2020 Florida Statutes
Maintenance of actions.
Maintenance of actions.
373.129 Maintenance of actions.—The department, the governing board of any water management district, any local board, or a local government to which authority has been delegated pursuant to s. 373.103(8), is authorized to commence and maintain proper and necessary actions and proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction for any of the following purposes:
(1) To enforce rules, regulations, and orders adopted or issued pursuant to this law.
(2) To enjoin or abate violations of the provisions of this law or rules, regulations, and orders adopted pursuant hereto.
(3) To protect and preserve the water resources of the state.
(4) To defend all actions and proceedings involving its powers and duties pertaining to the water resources of the state.
(5) To recover a civil penalty for each offense in an amount not to exceed $15,000 per offense. Each date during which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense.
(a) A civil penalty recovered by a water management district pursuant to this subsection shall be retained and used exclusively by the water management district that collected the money. A civil penalty recovered by the department pursuant to this subsection must be deposited into the Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund established under s. 376.307.
(b) A local government that is delegated authority pursuant to s. 373.103(8) may deposit a civil penalty recovered pursuant to this subsection into a local water pollution control program trust fund, notwithstanding paragraph (a). However, civil penalties that are deposited in a local water pollution control program trust fund and that are recovered for violations of state water quality standards may be used only to restore water quality in the area that was the subject of the action, and civil penalties that are deposited in a local water pollution control program trust fund and that are recovered for violation of requirements relating to water quantity may be used only to purchase lands and make capital improvements associated with surface water management, or other purposes consistent with the requirements of this chapter for the management and storage of surface water.
(6) To recover investigative costs, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees.
(7) To enforce part IV of this chapter in the same manner and to the same extent as provided in ss. 373.430, 403.121(1) and (2), 403.131, 403.141, and 403.161.
(8) In conflicts arising where a water management district is a party to litigation against another governmental entity, as defined in s. 164.1031, a district has an affirmative duty to engage in alternative dispute resolution in good faith as required by chapter 164.
History.—s. 16, ch. 57-380; s. 16, ch. 63-336; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 42, ch. 79-65; s. 9, ch. 84-341; s. 2, ch. 91-231; s. 4, ch. 91-288; s. 27, ch. 93-213; s. 38, ch. 96-321; s. 46, ch. 2010-205; s. 36, ch. 2015-229; s. 7, ch. 2020-158.
Note.—Former s. 373.221.