CS/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; providing an exception; requiring expedited
17review of such facilities; providing that such facilities
18are eligible for the alternative state review process;
19amending s. 125.022, F.S.; prohibiting a county from
20requiring an applicant to obtain a permit or approval from
21another state or federal agency as a condition of
22approving a development permit under certain conditions;
23authorizing a county to attach certain disclaimers to the
24issuance of a development permit; creating s. 161.032,
25F.S.; requiring that the Department of Environmental
26Protection review an application for certain permits under
27the Beach and Shore Preservation Act and request
28additional information within a specified time; requiring
29that the department proceed to process the application if
30the applicant believes that a request for additional
31information is not authorized by law or rule; extending
32the period for an applicant to timely submit additional
33information, notwithstanding certain provisions of the
34Administrative Procedure Act; amending s. 166.033, F.S.;
35prohibiting a municipality from requiring an applicant to
36obtain a permit or approval from another state or federal
37agency as a condition of approving a development permit
38under certain conditions; authorizing a county to attach
39certain disclaimers to the issuance of a development
40permit; creating s. 166.0447, F.S.; providing that the
41construction and operation of a biofuel processing
42facility or renewable energy generating facility and the
43cultivation of bioenergy is a valid and permitted land use
44within the unincorporated area of a municipality;
45providing an exception; prohibiting any requirement that
46the owner or operator of such a facility obtain
47comprehensive plan amendments, use permits, waivers, or
48variances, or pay any fee in excess of a specified amount;
49amending s. 373.026, F.S.; requiring the Department of
50Environmental Protection to expand its use of Internet-
51based self-certification services for exemptions and
52permits issued by the department and water management
53districts; amending s. 373.4141, F.S.; requiring that a
54request by the department or a water management district
55that an applicant provide additional information be
56accompanied by the signature of specified officials of the
57department or district; reducing the time within which the
58department or district must approve or deny a permit
59application; amending s. 373.4144, F.S.; providing
60legislative intent with respect to the coordination of
61regulatory duties among specified state and federal
62agencies; requiring that the department report annually to
63the Legislature on efforts to expand the state
64programmatic general permit or regional general permits;
65providing for a voluntary state programmatic general
66permit for certain dredge and fill activities; amending s.
67373.441, F.S.; requiring that certain counties or
68municipalities apply by a specified date to the department
69or water management district for authority to require
70certain permits; providing that following such delegation,
71the department or district may not regulate activities
72that are subject to the delegation; clarifying the
73authority of local governments to adopt pollution control
74programs under certain conditions; amending s. 376.30715,
75F.S.; providing that the transfer of a contaminated site
76from an owner to a child or corporate entity does not
77disqualify the site from the innocent victim petroleum
78storage system restoration financial assistance program;
79authorizing certain applicants to reapply for financial
80assistance; amending s. 403.061, F.S.; requiring the
81Department of Environmental Protection to establish
82reasonable zones of mixing for discharges into specified
83waters; providing that certain discharges do not create
84liability for site cleanup; providing that exceedance of
85soil cleanup target levels is not a basis for enforcement
86or cleanup; creating s. 403.0874, F.S.; providing a short
87title; providing legislative findings and intent with
88respect to the consideration of the compliance history of
89a permit applicant; providing for applicability;
90specifying the period of compliance history to be
91considered is issuing or renewing a permit; providing
92criteria to be considered by the Department of
93Environmental Protection; authorizing expedited review of
94permit issuance, renewal, modification, and transfer;
95providing for a reduced number of inspections; providing
96for extended permit duration; authorizing the department
97to make additional incentives available under certain
98circumstances; providing for automatic permit renewal and
99reduced or waived fees under certain circumstances;
100requiring the department to adopt rules that are binding
101on a water management district or local government that
102has been delegated certain regulatory duties; amending ss.
103161.041 and 373.413, F.S.; specifying that s. 403.0874,
104F.S., authorizing expedited permitting, applies to
105provisions governing beaches and shores and surface water
106management and storage; amending s. 403.087, F.S.;
107revising conditions under which the department is
108authorized to revoke a permit; amending s. 403.703, F.S.;
109revising the term "solid waste" to exclude sludge from a
110waste treatment works that is not discarded; amending s.
111403.707, F.S.; revising provisions relating to disposal by
112persons of solid waste resulting from their own activities
113on their property; clarifying what constitutes "addressed
114by a groundwater monitoring plan" with regard to certain
115effects on groundwater and surface waters; authorizing the
116disposal of solid waste over a zone of discharge;
117providing that exceedance of soil cleanup target levels is
118not a basis for enforcement or cleanup; extending the
119duration of all permits issued to solid waste management
120facilities; providing applicability; providing that
121certain disposal of solid waste does not create liability
122for site cleanup; amending s. 403.814, F.S.; providing for
123issuance of general permits for the construction,
124alteration, and maintenance of certain surface water
125management systems without the action of the department or
126a water management district; specifying conditions for the
127general permits; amending s. 380.06, F.S.; exempting a
128proposed solid mineral mine or a proposed addition or
129expansion of an existing solid mineral mine from
130provisions governing developments of regional impact;
131providing certain exceptions; amending ss. 380.0657 and
132403.973, F.S.; authorizing expedited permitting for
133certain inland multimodal facilities and for commercial or
134industrial development projects that individually or
135collectively will create a minimum number of jobs;
136providing for a project-specific memorandum of agreement
137to apply to a project subject to expedited permitting;
138providing for review and certification of a business as
139eligible for expedited permitting by the Secretary of
140Environmental Protection rather than by the Office of
141Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development; amending s.
142163.3180, F.S.; providing an exemption to the level-of-
143service standards adopted under the Strategic Intermodal
144System for certain inland multimodal facilities;
145specifying project criteria; amending s. 373.4137, F.S.,
146relating to transportation projects; revising legislative
147findings with respect to the options for mitigation;
148revising certain requirements for determining the habitat
149impacts of transportation projects; requiring water
150management districts to purchase credits from public or
151private mitigation banks under certain conditions;
152providing for the release of certain mitigation funds held
153for the benefit of a water management district if a
154project is excluded from a mitigation plan; revising the
155procedure for excluding a project from a mitigation plan;
156amending s. 526.203, F.S.; authorizing the sale of
157unblended fuels for certain uses; revising rules of the
158Department of Environmental Protection relating to the
159uniform mitigation assessment method for activities in
160surface waters and wetlands; directing the Department of
161Environmental Protection to make additional changes to
162conform; providing for reassessment of mitigation banks
163under certain conditions; providing an effective date.
165Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
167     Section 1.  Subsection (1) of section 120.569, Florida
168Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (p) is added to subsection
169(2) of that section, to read:
170     120.569  Decisions which affect substantial interests.-
171     (1)  The provisions of this section apply in all
172proceedings in which the substantial interests of a party are
173determined by an agency, unless the parties are proceeding under
174s. 120.573 or s. 120.574. Unless waived by all parties, s.
175120.57(1) applies whenever the proceeding involves a disputed
176issue of material fact. Unless otherwise agreed, s. 120.57(2)
177applies in all other cases. If a disputed issue of material fact
178arises during a proceeding under s. 120.57(2), then, unless
179waived by all parties, the proceeding under s. 120.57(2) shall
180be terminated and a proceeding under s. 120.57(1) shall be
181conducted. Parties shall be notified of any order, including a
182final order. Unless waived, a copy of the order shall be
183delivered or mailed to each party or the party's attorney of
184record at the address of record. Each notice shall inform the
185recipient of any administrative hearing or judicial review that
186is available under this section, s. 120.57, or s. 120.68; shall
187indicate the procedure which must be followed to obtain the
188hearing or judicial review; and shall state the time limits that
189which apply. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, notice
190of the procedure to obtain an administrative hearing or judicial
191review, including any items required by the uniform rules
192adopted pursuant to s. 120.54(5), may be provided via a link to
193a publicly available Internet website.
194     (2)
195     (p)  For any proceeding arising under chapter 373, chapter
196378, or chapter 403, if a nonapplicant petitions as a third
197party to challenge an agency's issuance of a license or
198conceptual approval, the petitioner initiating the action has
199the burden of ultimate persuasion and, in the first instance,
200has the burden of going forward with the evidence.
201Notwithstanding subsection (1), this paragraph applies to
202proceedings under s. 120.574.
203     Section 2.  Subsection (1) of section 120.60, Florida
204Statutes, as amended by chapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, is
205amended to read:
206     120.60  Licensing.-
207     (1)  Upon receipt of a license application, an agency shall
208examine the application and, within 30 days after such receipt,
209notify the applicant of any apparent errors or omissions and
210request any additional information the agency is permitted by
211law to require. An agency may not deny a license for failure to
212correct an error or omission or to supply additional information
213unless the agency timely notified the applicant within this 30-
214day period. The agency may establish by rule the time period for
215submitting any additional information requested by the agency.
216For good cause shown, the agency shall grant a request for an
217extension of time for submitting the additional information. If
218the applicant believes the agency's request for additional
219information is not authorized by law or rule, the agency, at the
220applicant's request, shall proceed to process the application.
221An application is complete upon receipt of all requested
222information and correction of any error or omission for which
223the applicant was timely notified or when the time for such
224notification has expired. An application for a license must be
225approved or denied within 60 90 days after receipt of a
226completed application unless a shorter period of time for agency
227action is provided by law. The 60-day 90-day time period is
228tolled by the initiation of a proceeding under ss. 120.569 and
229120.57. Any application for a license which is not approved or
230denied within the 60-day 90-day or shorter time period, within
23115 days after conclusion of a public hearing held on the
232application, or within 45 days after a recommended order is
233submitted to the agency and the parties, whichever action and
234timeframe is latest and applicable, is considered approved
235unless the recommended order recommends that the agency deny the
236license. Subject to the satisfactory completion of an
237examination if required as a prerequisite to licensure, any
238license that is considered approved shall be issued and may
239include such reasonable conditions as are authorized by law. Any
240applicant for licensure seeking to claim licensure by default
241under this subsection shall notify the agency clerk of the
242licensing agency, in writing, of the intent to rely upon the
243default license provision of this subsection, and may not take
244any action based upon the default license until after receipt of
245such notice by the agency clerk.
