Florida Senate - 2024                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1532
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  01/17/2024           .                                

       The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (Brodeur)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 373.403, Florida Statutes, is reordered
    6  and amended to read:
    7         373.403 Definitions.—When appearing in this part or in any
    8  rule, regulation, or order adopted pursuant thereto, the
    9  following terms mean:
   10         (4)(1) “Dam” means any artificial or natural barrier, with
   11  appurtenant works, raised to obstruct or impound, or which does
   12  obstruct or impound, any of the surface waters of the state.
   13         (2) “Appurtenant works” means any artificial improvements
   14  to a dam which might affect the safety of such dam or, when
   15  employed, might affect the holding capacity of such dam or of
   16  the reservoir or impoundment created by such dam.
   17         (10)(3) “Impoundment” means any lake, reservoir, pond, or
   18  other containment of surface water occupying a bed or depression
   19  in the earth’s surface and having a discernible shoreline.
   20         (18)(4) “Reservoir” means any artificial or natural holding
   21  area which contains or will contain the water impounded by a
   22  dam.
   23         (23)(5) “Works” means all artificial structures, including,
   24  but not limited to, ditches, canals, conduits, channels,
   25  culverts, pipes, and other construction that connects to, draws
   26  water from, drains water into, or is placed in or across the
   27  waters in the state.
   28         (3)(6) “Closed system” means any reservoir or works located
   29  entirely within agricultural lands owned or controlled by the
   30  user and which requires water only for the filling,
   31  replenishing, and maintaining the water level thereof.
   32         (1)(7) “Alter” means to extend a dam or works beyond
   33  maintenance in its original condition, including changes which
   34  may increase or diminish the flow or storage of surface water
   35  which may affect the safety of such dam or works.
   36         (12)(8) “Maintenance” or “repairs” means remedial work of a
   37  nature as may affect the safety of any dam, impoundment,
   38  reservoir, or appurtenant work or works, but excludes routine
   39  custodial maintenance.
   40         (5)(9) “Drainage basin” means a subdivision of a watershed.
   41         (21)(10) “Stormwater management system” means a system
   42  which is designed and constructed or implemented to control
   43  discharges which are necessitated by rainfall events,
   44  incorporating methods to collect, convey, store, absorb,
   45  inhibit, treat, use, or reuse water to prevent or reduce
   46  flooding, overdrainage, environmental degradation, and water
   47  pollution or otherwise affect the quantity and quality of
   48  discharges from the system.
   49         (20)(11) “State water quality standards” means water
   50  quality standards adopted pursuant to chapter 403.
   51         (22)(12) “Watershed” means the land area that which
   52  contributes to the flow of water into a receiving body of water.
   53         (6)(13) “Dredging” means excavation, by any means, in
   54  surface waters or wetlands, as delineated in s. 373.421(1). The
   55  term It also means the excavation, or creation, of a water body
   56  which is, or is to be, connected to surface waters or wetlands,
   57  as delineated in s. 373.421(1), directly or via an excavated
   58  water body or series of water bodies.
   59         (9)(14) “Filling” means the deposition, by any means, of
   60  materials in surface waters or wetlands, as delineated in s.
   61  373.421(1).
   62         (8)(15) “Estuary” means a semienclosed, naturally existing
   63  coastal body of water that which has a free connection with the
   64  open sea and within which seawater is measurably diluted with
   65  fresh water derived from riverine systems.
   66         (11)(16) “Lagoon” means a naturally existing coastal zone
   67  depression that which is below mean high water and that which
   68  has permanent or ephemeral communications with the sea, but
   69  which is protected from the sea by some type of naturally
   70  existing barrier.
   71         (19)(17) “Seawall” means a manmade wall or an encroachment,
   72  except riprap, which is made to break the force of waves and to
   73  protect the shore from erosion.
   74         (7)(18) “Ecological value” means the value of functions
   75  performed by uplands, wetlands, and other surface waters to the
   76  abundance, diversity, and habitats of fish, wildlife, and listed
   77  species. These functions include, but are not limited to,
   78  providing cover and refuge; breeding, nesting, denning, and
   79  nursery areas; corridors for wildlife movement; food chain
   80  support; and natural water storage, natural flow attenuation,
   81  and water quality improvement, which enhances fish, wildlife,
   82  and listed species utilization.
   83         (13)(19) “Mitigation bank” means a project permitted under
   84  s. 373.4136 undertaken to provide for the withdrawal of
   85  mitigation credits to offset adverse impacts authorized by a
   86  permit under this part.
