Florida Senate - 2021                              CS for SB 976
       By the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; and
       Senator Brodeur
       592-02336-21                                           2021976c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to a study of the Little Wekiva River;
    3         requiring the Department of Environmental Protection,
    4         in consultation with the St. Johns River Water
    5         Management District, Seminole County, the Fish and
    6         Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Department
    7         of Transportation, to conduct a study and issue a
    8         report on sediment accumulation and water quality in
    9         the Little Wekiva River by a specified date; providing
   10         requirements for the report; authorizing local and
   11         state entities or their contractors to conduct
   12         restoration efforts during the study period; requiring
   13         the department and the water management district to
   14         review certain permits along the Little Wekiva River;
   15         requiring certain enforcement actions to be taken
   16         against noncompliant permittees; providing an
   17         effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. The Department of Environmental Protection, in
   22  consultation with the St. Johns River Water Management District,
   23  Seminole County, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,
   24  and the Department of Transportation, shall conduct a study and
   25  issue a report by December 31, 2021, to identify the source of
   26  sediment accumulation in the Little Wekiva River and detail
   27  improvements to the water quality and ecology of the area which
   28  might be achieved by efforts to remove accumulated sediments by
   29  appropriate means, restore the natural river channel, remove
   30  invasive plants, and implement protective measures. The report
   31  must include an estimated cost for each improvement and
   32  potential funding sources. Local or state agencies or their
   33  contractors may conduct restoration efforts during the study
   34  period. The department and the water management district shall
   35  immediately review any permits north of S.R. 436 where the
   36  Little Wekiva River is identified as the “receiving waters” to
   37  assess whether any permittee is in violation of any permit
   38  conditions, take appropriate action to resolve any compliance
   39  issues, and remediate any impacts related to sedimentation in
   40  the Little Wekiva River and its adjacent wetland habitat. If a
   41  permittee or their contractors are found to be in violation of
   42  any permit condition associated with a project that has had an
   43  accumulation of sediments or has been found to have caused
   44  ecological harm to the Little Wekiva River, the permitting
   45  agencies shall levy all fines authorized by law commensurate
   46  with restoration costs.
   47         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.