HB 991

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to environmental permitting; amending s.
3120.569, F.S.; authorizing the provision of certain
4notices under the Administrative Procedure Act via a link
5to a publicly available Internet website; providing that a
6nonapplicant who petitions to challenge an agency's
7issuance of a license or conceptual approval in certain
8circumstances has the burden of ultimate persuasion and
9the burden of going forward with evidence; amending s.
10120.60, F.S.; revising the period for an agency to approve
11or deny an application for a license; creating s.
12125.0112, F.S.; providing that the construction and
13operation of a biofuel processing facility or renewable
14energy generating facility and the cultivation of
15bioenergy by a local government is a valid and permitted
16land use; requiring expedited review of such facilities;
17providing that such facilities are eligible for the
18alternative state review process; amending s. 125.022,
19F.S.; prohibiting a county from requiring an applicant to
20obtain a permit or approval from another state or federal
21agency as a condition of approving a development permit;
22authorizing a county to attach certain disclaimers to the
23issuance of a development permit; creating s. 161.032,
24F.S.; requiring that the Department of Environmental
25Protection review an application for certain permits under
26the Beach and Shore Preservation Act and request
27additional information within a specified time; requiring
28that the department proceed to process the application if
29the applicant believes that a request for additional
30information is not authorized by law or rule; extending
31the period for an applicant to timely submit additional
32information, notwithstanding certain provisions of the
33Administrative Procedure Act; amending s. 163.3184, F.S.;
34redefining the term "affected person" for purposes of the
35adoption process for a comprehensive plan or plan
36amendments to include persons who can show that their
37substantial interest will be affected by the plan or
38amendment; amending s. 163.3215, F.S.; redefining the term
39"aggrieved or adversely affected party" for purposes of
40standing to enforce local comprehensive plans; deleting a
41requirement that the adverse interest exceed in degree the
42general interest shared by all persons; amending s.
43166.033, F.S.; prohibiting a municipality from requiring
44an applicant to obtain a permit or approval from another
45state or federal agency as a condition of approving a
46development permit; authorizing a county to attach certain
47disclaimers to the issuance of a development permit;
48creating s. 166.0447, F.S.; providing that the
49construction and operation of a biofuel processing
50facility or renewable energy generating facility and the
51cultivation of bioenergy is a valid and permitted land use
52within the unincorporated area of a municipality;
53prohibiting any requirement that the owner or operator of
54such a facility obtain comprehensive plan amendments, use
55permits, waivers, or variances, or pay any fee in excess
56of a specified amount; amending s. 373.026, F.S.;
57requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to
58expand its use of Internet-based self-certification
59services for exemptions and permits issued by the
60department and water management districts; amending s.
61373.4141, F.S.; requiring that a request by the department
62or a water management district that an applicant provide
63additional information be accompanied by the signature of
64specified officials of the department or district;
65reducing the time within which the department or district
66must approve or deny a permit application; providing that
67an application for a permit that is required by a local
68government and that is not approved within a specified
69period is deemed approved by default; amending s.
70373.4144, F.S.; providing legislative intent with respect
71to the coordination of regulatory duties among specified
72state and federal agencies; requiring that the department
73report annually to the Legislature on efforts to expand
74the state programmatic general permit or regional general
75permits; providing for a voluntary state programmatic
76general permit for certain dredge and fill activities;
77amending s. 373.441, F.S.; requiring that certain counties
78or municipalities apply by a specified date to the
79department or water management district for authority to
80require certain permits; providing that following such
81delegation, the department or district may not regulate
82activities that are subject to the delegation; amending s.
83403.061, F.S., relating to the use of online self-
84certification; conforming provisions to changes made by
85the act; creating s. 403.0874, F.S.; providing a short
86title; providing legislative findings and intent with
87respect to the consideration of the compliance history of
88a permit applicant; providing for applicability;
89specifying the period of compliance history to be
90considered is issuing or renewing a permit; providing
91criteria to be considered by the Department of
92Environmental Protection; authorizing expedited review of
93permit issuance, renewal, modification, and transfer;
94providing for a reduced number of inspections; providing
95for extended permit duration; authorizing the department
96to make additional incentives available under certain
97circumstances; providing for automatic permit renewal and
98reduced or waived fees under certain circumstances;
99requiring the department to adopt rules that are binding
100on a water management district or local government that
101has been delegated certain regulatory duties; amending ss.
102161.041 and 373.413, F.S.; specifying that s. 403.0874,
103F.S., authorizing expedited permitting, applies to
104provisions governing beaches and shores and surface water
105management and storage; amending s. 403.087, F.S.;
106revising conditions under which the department is
107authorized to revoke a permit; amending s. 403.412, F.S.;
108eliminating a provision limiting a requirement for
109demonstrating injury in order to seek relief under the
110Environmental Protection Act; amending s. 403.814, F.S.;
111providing for issuance of general permits for the
112construction, alteration, and maintenance of certain
113surface water management systems without the action of the
114department or a water management district; specifying
115conditions for the general permits; amending s. 380.06,
116F.S.; exempting a proposed solid mineral mine or a
117proposed addition or expansion of an existing solid
118mineral mine from provisions governing developments of
119regional impact; providing certain exceptions; amending
120ss. 380.0657 and 403.973, F.S.; authorizing expedited
121permitting for certain inland multimodal facilities and
122for commercial or industrial development projects that
123individually or collectively will create a minimum number
124of jobs; providing for a project-specific memorandum of
125agreement to apply to a project subject to expedited
126permitting; providing for review and certification of a
127business as eligible for expedited permitting by the
128Secretary of Environmental Protection rather than by the
129Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development;
130amending s. 163.3180, F.S.; providing an exemption to the
131level-of-service standards adopted under the Strategic
132Intermodal System for certain inland multimodal
133facilities; specifying project criteria; amending s.
134373.4137, F.S., relating to transportation projects;
135revising legislative findings with respect to the options
136for mitigation; revising certain requirements for
137determining the habitat impacts of transportation
138projects; providing for the release of certain mitigation
139funds held for the benefit of a water management district
140if a project is excluded from a mitigation plan; revising
141the procedure for excluding a project from a mitigation
142plan; providing an effective date.
144Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
146     Section 1.  Subsection (1) of section 120.569, Florida
147Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (p) is added to subsection
148(2) of that section, to read:
149     120.569  Decisions which affect substantial interests.-
150     (1)  The provisions of this section apply in all
151proceedings in which the substantial interests of a party are
152determined by an agency, unless the parties are proceeding under
153s. 120.573 or s. 120.574. Unless waived by all parties, s.