246     Section 3.  Section 125.0112, Florida Statutes, is created
247to read:
248     125.0112  Biofuels and renewable energy.-The construction
249and operation of a biofuel processing facility or a renewable
250energy generating facility, as defined in s. 366.91(2)(d), and
251the cultivation and production of bioenergy, as defined pursuant
252to s. 163.3177, except where biomass material derived from
253municipal solid waste or landfill gases provides the renewable
254energy for such facilities, shall be considered by a local
255government to be a valid industrial, agricultural, and
256silvicultural use permitted within those land use categories in
257the local comprehensive land use plan. If the local
258comprehensive plan does not specifically allow for the
259construction of a biofuel processing facility or renewable
260energy facility, the local government shall establish a specific
261review process that may include expediting local review of any
262necessary comprehensive plan amendment, zoning change, use
263permit, waiver, variance, or special exemption. Local expedited
264review of a proposed biofuel processing facility or a renewable
265energy facility does not obligate a local government to approve
266such proposed use. A comprehensive plan amendment necessary to
267accommodate a biofuel processing facility or renewable energy
268facility shall, if approved by the local government, be eligible
269for the alternative state review process in s. 163.32465. The
270construction and operation of a facility and related
271improvements on a portion of a property under this section does
272not affect the remainder of the property's classification as
273agricultural under s. 193.461.
274     Section 4.  Section 125.022, Florida Statutes, is amended
275to read:
276     125.022  Development permits.-When a county denies an
277application for a development permit, the county shall give
278written notice to the applicant. The notice must include a
279citation to the applicable portions of an ordinance, rule,
280statute, or other legal authority for the denial of the permit.
281As used in this section, the term "development permit" has the
282same meaning as in s. 163.3164. A county may not require as a
283condition of approval for a development permit that an applicant
284obtain a permit or approval from any other state or federal
285agency unless the agency has issued a notice of intent to deny
286the federal or state permit before the county action on the
287local development permit. Issuance of a development permit by a
288county does not in any way create any rights on the part of the
289applicant to obtain a permit from another state or federal
290agency and does not create any liability on the part of the
291county for issuance of the permit if the applicant fails to
292fulfill its legal obligations to obtain requisite approvals or
293fulfill the obligations imposed by another state or a federal
294agency. A county may attach such a disclaimer to the issuance of
295a development permit, and may include a permit condition that
296all other applicable state or federal permits be obtained before
297commencement of the development. This section does not prohibit
298a county from providing information to an applicant regarding
299what other state or federal permits may apply.
300     Section 5.  Section 161.032, Florida Statutes, is created
301to read:
302     161.032  Application review; request for additional
304     (1)  Within 30 days after receipt of an application for a
305permit under this part, the department shall review the
306application and shall request submission of any additional
307information the department is permitted by law to require. If
308the applicant believes that a request for additional information
309is not authorized by law or rule, the applicant may request a
310hearing pursuant to s. 120.57. Within 30 days after receipt of
311such additional information, the department shall review such
312additional information and may request only that information
313needed to clarify such additional information or to answer new
314questions raised by or directly related to such additional
315information. If the applicant believes that the request for such
316additional information by the department is not authorized by
317law or rule, the department, at the applicant's request, shall
318proceed to process the permit application.
319     (2)  Notwithstanding s. 120.60, an applicant for a permit
320under this part has 90 days after the date of a timely request
321for additional information to submit such information. If an
322applicant requires more than 90 days in order to respond to a
323request for additional information, the applicant must notify
324the agency processing the permit application in writing of the
325circumstances, at which time the application shall be held in
326active status for no more than one additional period of up to 90
327days. Additional extensions may be granted for good cause shown
328by the applicant. A showing that the applicant is making a
329diligent effort to obtain the requested additional information
330constitutes good cause. Failure of an applicant to provide the
331timely requested information by the applicable deadline shall
332result in denial of the application without prejudice.
333     Section 6.  Section 166.033, Florida Statutes, is amended
334to read:
335     166.033  Development permits.-When a municipality denies an
336application for a development permit, the municipality shall
337give written notice to the applicant. The notice must include a
338citation to the applicable portions of an ordinance, rule,
339statute, or other legal authority for the denial of the permit.
340As used in this section, the term "development permit" has the
341same meaning as in s. 163.3164. A municipality may not require
342as a condition of approval for a development permit that an
343applicant obtain a permit or approval from any other state or
344federal agency unless the agency has issued a notice of intent
345to deny the federal or state permit before the municipal action
346on the local development permit. Issuance of a development
347permit by a municipality does not in any way create any right on
348the part of an applicant to obtain a permit from another state
349or federal agency and does not create any liability on the part
350of the municipality for issuance of the permit if the applicant
351fails to fulfill its legal obligations to obtain requisite
352approvals or fulfill the obligations imposed by another state or
353federal agency. A municipality may attach such a disclaimer to
354the issuance of development permits and may include a permit
355condition that all other applicable state or federal permits be
356obtained before commencement of the development. This section
357does not prohibit a municipality from providing information to
358an applicant regarding what other state or federal permits may
360     Section 7.  Section 166.0447, Florida Statutes, is created
361to read:
362     166.0447  Biofuels and renewable energy.-The construction
363and operation of a biofuel processing facility or a renewable
364energy generating facility, as defined in s. 366.91(2)(d), and
365the cultivation and production of bioenergy, as defined pursuant
366to s. 163.3177, except where biomass material derived from
367municipal solid waste or landfill gases provides the renewable
368energy for such facilities, are each a valid industrial,
369agricultural, and silvicultural use permitted within those land
370use categories in the local comprehensive land use plan and for
371purposes of any local zoning regulation within an unincorporated
372area of a municipality. Such comprehensive land use plans and
373local zoning regulations may not require the owner or operator
374of a biofuel processing facility or a renewable energy
375generating facility to obtain any comprehensive plan amendment,
376rezoning, special exemption, use permit, waiver, or variance, or
377to pay any special fee in excess of $1,000 to operate in an area
378zoned for or categorized as industrial, agricultural, or
379silvicultural use. This section does not exempt biofuel
380processing facilities and renewable energy generating facilities
381from complying with building code requirements. The construction
382and operation of a facility and related improvements on a
383portion of a property pursuant to this section does not affect
384the remainder of that property's classification as agricultural
385pursuant to s. 193.461.
386     Section 8.  Subsection (10) is added to section 373.026,
387Florida Statutes, to read:
388     373.026  General powers and duties of the department.-The
389department, or its successor agency, shall be responsible for
390the administration of this chapter at the state level. However,
391it is the policy of the state that, to the greatest extent
392possible, the department may enter into interagency or
393interlocal agreements with any other state agency, any water
394management district, or any local government conducting programs
395related to or materially affecting the water resources of the
396state. All such agreements shall be subject to the provisions of
397s. 373.046. In addition to its other powers and duties, the
398department shall, to the greatest extent possible:
399     (10)  Expand the use of Internet-based self-certification
400services for appropriate exemptions and general permits issued
401by the department and the water management districts, if such
402expansion is economically feasible. In addition to expanding the
403use of Internet-based self-certification services for
404appropriate exemptions and general permits, the department and
405water management districts shall identify and develop general
406permits for activities currently requiring individual review
407which could be expedited through the use of professional
409     Section 9.  Section 373.4141, Florida Statutes, is amended
410to read:
411     373.4141  Permits; processing.-
412     (1)  Within 30 days after receipt of an application for a
413permit under this part, the department or the water management
414district shall review the application and shall request
415submittal of all additional information the department or the
416water management district is permitted by law to require. If the
417applicant believes any request for additional information is not
418authorized by law or rule, the applicant may request a hearing
419pursuant to s. 120.57. Within 30 days after receipt of such
420additional information, the department or water management
421district shall review it and may request only that information
422needed to clarify such additional information or to answer new
423questions raised by or directly related to such additional
424information. If the applicant believes the request of the
425department or water management district for such additional
426information is not authorized by law or rule, the department or
427water management district, at the applicant's request, shall
428proceed to process the permit application. In order to ensure
429the proper scope and necessity for the information requested, a
430second request for additional information, if any, must be
431signed by the supervisor of the project manager. A third request
432for additional information, if any, must be signed by the
433division director who oversees the program area. A fourth
434request for additional information, if any, must be signed by
435the assistant secretary of the department or the assistant
436executive director of the district. Any additional request for
437information must be signed by the secretary of the department or
438the executive director of the district.
439     (2)  A permit shall be approved or denied within 60 90 days
440after receipt of the original application, the last item of
441timely requested additional material, or the applicant's written
442request to begin processing the permit application.
443     (3)  Processing of applications for permits for affordable
444housing projects shall be expedited to a greater degree than
445other projects.
446     Section 10.  Section 373.4144, Florida Statutes, is amended
447to read:
448     373.4144  Federal environmental permitting.-
449     (1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to:
450     (a)  Facilitate coordination and a more efficient process
451of implementing regulatory duties and functions between the
452Department of Environmental Protection, the water management
453districts, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United
454States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries
455Service, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the
456Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other relevant
457federal and state agencies.
458     (b)  Authorize the Department of Environmental Protection
459to obtain issuance by the United States Army Corps of Engineers,
460pursuant to state and federal law and as set forth in this
461section, of an expanded state programmatic general permit, or a
462series of regional general permits, for categories of activities
463in waters of the United States governed by the Clean Water Act
464and in navigable waters under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899
465which are similar in nature, which will cause only minimal
466adverse environmental effects when performed separately, and
467which will have only minimal cumulative adverse effects on the
469     (c)  Use the mechanism of such a state general permit or
470such regional general permits to eliminate overlapping federal
471regulations and state rules that seek to protect the same
472resource and to avoid duplication of permitting between the
473United States Army Corps of Engineers and the department for
474minor work located in waters of the United States, including
475navigable waters, thus eliminating, in appropriate cases, the
476need for a separate individual approval from the United States
477Army Corps of Engineers while ensuring the most stringent
478protection of wetland resources.
