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2014 Florida Statutes

F.S. 373.236
373.236 Duration of permits; compliance reports.
(1) Permits shall be granted for a period of 20 years, if requested for that period of time, if there is sufficient data to provide reasonable assurance that the conditions for permit issuance will be met for the duration of the permit; otherwise, permits may be issued for shorter durations which reflect the period for which such reasonable assurances can be provided. The governing board or the department may base the duration of permits on a reasonable system of classification according to source of supply or type of use, or both.
(2) The Legislature finds that some agricultural landowners remain unaware of their ability to request a 20-year consumptive use permit under subsection (1) for initial permits or for renewals. Therefore, the water management districts shall inform agricultural applicants of this option in the application form.
(3) The governing board or the department may authorize a permit of duration of up to 50 years in the case of a municipality or other governmental body or of a public works or public service corporation where such a period is required to provide for the retirement of bonds for the construction of waterworks and waste disposal facilities.
(4) Where necessary to maintain reasonable assurance that the conditions for issuance of a 20-year permit can continue to be met, the governing board or department, in addition to any conditions required pursuant to s. 373.219, may require a compliance report by the permittee every 10 years during the term of a permit. The Suwannee River Water Management District may require a compliance report by the permittee every 5 years through July 1, 2015, and thereafter every 10 years during the term of the permit. This report shall contain sufficient data to maintain reasonable assurance that the initial conditions for permit issuance are met. Following review of this report, the governing board or the department may modify the permit to ensure that the use meets the conditions for issuance. Permit modifications pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to competing applications, provided there is no increase in the permitted allocation or permit duration, and no change in source, except for changes in source requested by the district. In order to promote the sustainability of natural systems through the diversification of water supplies through the development of seawater desalination plants, a water management district may not reduce an existing permitted allocation of water during the permit term as a result of planned future construction of, or additional water becoming available from, a new seawater desalination plant that does not receive funding from a water management district. Except as expressly provided in this subsection, this subsection does not alter the existing authority of a water management district to modify a consumptive use permit pursuant to this chapter.
(5)(a) A permit approved for the development of alternative water supplies shall be granted for a term of at least 20 years if there is sufficient data to provide reasonable assurance that the conditions for permit issuance will be met for the duration of the permit. However, if the permittee issues bonds for the construction of the project, upon request of the permittee before the expiration of the permit, the permit shall be extended for such additional time as is required for the retirement of bonds, not including any refunding or refinancing of such bonds, if the governing board determines that the use will continue to meet the conditions for the issuance of the permit. The permit is subject to compliance reports under subsection (4).
(b)1. A permit approved on or after July 1, 2013, for the development of alternative water supplies shall be granted for a term of at least 30 years if there is sufficient data to provide reasonable assurance that the conditions for permit issuance will be met for the duration of the permit. If, within 7 years after a permit is granted, the permittee issues bonds to finance the project, completes construction of the project, and requests an extension of the permit duration, the permit shall be extended to expire upon the retirement of such bonds or 30 years after the date that construction of the project is complete, whichever occurs later. However, a permit’s duration may not be extended by more than 7 years beyond the permit’s original expiration date.
2. A permit issued under this paragraph is subject to compliance reports under subsection (4). If the permittee demonstrates that bonds issued to finance the project are outstanding, the quantity of alternative water allocated in the permit may not be reduced during a compliance report review unless a reduction is needed to address harm to water resources or to existing legal uses present when the permit was issued. A reduction required by an applicable water shortage order applies to a permit issued under this paragraph.
3. A permit issued under this paragraph may not authorize the use of nonbrackish groundwater supplies or nonalternative water supplies.
(c) An entity that wishes to develop alternative water supplies may apply for a permit under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
(6)(a) The Legislature finds that the need for alternative water supply development projects to meet anticipated public water supply demands of the state is so important that it is essential to encourage participation in and contribution to these projects by private-rural-land owners who characteristically have relatively modest near-term water demands but substantially increasing demands after the 20-year planning period in s. 373.709. Therefore, where such landowners make extraordinary contributions of lands or construction funding to enable the expeditious implementation of such projects, water management districts and the department may grant permits for such projects for a period of up to 50 years to municipalities, counties, special districts, regional water supply authorities, multijurisdictional water supply entities, and publicly or privately owned utilities, with the exception of any publicly or privately owned utilities created for or by a private landowner after April 1, 2008, which have entered into an agreement with the private landowner for the purpose of more efficiently pursuing alternative public water supply development projects identified in a district’s regional water supply plan and meeting water demands of both the applicant and the landowner.
(b) A permit under paragraph (a) may be granted only for that period for which there is sufficient data to provide reasonable assurance that the conditions for permit issuance will be met. Such a permit shall require a compliance report by the permittee every 5 years during the term of the permit. The report shall contain sufficient data to maintain reasonable assurance that the conditions for permit issuance applicable at the time of district review of the compliance report are met. After review of this report, the governing board or the department may modify the permit to ensure that the use meets the conditions for issuance. This subsection does not limit the existing authority of the department or the governing board to modify or revoke a consumptive use permit.
(7) A permit approved for a renewable energy generating facility or the cultivation of agricultural products on lands consisting of 1,000 acres or more for use in the production of renewable energy, as defined in s. 366.91(2)(d), shall be granted for a term of at least 25 years at the applicant’s request based on the anticipated life of the facility if there is sufficient data to provide reasonable assurance that the conditions for permit issuance will be met for the duration of the permit; otherwise, a permit may be issued for a shorter duration that reflects the longest period for which such reasonable assurances are provided. Such a permit is subject to compliance reports under subsection (4).
History.s. 7, part II, ch. 72-299; s. 13, ch. 97-160; s. 7, ch. 2005-291; s. 7, ch. 2006-255; s. 10, ch. 2009-243; s. 70, ch. 2010-5; ss. 18, 55, ch. 2010-205; s. 10, ch. 2013-92; s. 1, ch. 2013-169.