   87         (14)(20) “Mitigation credit” means a standard unit of
   88  measure which represents the increase in ecological value
   89  resulting from restoration, enhancement, preservation, or
   90  creation activities.
   91         (15)(21) “Mitigation service area” means the geographic
   92  area within which mitigation credits from a mitigation bank may
   93  be used to offset adverse impacts of activities regulated under
   94  this part.
   95         (16)(22) “Offsite regional mitigation” means mitigation on
   96  an area of land off the site of an activity permitted under this
   97  part, where an applicant proposes to mitigate the adverse
   98  impacts of only the applicant’s specific activity as a
   99  requirement of the permit, which provides regional ecological
  100  value, and which is not a mitigation bank permitted under s.
  101  373.4136.
  102         (17)“Private-sector sponsor” means an individual or entity
  103  that establishes and operates a wetland mitigation bank project
  104  and is responsible for compliance with any permit or
  105  authorization, including, but not limited to, funding and
  106  undertaking wetland enhancement, restoration or creation
  107  activities, and the provision of financial assurances, as well
  108  as any required monitoring, reporting, and maintenance of the
  109  mitigation bank.
  110         Section 2. Present paragraphs (a) through (e) of subsection
  111  (2) of section 373.4134, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
  112  paragraphs (b) through (f), respectively, a new paragraph (a) is
  113  added to that subsection, and paragraphs (b), (d), and (e) of
  114  subsection (1), paragraph (b) of subsection (3), and paragraphs
  115  (a) and (j) of subsection (7) of that section are amended, to
  116  read:
  117         373.4134 Water quality enhancement areas.—
  118         (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—The Legislature finds
  119  that:
  120         (b) An expansion of existing authority for regional
  121  treatment to include offsite compensatory treatment in water
  122  quality enhancement areas to make enhancement credits available
  123  for purchase by an applicant or a governmental entity entities
  124  to address impacts regulated under this part is needed.
  125         (d) Water quality enhancement areas are a valuable tool to
  126  assist an applicant governmental entities in satisfying the net
  127  improvement performance standard under s. 373.414(1)(b)3. to
  128  ensure significant reductions of pollutant loadings.
  129         (e) Water quality enhancement areas that provide water
  130  quality enhancement credits to applicants governmental entities
  131  seeking permits under this part and to governmental entities
  132  seeking to meet an assigned basin management action plan
  133  allocation or reasonable assurance plan under s. 403.067 are
  134  considered an appropriate and permittable option.
  135         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  136         (a)“Applicant” means a governmental entity or private
  137  sector entity that wishes to purchase water quality enhancement
  138  credits to meet an assigned basin management action plan
  139  allocation or reasonable assurance plan or for the purpose of
  140  achieving the net improvement performance standard under s.
  141  373.414(1)(b)3.
  143         (b) Water quality enhancement credits may be sold only to
  144  governmental entities or applicants seeking to meet an assigned
  145  basin management action plan allocation or reasonable assurance
  146  plan or for the purpose of achieving net improvement performance
  147  standards under s. 373.414(1)(b)3. after the governmental entity
  148  has provided reasonable assurances have been provided for the
  149  assurance of meeting department rules for design and
  150  construction of all onsite stormwater management, as required by
  151  law.
  152         (7) ENHANCEMENT CREDITS.—
  153         (a) The department or water management district shall
  154  authorize the sale and use of enhancement credits to applicants
  155  governmental entities to address adverse water quality impacts
  156  of activities regulated under this part or to assist
  157  governmental entities seeking to meet required nonpoint source
  158  contribution reductions assigned in a basin management action
  159  plan or reasonable assurance plan under s. 403.067.
  160         (j) Notwithstanding any other law, this section does not
  161  limit or restrict the authority of the department to deny the
  162  use of enhancement credits when the department is not reasonably
  163  assured that the use of the credits will not cause or contribute
  164  to a violation of water quality standards, even if the project
  165  being implemented by the applicant governmental entity is within
  166  the enhancement service area. The department may allow the use
  167  of enhancement credits if the department receives a request for
  168  the use of enhancement credits and determines that such use will
  169  not cause or contribute to a violation of water quality
  170  standards.