479     (d)  Direct the department not to seek issuance of or take
480any action pursuant to any such permit or permits unless such
481conditions are at least as protective of the environment and
482natural resources as existing state law under this part and
483federal law under the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors
484Act of 1899. The department is directed to develop, on or before
485October 1, 2005, a mechanism or plan to consolidate, to the
486maximum extent practicable, the federal and state wetland
487permitting programs. It is the intent of the Legislature that
488all dredge and fill activities impacting 10 acres or less of
489wetlands or waters, including navigable waters, be processed by
490the state as part of the environmental resource permitting
491program implemented by the department and the water management
492districts. The resulting mechanism or plan shall analyze and
493propose the development of an expanded state programmatic
494general permit program in conjunction with the United States
495Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to s. 404 of the Clean Water
496Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, as amended, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq.,
497and s. 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Alternatively,
498or in combination with an expanded state programmatic general
499permit, the mechanism or plan may propose the creation of a
500series of regional general permits issued by the United States
501Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to the referenced statutes. All
502of the regional general permits must be administered by the
503department or the water management districts or their designees.
504     (2)  In order to effectuate efficient wetland permitting
505and avoid duplication, the department and water management
506districts are authorized to implement a voluntary state
507programmatic general permit for all dredge and fill activities
508impacting 3 acres or less of wetlands or other surface waters,
509including navigable waters, subject to agreement with the United
510States Army Corps of Engineers, if the general permit is at
511least as protective of the environment and natural resources as
512existing state law under this part and federal law under the
513Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The
514department is directed to file with the Speaker of the House of
515Representatives and the President of the Senate a report
516proposing any required federal and state statutory changes that
517would be necessary to accomplish the directives listed in this
518section and to coordinate with the Florida Congressional
519Delegation on any necessary changes to federal law to implement
520the directives.
521     (3)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude
522the department from pursuing a series of regional general
523permits for construction activities in wetlands or surface
524waters or complete assumption of federal permitting programs
525regulating the discharge of dredged or fill material pursuant to
526s. 404 of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. No. 92-500, as amended,
52733 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq., and s. 10 of the Rivers and Harbors
528Act of 1899, so long as the assumption encompasses all dredge
529and fill activities in, on, or over jurisdictional wetlands or
530waters, including navigable waters, within the state.
531     Section 11.  Present subsections (3), (4), and (5) of
532section 373.441, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections
533(6), (7), and (8), respectively, and new subsections (3), (4),
534and (5) are added to that section to read:
535     373.441  Role of counties, municipalities, and local
536pollution control programs in permit processing; delegation.-
537     (3)  A county having a population of 75,000 or more or a
538municipality having a population of more than 50,000 that
539implements a local pollution control program regulating wetlands
540or surface waters throughout its geographic boundary must apply
541for delegation of state environmental resource permitting
542authority on or before June 1, 2012. A county, municipality, or
543local pollution control program that fails to apply for
544delegation of authority may not require permits that in part or
545in full are substantially similar to the requirements needed to
546obtain an environmental resource permit.
547     (4)  Upon delegation to a qualified local government, the
548department and water management district may not regulate the
549activities subject to the delegation within that jurisdiction
550unless regulation is required pursuant to the terms of the
551delegation agreement.
552     (5)  This section does not prohibit or limit a local
553government from adopting a pollution control program regulating
554wetlands or surface waters after June 1, 2012, if the local
555government applies for delegation of state environmental
556resource permitting authority within 1 year after adopting such
557a program.
558     Section 12.  Section 376.30715, Florida Statutes, is
559amended to read:
560     376.30715  Innocent victim petroleum storage system
561restoration.-A contaminated site acquired by the current owner
562prior to July 1, 1990, which has ceased operating as a petroleum
563storage or retail business prior to January 1, 1985, is eligible
564for financial assistance pursuant to s. 376.305(6),
565notwithstanding s. 376.305(6)(a). For purposes of this section,
566the term "acquired" means the acquisition of title to the
567property; however, a subsequent transfer of the property to a
568spouse or child, a surviving spouse or child in trust or free of
569trust, or a revocable trust created for the benefit of the
570settlor, or a corporate entity created by the owner to hold
571title to the site does not disqualify the site from financial
572assistance pursuant to s. 376.305(6) and applicants previously
573denied coverage may reapply. Eligible sites shall be ranked in
574accordance with s. 376.3071(5).
575     Section 13.  Section 403.0874, Florida Statutes, is created
576to read:
577     403.0874  Incentive-based permitting program.-
578     (1)  SHORT TITLE.-This section may be cited as the "Florida
579Incentive-based Permitting Act."
580     (2)  FINDINGS AND INTENT.-The Legislature finds and
581declares that the department should consider compliance history
582when deciding whether to issue, renew, amend, or modify a permit
583by evaluating an applicant's site-specific and program-specific
584relevant aggregate compliance history. Persons having a history
585of complying with applicable permits or state environmental laws
586and rules are eligible for permitting benefits, including, but
587not limited to, expedited permit application reviews, longer-
588duration permit periods, decreased announced compliance
589inspections, and other similar regulatory and compliance
590incentives to encourage and reward such persons for their
591environmental performance.
592     (3)  APPLICABILITY.-
593     (a)  This section applies to all persons and regulated
594activities that are subject to the permitting requirements of
595chapter 161, chapter 373, or this chapter, and all other
596applicable state or federal laws that govern activities for the
597purpose of protecting the environment or the public health from
598pollution or contamination.
599     (b)  Notwithstanding paragraph (a), this section does not
600apply to certain permit actions or environmental permitting laws
601such as:
602     1.  Environmental permitting or authorization laws that
603regulate activities for the purpose of zoning, growth
604management, or land use; or
605     2.  Any federal law or program delegated or assumed by the
606state to the extent that implementation of this section, or any
607part of this section, would jeopardize the ability of the state
608to retain such delegation or assumption.
609     (c)  As used in this section, a the term "regulated
610activity" means any activity, including, but not limited to, the
611construction or operation of a facility, installation, system,
612or project, for which a permit, certification, or authorization
613is required under chapter 161, chapter 373, or this chapter.
614     (4)  COMPLIANCE HISTORY.-The compliance history period
615shall be the 5 years before the date any permit or renewal
616application is received by the department. Any person is
617entitled to the incentives under paragraph (5)(a) if:
618     (a)1.  The applicant has conducted the regulated activity
619at the same site for which the permit or renewal is sought for
620at least 4 of the 5 years before the date the permit application
621is received by the department; or
622     2.  The applicant has conducted the same regulated activity
623at a different site within the state for at least 4 of the 5
624years before the date the permit or renewal application is
625received by the department; and
626     (b)  In the 5 years before the date the permit or renewal
627application is received by the department or water management
628district, the applicant has not been subject to a formal
629administrative or civil judgment or criminal conviction whereby
630an administrative law judge or civil or criminal court found the
631applicant knowingly violated the applicable law or rule and the
632violation was the proximate cause that resulted in significant
633harm to human health or the environment. Administrative
634settlement or consent orders, whether formal or informal, are
635not judgments for purposes of this section unless entered into
636as a result of significant harm to human health or the
639     (a)  An applicant shall request all applicable incentives
640at the time of application submittal. Unless otherwise
641prohibited by state or federal law, rule, or regulation, and if
642the applicant meets all other applicable criteria for the
643issuance of a permit or authorization, an applicant is entitled
644to the following incentives:
645     1.  Expedited reviews on permit actions, including, but not
646limited to, initial permit issuance, renewal, modification, and
647transfer, if applicable. Expedited review means, at a minimum,
648that any request for additional information regarding a permit
649application shall be issued no later than 15 days after the
650application is filed, and final agency action shall be taken no
651later than 45 days after the application is deemed complete;
652     2.  Priority review of permit application;
653     3.  Reduced number of routine compliance inspections;
654     4.  No more than two requests for additional information
655under s. 120.60; and
656     5.  Longer permit period durations.
657     (b)  The department shall identify and make available
658additional incentives to persons who demonstrate during a 10-
659year compliance history period the implementation of activities
660or practices that resulted in:
661     1.  Reductions in actual or permitted discharges or
663     2.  Reductions in the impacts of regulated activities on
664public lands or natural resources;
665     3.  Implementation of voluntary environmental performance
666programs, such as environmental management systems; and
667     4.  In the 10 years before the date the renewal application
668is received by the department, the applicant having not been
669subject to a formal administrative or civil judgment or criminal
670conviction whereby an administrative law judge or civil or
671criminal court found the applicant knowingly violated the
672applicable law or rule and the violation was the proximate cause
673that resulted in significant harm to human health or the
674environment. Administrative settlement or consent orders,
675whether formal or informal, are not judgments for purposes of
676this section unless entered into as a result of significant harm
677to the human health or the environment.
678     (c)  Any person meeting one of the criteria in subparagraph
679(b)1.-3., and the criteria in subparagraph (b)4., is entitled to
680the following incentives:
681     1.  Automatic permit renewals if there are no substantial
682deviations or modifications in permitted activities or changed
683circumstances; and
684     2.  Reduced or waived application fees.
685     (6)  RULEMAKING.-The department shall implement rulemaking
686within 6 months after the effective date of this act. Such
687rulemaking may identify additional incentives and programs not
688expressly enumerated under this section, so long as each
689incentive is consistent with the Legislature's purpose and
690intent of this section. Any rule adopted by the department to
691administer this section shall be deemed an invalid exercise of
692delegated legislative authority if the department cannot
693demonstrate how such rules will produce the compliance
694incentives set forth in subsection (5). The department's rules
695adopted under this section are binding on the water management
696districts and any local government that has been delegated or
697assumed a regulatory program to which this section applies.
