This week, Representative Patronis has filed his fourth consecutive Environmental Regulation bill (HB 703).   The bill, in its current form, comprises ten sections and 13 pages, although there is no way to predict the amendatory process.   Among other things, the bill provides for:

  • A limit on county regulatory authority over agricultural lands unless regulations were adopted prior to 2003;
  • A simple majority board approval of comprehensive plan elements;
  • A prohibition on the rescission of plan amendments approving other land uses on agricultural properties;
  • Consumptive use permits of up to 50 years for surface water storage projects, and 30 years for DRIs in RACEC areas;
  • Preemption of well construction criteria and standards;
  • Proof of insurance sufficient to satisfy mitigation bank financial responsibility requirements;
  • A state plan for Implementing federal greenhouse gas regulations; and
  • The creation of a Solid Waste Closure account to fund closures by permitted and insured facilities. 

For a full copy of the bill, please contact Stephen James.  As in sessions past, we expect Representative Patronis to convene stakeholder meetings to discuss these proposed measures, with FAC playing an important role in protecting home rule.  To that end, should you have comments or concerns, please contact Stephen James directly.