154120.57(1) applies whenever the proceeding involves a disputed
155issue of material fact. Unless otherwise agreed, s. 120.57(2)
156applies in all other cases. If a disputed issue of material fact
157arises during a proceeding under s. 120.57(2), then, unless
158waived by all parties, the proceeding under s. 120.57(2) shall
159be terminated and a proceeding under s. 120.57(1) shall be
160conducted. Parties shall be notified of any order, including a
161final order. Unless waived, a copy of the order shall be
162delivered or mailed to each party or the party's attorney of
163record at the address of record. Each notice shall inform the
164recipient of any administrative hearing or judicial review that
165is available under this section, s. 120.57, or s. 120.68; shall
166indicate the procedure which must be followed to obtain the
167hearing or judicial review; and shall state the time limits that
168which apply. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, notice
169of the procedure to obtain an administrative hearing or judicial
170review, including any items required by the uniform rules
171adopted pursuant to s. 120.54(5), may be provided via a link to
172a publicly available Internet website.
173     (2)
174     (p)  For any proceeding arising under chapter 373, chapter
175378, or chapter 403, if a nonapplicant petitions as a third
176party to challenge an agency's issuance of a license or
177conceptual approval, the petitioner initiating the action has
178the burden of ultimate persuasion and, in the first instance,
179has the burden of going forward with the evidence.
180Notwithstanding subsection (1), this paragraph applies to
181proceedings under s. 120.574.
182     Section 2.  Subsection (1) of section 120.60, Florida
183Statutes, as amended by chapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, is
184amended to read:
185     120.60  Licensing.-
186     (1)  Upon receipt of a license application, an agency shall
187examine the application and, within 30 days after such receipt,
188notify the applicant of any apparent errors or omissions and
189request any additional information the agency is permitted by
190law to require. An agency may not deny a license for failure to
191correct an error or omission or to supply additional information
192unless the agency timely notified the applicant within this 30-
193day period. The agency may establish by rule the time period for
194submitting any additional information requested by the agency.
195For good cause shown, the agency shall grant a request for an
196extension of time for submitting the additional information. If
197the applicant believes the agency's request for additional
198information is not authorized by law or rule, the agency, at the
199applicant's request, shall proceed to process the application.
200An application is complete upon receipt of all requested
201information and correction of any error or omission for which
202the applicant was timely notified or when the time for such
203notification has expired. An application for a license must be
204approved or denied within 60 90 days after receipt of a
205completed application unless a shorter period of time for agency
206action is provided by law. The 60-day 90-day time period is
207tolled by the initiation of a proceeding under ss. 120.569 and
208120.57. Any application for a license which is not approved or
209denied within the 60-day 90-day or shorter time period, within
21015 days after conclusion of a public hearing held on the
211application, or within 45 days after a recommended order is
212submitted to the agency and the parties, whichever action and
213timeframe is latest and applicable, is considered approved
214unless the recommended order recommends that the agency deny the
215license. Subject to the satisfactory completion of an
216examination if required as a prerequisite to licensure, any
217license that is considered approved shall be issued and may
218include such reasonable conditions as are authorized by law. Any
219applicant for licensure seeking to claim licensure by default
220under this subsection shall notify the agency clerk of the
221licensing agency, in writing, of the intent to rely upon the
222default license provision of this subsection, and may not take
223any action based upon the default license until after receipt of
224such notice by the agency clerk.
225     Section 3.  Section 125.0112, Florida Statutes, is created
226to read:
227     125.0112  Biofuels and renewable energy.-The construction
228and operation of a biofuel processing facility or a renewable
229energy generating facility, as defined in s. 366.91(2)(d), and
230the cultivation and production of bioenergy, as defined pursuant
231to s. 163.3177, shall be considered by a local government to be
232a valid industrial, agricultural, and silvicultural use
233permitted within those land use categories in the local
234comprehensive land use plan. If the local comprehensive plan
235does not specifically allow for the construction of a biofuel
236processing facility or renewable energy facility, the local
237government shall establish a specific review process that may
238include expediting local review of any necessary comprehensive
239plan amendment, zoning change, use permit, waiver, variance, or
240special exemption. Local expedited review of a proposed biofuel
241processing facility or a renewable energy facility does not
242obligate a local government to approve such proposed use. A
243comprehensive plan amendment necessary to accommodate a biofuel
244processing facility or renewable energy facility shall, if
245approved by the local government, be eligible for the
246alternative state review process in s. 163.32465. The
247construction and operation of a facility and related
248improvements on a portion of a property under this section does
249not affect the remainder of the property's classification as
250agricultural under s. 193.461.
251     Section 4.  Section 125.022, Florida Statutes, is amended
252to read:
253     125.022  Development permits.-When a county denies an
254application for a development permit, the county shall give
255written notice to the applicant. The notice must include a
256citation to the applicable portions of an ordinance, rule,
257statute, or other legal authority for the denial of the permit.
258As used in this section, the term "development permit" has the
259same meaning as in s. 163.3164. A county may not require as a
260condition of approval for a development permit that an applicant
261obtain a permit or approval from any other state or federal
262agency. Issuance of a development permit by a county does not in
263any way create any rights on the part of the applicant to obtain
264a permit from another state or federal agency and does not
265create any liability on the part of the county for issuance of
266the permit if the applicant fails to fulfill its legal
267obligations to obtain requisite approvals or fulfill the
268obligations imposed by another state or a federal agency. A
269county may attach such a disclaimer to the issuance of a
270development permit, and may include a permit condition that all
271other applicable state or federal permits be obtained before
272commencement of the development. This section does not prohibit
273a county from providing information to an applicant regarding
274what other state or federal permits may apply.
275     Section 5.  Section 161.032, Florida Statutes, is created
276to read:
277     161.032  Application review; request for additional
279     (1)  Within 30 days after receipt of an application for a
280permit under this part, the department shall review the
281application and shall request submission of any additional
282information the department is permitted by law to require. If
283the applicant believes that a request for additional information
284is not authorized by law or rule, the applicant may request a
285hearing pursuant to s. 120.57. Within 30 days after receipt of
286such additional information, the department shall review such
287additional information and may request only that information
288needed to clarify such additional information or to answer new
289questions raised by or directly related to such additional
290information. If the applicant believes that the request for such
291additional information by the department is not authorized by
292law or rule, the department, at the applicant's request, shall
293proceed to process the permit application.
