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December 17, 2017
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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 373
WATER RESOURCES
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F.S. 373.470
373.470 Everglades restoration.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section may be cited as the “Everglades Restoration Investment Act.”
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Caloosahatchee River Watershed Protection Plan” means the plan developed pursuant to s. 373.4595.
(b) “Comprehensive plan” means the recommended comprehensive plan contained within the “Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, April 1999” and submitted to Congress on July 1, 1999.
(c) “Corps” means the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
(d) “District” means the South Florida Water Management District.
(e) “Keys Wastewater Plan” means the plan prepared by the Monroe County Engineering Division dated November 2007 and submitted to the Florida House of Representatives on December 4, 2007.
(f) “Lake Okeechobee Watershed Protection Plan” means the plan developed pursuant to ss. 373.4595(3)(a) and 373.451-373.459.
(g) “Project” means the Central and Southern Florida Project authorized under the heading “CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA” in s. 203 of the Flood Control Act of 1948 (62 Stat. 1176), and any modification to the project authorized by law.
(h) “Project component” means any structural or operational change, resulting from the comprehensive plan, to the project as it existed and was operated as of January 1, 1999.
(i) “Project implementation report” means the project implementation report as described in the “Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, April 1999” and submitted to Congress on July 1, 1999.
(j) “River Watershed Protection Plans” means the Caloosahatchee River Watershed Protection Plan and the St. Lucie River Watershed Protection Plan as defined in this subsection.
(k) “St. Lucie River Watershed Protection Plan” means the plan developed pursuant to s. 373.4595.
(3) FURTHER ANALYSIS; AGREEMENTS FOR PROJECT COMPONENTS AND ALLOCATION OF PROJECT BENEFITS.
(a) The Legislature intends to establish a full and equal partnership between the state and federal governments for the implementation of the comprehensive plan.
(b) The comprehensive plan shall be used as a guide and framework for a continuing planning process to:
1. Reflect new scientific knowledge, the results of pilot projects, and the results of new and continuing feasibility studies with the Corps; and
2. Ensure that project components will be implemented to achieve the purposes provided in the Federal Water Resource Development Act of 1996 that include restoring, preserving, and protecting the South Florida ecosystem, providing for the protection of water quality in and the reduction of the loss of fresh water from the Everglades, and providing such features as are necessary to meet the other water-related needs of the region, including flood control, the enhancement of water supplies, and other objectives served by the project.
(c) Prior to executing a project cooperation agreement with the Corps for the construction of a project component, the district, in cooperation with the Corps, shall complete a project implementation report to address the project component’s economic and environmental benefits, engineering feasibility, and other factors provided in s. 373.1501 sufficient to allow the district to obtain approval under s. 373.026. Each project implementation report shall also identify the increase in water supplies resulting from the project component. The additional water supply shall be allocated or reserved by the district under this chapter.
(4) SAVE OUR EVERGLADES TRUST FUND; FUNDS AUTHORIZED FOR DEPOSIT.The following funds may be deposited into the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund created by s. 373.472 to finance implementation of the comprehensive plan, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Protection Plan, the River Watershed Protection Plans, and the Keys Wastewater Plan:
(a) Funds described in subsection (5).
(b) Federal funds appropriated by Congress for implementation of the comprehensive plan, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Protection Plan, or the River Watershed Protection Plans.
(c) Any additional funds appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of implementing the comprehensive plan, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Protection Plan, the River Watershed Protection Plans, or the Keys Wastewater Plan.
(d) Gifts designated for implementation of the comprehensive plan, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Protection Plan, the River Watershed Protection Plans, or the Keys Wastewater Plan from individuals, corporations, or other entities.
(5) SAVE OUR EVERGLADES TRUST FUND SUPPLEMENTED.
(a) For each year of the 13 consecutive years beginning with fiscal year 2007-2008, state funds may be deposited into the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund created by s. 373.472.
(b) Proceeds of bonds issued under s. 215.619 may be deposited into the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund created under s. 373.472. To enhance flexibility, funds to be deposited into the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund may consist of any combination of state funds and Everglades restoration bonds.
(6) DISTRIBUTIONS FROM SAVE OUR EVERGLADES TRUST FUND.
1(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (d) and (e) and for funds appropriated for debt service, the department shall distribute funds in the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund to the district in accordance with a legislative appropriation and s. 373.026(8)(b). Distribution of funds to the district from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund or the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be equally matched by the cumulative contributions from the district by fiscal year 2019-2020 by providing funding or credits toward project components. The dollar value of in-kind project design and construction work by the district in furtherance of the comprehensive plan and existing interest in public lands needed for a project component are credits towards the district’s contributions.
(b) The department shall distribute funds in the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund to the district in accordance with a legislative appropriation for debt service for Everglades restoration bonds.
(c) To the extent that funds are available, the department may reserve a minimum of $10 million annually from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund for the purpose of implementation of the River Watershed Protection Plans within the Northern Everglades as identified in s. 373.4595. Distribution of funds from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund for the implementation of the River Watershed Protection Plans shall be in accordance with paragraph (a) and shall be equally matched by the district and Lee and Martin Counties by fiscal year 2019-2020 by providing funding or credits toward project components. The dollar value of in-kind project design and construction work by the district or the counties in furtherance of the River Watershed Protection Plans and existing interest in public lands needed for a project component are credits towards the district’s and counties’ contributions.
(d) Subject to a specific appropriation to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purpose of implementing agricultural nonpoint source controls as identified in s. 373.4595 or the legislatively ratified Lake Okeechobee Watershed Protection Plan and the River Watershed Protection Plans, and upon written request by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the transfer, the department shall transfer an amount equal to such specific appropriation from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services General Inspection Trust Fund. All interest earned on the investment of funds transferred from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund to the General Inspection Trust Fund shall be credited to the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund by June 30 of each year.
(e) Subject to specific appropriation, the department shall use moneys from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund to fund projects identified in the Keys Wastewater Plan. The department may establish requirements, through grant agreements or other contractual arrangements, to ensure the timely construction of projects and expenditure of appropriated funds by the local governments in Monroe County, including, but not limited to, project implementation deadlines, local matching requirements, fair and competitive procurement requirements, and financial tracking requirements.
(7) ANNUAL REPORT.To provide enhanced oversight of and accountability for the financial commitments established under this section and the progress made in the implementation of the comprehensive plan, the following information must be prepared annually as part of the consolidated annual report required by s. 373.036(7):
(a) The district, in cooperation with the department, shall provide the following information as it relates to implementation of the comprehensive plan:
1. An identification of funds, by source and amount, received by the state and by each local sponsor during the fiscal year.
2. An itemization of expenditures, by source and amount, made by the state and by each local sponsor during the fiscal year.
3. A description of the purpose for which the funds were expended.
4. The unencumbered balance of funds remaining in trust funds or other accounts designated for implementation of the comprehensive plan.
5. A schedule of anticipated expenditures for the next fiscal year.
(b) The department shall prepare a detailed report on all funds expended by the state and credited toward the state’s share of funding for implementation of the comprehensive plan. The report shall include:
1. A description of all expenditures, by source and amount, from the former Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, the former Preservation 2000 Trust Fund, the Florida Forever Trust Fund, the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund, and other named funds or accounts for the acquisition or construction of project components or other features or facilities that benefit the comprehensive plan.
2. A description of the purposes for which the funds were expended.
3. The unencumbered fiscal-year-end balance that remains in each trust fund or account identified in subparagraph 1.
(c) The district, in cooperation with the department, shall provide a detailed report on progress made in the implementation of the comprehensive plan, including the status of all project components initiated after the effective date of this act or the date of the last report prepared under this subsection, whichever is later.

