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The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 378
LAND RECLAMATION
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CHAPTER 378
CHAPTER 378
LAND RECLAMATION
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(ss. 378.021-378.038)
PART II
PHOSPHATE LAND RECLAMATION
(ss. 378.201-378.212)
PART III
RESOURCE EXTRACTION RECLAMATION
(ss. 378.401-378.901)
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
378.021 Master reclamation plan.
378.031 Reclamation or acquisition of nonmandatory lands; legislative intent.
378.032 Definitions.
378.033 Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Committee; creation; composition.
378.034 Submission of a reclamation program request; procedures.
378.035 Department responsibilities and duties with respect to Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund.
378.036 Land acquisitions financed by Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund moneys.
378.037 Chief Financial Officer; responsibilities and duties with respect to reimbursement of reclamation costs.
378.038 Rulemaking.
378.021 Master reclamation plan.
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection shall amend the master reclamation plan that provides guidelines for the reclamation of lands mined or disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock prior to July 1, 1975, which lands are not subject to mandatory reclamation under part II of chapter 211. In amending the master reclamation plan, the Department of Environmental Protection shall continue to conduct an onsite evaluation of all lands mined or disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock prior to July 1, 1975, which lands are not subject to mandatory reclamation under part II of chapter 211. The master reclamation plan when amended by the Department of Environmental Protection shall be consistent with local government plans prepared pursuant to the Community Planning Act.
(2) The amended master reclamation plan shall identify which of the lands mined or disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock prior to July 1, 1975, meet the following criteria:
(a) The quality of surface waters leaving the land does not meet applicable water quality standards, if any; or, health and safety hazards exist on the land; or, the soil has not stabilized and revegetated; or, the remaining natural resources associated with the land are not being conserved;
(b) The environmental or economic utility or aesthetic value of the land would not naturally return within a reasonable time, and reclamation would substantially promote the environmental or economic utility or the aesthetic value of the land;
(c) The reclamation of the land is in the public interest because the reclamation, when combined with other reclamation under the master plan, would provide a substantial regional benefit; and
(d) The reclamation of the land is in the public interest because the reclamation, when combined with other reclamation under the master plan, will provide significant benefits to surface water bodies supplying water for environmental and public purposes in those areas of the state where phosphate mining has been permitted.
(3) Lands evaluated by the department under subsection (1) which meet the criteria set forth in subsection (2) shall be identified with specificity in the master reclamation plan. Lands evaluated by the department under subsection (1) which do not meet the criteria set forth in subsection (2) shall also be identified with specificity in the master reclamation plan as lands which are acceptable in their present form.
(4) Upon adoption of the amendments to the master reclamation plan as a rule, such plan shall provide the guidelines for approval of reclamation programs for lands covered in the plan, recognizing that reclamation of such lands is not mandatory, but that any payment of costs expended for reclamation paid under s. 378.031 shall be contingent upon conformity with the guidelines set forth in the master reclamation plan.
History.s. 4, ch. 78-136; s. 32, ch. 85-55; s. 2, ch. 2003-423; s. 38, ch. 2009-21; s. 52, ch. 2011-139.
378.031 Reclamation or acquisition of nonmandatory lands; legislative intent.It is the intent of the Legislature to provide an economic incentive to encourage the reclamation of the maximum number of acres of eligible nonmandatory lands in the most timely and efficient manner or the donation or purchase of nonmandatory lands, especially those lands for which reclamation activities will result in significant improvements to surface water bodies of regional importance in those areas of the state where phosphate mining has been permitted. The Legislature recognizes that certain lands mined or disturbed prior to July 1, 1975, have been naturally reclaimed.
History.s. 5, ch. 78-136; s. 3, ch. 82-184; s. 1, ch. 83-23; s. 31, ch. 83-216; s. 17, ch. 83-339; s. 1, ch. 84-330; s. 3, ch. 2003-423.
378.032 Definitions.As used in ss. 378.032-378.038, the term:
(1) “Approved reclamation program” means a reclamation program which has been approved by the Secretary of Environmental Protection.
(2) “Clay settling area” for purposes of the reimbursement provisions of s. 378.037 means an area completely enclosed by an earthen dam and used for waste clay disposal.
(3) “Committee” means the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Committee.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.
(5) “Eligible lands” means those lands mined or disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock prior to July 1, 1975, and included as eligible lands in the master reclamation plan adopted pursuant to s. 378.021.
(6) “Master reclamation plan” means the standards, criteria, and guidelines for nonmandatory land reclamation adopted pursuant to s. 378.021 and contained in chapter 16C-17, Florida Administrative Code.
(7) “Mined-out area” for purposes of the reimbursement provisions of s. 378.037 means all eligible lands other than clay settling areas.
(8) “Nonmandatory lands” means those lands mined or disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock prior to July 1, 1975, which lands are not subject to mandatory reclamation under s. 211.32(1). However, such lands which are put into use as a clay settling area, or a dam for use with a clay settling area, after July 1, 1984, shall be subject to the reclamation provisions of s. 211.32(1).
(9) “Reclamation contract” means the agreement entered into between the department and an applicant to implement the applicant’s approved reclamation program.
(10) “Reclamation program application” means any application for reclamation, donation, or acquisition.
(11) “Year” means the fiscal year of the state.
History.s. 2, ch. 84-330; s. 315, ch. 94-356.
378.033 Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Committee; creation; composition.
