Florida League of Cities

Environmental Management (Monitor) – Failed

CS/HB 789 (Overdorf) and CS/CS/CS/SB 738 (Burgess) limit causes of action to damages for real and personal property directly resulting from pollution that was not authorized by any government approval or permit pursuant to Chapters 373, 376 and 403, Florida Statutes. In addition, the bills provide that the strict liability exceptions to such a cause of action include those specified in Section 376.308 and 376.82, Florida Statutes. The bills also require that nonindustrial stormwater management systems be designed with side slopes that meet certain minimum design requirements. The bills require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and water management districts to conduct reviews of their coastal permitting processes and permit programs and to submit reports of their findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by December 2024. The review must include coastal construction control line permits, Section 404 permits, and permitting processes related to water supply infrastructure, wastewater infrastructure and onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems. The purpose of the review is to identify areas of improvement and increase efficiency. Finally, CS/SB 738 provides that a prevailing party in actions against the DEP or water management district relating to authorizations issued pursuant to Chapters 403 or 373 is entitled to reasonable attorney costs and fees. CS/CS/CS/SB 738 passed the Senate (26-7) and died in House Messages. (O’Hara)