a regional
762 storage system or that may effectively complement or be a
763 substitute for a regional storage system.
764 (h) Evaluate the impact of implementation of a
765 comprehensive reclaimed water plan on traditional water sources
766 and aquifer levels.
767 (2) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and
768 the Department of Environmental Protection shall jointly hold a
769 public meeting to gather input on the design of the
770 comprehensive study and to provide an opportunity for public
771 comment before publishing the final report of the study.
772 (3) The final report shall be submitted to the Governor,
773 the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
774 Representatives by December 1, 2015.
775 (4) This section expires on December 1, 2015.
776 Section 17. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.