698     Section 14.  Subsection (5) is added to section 161.041,
699Florida Statutes, to read:
700     161.041  Permits required.-
701     (5)  The provisions of s. 403.0874, relating to the
702incentive-based permitting program, apply to all permits issued
703under this chapter.
704     Section 15.  Subsection (6) is added to section 373.413,
705Florida Statutes, to read:
706     373.413  Permits for construction or alteration.-
707     (6)  The provisions of s. 403.0874, relating to the
708incentive-based permitting program, apply to permits issued
709under this section.
710     Section 16.  Subsection (11) of section 403.061, Florida
711Statutes, is amended to read:
712     403.061  Department; powers and duties.-The department
713shall have the power and the duty to control and prohibit
714pollution of air and water in accordance with the law and rules
715adopted and promulgated by it and, for this purpose, to:
716     (11)  Establish ambient air quality and water quality
717standards for the state as a whole or for any part thereof, and
718also standards for the abatement of excessive and unnecessary
719noise. The department shall is authorized to establish
720reasonable zones of mixing for discharges into waters where
721assimilative capacity in the receiving water is available. Zones
722of discharge to groundwater are authorized to a facility or
723owner's property boundary and extending to the base of a
724specifically designated aquifer or aquifers. Discharges that
725occur within a zone of discharge or on land that is over a zone
726of discharge do not create liability under this chapter or
727chapter 376 for site cleanup and the exceedance of soil cleanup
728target levels is not a basis for enforcement or site cleanup.
729     (a)  When a receiving body of water fails to meet a water
730quality standard for pollutants set forth in department rules, a
731steam electric generating plant discharge of pollutants that is
732existing or licensed under this chapter on July 1, 1984, may
733nevertheless be granted a mixing zone, provided that:
734     1.  The standard would not be met in the water body in the
735absence of the discharge;
736     2.  The discharge is in compliance with all applicable
737technology-based effluent limitations;
738     3.  The discharge does not cause a measurable increase in
739the degree of noncompliance with the standard at the boundary of
740the mixing zone; and
741     4.  The discharge otherwise complies with the mixing zone
742provisions specified in department rules.
743     (b)  No mixing zone for point source discharges shall be
744permitted in Outstanding Florida Waters except for:
745     1.  Sources that have received permits from the department
746prior to April 1, 1982, or the date of designation, whichever is
748     2.  Blowdown from new power plants certified pursuant to
749the Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act;
750     3.  Discharges of water necessary for water management
751purposes which have been approved by the governing board of a
752water management district and, if required by law, by the
753secretary; and
754     4.  The discharge of demineralization concentrate which has
755been determined permittable under s. 403.0882 and which meets
756the specific provisions of s. 403.0882(4)(a) and (b), if the
757proposed discharge is clearly in the public interest.
758     (c)  The department, by rule, shall establish water quality
759criteria for wetlands which criteria give appropriate
760recognition to the water quality of such wetlands in their
761natural state.
763Nothing in this act shall be construed to invalidate any
764existing department rule relating to mixing zones. The
765department shall cooperate with the Department of Highway Safety
766and Motor Vehicles in the development of regulations required by
767s. 316.272(1).
769The department shall implement such programs in conjunction with
770its other powers and duties and shall place special emphasis on
771reducing and eliminating contamination that presents a threat to
772humans, animals or plants, or to the environment.
773     Section 17.  Subsection (7) of section 403.087, Florida
774Statutes, is amended to read:
775     403.087  Permits; general issuance; denial; revocation;
776prohibition; penalty.-
777     (7)  A permit issued pursuant to this section shall not
778become a vested right in the permittee. The department may
779revoke any permit issued by it if it finds that the permitholder
781     (a)  Has Submitted false or inaccurate information in the
782his or her application for such permit;
783     (b)  Has Violated law, department orders, rules, or
784regulations, or permit conditions which directly relate to such
785permit and has refused to correct or cure such violations when
786requested to do so;
787     (c)  Has Failed to submit operational reports or other
788information required by department rule which directly relate to
789such permit and has refused to correct or cure such violations
790when requested to do so or regulation; or
791     (d)  Has Refused lawful inspection under s. 403.091 at the
792facility authorized by such permit.
793     Section 18.  Subsection (32) of section 403.703, Florida
794Statutes, is amended to read:
795     403.703  Definitions.-As used in this part, the term:
796     (32)  "Solid waste" means sludge unregulated under the
797federal Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act, sludge from a waste
798treatment works, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution
799control facility, or garbage, rubbish, refuse, special waste, or
800other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or
801contained gaseous material resulting from domestic, industrial,
802commercial, mining, agricultural, or governmental operations.
803Recovered materials as defined in subsection (24) are not solid
804waste. The term does not include sludge from a waste treatment
805works if the sludge is not discarded.
806     Section 19.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section 403.707,
807Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
808     403.707  Permits.-
809     (2)  Except as provided in s. 403.722(6), a permit under
810this section is not required for the following, if the activity
811does not create a public nuisance or any condition adversely
812affecting the environment or public health and does not violate
813other state or local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, or
815     (a)  Disposal by persons of solid waste resulting from
816their own activities on their own property, if such waste is
817ordinary household waste from their residential property or is
818rocks, soils, trees, tree remains, and other vegetative matter
819that normally result from land development operations. Disposal
820of materials that could create a public nuisance or adversely
821affect the environment or public health, such as white goods;
822automotive materials, such as batteries and tires; petroleum
823products; pesticides; solvents; or hazardous substances, is not
824covered under this exemption.
825     (b)  Storage in containers by persons of solid waste
826resulting from their own activities on their property, leased or
827rented property, or property subject to a homeowners or
828maintenance association for which the person contributes
829association assessments, if the solid waste in such containers
830is collected at least once a week.
831     (c)  Disposal by persons of solid waste resulting from
832their own activities on their property, if:
833     1.  The environmental effects of such disposal on
834groundwater and surface waters are:
835     a.1.  Addressed or authorized by a site certification order
836issued under part II or a permit issued by the department under
837this chapter or rules adopted pursuant to this chapter; or
838     b.2.  Addressed or authorized by, or exempted from the
839requirement to obtain, a groundwater monitoring plan approved by
840the department. As used in this sub-subparagraph, "addressed by
841a groundwater monitoring plan" means the plan is sufficient to
842monitor groundwater or surface water for contaminants of
843concerns associated with the solid waste being disposed. A
844groundwater monitoring plan can be demonstrated to be sufficient
845irrespective of whether the groundwater monitoring plan or
846disposal is referenced in a department permit or other
848     2.  The disposal of solid waste takes place within an area
849which is over a zone of discharge.
851The disposal of solid waste pursuant to this paragraph does not
852create liability under this chapter or chapter 376 for site
853cleanup and the exceedance of soil cleanup target levels is not
854a basis for enforcement or site cleanup.
855     (d)  Disposal by persons of solid waste resulting from
856their own activities on their own property, if such disposal
857occurred prior to October 1, 1988.
858     (e)  Disposal of solid waste resulting from normal farming
859operations as defined by department rule. Polyethylene
860agricultural plastic, damaged, nonsalvageable, untreated wood
861pallets, and packing material that cannot be feasibly recycled,
862which are used in connection with agricultural operations
863related to the growing, harvesting, or maintenance of crops, may
864be disposed of by open burning if a public nuisance or any
865condition adversely affecting the environment or the public
866health is not created by the open burning and state or federal
867ambient air quality standards are not violated.
868     (f)  The use of clean debris as fill material in any area.
869However, this paragraph does not exempt any person from
870obtaining any other required permits, and does not affect a
871person's responsibility to dispose of clean debris appropriately
872if it is not to be used as fill material.
873     (g)  Compost operations that produce less than 50 cubic
874yards of compost per year when the compost produced is used on
875the property where the compost operation is located.
876     (3)  All applicable provisions of ss. 403.087 and 403.088,
877relating to permits, apply to the control of solid waste
878management facilities. Additionally, any permit issued to a
879solid waste management facility shall be for 20 years. This
880provision applies to all solid waste management facilities that
881obtain an operating or construction permit or renew an existing
882operating or construction permit on or after July 1, 2012.
883     Section 20.  Subsection (12) is added to section 403.814,
884Florida Statutes, to read:
885     403.814  General permits; delegation.-
886     (12)  A general permit shall be granted for the
887construction, alteration, and maintenance of a surface water
888management system serving a total project area of up to 10
889acres. The construction of such a system may proceed without any
890agency action by the department or water management district if:
891     (a)  The total project area is less than 10 acres;
892     (b)  The total project area involves less than 2 acres of
893impervious surface;
894     (c)  No activities will impact wetlands or other surface
896     (d)  No activities are conducted in, on, or over wetlands
897or other surface waters;
898     (e)  Drainage facilities will not include pipes having
899diameters greater than 24 inches, or the hydraulic equivalent,
900and will not use pumps in any manner; and
901     (f)  The project is not part of a larger common plan of
902development or sale.
903     Section 21.  Paragraph (u) is added to subsection (24) of
904section 380.06, Florida Statutes, to read:
905     380.06  Developments of regional impact.-
907     (u)  Any proposed solid mineral mine and any proposed
908addition to, expansion of, or change to an existing solid
909mineral mine is exempt from the provisions of this section.
910Proposed changes to any previously approved solid mineral mine
911development-of-regional-impact development orders having vested
912rights is not subject to further review or approval as a
913development of regional impact or notice of proposed change
914review or approval pursuant to subsection (19), except for those
915applications pending as of July 1, 2011, which shall be governed
916by s. 380.115(2). Notwithstanding the foregoing, however,
917pursuant to s. 380.115(1), previously approved solid mineral
918mine development-of-regional-impact development orders shall
919continue to enjoy vested rights and continue to be effective
920unless rescinded by the developer.
