notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

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notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE

LIAISON REPORT –MICHAEL BABB

MEETING DATE –OCTOBER 15, 2012

Rulemaking Update

• Laura Donaldson, General Counsel, described the Statewide Environmental Resource

Permitting (SWERP) rulemaking efforts, and informed the Committee that the effective date of

the rule has been pushed back a month to February 2013.

• She answered questions about issuance of permits and how the District will be affected by the

rule changes. A handout was distributed outlining the remaining schedule along with a list of

related documents.

• She spoke about the Consumptive Use Permitting Consistency (CUPCon) rulemaking efforts

and said individual workgroups have been formed to address specific issues. Another round of

public workshops will be held prior to Thanksgiving.

• Ms. Donaldson addressed concerns about unmetered wells, and said exemptions will not

apply to water use caution areas.

• She mentioned MFL rulemaking efforts and upcoming Board action on controversial river

systems.

Hydrologic Conditions and Water Shortage Orders

• Lois Sorensen, Demand Management Program Manager, provided an overview of hydrologic

conditions and noted surface and groundwater levels are fluctuating well within the normal

range.

• She said the rainfall 12-month departure from mean shows a 1.9” deficit.

• The C.W. Bill Young Reservoir is being drawn down in anticipation of repairs, and the

PRMRWSA has 8.6 billion gallons in storage.

• Climate forecasts are still calling for above normal precipitation through April.

• She reminded the Committee that Modified Phase I restrictions are in effect district wide, and

will expire December 31, 2012.

Numeric Nutrient Criteria (NNC) Update

• Veronica Craw, Environmental Manager, provided an update indicating that staff has been

tracking this issue since Earthjustice filed suit against EPA in 2008.

• She reviewed the history and timeline, and clarified that no criteria are currently in effect

because both state and federal rules were challenged, and criteria effective dates have been

extended.

• Ms. Craw reviewed the upcoming schedule which sets an effective date of January 2013 for

EPA NNC for springs and lakes, an August 2013 deadline for final NNC for streams, and a

September 2013 deadline for final NNC for coasts, estuaries and South Florida canals.

• She spoke about FDEP’s Guidance Document, which describes how they will implement the

criteria, and provided several examples of the hierarchical protocol that will be used.

• Ms. Craw addressed questions about net environmental benefit, responsible entities, and the

District’s role in the process.

Lake Hancock Lake Level Modification and Outfall Treatment Project Update

• Randy Smith, Environmental Scientist in the Water Resources Bureau, provided an overview

of both components of the project. The major goals are to increase flows in the Upper Peace

River and improve water quality leaving Lake Hancock.

• He described the conveyance improvements, replacement of the structure, land acquisition

activities, and the components of the outfall treatment portion of the project. Overall, the

project is about 60% complete.

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