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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 373
WATER RESOURCES
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F.S. 373.4599
373.4599 Water storage north of Lake Okeechobee.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Corps” means the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
(b) “District” means the South Florida Water Management District.
(c) “Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project” or “LOWRP” means the recommended plan contained within the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project Final Integrated Project Implementation Report and Environmental Impact Statement dated August 2020 or as amended by the district and corps.
(2) PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION REPORT.Upon June 2, 2021, the district shall request that the corps seek congressional approval of a project implementation report for the LOWRP before passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022.
(3) AGREEMENTS.Immediately following congressional approval of the LOWRP, the district shall seek to execute with the corps a project partnership agreement for the LOWRP. The project partnership agreement must be consistent with this section.
(4) PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION.
(a) Projects, locations, or structures.Projects, locations, or structures referred to in this subsection shall mean those described in the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project Final Integrated Project Implementation Report and Environmental Impact Statement dated August 2020 or as amended by the district and the corps.
(b) Aquifer storage and recovery.
1. Expedition of the LOWRP.The district, in partnership with the corps, shall expedite the development and implementation of the LOWRP aquifer storage and recovery wells. Implementation of this subsection must comply with all applicable federal and state laws and rules, including the department’s underground injection control program.
2. Investigation and monitoring.The district shall perform any necessary scientific investigation and monitoring concurrently with the implementation of the LOWRP aquifer storage and recovery wells. To ensure public health and safety, technical feasibility, and achievement of environmental benefits, implementation of the LOWRP aquifer storage and recovery wells must use a phased approach that confirms feasibility and site suitability and addresses uncertainties identified in the aquifer storage and recovery science plan developed by the district and the corps.
3. Aquifer storage and recovery science plan.The district shall expedite implementation of the aquifer storage and recovery science plan developed by the district and the corps.
4. LOWRP watershed aquifer storage and recovery wells.
a. For the Kissimmee River Basin site with the existing Kissimmee River Aquifer Storage and Recovery Pilot Project system, the district shall, by January 30, 2022, reactivate the existing aquifer storage and recovery system on the site, including any necessary testing. By March 30, 2027, the district shall ensure that all other feasible aquifer storage and recovery wells on the site are operational.
b. For all remaining feasible cluster sites in the Kissimmee River Basin and Taylor Creek/Nubbin Slough Basin, the district shall, by August 1, 2021, construct or execute contracts for any necessary exploratory and monitoring wells on each site, in addition to any other necessary evaluations, to evaluate or confirm site suitability for well clusters. By March 30, 2027, the district shall ensure that all feasible aquifer storage and recovery wells on those sites with suitable locations are operational.
c. For all other feasible currently or subsequently proposed LOWRP watershed aquifer storage and recovery cluster sites not colocated with the wetland attenuation feature, the district shall, by December 31, 2022, execute contracts for the construction of any necessary exploratory and monitoring wells on each site, in addition to any other necessary evaluations, to evaluate site suitability for well clusters. By March 30, 2027, the district shall ensure that all feasible aquifer storage and recovery wells on those sites with suitable locations are operational.
(c) Wetland restoration.The district, in partnership with the corps, shall pursue expeditious implementation of the Paradise Run wetland restoration project and the Kissimmee River Center wetland restoration project.
(5) REPORT.By November 1, 2021, the district shall submit to the Legislature a report describing the district’s compliance with this section, including steps taken and any plans necessary for ongoing compliance. The report must include updates on congressional approval for the LOWRP project implementation report; the aquifer storage and recovery science plan; any scientific investigations; and designs, construction, and operations.
History.ss. 1, 3, ch. 2021-40.