922If a use is exempt from review as a development of regional
923impact under paragraphs (a)-(s), but will be part of a larger
924project that is subject to review as a development of regional
925impact, the impact of the exempt use must be included in the
926review of the larger project, unless such exempt use involves a
927development of regional impact that includes a landowner,
928tenant, or user that has entered into a funding agreement with
929the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development under the
930Innovation Incentive Program and the agreement contemplates a
931state award of at least $50 million.
932     Section 22.  Subsection (1) of section 380.0657, Florida
933Statutes, is amended to read:
934     380.0657  Expedited permitting process for economic
935development projects.-
936     (1)  The Department of Environmental Protection and, as
937appropriate, the water management districts created under
938chapter 373 shall adopt programs to expedite the processing of
939wetland resource and environmental resource permits for economic
940development projects that have been identified by a municipality
941or county as meeting the definition of target industry
942businesses under s. 288.106, or any inland multimodal facility,
943receiving or sending cargo to or from Florida ports, with the
944exception of those projects requiring approval by the Board of
945Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
946     Section 23.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) and
947subsections (4), (5), (10), (11), (15), (17), and (18) of
948section 403.973, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
949     403.973  Expedited permitting; amendments to comprehensive
951     (3)(a)  The secretary shall direct the creation of regional
952permit action teams for the purpose of expediting review of
953permit applications and local comprehensive plan amendments
954submitted by:
955     1.  Businesses creating at least 50 jobs or a commercial or
956industrial development project that will be occupied by
957businesses that would individually or collectively create at
958least 50 jobs; or
959     2.  Businesses creating at least 25 jobs if the project is
960located in an enterprise zone, or in a county having a
961population of fewer than 75,000 or in a county having a
962population of fewer than 125,000 which is contiguous to a county
963having a population of fewer than 75,000, as determined by the
964most recent decennial census, residing in incorporated and
965unincorporated areas of the county.
966     (4)  The regional teams shall be established through the
967execution of a project-specific memoranda of agreement developed
968and executed by the applicant and the secretary, with input
969solicited from the office and the respective heads of the
970Department of Community Affairs, the Department of
971Transportation and its district offices, the Department of
972Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Fish and Wildlife
973Conservation Commission, appropriate regional planning councils,
974appropriate water management districts, and voluntarily
975participating municipalities and counties. The memoranda of
976agreement should also accommodate participation in this
977expedited process by other local governments and federal
978agencies as circumstances warrant.
979     (5)  In order to facilitate local government's option to
980participate in this expedited review process, the secretary
981shall, in cooperation with local governments and participating
982state agencies, create a standard form memorandum of agreement.
983The standard form of the memorandum of agreement shall be used
984only if the local government participates in the expedited
985review process. In the absence of local government
986participation, only the project-specific memorandum of agreement
987executed pursuant to subsection (4) applies. A local government
988shall hold a duly noticed public workshop to review and explain
989to the public the expedited permitting process and the terms and
990conditions of the standard form memorandum of agreement.
991     (10)  The memoranda of agreement may provide for the waiver
992or modification of procedural rules prescribing forms, fees,
993procedures, or time limits for the review or processing of
994permit applications under the jurisdiction of those agencies
995that are members of the regional permit action team party to the
996memoranda of agreement. Notwithstanding any other provision of
997law to the contrary, a memorandum of agreement must to the
998extent feasible provide for proceedings and hearings otherwise
999held separately by the parties to the memorandum of agreement to
1000be combined into one proceeding or held jointly and at one
1001location. Such waivers or modifications shall not be available
1002for permit applications governed by federally delegated or
1003approved permitting programs, the requirements of which would
1004prohibit, or be inconsistent with, such a waiver or
1006     (11)  The standard form for memoranda of agreement shall
1007include guidelines to be used in working with state, regional,
1008and local permitting authorities. Guidelines may include, but
1009are not limited to, the following:
1010     (a)  A central contact point for filing permit applications
1011and local comprehensive plan amendments and for obtaining
1012information on permit and local comprehensive plan amendment
1014     (b)  Identification of the individual or individuals within
1015each respective agency who will be responsible for processing
1016the expedited permit application or local comprehensive plan
1017amendment for that agency;
1018     (c)  A mandatory preapplication review process to reduce
1019permitting conflicts by providing guidance to applicants
1020regarding the permits needed from each agency and governmental
1021entity, site planning and development, site suitability and
1022limitations, facility design, and steps the applicant can take
1023to ensure expeditious permit application and local comprehensive
1024plan amendment review. As a part of this process, the first
1025interagency meeting to discuss a project shall be held within 14
1026days after the secretary's determination that the project is
1027eligible for expedited review. Subsequent interagency meetings
1028may be scheduled to accommodate the needs of participating local
1029governments that are unable to meet public notice requirements
1030for executing a memorandum of agreement within this timeframe.
1031This accommodation may not exceed 45 days from the secretary's
1032determination that the project is eligible for expedited review;
1033     (d)  The preparation of a single coordinated project
1034description form and checklist and an agreement by state and
1035regional agencies to reduce the burden on an applicant to
1036provide duplicate information to multiple agencies;
1037     (e)  Establishment of a process for the adoption and review
1038of any comprehensive plan amendment needed by any certified
1039project within 90 days after the submission of an application
1040for a comprehensive plan amendment. However, the memorandum of
1041agreement may not prevent affected persons as defined in s.
1042163.3184 from appealing or participating in this expedited plan
1043amendment process and any review or appeals of decisions made
1044under this paragraph; and
1045     (f)  Additional incentives for an applicant who proposes a
1046project that provides a net ecosystem benefit.
1047     (15)  The secretary office, working with the agencies
1048providing cooperative assistance and input regarding the
1049memoranda of agreement, shall review sites proposed for the
1050location of facilities eligible for the Innovation Incentive
1051Program under s. 288.1089. Within 20 days after the request for
1052the review by the secretary office, the agencies shall provide
1053to the secretary office a statement as to each site's necessary
1054permits under local, state, and federal law and an
1055identification of significant permitting issues, which if
1056unresolved, may result in the denial of an agency permit or
1057approval or any significant delay caused by the permitting
1059     (17)  The secretary office shall be responsible for
1060certifying a business as eligible for undergoing expedited
1061review under this section. Enterprise Florida, Inc., a county or
1062municipal government, or the Rural Economic Development
1063Initiative may recommend to the secretary Office of Tourism,
1064Trade, and Economic Development that a project meeting the
1065minimum job creation threshold undergo expedited review.
1066     (18)  The secretary office, working with the Rural Economic
1067Development Initiative and the regional permit action team
1068agencies participating in the memoranda of agreement, shall
1069provide technical assistance in preparing permit applications
1070and local comprehensive plan amendments for counties having a
1071population of fewer than 75,000 residents, or counties having
1072fewer than 125,000 residents which are contiguous to counties
1073having fewer than 75,000 residents. Additional assistance may
1074include, but not be limited to, guidance in land development
1075regulations and permitting processes, working cooperatively with
1076state, regional, and local entities to identify areas within
1077these counties which may be suitable or adaptable for
1078preclearance review of specified types of land uses and other
1079activities requiring permits.
1080     Section 24.  Subsection (10) of section 163.3180, Florida
1081Statutes, is amended to read:
1082     163.3180  Concurrency.-
1083     (10)(a)  Except in transportation concurrency exception
1084areas, with regard to roadway facilities on the Strategic
1085Intermodal System designated in accordance with s. 339.63, local
1086governments shall adopt the level-of-service standard
1087established by the Department of Transportation by rule.
1088However, if the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
1089Development concurs in writing with the local government that
1090the proposed development is for a qualified job creation project
1091under s. 288.0656 or s. 403.973, the affected local government,
1092after consulting with the Department of Transportation, may
1093provide for a waiver of transportation concurrency for the
1094project. For all other roads on the State Highway System, local
1095governments shall establish an adequate level-of-service
1096standard that need not be consistent with any level-of-service
1097standard established by the Department of Transportation. In
1098establishing adequate level-of-service standards for any
1099arterial roads, or collector roads as appropriate, which
1100traverse multiple jurisdictions, local governments shall
1101consider compatibility with the roadway facility's adopted
1102level-of-service standards in adjacent jurisdictions. Each local
1103government within a county shall use a professionally accepted
1104methodology for measuring impacts on transportation facilities
1105for the purposes of implementing its concurrency management
1106system. Counties are encouraged to coordinate with adjacent
1107counties, and local governments within a county are encouraged
1108to coordinate, for the purpose of using common methodologies for
1109measuring impacts on transportation facilities for the purpose
1110of implementing their concurrency management systems.
1111     (b)  There shall be a limited exemption from the Strategic
1112Intermodal System adopted level-of-service standards for new or
1113redevelopment projects consistent with the local comprehensive
1114plan as inland multimodal facilities receiving or sending cargo
1115for distribution and providing cargo storage, consolidation,
1116repackaging, and transfer of goods, and which may, if developed
1117as proposed, include other intermodal terminals, related
1118transportation facilities, warehousing and distribution
1119facilities, and associated office space, light industrial,
1120manufacturing, and assembly uses. The limited exemption applies
1121if the project meets all of the following criteria:
1122     1.  The project will not cause the adopted level-of-service
1123standards for the Strategic Intermodal System facilities to be
1124exceeded by more than 150 percent within the first 5 years of
1125the project's development.
1126     2.  The project, upon completion, would result in the
1127creation of at least 50 full-time jobs.
1128     3.  The project is compatible with existing and planned
1129adjacent land uses.
1130     4.  The project is consistent with local and regional
1131economic development goals or plans.
1132     5.  The project is proximate to regionally significant road
1133and rail transportation facilities.
1134     6.  The project is proximate to a community having an
1135unemployment rate, as of the date of the development order
1136application, which is 10 percent or more above the statewide
1137reported average.
