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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 373
WATER RESOURCES
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F.S. 373.41492
373.41492 Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Mitigation Plan; mitigation for mining activities within the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt.
(1) The Legislature finds that the impact of mining within the rock mining supported and allowable areas of the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Plan adopted by s. 373.4149(1) can best be offset by the implementation of a comprehensive mitigation plan. The Lake Belt Mitigation Plan consists of those provisions contained in subsections (2)-(8). The per-ton mitigation fee assessed on limestone sold from the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Area and sections 10, 11, 13, 14, Township 52 South, Range 39 East, and sections 24, 25, 35, and 36, Township 53 South, Range 39 East, shall be used for acquiring environmentally sensitive lands and for restoration, monitoring, maintenance, and other environmental purposes. It is the intent of the Legislature that the per-ton mitigation fee not be a revenue source for purposes other than enumerated in this section. Further, the Legislature finds that the public benefit of a sustainable supply of limestone construction materials for public and private projects requires a coordinated approach to permitting activities on wetlands within Miami-Dade County in order to provide the certainty necessary to encourage substantial and continued investment in the limestone processing plant and equipment required to efficiently extract the limestone resource. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Lake Belt Mitigation Plan satisfy all local, state, and federal requirements for mining activity within the rock mining supported and allowable areas.
(2) To provide for the mitigation of wetland resources lost to mining activities within the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Plan, effective October 1, 1999, a mitigation fee is imposed on each ton of limerock and sand extracted by any person who engages in the business of extracting limerock or sand from within the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Area and the east one-half of sections 24 and 25 and all of sections 35 and 36, Township 53 South, Range 39 East. The mitigation fee is imposed for each ton of limerock and sand sold from within the properties where the fee applies in raw, processed, or manufactured form, including, but not limited to, sized aggregate, asphalt, cement, concrete, and other limerock and concrete products. The mitigation fee imposed by this subsection for each ton of limerock and sand sold shall be 25 cents per ton, beginning on January 1, 2016; 15 cents per ton beginning on January 1, 2017; and 5 cents per ton beginning on January 1, 2018, and thereafter. To pay for seepage mitigation projects, including groundwater and surface water management structures designed to improve wetland habitat and approved by the Lake Belt Mitigation Committee, and to upgrade a water treatment plant that treats water coming from the Northwest Wellfield in Miami-Dade County, a water treatment plant upgrade fee is imposed within the same Lake Belt Area subject to the mitigation fee and upon the same kind of mined limerock and sand subject to the mitigation fee. The water treatment plant upgrade fee imposed by this section for each ton of limerock and sand sold shall be 6 cents per ton, and the collection of this fee shall cease once the total amount of proceeds collected for this fee reaches the amount of the actual moneys necessary to design and construct the water treatment plant upgrade, as determined in an open, public solicitation process. The water treatment plant upgrade fee imposed by this section expires July 1, 2018. Any limerock or sand that is used within the mine from which the limerock or sand is extracted is exempt from the fees. The amount of the mitigation fee and the water treatment plant upgrade fee imposed under this section must be stated separately on the invoice provided to the purchaser of the limerock or sand product from the limerock or sand miner, or its subsidiary or affiliate, for which the fee or fees apply. The limerock or sand miner, or its subsidiary or affiliate, who sells the limerock or sand product shall collect the mitigation fee and the water treatment plant upgrade fee and forward the proceeds of the fees to the Department of Revenue on or before the 20th day of the month following the calendar month in which the sale occurs. The proceeds of a fee imposed by this section include all funds collected and received by the Department of Revenue relating to the fee, including interest and penalties on a delinquent fee. The amount deducted for administrative costs may not exceed 3 percent of the total revenues collected under this section and may equal only those administrative costs reasonably attributable to the fee.
(3) The mitigation fee and the water treatment plant upgrade fee imposed by this section must be reported to the Department of Revenue. Payment of the mitigation and the water treatment plant upgrade fees must be accompanied by a form prescribed by the Department of Revenue.
(a) The proceeds of the mitigation fee, less administrative costs, must be transferred by the Department of Revenue to the South Florida Water Management District and deposited into the Lake Belt Mitigation Trust Fund.
(b) The proceeds of the water treatment plant upgrade fee, less administrative costs and less 2 cents per ton transferred pursuant to paragraph (c), must be transferred by the Department of Revenue to a trust fund established by Miami-Dade County, for the sole purpose authorized by paragraph (6)(a).
(c) Until December 1, 2016, or until funding for the study is complete, whichever comes earlier, 2 cents per ton, not to exceed $300,000, shall be transferred by the Department of Revenue to the State Fire Marshal to be used to fund the study required under s. 552.30 to review the established statewide ground vibration limits for construction materials mining activities and to review any legitimate claims paid for damages caused by such mining activities. Any amount not used to fund the study shall be transferred to the trust fund established by Miami-Dade County, for the sole purpose authorized by paragraph (6)(a).
(4)(a) The Department of Revenue shall administer, collect, and enforce the mitigation and treatment plant upgrade fees authorized under this section in accordance with the procedures used to administer, collect, and enforce the general sales tax imposed under chapter 212. The provisions of chapter 212 with respect to the authority of the Department of Revenue to audit and make assessments, the keeping of books and records, and the interest and penalties imposed on delinquent fees apply to this section. The fees may not be included in computing estimated taxes under s. 212.11, and the dealer’s credit for collecting taxes or fees provided for in s. 212.12 does not apply to the fees imposed by this section.
