Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 910
       By Senator Burton
       12-01113A-23                                           2023910__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to management and storage of surface
    3         waters; amending s. 373.406, F.S.; providing an
    4         exemption from surface water management and storage
    5         regulations for the implementation of certain measures
    6         and practices for environmental habitat creation,
    7         restoration, and enhancement activities and water
    8         quality improvements on specified agricultural lands
    9         and government-owned lands; providing a condition and
   10         requirements for the measures and practices; requiring
   11         property owners or their designees to provide written
   12         notifications that meet certain requirements to the
   13         water management district or Department of
   14         Environmental Protection before commencing work;
   15         removing requirements for adverse impacts on water
   16         resources, certain notification by the department and
   17         water management districts, and commencement of
   18         activities; providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Subsection (9) of section 373.406, Florida
   23  Statutes, is amended to read:
   24         373.406 Exemptions.—The following exemptions shall apply:
   25         (9) Implementation of measures or practices for having the
   26  primary purpose of environmental habitat creation, restoration,
   27  or enhancement activities or water quality improvements
   28  improvement on lands classified as agricultural pursuant to s.
   29  193.461 or government-owned lands are exempt from regulation
   30  under this part where these measures or practices are determined
   31  by the district or department, on a case-by-case basis, to have
   32  minimal or insignificant individual and cumulative adverse
   33  impact on the water resources of the state.
   34         (a)The measures or practices may alter the topography of
   35  the land, including activities and improvements that divert the
   36  flow of surface waters or impact wetlands on the land, if the
   37  activities or improvements result in a net increase in wetland
   38  resource functions. The activities or improvements must be
   39  planned, designed, and implemented to result in a wetland
   40  habitat that resembles the characteristics of a functional
   41  wetland habitat in the same region, such as a herbaceous or
   42  forested wetland. The implementation of measures or practices
   43  that result in a permanent net loss of wetland functions or a
   44  violation of water quality standards do not qualify for an
   45  exemption pursuant to this subsection.
   46         (b)The owner of the property where the measures or
   47  practices will be implemented, or their designee, the district
   48  or department shall provide written notification to the water
   49  management district or the department as to whether the proposed
   50  activity qualifies for the exemption within 30 days before
   51  commencing work pursuant to this subsection. If the measures or
   52  practices under this subsection are performed to implement a
   53  mitigation bank or an offsite regional mitigation area, before
   54  commencing such activities, the property owner must confirm
   55  compliance with ss. 373.4135 and 373.4136 and the rules adopted
   56  pursuant to those sections by providing to the water management
   57  district or department evidence of a permit issued pursuant to
   58  those sections. This subsection does not authorize a property
   59  owner to use mitigation to offset impacts except through
   60  compliance with ss. 373.4135 and 373.4136 and the rules adopted
   61  pursuant to those sections after receipt of a written notice
   62  requesting the exemption. No activity under this exemption shall
   63  commence until the district or department has provided written
   64  notice that the activity qualifies for the exemption.
   65         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.