Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 768
       By Senator Simpson
       18-00954-13                                            2013768__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Everglades Long-Term Plan;
    3         amending s. 373.4592, F.S.; modifying the definition
    4         of “Long-Term Plan” as it applies to Everglades
    5         improvement and management; deleting references to
    6         Plan phases; conforming provisions to changes made in
    7         the act; making technical changes; providing an
    8         effective date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. Paragraph (j) of subsection (2), paragraphs (d)
   13  and (e) of subsection (3), and paragraph (a) of subsection (4)
   14  of section 373.4592, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   15         373.4592 Everglades improvement and management.—
   16         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
   17         (j) “Long-Term Plan” or “Plan” means the district’s
   18  “Everglades Protection Area Tributary Basins Conceptual Plan for
   19  Achieving Long-Term Water Quality Goals Final Report,” dated
   20  March 2003, as subsequently modified in accordance with
   21  paragraph (3)(b) and the district’s “Restoration Strategies
   22  Regional Water Quality Plan,” dated April 27, 2012, which may be
   23  subsequently modified pursuant to paragraph (3)(b) herein.
   24         (3) EVERGLADES LONG-TERM PLAN.—
   25         (d) The Legislature recognizes that the Long-Term Plan
   26  contains an initial phase and a 10-year second phase. The
   27  Legislature intends that a review of this act at least 10 years
   28  after implementation of the Long-Term Plan initial phase is
   29  appropriate and necessary to the public interest. The review is
   30  the best way to ensure that the Everglades Protection Area is
   31  achieving state water quality standards, including phosphorus
   32  reduction, and the Long-Term Plan is using the best technology
   33  available. A 10-year second phase of the Long-Term Plan must be
   34  approved by the Legislature and codified in this act prior to
   35  implementation of projects, but not prior to development,
   36  review, and approval of projects by the department.
   37         (e) The Long-Term Plan shall be implemented for an initial
   38  13-year phase (2003-2016) and shall achieve water quality
   39  standards relating to the phosphorus criterion in the Everglades
   40  Protection Area as determined by a network of monitoring
   41  stations established for this purpose. Not later than December
   42  31, 2008, and each 5 years thereafter, the department shall
   43  review and approve incremental phosphorus reduction measures.
   44         (4) EVERGLADES PROGRAM.—
   45         (a) Everglades Construction Project.—The district shall
   46  implement the Everglades Construction Project. By the time of
   47  completion of the project, the state, district, or other
   48  governmental authority shall purchase the inholdings in the
   49  Rotenberger and such other lands necessary to achieve a 2:1
   50  mitigation ratio for the use of Brown’s Farm and other similar
   51  lands, including those needed for the STA 1 Inflow and
   52  Distribution Works. The inclusion of public lands as part of the
   53  project is for the purpose of treating waters not coming from
   54  the EAA for hydroperiod restoration. It is the intent of the
   55  Legislature that the district aggressively pursue the
   56  implementation of the Everglades Construction Project in
   57  accordance with the schedule in this subsection. The Legislature
   58  recognizes that adherence to the schedule is dependent upon
   59  factors beyond the control of the district, including the timely
   60  receipt of funds from all contributors. The district shall take
   61  all reasonable measures to complete timely performance of the
   62  schedule in this section in order to finish the Everglades
   63  Construction Project. The district may shall not delay
   64  implementation of the project beyond the time delay caused by
   65  those circumstances and conditions that prevent timely
   66  performance. The district may shall not levy ad valorem taxes in
   67  excess of 0.1 mill within the Okeechobee Basin for the purposes
   68  of the design, construction, and acquisition of the Everglades
   69  Construction Project. The ad valorem tax proceeds not exceeding
   70  0.1 mill levied within the Okeechobee Basin for such purposes
   71  shall also be used for design, construction, and implementation
   72  of the initial phase of the Long-Term Plan, including operation
   73  and maintenance, and research for the projects and strategies in
   74  the initial phase of the Long-Term Plan, and including the
   75  enhancements and operation and maintenance of the Everglades
   76  Construction Project and shall be the sole direct district
   77  contribution from district ad valorem taxes appropriated or
   78  expended for the design, construction, and acquisition of the
   79  Everglades Construction Project unless the Legislature by
   80  specific amendment to this section increases the 0.1 mill ad
   81  valorem tax contribution, increases the agricultural privilege
   82  taxes, or otherwise reallocates the relative contribution by ad
   83  valorem taxpayers and taxpayers paying the agricultural
   84  privilege taxes toward the funding of the design, construction,
   85  and acquisition of the Everglades Construction Project.
   86  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 200.069 to the contrary,
   87  any millage levied under the 0.1 mill limitation in this
   88  paragraph shall be included as a separate entry on the Notice of
   89  Proposed Property Taxes pursuant to s. 200.069. Once the STAs
   90  are completed, the district shall allow these areas to be used
   91  by the public for recreational purposes in the manner set forth
   92  in s. 373.1391(1), considering the suitability of these lands
   93  for such uses. These lands must shall be made available for
   94  recreational use unless the district governing board can
   95  demonstrate that such uses are incompatible with the restoration
   96  goals of the Everglades Construction Project or the water
   97  quality and hydrological purposes of the STAs or would otherwise
   98  adversely impact the implementation of the project. The district
   99  shall give preferential consideration to the hiring of
  100  agricultural workers displaced as a result of the Everglades
  101  Construction Project, consistent with their qualifications and
  102  abilities, for the construction and operation of these STAs. The
  103  following milestones apply to the completion of the Everglades
  104  Construction Project as depicted in the February 15, 1994,
  105  conceptual design document:
  106         1. The district must complete the final design of the STA 1
  107  East and West and pursue STA 1 East project components as part
  108  of a cost-shared program with the Federal Government. The
  109  district must be the local sponsor of the federal project that
  110  will include STA 1 East, and STA 1 West if so authorized by
  111  federal law;
  112         2. Construction of STA 1 East is to be completed under the
  113  direction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers in
  114  conjunction with the currently authorized C-51 flood control
  115  project;
  116         3. The district must complete construction of STA 1 West
  117  and STA 1 Inflow and Distribution Works under the direction of
  118  the United States Army Corps of Engineers, if the direction is
  119  authorized under federal law, in conjunction with the currently
  120  authorized C-51 flood control project;
  121         4. The district must complete construction of STA 3/4 by
  122  October 1, 2003; however, the district may modify this schedule
  123  to incorporate and accelerate enhancements to STA 3/4 as
  124  directed in the Long-Term Plan;
  125         5. The district must complete construction of STA 6;
  126         6. The district must, by December 31, 2006, complete
  127  construction of enhancements to the Everglades Construction
  128  Project recommended in the Long-Term Plan and initiate other
  129  pre-2006 strategies in the plan; and
  130         7. East Beach Water Control District, South Shore Drainage
  131  District, South Florida Conservancy District, East Shore Water
  132  Control District, and the lessee of agricultural lease number
  133  3420 shall complete any system modifications described in the
  134  Everglades Construction Project to the extent that funds are
  135  available from the Everglades Fund. These entities shall divert
  136  the discharges described within the Everglades Construction
  137  Project within 60 days of completion of construction of the
  138  appropriate STA. Such required modifications are shall be deemed
  139  to be a part of each district’s plan of reclamation pursuant to
  140  chapter 298.
  141         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.