294     (2)  Notwithstanding s. 120.60, an applicant for a permit
295under this part has 90 days after the date of a timely request
296for additional information to submit such information. If an
297applicant requires more than 90 days in order to respond to a
298request for additional information, the applicant must notify
299the agency processing the permit application in writing of the
300circumstances, at which time the application shall be held in
301active status for no more than one additional period of up to 90
302days. Additional extensions may be granted for good cause shown
303by the applicant. A showing that the applicant is making a
304diligent effort to obtain the requested additional information
305constitutes good cause. Failure of an applicant to provide the
306timely requested information by the applicable deadline shall
307result in denial of the application without prejudice.
308     Section 6.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
309163.3184, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
310     163.3184  Process for adoption of comprehensive plan or
311plan amendment.-
312     (1)  DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the term:
313     (a)  "Affected person" includes the affected local
314government; persons owning property, residing, or owning or
315operating a business within the boundaries of the local
316government whose plan is the subject of the review and who can
317demonstrate that their substantial interest will be affected by
318the plan or plan amendment; owners of real property abutting
319real property that is the subject of a proposed change to a
320future land use map; and adjoining local governments that can
321demonstrate that the plan or plan amendment will produce
322substantial impacts on the increased need for publicly funded
323infrastructure or substantial impacts on areas designated for
324protection or special treatment within their jurisdiction. Each
325person, other than an adjoining local government, in order to
326qualify under this definition, shall also have submitted oral or
327written comments, recommendations, or objections to the local
328government during the period of time beginning with the
329transmittal hearing for the plan or plan amendment and ending
330with the adoption of the plan or plan amendment.
331     Section 7.  Subsection (2) of section 163.3215, Florida
332Statutes, is amended to read:
333     163.3215  Standing to enforce local comprehensive plans
334through development orders.-
335     (2)  As used in this section, the term "aggrieved or
336adversely affected party" means any person or local government
337that can demonstrate that their substantial interest will be
338affected by a development order will suffer an adverse effect to
339an interest protected or furthered by the local government
340comprehensive plan, including interests related to health and
341safety, police and fire protection service systems, densities or
342intensities of development, transportation facilities, health
343care facilities, equipment or services, and environmental or
344natural resources. The alleged adverse interest may be shared in
345common with other members of the community at large but must
346exceed in degree the general interest in community good shared
347by all persons. The term includes the owner, developer, or
348applicant for a development order.
349     Section 8.  Section 166.033, Florida Statutes, is amended
350to read:
351     166.033  Development permits.-When a municipality denies an
352application for a development permit, the municipality shall
353give written notice to the applicant. The notice must include a
354citation to the applicable portions of an ordinance, rule,
355statute, or other legal authority for the denial of the permit.
356As used in this section, the term "development permit" has the
357same meaning as in s. 163.3164. A municipality may not require
358as a condition of approval for a development permit that an
359applicant obtain a permit or approval from any other state or
360federal agency. Issuance of a development permit by a
361municipality does not in any way create any right on the part of
362an applicant to obtain a permit from another state or federal
363agency and does not create any liability on the part of the
364municipality for issuance of the permit if the applicant fails
365to fulfill its legal obligations to obtain requisite approvals
366or fulfill the obligations imposed by another state or federal
367agency. A municipality may attach such a disclaimer to the
368issuance of development permits and may include a permit
369condition that all other applicable state or federal permits be
370obtained before commencement of the development. This section
371does not prohibit a municipality from providing information to
372an applicant regarding what other state or federal permits may
374     Section 9.  Section 166.0447, Florida Statutes, is created
375to read:
376     166.0447  Biofuels and renewable energy.-The construction
377and operation of a biofuel processing facility or a renewable
378energy generating facility, as defined in s. 366.91(2)(d), and
379the cultivation and production of bioenergy, as defined pursuant
380to s. 163.3177, are each a valid industrial, agricultural, and
381silvicultural use permitted within those land use categories in
382the local comprehensive land use plan and for purposes of any
383local zoning regulation within an unincorporated area of a
384municipality. Such comprehensive land use plans and local zoning
385regulations may not require the owner or operator of a biofuel
386processing facility or a renewable energy generating facility to
387obtain any comprehensive plan amendment, rezoning, special
388exemption, use permit, waiver, or variance, or to pay any
389special fee in excess of $1,000 to operate in an area zoned for
390or categorized as industrial, agricultural, or silvicultural
391use. This section does not exempt biofuel processing facilities
392and renewable energy generating facilities from complying with
393building code requirements. The construction and operation of a
394facility and related improvements on a portion of a property
395pursuant to this section does not affect the remainder of that
396property's classification as agricultural pursuant to s.
398     Section 10.  Subsection (10) is added to section 373.026,
399Florida Statutes, to read:
400     373.026  General powers and duties of the department.-The
401department, or its successor agency, shall be responsible for
402the administration of this chapter at the state level. However,
403it is the policy of the state that, to the greatest extent
404possible, the department may enter into interagency or
405interlocal agreements with any other state agency, any water
406management district, or any local government conducting programs
407related to or materially affecting the water resources of the
408state. All such agreements shall be subject to the provisions of
409s. 373.046. In addition to its other powers and duties, the
410department shall, to the greatest extent possible:
411     (10)  Expand the use of Internet-based self-certification
412services for appropriate exemptions and general permits issued
413by the department and the water management districts, if such
414expansion is economically feasible. In addition to expanding the
415use of Internet-based self-certification services for
416appropriate exemptions and general permits, the department and
417water management districts shall identify and develop general
418permits for activities currently requiring individual review
419which could be expedited through the use of professional
421     Section 11.  Section 373.4141, Florida Statutes, is amended
422to read:
423     373.4141  Permits; processing.-
424     (1)  Within 30 days after receipt of an application for a
425permit under this part, the department or the water management
426district shall review the application and shall request
427submittal of all additional information the department or the
428water management district is permitted by law to require. If the
429applicant believes any request for additional information is not
430authorized by law or rule, the applicant may request a hearing
431pursuant to s. 120.57. Within 30 days after receipt of such
432additional information, the department or water management
433district shall review it and may request only that information
434needed to clarify such additional information or to answer new
435questions raised by or directly related to such additional
436information. If the applicant believes the request of the
437department or water management district for such additional
438information is not authorized by law or rule, the department or
439water management district, at the applicant's request, shall
440proceed to process the permit application. In order to ensure
441the proper scope and necessity for the information requested, a
442second request for additional information, if any, must be
443signed by the supervisor of the project manager. A third request
444for additional information, if any, must be signed by the
445division director who oversees the program area. A fourth
446request for additional information, if any, must be signed by
447the assistant secretary of the department or the assistant
448executive director of the district. Any additional request for
449information must be signed by the secretary of the department or
450the executive director of the district.
