FAC staff has been speaking with Senator David Simmons, Senator Darren Soto, and Representative Bryan Nelson, each of whom has expressed interest in springs protection legislation this coming session. Although precise language has yet to be drafted, we have been advised that a bill would likely include the following concepts:
- State-wide approach to protect all springs, with focus on action at the local level
- Funding at all levels – Approximately $100 million to each water management district, with 50% state match, 30% county match and 20% municipal match
- Realistic “worst - first” approach in which priority springsheds are addressed before others
- Consideration of “bang for the buck” projects - cost effective nutrient reduction
- All nutrient sources will be addressed including residential and commercial fertilizer, septic tanks, wastewater, stormwater, etc.
- Focus on fertilizer will include load reductions, limitations specific to springsheds, slow-release blends, agriculture BMPs, education, enforcement, and reclaimed water
- Focus on septic tanks will likely eliminate installation in new development, eliminate septic tanks nearest to the springs, and require connection to central sewer when close
- Water quantity component will likely be in separate legislation
FAC has been invited to participate in the initial drafting of legislation consistent with these concepts. To that end, should you have any proposed language, comments, or even broad suggestions for legislation, kindly contact Stephen James, at (850)922-5650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that time is of the essence, as we have been asked to provide comments within the next two weeks.