Florida Senate - 2019                              CS for SB 532
       By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senators Lee and
       578-02722-19                                           2019532c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to wetland mitigation; amending s.
    3         373.4135, F.S.; authorizing a local government to
    4         allow permittee-responsible mitigation on lands
    5         purchased and owned by a local government for
    6         conservation purposes under certain circumstances;
    7         requiring such mitigation to meet specified
    8         requirements; providing an effective date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
   13  373.4135, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   14         373.4135 Mitigation banks and offsite regional mitigation.—
   15         (1) The Legislature finds that the adverse impacts of
   16  activities regulated under this part may be offset by the
   17  creation, maintenance, and use of mitigation banks and offsite
   18  regional mitigation. Mitigation banks and offsite regional
   19  mitigation can enhance the certainty of mitigation and provide
   20  ecological value due to the improved likelihood of environmental
   21  success associated with their proper construction, maintenance,
   22  and management. Therefore, the department and the water
   23  management districts are directed to participate in and
   24  encourage the establishment of private and public mitigation
   25  banks and offsite regional mitigation. Mitigation banks and
   26  offsite regional mitigation should emphasize the restoration and
   27  enhancement of degraded ecosystems and the preservation of
   28  uplands and wetlands as intact ecosystems rather than alteration
   29  of landscapes to create wetlands. This is best accomplished
   30  through restoration of ecological communities that were
   31  historically present.
   32         (b) The Legislature recognizes the importance of mitigation
   33  banks as an appropriate and allowable mitigation alternative to
   34  permittee-responsible mitigation. However, the Legislature also
   35  recognizes that certain timing and geographical constraints
   36  could result in the unavailability of mitigation bank credits
   37  for a certain project upon completion of the project’s
   38  application. If state and federal mitigation credits are not
   39  available to offset the adverse impacts of a project, a local
   40  government may allow permittee-responsible mitigation consisting
   41  of the restoration or enhancement of lands purchased and owned
   42  by a local government for conservation purposes, and such
   43  mitigation must conform to the permitting requirements of s.
   44  373.4136. Except where a local government has allowed a public
   45  or private mitigation project to be created on land it has
   46  purchased for conservation purposes pursuant to this paragraph
   47  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a governmental
   48  entity may not create or provide mitigation for a project other
   49  than its own unless the governmental entity uses land that was
   50  not previously purchased for conservation and unless the
   51  governmental entity provides the same financial assurances as
   52  required for mitigation banks permitted under s. 373.4136. This
   53  paragraph does not apply to:
   54         1. Mitigation banks permitted before December 31, 2011,
   55  under s. 373.4136;
   56         2. Offsite regional mitigation areas established before
   57  December 31, 2011, under subsection (6);
   58         3. Mitigation for transportation projects under ss.
   59  373.4137 and 373.4139;
   60         4. Mitigation for impacts from mining activities under s.
   61  373.41492;
   62         5. Mitigation provided for single-family lots or homeowners
   63  under subsection (7);
   64         6. Entities authorized in chapter 98-492, Laws of Florida;
   65         7. Mitigation provided for electric utility impacts
   66  certified under part II of chapter 403; or
   67         8. Mitigation provided on sovereign submerged lands under
   68  subsection (6).
   69         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.