451     (2)(a)  A permit shall be approved or denied within 60 90
452days after receipt of the original application, the last item of
453timely requested additional material, or the applicant's written
454request to begin processing the permit application.
455     (b)  A permit required by a local government for an
456activity that also requires a state permit under this part shall
457be approved or denied within 60 days after receipt of the
458original application. An application for a local permit which is
459not approved or denied within 60 days is deemed approved by
461     (3)  Processing of applications for permits for affordable
462housing projects shall be expedited to a greater degree than
463other projects.
464     Section 12.  Section 373.4144, Florida Statutes, is amended
465to read:
466     373.4144  Federal environmental permitting.-
467     (1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to:
468     (a)  Facilitate coordination and a more efficient process
469of implementing regulatory duties and functions between the
470Department of Environmental Protection, the water management
471districts, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United
472States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries
473Service, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the
474Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other relevant
475federal and state agencies.
476     (b)  Authorize the Department of Environmental Protection
477to obtain issuance by the United States Army Corps of Engineers,
478pursuant to state and federal law and as set forth in this
479section, of an expanded state programmatic general permit, or a
480series of regional general permits, for categories of activities
481in waters of the United States governed by the Clean Water Act
482and in navigable waters under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899
483which are similar in nature, which will cause only minimal
484adverse environmental effects when performed separately, and
485which will have only minimal cumulative adverse effects on the
487     (c)  Use the mechanism of such a state general permit or
488such regional general permits to eliminate overlapping federal
489regulations and state rules that seek to protect the same
490resource and to avoid duplication of permitting between the
491United States Army Corps of Engineers and the department for
492minor work located in waters of the United States, including
493navigable waters, thus eliminating, in appropriate cases, the
494need for a separate individual approval from the United States
495Army Corps of Engineers while ensuring the most stringent
496protection of wetland resources.
497     (d)  Direct the department not to seek issuance of or take
498any action pursuant to any such permit or permits unless such
499conditions are at least as protective of the environment and
500natural resources as existing state law under this part and
501federal law under the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors
502Act of 1899. The department is directed to develop, on or before
503October 1, 2005, a mechanism or plan to consolidate, to the
504maximum extent practicable, the federal and state wetland
505permitting programs. It is the intent of the Legislature that
506all dredge and fill activities impacting 10 acres or less of
507wetlands or waters, including navigable waters, be processed by
508the state as part of the environmental resource permitting
509program implemented by the department and the water management
510districts. The resulting mechanism or plan shall analyze and
511propose the development of an expanded state programmatic
512general permit program in conjunction with the United States
513Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to s. 404 of the Clean Water
514Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, as amended, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq.,
515and s. 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Alternatively,
516or in combination with an expanded state programmatic general
517permit, the mechanism or plan may propose the creation of a
518series of regional general permits issued by the United States
519Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to the referenced statutes. All
520of the regional general permits must be administered by the
521department or the water management districts or their designees.
522     (2)  In order to effectuate efficient wetland permitting
523and avoid duplication, the department and water management
524districts are authorized to implement a voluntary state
525programmatic general permit for all dredge and fill activities
526impacting 3 acres or less of wetlands or other surface waters,
527including navigable waters, subject to agreement with the United
528States Army Corps of Engineers, if the general permit is at
529least as protective of the environment and natural resources as
530existing state law under this part and federal law under the
531Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The
532department is directed to file with the Speaker of the House of
533Representatives and the President of the Senate a report
534proposing any required federal and state statutory changes that
535would be necessary to accomplish the directives listed in this
536section and to coordinate with the Florida Congressional
537Delegation on any necessary changes to federal law to implement
538the directives.
539     (3)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude
540the department from pursuing a series of regional general
541permits for construction activities in wetlands or surface
542waters or complete assumption of federal permitting programs
543regulating the discharge of dredged or fill material pursuant to
544s. 404 of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, as amended,
54533 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq., and s. 10 of the Rivers and Harbors
546Act of 1899, so long as the assumption encompasses all dredge
547and fill activities in, on, or over jurisdictional wetlands or
548waters, including navigable waters, within the state.
549     Section 13.  Present subsections (3), (4), and (5) of
550section 373.441, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections
551(5), (6), and (7), respectively, and new subsections (3) and (4)
552are added to that section, to read:
553     373.441  Role of counties, municipalities, and local
554pollution control programs in permit processing; delegation.-
555     (3)  A county having a population of 75,000 or more or a
556municipality that has local pollution control programs serving
557populations of more than 50,000 must apply for delegation of
558authority on or before June 1, 2012. A county, municipality, or
559local pollution control programs that fails to apply for
560delegation of authority may not require permits that in part or
561in full are substantially similar to the requirements needed to
562obtain an environmental resource permit.
563     (4)  Upon delegation to a qualified local government, the
564department and water management district may not regulate the
565activities subject to the delegation within that jurisdiction
566unless regulation is required pursuant to the terms of the
567delegation agreement.
568     Section 14.  Subsection (41) of section 403.061, Florida
569Statutes, is amended to read:
570     403.061  Department; powers and duties.-The department
571shall have the power and the duty to control and prohibit
572pollution of air and water in accordance with the law and rules
573adopted and promulgated by it and, for this purpose, to:
574     (41)  Expand the use of online self-certification for
575appropriate exemptions and general permits issued by the
576department or the water management districts if such expansion
577is economically feasible. Notwithstanding any other provision of
578law, A local government may not specify the method or form for
579documenting that a project qualifies for an exemption or meets
580the requirements for a permit under chapter 161, chapter 253,
581chapter 373, or this chapter. This limitation of local
582government authority extends to Internet-based department
583programs that provide for self-certification.
585The department shall implement such programs in conjunction with
586its other powers and duties and shall place special emphasis on
587reducing and eliminating contamination that presents a threat to
588humans, animals or plants, or to the environment.
589     Section 15.  Section 403.0874, Florida Statutes, is created
590to read:
591     403.0874  Incentive-based permitting program.-
592     (1)  SHORT TITLE.-This section may be cited as the "Florida
593Incentive-based Permitting Act."
594     (2)  FINDINGS AND INTENT.-The Legislature finds and
595declares that the department should consider compliance history
596when deciding whether to issue, renew, amend, or modify a permit
597by evaluating an applicant's site-specific and program-specific
598relevant aggregate compliance history. Persons having a history
599of complying with applicable permits or state environmental laws
600and rules are eligible for permitting benefits, including, but
601not limited to, expedited permit application reviews, longer-
602duration permit periods, decreased announced compliance
603inspections, and other similar regulatory and compliance
604incentives to encourage and reward such persons for their
605environmental performance.