1138     Section 25.  Subsections (1) and (2), paragraph (c) of
1139subsection (3), and subsection (4) of section 373.4137, Florida
1140Statutes, are amended to read:
1141     373.4137  Mitigation requirements for specified
1142transportation projects.-
1143     (1)  The Legislature finds that environmental mitigation
1144for the impact of transportation projects proposed by the
1145Department of Transportation or a transportation authority
1146established pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 can be more
1147effectively achieved by regional, long-range mitigation planning
1148rather than on a project-by-project basis. It is the intent of
1149the Legislature that mitigation to offset the adverse effects of
1150these transportation projects be funded by the Department of
1151Transportation and be carried out by the water management
1152districts, through including the use of privately owned
1153mitigation banks where available or, if a privately owned
1154mitigation bank is not available, through any other mitigation
1155options that satisfy state and federal requirements established
1156pursuant to this part.
1157     (2)  Environmental impact inventories for transportation
1158projects proposed by the Department of Transportation or a
1159transportation authority established pursuant to chapter 348 or
1160chapter 349 shall be developed as follows:
1161     (a)  By July 1 of each year, the Department of
1162Transportation or a transportation authority established
1163pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 which chooses to
1164participate in this program shall submit to the water management
1165districts a list copy of its projects in the adopted work
1166program and an environmental impact inventory of habitats
1167addressed in the rules adopted pursuant to this part and s. 404
1168of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. s. 1344, which may be impacted
1169by its plan of construction for transportation projects in the
1170next 3 years of the tentative work program. The Department of
1171Transportation or a transportation authority established
1172pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 may also include in its
1173environmental impact inventory the habitat impacts of any future
1174transportation project. The Department of Transportation and
1175each transportation authority established pursuant to chapter
1176348 or chapter 349 may fund any mitigation activities for future
1177projects using current year funds.
1178     (b)  The environmental impact inventory shall include a
1179description of these habitat impacts, including their location,
1180acreage, and type; state water quality classification of
1181impacted wetlands and other surface waters; any other state or
1182regional designations for these habitats; and a list survey of
1183threatened species, endangered species, and species of special
1184concern affected by the proposed project.
1185     (3)
1186     (c)  Except for current mitigation projects in the
1187monitoring and maintenance phase and except as allowed by
1188paragraph (d), the water management districts may request a
1189transfer of funds from an escrow account no sooner than 30 days
1190prior to the date the funds are needed to pay for activities
1191associated with development or implementation of the approved
1192mitigation plan described in subsection (4) for the current
1193fiscal year, including, but not limited to, design, engineering,
1194production, and staff support. Actual conceptual plan
1195preparation costs incurred before plan approval may be submitted
1196to the Department of Transportation or the appropriate
1197transportation authority each year with the plan. The conceptual
1198plan preparation costs of each water management district will be
1199paid from mitigation funds associated with the environmental
1200impact inventory for the current year. The amount transferred to
1201the escrow accounts each year by the Department of
1202Transportation and participating transportation authorities
1203established pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349 shall
1204correspond to a cost per acre of $75,000 multiplied by the
1205projected acres of impact identified in the environmental impact
1206inventory described in subsection (2). However, the $75,000 cost
1207per acre does not constitute an admission against interest by
1208the state or its subdivisions nor is the cost admissible as
1209evidence of full compensation for any property acquired by
1210eminent domain or through inverse condemnation. Each July 1, the
1211cost per acre shall be adjusted by the percentage change in the
1212average of the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States
1213Department of Labor for the most recent 12-month period ending
1214September 30, compared to the base year average, which is the
1215average for the 12-month period ending September 30, 1996. Each
1216quarter, the projected acreage of impact shall be reconciled
1217with the acreage of impact of projects as permitted, including
1218permit modifications, pursuant to this part and s. 404 of the
1219Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. s. 1344. The subject year's transfer
1220of funds shall be adjusted accordingly to reflect the acreage of
1221impacts as permitted. The Department of Transportation and
1222participating transportation authorities established pursuant to
1223chapter 348 or chapter 349 are authorized to transfer such funds
1224from the escrow accounts to the water management districts to
1225carry out the mitigation programs. Environmental mitigation
1226funds that are identified or maintained in an escrow account for
1227the benefit of a water management district may be released if
1228the associated transportation project is excluded in whole or
1229part from the mitigation plan. For a mitigation project that is
1230in the maintenance and monitoring phase, the water management
1231district may request and receive a one-time payment based on the
1232project's expected future maintenance and monitoring costs. Upon
1233disbursement of the final maintenance and monitoring payment,
1234the department or the participating transportation authorities'
1235obligation will be satisfied, the water management district will
1236have continuing responsibility for the mitigation project, and
1237the escrow account for the project established by the Department
1238of Transportation or the participating transportation authority
1239may be closed. Any interest earned on these disbursed funds
1240shall remain with the water management district and must be used
1241as authorized under this section.
1242     (4)  Prior to March 1 of each year, each water management
1243district, in consultation with the Department of Environmental
1244Protection, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the
1245Department of Transportation, participating transportation
1246authorities established pursuant to chapter 348 or chapter 349,
1247and other appropriate federal, state, and local governments, and
1248other interested parties, including entities operating
1249mitigation banks, shall develop a plan for the primary purpose
1250of complying with the mitigation requirements adopted pursuant
1251to this part and 33 U.S.C. s. 1344. In developing such plans,
1252the districts shall utilize sound ecosystem management practices
1253to address significant water resource needs and shall focus on
1254activities of the Department of Environmental Protection and the
1255water management districts, such as surface water improvement
1256and management (SWIM) projects and lands identified for
1257potential acquisition for preservation, restoration or
1258enhancement, and the control of invasive and exotic plants in
1259wetlands and other surface waters, to the extent that such
1260activities comply with the mitigation requirements adopted under
1261this part and 33 U.S.C. s. 1344. In determining the activities
1262to be included in such plans, the districts shall also consider
1263the purchase of credits from public or private mitigation banks
1264permitted under s. 373.4136 and associated federal authorization
1265and shall include such purchase as a part of the mitigation plan
1266when such purchase would offset the impact of the transportation
1267project, provide equal benefits to the water resources than
1268other mitigation options being considered, and provide the most
1269cost-effective mitigation option. The mitigation plan shall be
1270submitted to the water management district governing board, or
1271its designee, for review and approval. At least 14 days prior to
1272approval, the water management district shall provide a copy of
1273the draft mitigation plan to any person who has requested a
1275     (a)  For each transportation project with a funding request
1276for the next fiscal year, the mitigation plan must include a
1277brief explanation of why a mitigation bank was or was not chosen
1278as a mitigation option, including an estimation of identifiable
1279costs of the mitigation bank and nonbank options to the extent
1281     (b)  Specific projects may be excluded from the mitigation
1282plan, in whole or in part, and shall not be subject to this
1283section upon the election agreement of the Department of
1284Transportation, or a transportation authority if applicable, or
1285and the appropriate water management district that the inclusion
1286of such projects would hamper the efficiency or timeliness of
1287the mitigation planning and permitting process. The water
1288management district may choose to exclude a project in whole or
1289in part if the district is unable to identify mitigation that
1290would offset impacts of the project.
1291     Section 26.  Subsection (5) is added to section 526.203,
1292Florida Statutes, to read:
1293     526.203  Renewable fuel standard.-
1294     (5)  This section does not prohibit the sale of unblended
1295fuels for the uses exempted under subsection (3).
1296     Section 27.  The uniform mitigation assessment rules
1297adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection in chapter
129862-345, Florida Administrative Code, as of January 1, 2011, to
1299fulfill the mandate of s. 373.414(18), Florida Statutes, are
1300changed as follows:
1301     (1)  Rule 62-345.100(11), Florida Administrative Code, is
1302added to read: "(11)  The Department of Environmental Protection
1303shall be responsible for ensuring statewide coordination and
1304consistency in the application of this rule by providing
1305training and guidance to other relevant state agencies, water
1306management districts, and local governments. Not less than every
1307two years, the Department of Environmental Protection shall
1308coordinate with the water management districts to verify
1309consistent application of the methodology. To ensure that this
1310rule is interpreted and applied uniformly, any interpretation or
1311application of this rule by any agency or local government that
1312differs from the Department of Environmental Protection's
1313interpretation or application of this rule is incorrect and
1314invalid. The Department of Environmental Protection's
1315interpretation, application, and implementation of this rule
1316shall be the only acceptable method."
1317     (2)  Rule 62-345.200(12), Florida Administrative Code, is
1318changed to read: "(12)  "Without preservation assessment" means
1319a reasonably anticipated use of the assessment area, and the
1320temporary or permanent effects of those uses on the assessment
1321area, considering the protection provided by existing easements,
1322regulations, and land use restrictions. Reasonably anticipated
1323uses include those activities that have been previously
1324implemented within the assessment area or adjacent to the
1325assessment area, or are considered to be common uses in the
1326region without the need for additional authorizations or zoning,
1327land use code, or comprehensive plan changes."
1328     (3)  Rule 62-345.300(1), Florida Administrative Code, is
1329changed to read: "(1)  When an applicant proposes mitigation for
1330impacts to wetlands and surface waters as part of an
1331environmental resource permit or wetland resource permit
1332application, the applicant will be responsible for preparing and
1333submitting the necessary supporting information for the
1334application of Rules 62-345.400-62-345.600, F.A.C., of this
1335chapter and the reviewing agency will be responsible for
1336verifying this information , contacting the applicant to address
1337any insufficiencies or need for clarification, and approving the
1338amount of mitigation necessary to offset the proposed impacts.
1339When an applicant submits a mitigation bank or regional
1340mitigation permit application, the applicant will be responsible
1341for preparing and submitting the necessary supporting
1342information for the application of Rules 62-345.400-.600,
1343F.A.C., of this chapter and the reviewing agency will be
1344responsible for verifying this information, contacting the
1345applicant to address any insufficiencies or need for
1346clarification, and approving the potential amount of mitigation
1347to be provided by the bank or regional mitigation area. If an
1348applicant submits either Part I or Part II or both, the
1349reviewing agency shall notify the applicant of any inadequacy in
1350the submittal or disagreement with the information provided.