  171         Section 3. Subsection (1) of section 373.4135, Florida
  172  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (8) is added to that
  173  section, to read:
  174         373.4135 Mitigation banks and offsite regional mitigation.—
  175         (1) The Legislature finds that the adverse impacts of
  176  activities regulated under this part may be offset by the
  177  creation, maintenance, and use of mitigation banks and offsite
  178  regional mitigation. Mitigation banks and offsite regional
  179  mitigation can enhance the certainty of mitigation and provide
  180  ecological value due to the improved likelihood of environmental
  181  success associated with their proper construction, maintenance,
  182  and management. Therefore, the department and the water
  183  management districts are directed to participate in and
  184  encourage the establishment of private and public mitigation
  185  banks and offsite regional mitigation on private and public
  186  lands owned by a local government. Mitigation banks and offsite
  187  regional mitigation should emphasize the restoration and
  188  enhancement of degraded ecosystems and the preservation of
  189  uplands and wetlands as intact ecosystems rather than alteration
  190  of landscapes to create wetlands. This is best accomplished
  191  through restoration of ecological communities that were
  192  historically present.
  193         (a) The Legislature intends that the provisions for
  194  establishing mitigation banks apply equally to both public and
  195  private entities, except that the rules of the department and
  196  water management districts may set forth different measures
  197  governing financial responsibility, and different measures
  198  governing legal interest, needed to ensure the construction and
  199  perpetual protection of a mitigation bank.
  200         (b) The Legislature recognizes the importance of mitigation
  201  banks as an appropriate and allowable mitigation alternative to
  202  permittee-responsible mitigation. However, the Legislature also
  203  recognizes that certain timing and geographical constraints
  204  could result in the unavailability of mitigation bank credits
  205  for a certain project upon completion of the project’s
  206  application. If state and federal mitigation credits are not
  207  available to offset the adverse impacts of a project, a local
  208  government may allow permittee-responsible mitigation consisting
  209  of the restoration or enhancement of lands purchased and owned
  210  by a local government for conservation purposes, and such
  211  mitigation must conform to the permitting requirements of s.
  212  373.4136. Except when a local government has allowed a public or
  213  private mitigation project, including permittee-responsible
  214  mitigation, to be created on land it has purchased for
  215  conservation purposes pursuant to this paragraph, a governmental
  216  entity may not create or provide mitigation for a project other
  217  than its own unless the governmental entity uses land that was
  218  not previously purchased for conservation and unless the
  219  governmental entity provides the same financial assurances as
  220  required for mitigation banks permitted under s. 373.4136. This
  221  paragraph does not apply to:
  222         1. Mitigation banks permitted before December 31, 2011,
  223  under s. 373.4136;
  224         2. Offsite regional mitigation areas established before
  225  December 31, 2011, under subsection (6) or, when credits are not
  226  available at a mitigation bank permitted under s. 373.4136,
  227  mitigation areas created by a local government which were
  228  awarded mitigation credits pursuant to the uniform mitigation
  229  assessment method as provided in chapter 62-345, Florida
  230  Administrative Code, under a permit issued before December 31,
  231  2011;
  232         3. Mitigation for transportation projects under ss.
  233  373.4137 and 373.4139;
  234         4. Mitigation for impacts from mining activities under s.
  235  373.41492;
  236         5. Mitigation provided for single-family lots or homeowners
  237  under subsection (7);
  238         6. Entities authorized in chapter 98-492, Laws of Florida;
  239         7. Mitigation provided for electric utility impacts
  240  certified under part II of chapter 403; or
  241         8. Mitigation provided on sovereign submerged lands under
  242  subsection (6).
  243         (c) It is the further intent of the Legislature that
  244  mitigation banks and offsite regional mitigation be considered
  245  appropriate and a permittable mitigation option under the
  246  conditions specified by the rules of the department and water
  247  management districts.
  248         (d) Offsite mitigation, including offsite regional
  249  mitigation, may be located outside the regional watershed in
  250  which the adverse impacts of an activity regulated under this
  251  part are located, if such adverse impacts are offset by the
  252  offsite mitigation.
  253         (e) The department or water management district may allow
  254  the use of a mitigation bank or offsite regional mitigation
  255  alone or in combination with other forms of mitigation to offset
  256  adverse impacts of activities regulated under this part.
  257         (f) When an applicant seeking for a permit under the
  258  provisions of this part other than this section and s. 373.4136
  259  submits more than one mitigation proposal to the department or a
  260  water management district, the department or water management
  261  district shall, in evaluating each proposal, ensure that such
  262  proposal adequately offsets the adverse impacts.