606     (3)  APPLICABILITY.-
607     (a)  This section applies to all persons and regulated
608activities that are subject to the permitting requirements of
609chapter 161, chapter 373, or this chapter, and all other
610applicable state or federal laws that govern activities for the
611purpose of protecting the environment or the public health from
612pollution or contamination.
613     (b)  Notwithstanding paragraph (a), this section does not
614apply to certain permit actions or environmental permitting laws
615such as:
616     1.  Environmental permitting or authorization laws that
617regulate activities for the purpose of zoning, growth
618management, or land use; or
619     2.  Any federal law or program delegated or assumed by the
620state to the extent that implementation of this section, or any
621part of this section, would jeopardize the ability of the state
622to retain such delegation or assumption.
623     (c)  As used in this section, a the term "regulated
624activity" means any activity, including, but not limited to, the
625construction or operation of a facility, installation, system,
626or project, for which a permit, certification, or authorization
627is required under chapter 161, chapter 373, or this chapter.
628     (4)  COMPLIANCE HISTORY.-The compliance history period
629shall be the 5 years before the date any permit or renewal
630application is received by the department. Any person is
631entitled to the incentives under paragraph (5)(a) if:
632     (a)1.  The applicant has conducted the regulated activity
633at the same site for which the permit or renewal is sought for
634at least 4 of the 5 years prior to the date the permit
635application is received by the department; or
636     2.  The applicant has conducted the same regulated activity
637at a different site within the state for at least 4 of the 5
638years prior to the date the permit or renewal application is
639received by the department; and
640     (b)  In the 5 years before the date the permit or renewal
641application is received by the department or water management
642district, the applicant has not been subject to a formal
643administrative or civil judgment or criminal conviction whereby
644an administrative law judge or civil or criminal court found the
645applicant knowingly violated the applicable law or rule and the
646violation was the proximate cause that resulted in significant
647harm to human health or the environment. Administrative
648settlement or consent orders, whether formal or informal, are
649not judgments for purposes of this section unless entered into
650as a result of significant harm to human health or the
653     (a)  An applicant shall request all applicable incentives
654at the time of application submittal. Unless otherwise
655prohibited by state or federal law, rule, or regulation, and if
656the applicant meets all other applicable criteria for the
657issuance of a permit or authorization, an applicant is entitled
658to the following incentives:
659     1.  Expedited reviews on permit actions, including, but not
660limited to, initial permit issuance, renewal, modification, and
661transfer, if applicable. Expedited review means, at a minimum,
662that any request for additional information regarding a permit
663application shall be issued no later than 15 days after the
664application is filed, and final agency action shall be taken no
665later than 45 days after the application is deemed complete;
666     2.  Priority review of permit application;
667     3.  Reduced number of routine compliance inspections;
668     4.  No more than two requests for additional information
669under s. 120.60; and
670     5.  Longer permit period durations.
671     (b)  The department shall identify and make available
672additional incentives to persons who demonstrate during a 10-
673year compliance history period the implementation of activities
674or practices that resulted in:
675     1.  Reductions in actual or permitted discharges or
677     2.  Reductions in the impacts of regulated activities on
678public lands or natural resources;
679     3.  Implementation of voluntary environmental performance
680programs, such as environmental management systems; and
681     4.  In the 10 years before the date the renewal application
682is received by the department, the applicant having not been
683subject to a formal administrative or civil judgment or criminal
684conviction whereby an administrative law judge or civil or
685criminal court found the applicant knowingly violated the
686applicable law or rule and the violation was the proximate cause
687that resulted in significant harm to human health or the
688environment. Administrative settlement or consent orders,
689whether formal or informal, are not judgments for purposes of
690this section unless entered into as a result of significant harm
691to the human health or the environment.
692     (c)  Any person meeting one of the criteria in subparagraph
693(b)1.-3., and the criteria in subparagraph (b)4., is entitled to
694the following incentives:
695     1.  Automatic permit renewals if there are no substantial
696deviations or modifications in permitted activities or changed
697circumstances; and
698     2.  Reduced or waived application fees.
699     (6)  RULEMAKING.-The department shall implement rulemaking
700within 6 months after the effective date of this act. Such
701rulemaking may identify additional incentives and programs not
702expressly enumerated under this section, so long as each
703incentive is consistent with the Legislature's purpose and
704intent of this section. Any rule adopted by the department to
705administer this section shall be deemed an invalid exercise of
706delegated legislative authority if the department cannot
707demonstrate how such rules will produce the compliance
708incentives set forth in subsection (5). The department's rules
709adopted under this section are binding on the water management
710districts and any local government that has been delegated or
711assumed a regulatory program to which this section applies.
712     Section 16.  Subsection (5) is added to section 161.041,
713Florida Statutes, to read:
714     161.041  Permits required.-
715     (5)  The provisions of s. 403.0874, relating to the
716incentive-based permitting program, apply to all permits issued
717under this chapter.
718     Section 17.  Subsection (6) is added to section 373.413,
719Florida Statutes, to read:
720     373.413  Permits for construction or alteration.-
721     (6)  The provisions of s. 403.0874, relating to the
722incentive-based permitting program, apply to permits issued
723under this section.
724     Section 18.  Subsection (7) of section 403.087, Florida
725Statutes, is amended to read:
726     403.087  Permits; general issuance; denial; revocation;
727prohibition; penalty.-
728     (7)  A permit issued pursuant to this section shall not
729become a vested right in the permittee. The department may
730revoke any permit issued by it if it finds that the permitholder
732     (a)  Has Submitted false or inaccurate information in the
733his or her application for such permit;
734     (b)  Has Violated law, department orders, rules, or
735regulations, or permit conditions which directly relate to such
736permit and has refused to correct or cure such violations when
737requested to do so;
738     (c)  Has Failed to submit operational reports or other
739information required by department rule which directly relate to
740such permit and has refused to correct or cure such violations
741when requested to do so or regulation; or
742     (d)  Has Refused lawful inspection under s. 403.091 at the
743facility authorized by such permit.