1351     (4)  Rule 62-345.300(3)(a), Florida Administrative Code, is
1352changed to read: "(a)  Conduct qualitative characterization of
1353both the impact and mitigation assessment areas (Part I) that
1354identifies the assessment area's native community type and the
1355functions to fish and wildlife and their habitat, describes the
1356current condition and functions provided by the assessment area,
1357and summarizes the project condition of the assessment area. The
1358purpose of Part I is to provide a framework for comparison of
1359the assessment area to the optimal condition and
1360location/landscape setting of that native community type.
1361Another purpose of this part is to note any relevant factors of
1362the assessment area that are discovered by site inspectors,
1363including use by listed species."
1364     (5)  Rule 62-345.300(3)(c), Florida Administrative Code, is
1365changed to read: "(c)  Adjust the gain in ecological value from
1366either upland or wetland preservation in accordance with
1367subsection 62-345.500(3), F.A.C. when preservation is the only
1368mitigation activity proposed (absent creation, restoration, or
1369enhancement activities) at a specified assessment area."
1370     (6)  The introductory paragraph of rule 62-345.400, Florida
1371Administrative Code, is changed to read: "An impact or
1372mitigation assessment area must be described with sufficient
1373detail to provide a frame of reference for the type of community
1374being evaluated and to identify the functions that will be
1375evaluated. When an assessment area is an upland proposed as
1376mitigation, functions must be related to the benefits provided
1377by that upland to fish and wildlife of associated wetlands or
1378other surface waters. Information for each assessment area must
1379be sufficient to identify the functions beneficial to fish and
1380wildlife and their habitat that are characteristic of the
1381assessment area's native community type, based on currently
1382available information, such as current and historic aerial
1383photographs, topographic maps, geographic information system
1384data and maps, site visits, scientific articles, journals, other
1385professional reports, field verification when needed, and
1386reasonable scientific judgment. For wetlands and other surface
1387waters, other than those created for mitigation, that have been
1388created on sites where such did not exist before the creation,
1389such as borrow pits, ditches, and canals, refer to the native
1390community type or surface water body to which it is most
1391analogous in function for the given landscape position. For
1392altered natural communities or surface waterbodies, refer to the
1393native community type or surface water body present in the
1394earliest available aerial photography except that if the
1395alteration has been of such a degree and extent that a clearly
1396defined different native community type is now present and self-
1397sustaining, in which case the native community type shall be
1398identified as the one the present community most closely
1399resembles. In determining the historic native community type,
1400all currently available information shall be used to ensure the
1401highest degree of accuracy. The information provided by the
1402applicant for each assessment area must address the following,
1403as applicable:"
1404     (7)  Rule 62-345.500(1)(a), Florida Administrative Code, is
1405changed to read: "(a)  Current condition or, in the case of
1406preservation only mitigation, without preservation - The current
1407condition of an assessment area is scored using the information
1408in this part to determine the degree to which the assessment
1409area currently provides the relative value of functions
1410identified in Part I for the native community type. In the case
1411of preservation-only mitigation, the "without preservation"
1412assessment utilizes the information in this part to determine
1413the degree to which the assessment area could provide the
1414relative value of functions identified in Part I for the native
1415community type assuming the area is not preserved. For
1416assessment areas where previous impacts that affect the current
1417condition are temporary in nature, consideration will be given
1418to the inherent functions of these areas relative to seasonal
1419hydrologic changes, and expected vegetation regeneration and
1420projected habitat functions if the use of the area were to
1421remain unchanged. When evaluating impacts to a previously
1422permitted mitigation site that has not achieved its intended
1423function, the reviewing agency shall consider the functions the
1424mitigation site was intended to offset and any delay or
1425reduction in offsetting those functions that may be caused by
1426the project. Previous construction or alteration undertaken in
1427violation of Part IV, Chapter 373, F.S., or Sections 403.91-
1428.929, F.S. (1984 Supp.), as amended, or rule, order or permit
1429adopted or issued thereunder, will not be considered as having
1430diminished the condition and relative value of a wetland or
1431surface water, when assigning a score under this part. When
1432evaluating wetlands or other surface waters that are within an
1433area that is subject to a recovery strategy pursuant to Chapter
143440D-80, F.A.C., impacts from water withdrawals will not be
1435considered when assigning a score under this part."
1436     (8)  Rule 62-345.500(1)(b), Florida Administrative Code, is
1437changed to read: "(b)  "With mitigation" or "with impact" - The
1438"with mitigation" and "with impact" assessments are based on the
1439reasonably expected outcome, which may represent an increase,
1440decrease, or no change in value relative to current conditions.
1441For the "with impact" and "with mitigation" assessments, the
1442evaluator will assume that all other necessary regulatory
1443authorizations required for the proposed project have been
1444obtained and that construction will be consistent with such
1445authorizations. The "with mitigation" assessment will be scored
1446only when reasonable assurance has been provided that the
1447proposed plan can be conducted. When scoring the "with
1448mitigation" assessment for assessment areas involving
1449enhancement, restoration, or creation activities and that are
1450proposed to be placed under a conservation easement or other
1451similar land protection mechanism, the with mitigation score
1452shall reflect the combined preservation and
1453enhancement/restoration/creation value of the specified
1454assessment area, and the Preservation Adjustment Factor shall
1455not apply to these mitigation assessments."
1456     (9)  Rule 62-345.500(2), Florida Administrative Code, is
1457changed to read: "(2)  Uplands function as the contributing
1458watershed to wetlands and are necessary to maintain the
1459ecological value of associated wetlands or other surface waters.  
1460Upland mitigation assessment areas shall be scored using the
1461landscape support/location and community structure indicators
1462listed in subsection 62-345.500(6), F.A.C. Scoring of these
1463indicators for the upland assessment areas shall be based on the
1464degree to which the relative value of functions of the upland
1465assessment area provide benefits to the fish and wildlife of the
1466associated wetlands or other surface waters, considering the
1467native community type, current condition, and anticipated
1468ecological value of the uplands and associated wetlands and
1469other surface waters.
1470     (a)  For upland preservation, the without preservation
1471assessment utilizes the information in this part to determine
1472the degree to which the assessment area could provide the
1473relative value of functions identified in Part I for the native
1474community type (to include benefits to fish and wildlife of the
1475associated wetlands or other surface waters) assuming the upland
1476area is not preserved. The gain in ecological value is
1477determined by the mathematical difference between the score of
1478the upland assessment area with the proposed preservation
1479measure and the upland assessment area without the proposed
1480preservation measure. When the community structure is scored as
1481"zero", then the location and landscape support shall also be
1482"zero". However, an increase in the location and landscape
1483support score can also occur when the community structure is
1484scored other than "zero". The resulting delta is then multiplied
1485by the preservation adjustment factor contained in subsection
148662-345.500(3), F.A.C.
1487     (b)  For upland enhancement or restoration, the current
1488condition of an assessment area is scored using the information
1489in this part to determine the degree to which the assessment
1490area currently provides the relative value of functions
1491identified in Part I for the native community type (to include
1492benefits to fish and wildlife of the associated wetlands or
1493other surface waters). The value provided shall be determined by
1494the mathematical difference between the score of the upland
1495assessment area with the proposed restoration or enhancement
1496measure and the current condition of the upland assessment area.
1497     (c)  For uplands proposed to be converted to wetlands or
1498other surface waters through creation or restoration measures,
1499the upland areas shall be scored as "zero" in their current
1500condition. Only the "with mitigation" assessment shall be scored
1501in accordance with the indicators listed in subsection 62-
1502345.500(6), F.A.C."
1503     (10)  Rule 62-345.500(3), Florida Administrative Code, is
1504changed to read: "(3)(a)  When an assessment area's mitigation
1505plan consists of preservation only (absent creation,
1506restoration, or enhancement activities), the "with mitigation"
1507assessment shall consider the potential of the assessment area
1508to perform current functions in the long term, considering the
1509protection mechanism proposed, and the "without preservation"
1510assessment shall evaluate the assessment area's functions
1511considering the reasonably anticipated use of the assessment
1512area and the temporary or permanent effects of those uses in the
1513assessment area considering the protection provided by existing
1514easements, regulations, and land use restrictions. The gain in
1515ecological value is determined by the mathematical difference
1516between the Part II scores for the "with mitigation" and
1517"without preservation" (the delta) multiplied by a preservation
1518adjustment factor. The preservation adjustment factor shall be
1519scored on a scale from 0.2 (minimum preservation value) to 1
1520(optimal preservation value), on one-tenth increments. The score
1521shall be calculated using the scoring method set forth in the
1522"Preservation Adjustment Factor Worksheet" for each of the
1523following considerations:
1524     1.  The extent to which proposed management activities
1525within the preserve area promote natural ecological conditions
1526such as fire patterns or the exclusion of invasive exotic
1528     2.  The ecological and hydrological relationship between
1529wetlands, other surface waters, and uplands to be preserved.
1530     3.  The scarcity of the habitat provided by the proposed
1531preservation area and the degree to which listed species use the
1533     4.  The proximity of the area to be preserved to areas of
1534national, state, or regional ecological significance, such as
1535national or state parks, Outstanding Florida Waters, and other
1536regionally significant ecological resources or habitats, such as
1537lands acquired or to be acquired through governmental or non-
1538profit land acquisition programs for environmental conservation,
1539and whether the areas to be preserved include corridors between
1540these habitats.
1541     5.  The extent and likelihood of potential adverse impacts
1542if the assessment area were not preserved.
1543     (b)  Each of these considerations shall be scored on a
1544relative scale of zero (0) to two-tenths (0.2) based on the
1545value provided [optimal (0.2), low to moderate (0.1), and no
1546value (0)] and summed together to calculate the preservation
1547adjustment factor. The minimum value to be assigned to a
1548specified assessment area will be 0.2. The preservation
1549adjustment factor is multiplied by the mitigation delta assigned
1550to the preservation proposal to yield an adjusted mitigation
1551delta for preservation."