(b) In administering this section, the Department of Revenue may employ persons and incur expenses for which funds are appropriated by the Legislature. The Department of Revenue shall adopt rules and prescribe and publish forms necessary to administer this section. The Department of Revenue shall establish audit procedures and may assess delinquent fees.
(5) Each January 1, beginning January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2011, the per-ton mitigation fee shall be increased by 2.1 percentage points, plus a cost growth index. The cost growth index shall be the percentage change in the weighted average of the Employment Cost Index for All Civilian Workers (ecu 10001I), issued by the United States Department of Labor for the most recent 12-month period ending on September 30, and the percentage change in the Producer Price Index for All Commodities (WPU 00000000), issued by the United States Department of Labor for the most recent 12-month period ending on September 30, compared to the weighted average of these indices for the previous year. The weighted average shall be calculated as 0.6 times the percentage change in the Employment Cost Index for All Civilian Workers (ecu 10001I), plus 0.4 times the percentage change in the Producer Price Index for All Commodities (WPU 00000000). If either index is discontinued, it shall be replaced by its successor index, as identified by the United States Department of Labor.
(6)(a) The proceeds of the mitigation fee must be used to conduct mitigation activities that are appropriate to offset the loss of the value and functions of wetlands as a result of mining activities and to conduct water quality monitoring to ensure the protection of water resources within the Lake Belt Area. Such mitigation may include the purchase, enhancement, restoration, and management of wetlands and uplands in the Everglades watershed, the purchase of mitigation credit from a permitted mitigation bank, and any structural modifications to the existing drainage system to enhance the hydrology of the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Area or the Everglades watershed. Funds may also be used to reimburse other funding sources, including the Save Our Rivers Land Acquisition Program, the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the South Florida Water Management District, and Miami-Dade County, for the purchase of lands that were acquired in areas appropriate for mitigation due to rock mining and to reimburse governmental agencies that exchanged land under s. 373.4149 for mitigation due to rock mining. The proceeds of the water treatment plant upgrade fee deposited into the Lake Belt Mitigation Trust Fund shall be used solely to pay for seepage mitigation projects, including groundwater or surface water management structures designed to improve wetland habitat and approved by the Lake Belt Mitigation Committee. The proceeds of the water treatment plant upgrade fee which are transmitted to a trust fund established by Miami-Dade County shall be used to upgrade a water treatment plant that treats water coming from the Northwest Wellfield in Miami-Dade County. As used in this section, the terms “upgrade a water treatment plant” or “treatment plant upgrade” mean those works necessary to treat or filter a surface water source or supply or both.
(b) Expenditures of the mitigation fee must be approved by an interagency committee consisting of representatives from each of the following: the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resource Management, the Department of Environmental Protection, the South Florida Water Management District, and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In addition, the limerock mining industry shall select a representative to serve as a nonvoting member of the interagency committee. At the discretion of the committee, additional members may be added to represent federal regulatory, environmental, and fish and wildlife agencies.
(7) Payment of the mitigation fee imposed by this section satisfies the mitigation requirements imposed under ss. 373.403-373.439 and any applicable county ordinance for loss of the value and functions from mining of the wetlands identified as rock mining supported and allowable areas of the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Plan adopted by s. 373.4149(1). In addition, it is the intent of the Legislature that the payment of the mitigation fee imposed by this section satisfy all federal mitigation requirements for the wetlands mined.
(8)(a) The interagency committee established in this section shall annually prepare and submit to the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District a report evaluating the mitigation costs and revenues generated by the mitigation fee.
(b) No sooner than January 31, 2010, and no more frequently than every 2 years thereafter, the interagency committee shall submit to the Legislature a report recommending any needed adjustments to the mitigation fee, including the annual escalator provided for in subsection (5), to ensure that the revenue generated reflects the actual costs of the mitigation.
(9)(a) The Legislature finds that more than 1,000 water samples from quarry lakes and groundwater sources near the Northwest Wellfield have been analyzed without a single detection of pathogens. The Legislature further finds that the best available science indicates that there is no connection between the quarry lakes in the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt and any potential need to upgrade the water treatment plant that receives water from the Northwest Wellfield for pathogen removal and none is expected in the future.
(b) To assist the Legislature in determining whether a portion of the limestone mining fee should be dedicated to a treatment plant upgrade through July 1, 2018, pursuant to subsection (2), Miami-Dade County shall:
1. By January 15, 2016, submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a detailed accounting of the Lake Belt fees collected through June 30, 2015, and all expenditures of those fees; and
2. By January 15, 2017, submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a detailed report on all pathogen data collection and analyses related to the Northwest Wellfield and the planning and engineering studies undertaken to upgrade any water treatment plant to provide treatment for pathogens in water from the Northwest Wellfield.
History.s. 2, ch. 99-298; s. 23, ch. 2000-197; s. 2, ch. 2006-13; s. 32, ch. 2010-205; s. 36, ch. 2010-225; s. 1, ch. 2012-107; s. 2, ch. 2015-141; s. 39, ch. 2016-10.