744     Section 19.  Subsection (5) of section 403.412, Florida
745Statutes, is amended to read:
746     403.412  Environmental Protection Act.-
747     (5)  In any administrative, licensing, or other proceedings
748authorized by law for the protection of the air, water, or other
749natural resources of the state from pollution, impairment, or
750destruction, the Department of Legal Affairs, a political
751subdivision or municipality of the state, or a citizen of the
752state shall have standing to intervene as a party on the filing
753of a verified pleading asserting that the activity, conduct, or
754product to be licensed or permitted has or will have the effect
755of impairing, polluting, or otherwise injuring the air, water,
756or other natural resources of the state. As used in this section
757and as it relates to citizens, the term "intervene" means to
758join an ongoing s. 120.569 or s. 120.57 proceeding; this section
759does not authorize a citizen to institute, initiate, petition
760for, or request a proceeding under s. 120.569 or s. 120.57.
761Nothing herein limits or prohibits a citizen whose substantial
762interests will be determined or affected by a proposed agency
763action from initiating a formal administrative proceeding under
764s. 120.569 or s. 120.57. A citizen's substantial interests will
765be considered to be determined or affected if the party
766demonstrates it may suffer an injury in fact which is of
767sufficient immediacy and is of the type and nature intended to
768be protected by this chapter. No demonstration of special injury
769different in kind from the general public at large is required.
770A sufficient demonstration of a substantial interest may be made
771by a petitioner who establishes that the proposed activity,
772conduct, or product to be licensed or permitted affects the
773petitioner's use or enjoyment of air, water, or natural
774resources protected by this chapter.
775     Section 20.  Subsection (12) is added to section 403.814,
776Florida Statutes, to read:
777     403.814  General permits; delegation.-
778     (12)  A general permit shall be granted for the
779construction, alteration, and maintenance of a surface water
780management system serving a total project area of up to 10
781acres. The construction of such a system may proceed without any
782agency action by the department or water management district if:
783     (a)  The total project area is less than 10 acres;
784     (b)  The total project area involves less than 2 acres of
785impervious surface;
786     (c)  No activities will impact wetlands or other surface
788     (d)  No activities are conducted in, on, or over wetlands
789or other surface waters;
790     (e)  Drainage facilities will not include pipes having
791diameters greater than 24 inches, or the hydraulic equivalent,
792and will not use pumps in any manner; and
793     (f)  The project is not part of a larger common plan of
794development or sale.
795     Section 21.  Paragraph (u) is added to subsection (24) of
796section 380.06, Florida Statutes, to read:
797     380.06  Developments of regional impact.-
799     (u)  Any proposed solid mineral mine and any proposed
800addition to, expansion of, or change to an existing solid
801mineral mine is exempt from the provisions of this section.
802Proposed changes to any previously approved solid mineral mine
803development-of-regional-impact development orders having vested
804rights is not subject to further review or approval as a
805development of regional impact or notice of proposed change
806review or approval pursuant to subsection (19), except for those
807applications pending as of July 1, 2011, which shall be governed
808by s. 380.115(2). Notwithstanding the foregoing, however,
809pursuant to s. 380.115(1), previously approved solid mineral
810mine development-of-regional-impact development orders shall
811continue to enjoy vested rights and continue to be effective
812unless rescinded by the developer.
814If a use is exempt from review as a development of regional
815impact under paragraphs (a)-(s), but will be part of a larger
816project that is subject to review as a development of regional
817impact, the impact of the exempt use must be included in the
818review of the larger project, unless such exempt use involves a
819development of regional impact that includes a landowner,
820tenant, or user that has entered into a funding agreement with
821the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development under the
822Innovation Incentive Program and the agreement contemplates a
823state award of at least $50 million.
824     Section 22.  Subsection (1) of section 380.0657, Florida
825Statutes, is amended to read:
826     380.0657  Expedited permitting process for economic
827development projects.-
828     (1)  The Department of Environmental Protection and, as
829appropriate, the water management districts created under
830chapter 373 shall adopt programs to expedite the processing of
831wetland resource and environmental resource permits for economic
832development projects that have been identified by a municipality
833or county as meeting the definition of target industry
834businesses under s. 288.106, or any inland multimodal facility,
835receiving or sending cargo to or from Florida ports, with the
836exception of those projects requiring approval by the Board of
837Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
838     Section 23.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) and
839subsections (4), (5), (10), (11), (15), (17), and (18) of
840section 403.973, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
841     403.973  Expedited permitting; amendments to comprehensive
843     (3)(a)  The secretary shall direct the creation of regional
844permit action teams for the purpose of expediting review of
845permit applications and local comprehensive plan amendments
846submitted by:
847     1.  Businesses creating at least 50 jobs or a commercial or
848industrial development project that will be occupied by
849businesses that would individually or collectively create at
850least 50 jobs; or
851     2.  Businesses creating at least 25 jobs if the project is
852located in an enterprise zone, or in a county having a
853population of fewer than 75,000 or in a county having a
854population of fewer than 125,000 which is contiguous to a county
855having a population of fewer than 75,000, as determined by the
856most recent decennial census, residing in incorporated and
857unincorporated areas of the county.
858     (4)  The regional teams shall be established through the
859execution of a project-specific memoranda of agreement developed
860and executed by the applicant and the secretary, with input
861solicited from the office and the respective heads of the
862Department of Community Affairs, the Department of
863Transportation and its district offices, the Department of
864Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Fish and Wildlife
865Conservation Commission, appropriate regional planning councils,
866appropriate water management districts, and voluntarily
867participating municipalities and counties. The memoranda of
868agreement should also accommodate participation in this
869expedited process by other local governments and federal
870agencies as circumstances warrant.
871     (5)  In order to facilitate local government's option to
872participate in this expedited review process, the secretary
873shall, in cooperation with local governments and participating
874state agencies, create a standard form memorandum of agreement.
875The standard form of the memorandum of agreement shall be used
876only if the local government participates in the expedited
877review process. In the absence of local government
878participation, only the project-specific memorandum of agreement
879executed pursuant to subsection (4) applies. A local government
880shall hold a duly noticed public workshop to review and explain
881to the public the expedited permitting process and the terms and
882conditions of the standard form memorandum of agreement.