The information required in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) shall be provided as part of the consolidated annual report required by s. 373.036(7). The initial report is due by November 30, 2000, and each annual report thereafter is due by March 1.

History.s. 5, ch. 2000-129; s. 7, ch. 2001-172; s. 4, ch. 2002-261; s. 32, ch. 2002-402; s. 22, ch. 2003-394; s. 15, ch. 2005-36; s. 4, ch. 2007-253; s. 88, ch. 2008-4; s. 2, ch. 2008-49; s. 43, ch. 2015-229; ss. 38, 39, ch. 2017-71.
1Note.

A. Section 38, ch. 2017-71, amended paragraph (6)(a) “[i]n order to implement Specific Appropriation 1594 of the 2017-2018 General Appropriations Act.”

B. Section 39, ch. 2017-71, provides that “[t]he amendment made by this act to s. 373.470(6)(a), Florida Statutes, expires July 1, 2018, and the text of that paragraph shall revert to that in existence on June 30, 2017, except that any amendments to such text enacted other than by this act shall be preserved and continue to operate to the extent that such amendments are not dependent upon the portions of text which expire pursuant to this section.” Effective July 1, 2018, paragraph (6)(a), as amended by s. 39, ch. 2017-71, will read:

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (d) and (e) and for funds appropriated for debt service, the department shall distribute funds in the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund to the district in accordance with a legislative appropriation and s. 373.026(8)(b). Distribution of funds to the district from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund shall be equally matched by the cumulative contributions from the district by fiscal year 2019-2020 by providing funding or credits toward project components. The dollar value of in-kind project design and construction work by the district in furtherance of the comprehensive plan and existing interest in public lands needed for a project component are credits towards the district’s contributions.