(1) The governing board may adopt rules establishing a general permit system under this chapter for projects, or categories of projects, which have, either singly or cumulatively, a minimal adverse impact on the water resources of the district. Such rules shall specify design or performance criteria which, if applied, would result in compliance with the conditions for issuance of permits established in this chapter and district rules.
(2) A general permit system relating to water use may provide for the granting of permits for the use of water in specified amounts within identified areas of the district. General permits for water use shall be subject to all the provisions of part II except the provisions of s. 373.229. (3) In lieu of the publication of notice requirements of ss. 373.116, 373.229, and 373.413, the governing board may establish alternative notice requirements for general permits, which requirements take into account the nature and scope of the projects permitted and the effect the proposed activity may have on other persons.
(4) The department shall adopt by rule one or more general permits for local governments to construct, operate, and maintain public marina facilities, public mooring fields, public boat ramps, including associated courtesy docks, and associated parking facilities located in uplands. Such general permits adopted by rule shall include provisions to ensure compliance with part IV of this chapter, subsection (1), and the criteria necessary to include the general permits in a state programmatic general permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under s. 404 of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, as amended, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq. A facility authorized under such general permits is exempt from review as a development of regional impact if the facility complies with the comprehensive plan of the applicable local government. Such facilities shall be consistent with the local government manatee protection plan required pursuant to chapter 379 and shall obtain Clean Marina Program status prior to opening for operation and maintain that status for the life of the facility. Marinas and mooring fields authorized under any such general permit shall not exceed an area of 50,000 square feet over wetlands and other surface waters. All facilities permitted under this section shall be constructed, maintained, and operated in perpetuity for the exclusive use of the general public. The department shall initiate the rulemaking process within 60 days after the effective date of this act.
(5) To improve efficiency, the governing board may delegate its powers and duties pertaining to general permits to the executive director. The executive director may execute such delegated authority through designated staff. However, when delegating the authority to take final action on permit applications under part II or petitions for variances or waivers of permitting requirements under part II, the governing board must provide a process for referring a denial of such application or petition to the governing board for the purpose of taking final action. Such delegations are not subject to the rulemaking requirements of chapter 120.