883     (10)  The memoranda of agreement may provide for the waiver
884or modification of procedural rules prescribing forms, fees,
885procedures, or time limits for the review or processing of
886permit applications under the jurisdiction of those agencies
887that are members of the regional permit action team party to the
888memoranda of agreement. Notwithstanding any other provision of
889law to the contrary, a memorandum of agreement must to the
890extent feasible provide for proceedings and hearings otherwise
891held separately by the parties to the memorandum of agreement to
892be combined into one proceeding or held jointly and at one
893location. Such waivers or modifications shall not be available
894for permit applications governed by federally delegated or
895approved permitting programs, the requirements of which would
896prohibit, or be inconsistent with, such a waiver or
898     (11)  The standard form for memoranda of agreement shall
899include guidelines to be used in working with state, regional,
900and local permitting authorities. Guidelines may include, but
901are not limited to, the following:
902     (a)  A central contact point for filing permit applications
903and local comprehensive plan amendments and for obtaining
904information on permit and local comprehensive plan amendment
906     (b)  Identification of the individual or individuals within
907each respective agency who will be responsible for processing
908the expedited permit application or local comprehensive plan
909amendment for that agency;
910     (c)  A mandatory preapplication review process to reduce
911permitting conflicts by providing guidance to applicants
912regarding the permits needed from each agency and governmental
913entity, site planning and development, site suitability and
914limitations, facility design, and steps the applicant can take
915to ensure expeditious permit application and local comprehensive
916plan amendment review. As a part of this process, the first
917interagency meeting to discuss a project shall be held within 14
918days after the secretary's determination that the project is
919eligible for expedited review. Subsequent interagency meetings
920may be scheduled to accommodate the needs of participating local
921governments that are unable to meet public notice requirements
922for executing a memorandum of agreement within this timeframe.
923This accommodation may not exceed 45 days from the secretary's
924determination that the project is eligible for expedited review;
925     (d)  The preparation of a single coordinated project
926description form and checklist and an agreement by state and
927regional agencies to reduce the burden on an applicant to
928provide duplicate information to multiple agencies;
929     (e)  Establishment of a process for the adoption and review
930of any comprehensive plan amendment needed by any certified
931project within 90 days after the submission of an application
932for a comprehensive plan amendment. However, the memorandum of
933agreement may not prevent affected persons as defined in s.
934163.3184 from appealing or participating in this expedited plan
935amendment process and any review or appeals of decisions made
936under this paragraph; and
937     (f)  Additional incentives for an applicant who proposes a
938project that provides a net ecosystem benefit.
939     (15)  The secretary office, working with the agencies
940providing cooperative assistance and input regarding the
941memoranda of agreement, shall review sites proposed for the
942location of facilities eligible for the Innovation Incentive
943Program under s. 288.1089. Within 20 days after the request for
944the review by the secretary office, the agencies shall provide
945to the secretary office a statement as to each site's necessary
946permits under local, state, and federal law and an
947identification of significant permitting issues, which if
948unresolved, may result in the denial of an agency permit or
949approval or any significant delay caused by the permitting
951     (17)  The secretary office shall be responsible for
952certifying a business as eligible for undergoing expedited
953review under this section. Enterprise Florida, Inc., a county or
954municipal government, or the Rural Economic Development
955Initiative may recommend to the secretary Office of Tourism,
956Trade, and Economic Development that a project meeting the
957minimum job creation threshold undergo expedited review.
958     (18)  The secretary office, working with the Rural Economic
959Development Initiative and the regional permit action team
960agencies participating in the memoranda of agreement, shall
961provide technical assistance in preparing permit applications
962and local comprehensive plan amendments for counties having a
963population of fewer than 75,000 residents, or counties having
964fewer than 125,000 residents which are contiguous to counties
965having fewer than 75,000 residents. Additional assistance may
966include, but not be limited to, guidance in land development
967regulations and permitting processes, working cooperatively with
968state, regional, and local entities to identify areas within
969these counties which may be suitable or adaptable for
970preclearance review of specified types of land uses and other
971activities requiring permits.
972     Section 24.  Subsection (10) of section 163.3180, Florida
973Statutes, is amended to read:
974     163.3180  Concurrency.-
975     (10)(a)  Except in transportation concurrency exception
976areas, with regard to roadway facilities on the Strategic
977Intermodal System designated in accordance with s. 339.63, local
978governments shall adopt the level-of-service standard
979established by the Department of Transportation by rule.
980However, if the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
981Development concurs in writing with the local government that
982the proposed development is for a qualified job creation project
983under s. 288.0656 or s. 403.973, the affected local government,
984after consulting with the Department of Transportation, may
985provide for a waiver of transportation concurrency for the
986project. For all other roads on the State Highway System, local
987governments shall establish an adequate level-of-service
988standard that need not be consistent with any level-of-service
989standard established by the Department of Transportation. In
990establishing adequate level-of-service standards for any
991arterial roads, or collector roads as appropriate, which
992traverse multiple jurisdictions, local governments shall
993consider compatibility with the roadway facility's adopted
994level-of-service standards in adjacent jurisdictions. Each local
995government within a county shall use a professionally accepted
996methodology for measuring impacts on transportation facilities
997for the purposes of implementing its concurrency management
998system. Counties are encouraged to coordinate with adjacent
999counties, and local governments within a county are encouraged
1000to coordinate, for the purpose of using common methodologies for
1001measuring impacts on transportation facilities for the purpose
1002of implementing their concurrency management systems.
1003     (b)  There shall be a limited exemption from Strategic
1004Intermodal System adopted level-of-service standards for new or
1005redevelopment projects consistent with the local comprehensive
1006plan as inland multimodal facilities receiving or sending cargo
1007for distribution and providing cargo storage, consolidation,
1008repackaging, and transfer of goods, and which may, if developed
1009as proposed, include other intermodal terminals, related
1010transportation facilities, warehousing and distribution
1011facilities, and associated office space, light industrial,
1012manufacturing, and assembly uses. The limited exemption applies
1013if the project meets all of the following criteria:
1014     1.  The project will not cause the adopted level-of-service
1015standards for the Strategic Intermodal System facilities to be
1016exceeded by more than 150 percent within the first 5 years of
1017the project's development.
1018     2.  The project, upon completion, would result in the
1019creation of at least 50 full-time jobs.
1020     3.  The project is compatible with existing and planned
1021adjacent land uses.
1022     4.  The project is consistent with local and regional
1023economic development goals or plans.
1024     5.  The project is proximate to regionally significant road
1025and rail transportation facilities.
1026     6.  The project is proximate to a community having an
1027unemployment rate, as of the date of the development order
1028application, which is 10 percent or more above the statewide
1029reported average.
1030     Section 25.  Subsections (1) and (2), paragraph (c) of
1031subsection (3), and subsection (4) of section 373.4137, Florida
1032Statutes, are amended to read:
1033     373.4137  Mitigation requirements for specified
1034transportation projects.-
1035     (1)  The Legislature finds that environmental mitigation
1036for the impact of transportation projects proposed by the
1037Department of Transportation or a transportation authority
1038established pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 can be more
1039effectively achieved by regional, long-range mitigation planning
1040rather than on a project-by-project basis. It is the intent of
1041the Legislature that mitigation to offset the adverse effects of
1042these transportation projects be funded by the Department of
1043Transportation and be carried out by the water management
1044districts, including the use of mitigation banks and any other
1045mitigation options that satisfy state and federal requirements,
1046including, but not limited to, 33 U.S.C. s. 332.3(b) established
1047pursuant to this part.