1552     (11)  Rule 62-345.500(6)(a), Florida Administrative Code,
1553is changed to read: "(6)  Three categories of indicators of
1554wetland function (landscape support, water environment and
1555community structure) listed below are to be scored to the extent
1556that they affect the ecological value of the assessment area.
1557Upland mitigation assessment areas shall be scored for landscape
1558support/location and community structure only.
1559     (a)  Landscape Support/Location - The value of functions
1560provided by an assessment area to fish and wildlife are
1561influenced by the landscape attributes of the assessment area
1562and its relationship with surrounding areas. While the
1563geographic location of the assessment area does not change, the
1564ecological relationship between the assessment area and
1565surrounding landscape may vary from the current condition to the
1566"with impact" and "with mitigation" conditions. Additionally,
1567the assessment area may be located within a regional corridor or
1568in proximity to areas of national, state, or regional
1569significance, and the "with mitigation" condition may serve to
1570complement the regional ecological value identified for these
1571areas. Many species that nest, feed, or find cover in a specific
1572habitat or habitat type are also dependent in varying degrees
1573upon other habitats, including upland, wetland, and other
1574surface waters, that are present in the regional landscape. For
1575example, many amphibian species require small isolated wetlands
1576for breeding pools and for juvenile life stages, but may spend
1577the remainder of their adult lives in uplands or other wetland
1578habitats. If these habitats are unavailable or poorly connected
1579in the landscape or are degraded, then the value of functions
1580provided by the assessment area to the fish and wildlife
1581identified in Part I is reduced. The assessment area shall also
1582be considered to the extent that fish and wildlife utilizing the
1583area have the opportunity to access other habitats necessary to
1584fulfill their life history requirements. The availability,
1585connectivity, and quality of offsite habitats, and offsite land
1586uses which might adversely impact fish and wildlife utilizing
1587these habitats, are factors to be considered in assessing the
1588landscape support of the assessment area. The location of the
1589assessment area shall be considered relative to offsite and
1590upstream hydrologic contributing areas and to downstream and
1591other connected waters to the extent that the diversity and
1592abundance of fish and wildlife and their habitats is affected in
1593these areas. The opportunity for the assessment area to provide
1594offsite water quantity and quality benefits to fish and wildlife
1595and their habitats downstream and in connected waters is
1596assessed based on the degree of hydrologic connectivity between
1597these habitats and the extent to which offsite habitats are
1598affected by discharges from the assessment area. It is
1599recognized that isolated wetlands lack surface water connections
1600to downstream waters and as a result, do not perform certain
1601functions (e.g., detrital transport) to benefit downstream fish
1602and wildlife; for such wetlands, this consideration does not
1604     1.  A score of (10) means the assessment area, in
1605combination with the surrounding landscape, provides full
1606opportunity for the assessment area to perform beneficial
1607functions at an optimal level. The score is based on reasonable
1608scientific judgment and characterized by a predominance of the
1609following, as applicable:
1610     a.  Habitats outside the assessment area represent the full
1611range of habitats needed to fulfill the life history
1612requirements of all wildlife listed in Part I and are available
1613in sufficient quantity to provide optimal support for these
1615     b.  Invasive exotic or other invasive plant species are not
1616present in the proximity of the assessment area.
1617     c.  Wildlife access to and from habitats outside the
1618assessment area is not limited by distance to these habitats and
1619is unobstructed by landscape barriers.
1620     d.  Functions of the assessment area that benefit
1621downstream fish and wildlife are not limited by distance or
1622barriers that reduce the opportunity for the assessment area to
1623provide these benefits.
1624     e.  Land uses outside the assessment area have no adverse
1625impacts on wildlife in the assessment area as listed in Part I.
1626     f.  The opportunity for the assessment area to provide
1627benefits to downstream or other hydrologically connected areas
1628is not limited by hydrologic impediments or flow restrictions.
1629     g.  Downstream or other hydrologically connected habitats
1630are critically or solely dependent on discharges from the
1631assessment area and could suffer severe adverse impacts if the
1632quality or quantity of these discharges were altered.
1633     h.  For upland mitigation assessment areas, the uplands
1634provide a full suite of ecological values so as to provide
1635optimal protection and support of wetland functions.
1636     2.  A score of (7) means that, compared to the optimal
1637condition of the native community type, the opportunity for the
1638assessment area to perform beneficial functions in combination
1639with the surrounding landscape is limited to 70% of the optimal
1640ecological value. The score is based on reasonable scientific
1641judgment and characterized by a predominance of the following,
1642as applicable:
1643     a.  Habitats outside the assessment area are available in
1644sufficient quantity and variety to provide optimal support for
1645most, but not all, of the wildlife listed in Part I, or certain
1646wildlife populations may be limited due to the reduced
1647availability of habitats needed to fulfill their life history
1649     b.  Some of the plant community composition in the
1650proximity of the assessment area consists of invasive exotic or
1651other invasive plant species, but cover is minimal and has
1652minimal adverse effect on the functions provided by the
1653assessment area.
1654     c.  Wildlife access to and from habitats outside the
1655assessment area is partially limited, either by distance or by
1656the presence of barriers that impede wildlife movement.
1657     d.  Functions of the assessment area that benefit fish and
1658wildlife downstream are somewhat limited by distance or barriers
1659that reduce the opportunity for the assessment area to provide
1660these benefits.
1661     e.  Land uses outside the assessment area have minimal
1662adverse impacts on fish and wildlife identified in Part I.
1663     f.  The opportunity for the assessment area to provide
1664benefits to downstream or other hydrologically connected areas
1665is limited by hydrologic impediments or flow restrictions such
1666that these benefits are provided with lesser frequency or lesser
1667magnitude than would occur under optimal conditions.
1668     g.  Downstream or other hydrologically connected habitats
1669derive significant benefits from discharges from the assessment
1670area and could suffer substantial adverse impacts if the quality
1671or quantity of these discharges were altered.
1672     h.  For upland mitigation assessment areas, the uplands
1673provide significant, but suboptimal ecological values and
1674protection of wetland functions.
1675     3.  A score of (4) means that, compared to the optimal
1676condition of the native community type, the opportunity for the
1677assessment area to perform beneficial functions in combination
1678with the surrounding landscape is limited to 40% of the optimal
1679ecological value. The score is based on reasonable scientific
1680judgment and characterized by a predominance of the following,
1681as applicable:
1682     a.  Availability of habitats outside the assessment area is
1683fair, but fails to provide support for some species of wildlife
1684listed in Part I, or provides minimal support for many of the
1685species listed in Part I.
1686     b.  The majority of the plant community composition in the
1687proximity of the assessment area consists of invasive exotic or
1688other invasive plant species that adversely affect the functions
1689provided by the assessment area.
1690     c.  Wildlife access to and from habitats outside the
1691assessment area is substantially limited, either by distance or
1692by the presence of barriers which impede wildlife movement.
1693     d.  Functions of the assessment area that benefit fish and
1694wildlife downstream are limited by distance or barriers that
1695substantially reduce the opportunity for the assessment area to
1696provide these benefits.
1697     e.  Land uses outside the assessment area have significant
1698adverse impacts on fish and wildlife identified in Part I.
1699     f.  The opportunity for the assessment area to provide
1700benefits to downstream or other hydrologically connected areas
1701is limited by hydrologic impediments or flow restrictions, such
1702that these benefits are rarely provided or are provided at
1703greatly reduced levels compared to optimal conditions.
1704     g.  Downstream or other hydrologically connected habitats
1705derive minimal benefits from discharges from the assessment area
1706but could be adversely impacted if the quality or quantity of
1707these discharges were altered.
1708     h.  For upland mitigation assessment areas, the uplands
1709provide minimal ecological values and protection of wetland
1711     4.  A score of (0) means that the assessment area, in
1712combination with the surrounding landscape, provides no habitat
1713support for wildlife utilizing the assessment area and no
1714opportunity for the assessment area to provide benefits to fish
1715and wildlife outside the assessment area. The score is based on
1716reasonable scientific judgment and characterized by a
1717predominance of the following, as applicable:
1718     a.  No habitats are available outside the assessment area
1719to provide any support for the species of wildlife listed in
1720Part I.
1721     b.  The plant community composition in the proximity of the
1722assessment area consists predominantly of invasive exotic or
1723other invasive plant species such that little or no function is
1724provided by the assessment area.
1725     c.  Wildlife access to and from habitats outside the
1726assessment area is precluded by barriers or distance.
1727     d.  Functions of the assessment area that would be expected
1728to benefit fish and wildlife downstream are not present.
1729     e.  Land uses outside the assessment area have a severe
1730adverse impact on wildlife in the assessment area as listed in
1731Part I.
1732     f.  There is negligible or no opportunity for the
1733assessment area to provide benefits to downstream or other
1734hydrologically connected areas due to hydrologic impediments or
1735flow restrictions that preclude provision of these benefits.
1736     g.  Discharges from the assessment area provide negligible
1737or no benefits to downstream or hydrologically connected areas
1738and these areas would likely be unaffected if the quantity or
1739quality of these discharges were altered.
1740     h.  For upland mitigation assessment areas, the uplands
1741provide no ecological value or protection of wetland functions."
1742     (12)  The Department of Environmental Protection is
1743directed to make additional changes to the worksheet portions of
1744chapter 62-345, Florida Administrative Code, as needed to
1745conform to the changes set forth in this section.
1746     (13)  Any entity holding a mitigation bank permit may apply
1747to the relevant agency to have such mitigation bank reassessed
1748pursuant to the changes to chapter 62-345, Florida
1749Administrative Code, set forth in this section, if such
1750application is filed with that agency no later than September
175130, 2011.
1752     Section 28.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

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