Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 108
       By Senator Rodriguez
       40-00303-23                                            2023108__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to trees and vegetation within the
    3         rights-of-way of certain roads and rail corridors;
    4         amending s. 337.405, F.S.; providing that the
    5         prohibition against the removal, cutting, marring,
    6         defacing, or destruction of trees or other vegetation
    7         in certain rights-of-way does not apply if the
    8         Department of Transportation suspends such prohibition
    9         pursuant to a declared state of emergency; requiring
   10         the department to adopt guidelines for removal of
   11         debris from certain emergencies; providing an
   12         effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Section 337.405, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   17  read:
   18         337.405 Trees or other vegetation within rights-of-way of
   19  State Highway System or publicly owned rail corridors;
   20  prohibited acts; exceptions; penalties; debris removal
   21  guidelines required removal or damage; penalty.—
   22         (1) The removal, cutting, marring, defacing, or destruction
   23  of any trees or other vegetation, either by direct personal
   24  action or by causing any other person to take such action,
   25  within the rights-of-way of roads located on the State Highway
   26  System or within publicly owned rail corridors is prohibited
   27  unless one of the following applies:
   28         (a)The department suspends this subsection pursuant to a
   29  declaration of a state of emergency.
   30         (b)The department grants Prior written permission before
   31  the removal or cutting of to remove or cut such trees or other
   32  vegetation. has been granted by the department, except where
   33         (c) Normal tree trimming is required to ensure the safe
   34  operation of utility facilities and such tree trimming is
   35  performed in accordance with the provisions of the department’s
   36  its utility accommodations guide, and any subsequent amendments
   37  thereto. The department shall adopt rules to implement for the
   38  implementation of this paragraph section to achieve protection
   39  of vegetation while at the same time assuring safe utility
   40  operations.
   41         (2) A Any person who violates the provisions of this
   42  section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree,
   43  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
   44         (3)The department shall adopt guidelines related to the
   45  removal process for debris from an emergency that is subject to
   46  an emergency declaration, including, but not limited to, a
   47  hurricane or a tropical storm.
   48         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.