1048     (2)  Environmental impact inventories for transportation
1049projects proposed by the Department of Transportation or a
1050transportation authority established pursuant to chapter 348 or
1051chapter 349 shall be developed as follows:
1052     (a)  By July 1 of each year, the Department of
1053Transportation or a transportation authority established
1054pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 which chooses to
1055participate in this program shall submit to the water management
1056districts a list copy of its projects in the adopted work
1057program and an environmental impact inventory of habitats
1058addressed in the rules adopted pursuant to this part and s. 404
1059of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. s. 1344, which may be impacted
1060by its plan of construction for transportation projects in the
1061next 3 years of the tentative work program. The Department of
1062Transportation or a transportation authority established
1063pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 may also include in its
1064environmental impact inventory the habitat impacts of any future
1065transportation project. The Department of Transportation and
1066each transportation authority established pursuant to chapter
1067348 or chapter 349 may fund any mitigation activities for future
1068projects using current year funds.
1069     (b)  The environmental impact inventory shall include a
1070description of these habitat impacts, including their location,
1071acreage, and type; state water quality classification of
1072impacted wetlands and other surface waters; any other state or
1073regional designations for these habitats; and a list survey of
1074threatened species, endangered species, and species of special
1075concern affected by the proposed project.
1076     (3)
1077     (c)  Except for current mitigation projects in the
1078monitoring and maintenance phase and except as allowed by
1079paragraph (d), the water management districts may request a
1080transfer of funds from an escrow account no sooner than 30 days
1081prior to the date the funds are needed to pay for activities
1082associated with development or implementation of the approved
1083mitigation plan described in subsection (4) for the current
1084fiscal year, including, but not limited to, design, engineering,
1085production, and staff support. Actual conceptual plan
1086preparation costs incurred before plan approval may be submitted
1087to the Department of Transportation or the appropriate
1088transportation authority each year with the plan. The conceptual
1089plan preparation costs of each water management district will be
1090paid from mitigation funds associated with the environmental
1091impact inventory for the current year. The amount transferred to
1092the escrow accounts each year by the Department of
1093Transportation and participating transportation authorities
1094established pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 shall
1095correspond to a cost per acre of $75,000 multiplied by the
1096projected acres of impact identified in the environmental impact
1097inventory described in subsection (2). However, the $75,000 cost
1098per acre does not constitute an admission against interest by
1099the state or its subdivisions nor is the cost admissible as
1100evidence of full compensation for any property acquired by
1101eminent domain or through inverse condemnation. Each July 1, the
1102cost per acre shall be adjusted by the percentage change in the
1103average of the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States
1104Department of Labor for the most recent 12-month period ending
1105September 30, compared to the base year average, which is the
1106average for the 12-month period ending September 30, 1996. Each
1107quarter, the projected acreage of impact shall be reconciled
1108with the acreage of impact of projects as permitted, including
1109permit modifications, pursuant to this part and s. 404 of the
1110Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. s. 1344. The subject year's transfer
1111of funds shall be adjusted accordingly to reflect the acreage of
1112impacts as permitted. The Department of Transportation and
1113participating transportation authorities established pursuant to
1114chapter 348 or chapter 349 are authorized to transfer such funds
1115from the escrow accounts to the water management districts to
1116carry out the mitigation programs. Environmental mitigation
1117funds that are identified or maintained in an escrow account for
1118the benefit of a water management district may be released if
1119the associated transportation project is excluded in whole or
1120part from the mitigation plan. For a mitigation project that is
1121in the maintenance and monitoring phase, the water management
1122district may request and receive a one-time payment based on the
1123project's expected future maintenance and monitoring costs. Upon
1124disbursement of the final maintenance and monitoring payment,
1125the department or the participating transportation authorities'
1126obligation will be satisfied, the water management district will
1127have continuing responsibility for the mitigation project, and
1128the escrow account for the project established by the Department
1129of Transportation or the participating transportation authority
1130may be closed. Any interest earned on these disbursed funds
1131shall remain with the water management district and must be used
1132as authorized under this section.
1133     (4)  Prior to March 1 of each year, each water management
1134district, in consultation with the Department of Environmental
1135Protection, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the
1136Department of Transportation, participating transportation
1137authorities established pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349,
1138and other appropriate federal, state, and local governments, and
1139other interested parties, including entities operating
1140mitigation banks, shall develop a plan for the primary purpose
1141of complying with the mitigation requirements adopted pursuant
1142to this part and 33 U.S.C. s. 1344. In developing such plans,
1143the districts shall utilize sound ecosystem management practices
1144to address significant water resource needs and shall focus on
1145activities of the Department of Environmental Protection and the
1146water management districts, such as surface water improvement
1147and management (SWIM) projects and lands identified for
1148potential acquisition for preservation, restoration or
1149enhancement, and the control of invasive and exotic plants in
1150wetlands and other surface waters, to the extent that such
1151activities comply with the mitigation requirements adopted under
1152this part and 33 U.S.C. s. 1344. In determining the activities
1153to be included in such plans, the districts shall also consider
1154the purchase of credits from public or private mitigation banks
1155permitted under s. 373.4136 and associated federal authorization
1156and shall include such purchase as a part of the mitigation plan
1157when such purchase would offset the impact of the transportation
1158project, provide equal benefits to the water resources than
1159other mitigation options being considered, and provide the most
1160cost-effective mitigation option. The mitigation plan shall be
1161submitted to the water management district governing board, or
1162its designee, for review and approval. At least 14 days prior to
1163approval, the water management district shall provide a copy of
1164the draft mitigation plan to any person who has requested a
1166     (a)  For each transportation project with a funding request
1167for the next fiscal year, the mitigation plan must include a
1168brief explanation of why a mitigation bank was or was not chosen
1169as a mitigation option, including an estimation of identifiable
1170costs of the mitigation bank and nonbank options to the extent
1172     (b)  Specific projects may be excluded from the mitigation
1173plan, in whole or in part, and shall not be subject to this
1174section upon the election agreement of the Department of
1175Transportation, or a transportation authority if applicable, or
1176and the appropriate water management district that the inclusion
1177of such projects would hamper the efficiency or timeliness of
1178the mitigation planning and permitting process. The water
1179management district may choose to exclude a project in whole or
1180in part if the district is unable to identify mitigation that
1181would offset impacts of the project.
1182     Section 26.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.