  263         (8)A local government may, through a public procurement
  264  process, solicit proposals from private-sector sponsors for a
  265  mitigation bank on public lands purchased for conservation
  266  purposes. If such a mitigation bank is to be established and
  267  operated on public land, the local government and private-sector
  268  sponsor must enter into an agreement requiring the private
  269  sector sponsor to establish and operate the mitigation bank to
  270  conform to the permitting requirements of s. 373.4136.
  271         (a)The agreement must require the private-sector sponsor
  272  to pay a usage fee to the local government which reflects the
  273  market value of the public land, as determined by a competitive
  274  process in accordance with state law or such other method of
  275  assuring that the cost of the use of the public land is fully
  276  accounted for in the pricing of mitigation credits.
  277         (b)In determining the number of mitigation bank credits
  278  assigned to the mitigation bank, the department or water
  279  management district shall reflect the conservation status of the
  280  land in the location factor set forth in the uniform mitigation
  281  assessment method.
  282         (c)This subsection applies to drainage basins or
  283  corresponding hydrologic units if the private-sector sponsor
  284  demonstrates to the department or water management district that
  285  in-kind credits are not available.
  286         (d)Rulemaking is not required to implement this
  287  subsection.
  288         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
  289  330.41, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  290         330.41 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.—
  291         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term:
  292         (a) “Critical infrastructure facility” means any of the
  293  following, if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical
  294  barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders, or if
  295  clearly marked with a sign or signs which indicate that entry is
  296  forbidden and which are posted on the property in a manner
  297  reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders:
  298         1. A power generation or transmission facility, substation,
  299  switching station, or electrical control center.
  300         2. A chemical or rubber manufacturing or storage facility.
  301         3. A water intake structure, water treatment facility,
  302  wastewater treatment plant, or pump station.
  303         4. A mining facility.
  304         5. A natural gas or compressed gas compressor station,
  305  storage facility, or natural gas or compressed gas pipeline.
  306         6. A liquid natural gas or propane gas terminal or storage
  307  facility.
  308         7. Any portion of an aboveground oil or gas pipeline.
  309         8. A refinery.
  310         9. A gas processing plant, including a plant used in the
  311  processing, treatment, or fractionation of natural gas.
  312         10. A wireless communications facility, including the
  313  tower, antennae, support structures, and all associated ground
  314  based equipment.
  315         11. A seaport as listed in s. 311.09(1), which need not be
  316  completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier and
  317  need not be marked with a sign or signs indicating that entry is
  318  forbidden.
  319         12. An inland port or other facility or group of facilities
  320  serving as a point of intermodal transfer of freight in a
  321  specific area physically separated from a seaport.
  322         13. An airport as defined in s. 330.27.
  323         14. A spaceport territory as defined in s. 331.303(18).
  324         15. A military installation as defined in 10 U.S.C. s.
  325  2801(c)(4) and an armory as defined in s. 250.01.
  326         16. A dam as defined in s. 373.403 s. 373.403(1) or other
  327  structures, such as locks, floodgates, or dikes, which are
  328  designed to maintain or control the level of navigable
  329  waterways.
  330         17. A state correctional institution as defined in s.
  331  944.02 or a private correctional facility authorized under
  332  chapter 957.
  333         18. A secure detention center or facility as defined in s.
  334  985.03, or a nonsecure residential facility, a high-risk
  335  residential facility, or a maximum-risk residential facility as
  336  those terms are described in s. 985.03(44).
  337         19. A county detention facility as defined in s. 951.23.
  338         20. A critical infrastructure facility as defined in s.
  339  692.201.
  340         Section 5. Paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section
  341  373.414, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  342         373.414 Additional criteria for activities in surface
  343  waters and wetlands.—
  344         (8)(a) The governing board or the department, in deciding
  345  whether to grant or deny a permit for an activity regulated
  346  under this part shall consider the cumulative impacts upon
  347  surface water and wetlands, as delineated in s. 373.421(1),
  348  within the same drainage basin as defined in s. 373.403 s.
  349  373.403(9), of:
  350         1. The activity for which the permit is sought.
  351         2. Projects which are existing or activities regulated
  352  under this part which are under construction or projects for
  353  which permits or determinations pursuant to s. 373.421 or s.
  354  403.914 have been sought.
