Florida Senate - 2021 CS for SB 976 By the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; and Senator Brodeur 592-02336-21 2021976c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to a study of the Little Wekiva River; 3 requiring the Department of Environmental Protection, 4 in consultation with the St. Johns River Water 5 Management District, Seminole County, the Fish and 6 Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Department 7 of Transportation, to conduct a study and issue a 8 report on sediment accumulation and water quality in 9 the Little Wekiva River by a specified date; providing 10 requirements for the report; authorizing local and 11 state entities or their contractors to conduct 12 restoration efforts during the study period; requiring 13 the department and the water management district to 14 review certain permits along the Little Wekiva River; 15 requiring certain enforcement actions to be taken 16 against noncompliant permittees; providing an 17 effective date. 18 19 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 20 21 Section 1. The Department of Environmental Protection, in 22 consultation with the St. Johns River Water Management District, 23 Seminole County, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 24 and the Department of Transportation, shall conduct a study and 25 issue a report by December 31, 2021, to identify the source of 26 sediment accumulation in the Little Wekiva River and detail 27 improvements to the water quality and ecology of the area which 28 might be achieved by efforts to remove accumulated sediments by 29 appropriate means, restore the natural river channel, remove 30 invasive plants, and implement protective measures. The report 31 must include an estimated cost for each improvement and 32 potential funding sources. Local or state agencies or their 33 contractors may conduct restoration efforts during the study 34 period. The department and the water management district shall 35 immediately review any permits north of S.R. 436 where the 36 Little Wekiva River is identified as the “receiving waters” to 37 assess whether any permittee is in violation of any permit 38 conditions, take appropriate action to resolve any compliance 39 issues, and remediate any impacts related to sedimentation in 40 the Little Wekiva River and its adjacent wetland habitat. If a 41 permittee or their contractors are found to be in violation of 42 any permit condition associated with a project that has had an 43 accumulation of sediments or has been found to have caused 44 ecological harm to the Little Wekiva River, the permitting 45 agencies shall levy all fines authorized by law commensurate 46 with restoration costs. 47 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.