  355         3. Activities which are under review, approved, or vested
  356  pursuant to s. 380.06, or other activities regulated under this
  357  part which may reasonably be expected to be located within
  358  surface waters or wetlands, as delineated in s. 373.421(1), in
  359  the same drainage basin as defined in s. 373.403 s. 373.403(9),
  360  based upon the comprehensive plans, adopted pursuant to chapter
  361  163, of the local governments having jurisdiction over the
  362  activities, or applicable land use restrictions and regulations.
  363         Section 6. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section
  364  373.461, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  365         373.461 Lake Apopka improvement and management.—
  366         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
  367         (c) “Stormwater management system” has the meaning set
  368  forth in s. 373.403 s. 373.403(10).
  369         Section 7. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  370  made by this act to section 373.4135, Florida Statutes, in
  371  references thereto, paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (1) of
  372  section 403.9332, Florida Statutes, are reenacted to read:
  373         403.9332 Mitigation and enforcement.—
  374         (1)(a) Any area in which 5 percent or more of the trimmed
  375  mangrove trees have been trimmed below 6 feet in height, except
  376  as provided in s. 403.9326(1)(c), (d), (f), (g), and (h),
  377  destroyed, defoliated, or removed as a result of trimming
  378  conducted under s. 403.9326 or s. 403.9327 must be restored or
  379  mitigated. Restoration must be accomplished by replanting
  380  mangroves, in the same location and of the same species as each
  381  mangrove destroyed, defoliated, removed, or trimmed, to achieve
  382  within 5 years a canopy area equivalent to the area destroyed,
  383  removed, defoliated, or trimmed; or mitigation must be
  384  accomplished by replanting offsite, in areas suitable for
  385  mangrove growth, mangroves to achieve within 5 years a canopy
  386  area equivalent to the area destroyed, removed, defoliated, or
  387  trimmed. Where all or a portion of the restoration or mitigation
  388  is not practicable, as determined by the department or delegated
  389  local government, the impacts resulting from the destruction,
  390  defoliation, removal, or trimming of the mangroves must be
  391  offset by donating a sufficient amount of money to offset the
  392  impacts, which must be used for the restoration, enhancement,
  393  creation, or preservation of mangrove wetlands within a
  394  restoration, enhancement, creation, or preservation project
  395  approved by the department or delegated local government; or by
  396  purchasing credits from a mitigation bank created under s.
  397  373.4135 at a mitigation ratio of 2-to-1 credits to affected
  398  area. The donation must be equivalent to the cost, as verified
  399  by the department or delegated local government, of creating
  400  mangrove wetlands at a 2-to-1, created versus affected ratio,
  401  based on canopy area. The donation may not be less than $4 per
  402  square foot of created wetland area.
  403         (c) If mangroves are to be trimmed or altered under a
  404  permit issued under s. 403.9328, the department or delegated
  405  local government may require mitigation. The department or
  406  delegated local government shall establish reasonable mitigation
  407  requirements that must include, as an option, the use of
  408  mitigation banks created under s. 373.4135, where appropriate.
  409  The department’s mitigation requirements must ensure that
  410  payments received as mitigation are sufficient to offset impacts
  411  and are used for mangrove creation, preservation, protection, or
  412  enhancement.
  413         Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.
  415  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  416  And the title is amended as follows:
  417         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  418  and insert:
  419                        A bill to be entitled                      
  420         An act relating to mitigation; reordering and amending
  421         s. 373.403, F.S.; defining the term “private-sector
  422         sponsor”; making technical changes; s. 373.4134, F.S.;
  423         revising legislative findings; defining the term
  424         “applicant”; revising the entities to and purposes for
  425         which water quality enhancement credits may be sold;
  426         requiring the Department of Environmental Protection
  427         or water management districts to authorize the sale
  428         and use of such credits to applicants, rather than to
  429         governmental entities, to address adverse water
  430         quality impacts of certain activities; revising
  431         construction; amending s. 373.4135, F.S.; revising
  432         legislative findings; authorizing governmental
  433         entities to solicit certain proposals for mitigation
  434         bank projects on public land; providing requirements
  435         for the proposals and for agreements between local
  436         governmental and private entities; providing
  437         requirements for the agreements; providing
  438         requirements for the department and water management
  439         districts in assigning mitigation bank credits to the
  440         bank; providing applicability; providing construction;
  441         amending ss. 330.41, 373.414, and 373.461, F.S.;
  442         conforming cross-references; reenacting s.
  443         403.9332(1)(a) and (c), F.S., relating to mitigation
  444         and enforcement, to incorporate the amendments made to
  445         s. 373.4135, F.S., in references thereto; providing an
  446         effective date.