(1) The Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Committee is created within the department to serve as an advisory body on matters relating to nonmandatory land reclamation. The committee shall be composed of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Cabinet. In making the appointments, the Governor shall consider the needs of the program for engineering, fiscal, reclamation, and environmental expertises. Three of the committee members shall be selected respectively from Hamilton County, Polk County, and Hillsborough County.
(2)(a) In order to achieve staggered terms, of those members first appointed, two members shall be appointed for terms of 2 years each, and three members shall be appointed for terms of 4 years each. Thereafter, a member of the committee shall serve a 4-year term or until his or her successor is appointed. A member of the committee is eligible for reappointment.
(b) A vacancy on the committee shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. A single vacancy on the committee will not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise the powers of the committee.
(3) The members of the committee shall select a chair, whose office shall rotate among the members of the committee annually.
(4) The committee shall meet at least annually at the call of the chair. The presence of four members is required to constitute a quorum; a vote of three members is necessary for committee action.
(5) Committee members shall serve without pay. However, members shall be reimbursed from the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund for per diem and travel expenses pursuant to ss. 20.05 and 112.061.
History.ss. 3, 11, ch. 84-330; ss. 2, 3, ch. 85-65; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 316, ch. 94-356; s. 1023, ch. 95-148.
378.034 Submission of a reclamation program request; procedures.
(1) The department shall establish by rule procedures for a nonbinding preapplication review to assist a landowner in submitting a reclamation program request.
(2) Landowners shall reclaim all nonmandatory lands which were put into use as clay settling areas after July 1, 1975, and on or before July 1, 1984, under the nonmandatory land reclamation program, pursuant to the provisions of this act. A landowner shall submit a reclamation program application within 180 days after the land ceases to be used as a clay settling area. The requirements of this subsection are expressly contingent upon the availability of sufficient funds in the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund established pursuant to s. 211.3103.
(3)(a) Landowners shall submit reclamation program applications to the department by November 1 of each year for funding consideration during the following year.
(b) Each reclamation program application shall include a timetable for completion of the program and a completion date.
(4) The department staff shall review each reclamation program application to determine whether it complies with the standards and criteria for a reclamation program or for land acquisition and to determine its consistency with the master reclamation plan.
(5)(a) The department staff shall, by February 1 of each year, present to the committee for its consideration those reclamation program applications received by the preceding November 1.
(b) The department staff shall recommend an order of priority for the reclamation program applications that is consistent with subsection (6).
(c) The recommendation of the department staff shall include an estimate of the cost of each reclamation program or land acquisition.
(6) The committee shall recommend approval, modification, or denial of the reclamation program applications, associated cost estimates, and the department staff’s recommended prioritized list. Recommendations on the order of priority shall be based, among other criteria, on the following criteria; however, the committee may give greater weight to one or more of the criteria depending on the overall needs of the nonmandatory land reclamation program:
(a) Whether health and safety hazards exist; and, if so, such hazards shall be given the greatest weight;
(b) Whether the economic or environmental utility or the aesthetic value of the land will return naturally within a reasonable period of time;
(c) Whether there is a reasonable geographic and applicant diversity in light of previously awarded reclamation contracts, reclamation program applications before the committee, and the remaining eligible lands;
(d) Whether reclamation is in the public interest;
(e) Whether the land has been naturally reclaimed or is eligible for acquisition by the state for hunting, fishing, or other outdoor recreation purposes or for wildlife preservation;
(f) Whether the land is to be reclaimed for agricultural use and the applicant has agreed to maintain the land in agricultural use for at least 5 years after the completion of the reclamation;
(g) Whether the program, alone or in conjunction with other reclamation programs, will provide a substantial regional benefit;
(h) Whether the program, alone or in conjunction with other reclamation programs, will benefit regional drainage patterns;
(i) Whether the land is publicly owned and will be reclaimed for public purposes;
(j) Whether the program includes a donation or agreement to sell a portion of the program application area to the state for outdoor recreational or wildlife habitat protection purposes;
(k) Whether the program is cost-effective in achieving the goals of the nonmandatory land reclamation program; and
(l) Whether the program will reclaim lands described in subsection (2).
(7) The prioritized list approved by the committee may contain more reclamation program applications than there are funds available during the year.
(8) Each year, 15 percent of the funds available for approved reclamation contracts, as set forth in subsection (7), shall be reserved for reclamation programs which are submitted by applicants other than corporations primarily engaged in the mining or processing of phosphate ores to create lands to be actively used for agricultural activities. In the event that, in any given year, there are insufficient applicants that meet the department criteria for approval to use the funds reserved under this subsection, the remaining moneys may be made available to other applicants.
(9) The committee recommendations shall be submitted to the secretary by April 1 of each year for final agency action by June 1 of that year. The secretary shall approve, in whole or in part, the list of reclamation program applications in the order of priority in which the applications are presented.
(10) Any approved reclamation program application that was not funded shall, at the request of the applicant, be considered by the committee at its next meeting called for that purpose, together with other reclamation program applications received by November 1 of the next year.
(11)(a) After receiving the approval of the secretary, the department shall offer a reclamation contract to an applicant within 30 days after the applicant’s reclamation program has been approved. The contracts shall be offered to the applicants in their approved order on the priority list to the extent funds are available. Each applicant shall have 30 days in which to execute a reclamation contract. If the contract is not executed within 30 days, the application shall be dropped from the approved list for the current year.
(b) Reclamation contracts may not be signed and available funds may not be committed after June 30 of the year in which a reclamation program application is approved by the secretary.
(c) The amount of reimbursement for reclamation activities allowed in the contract shall be a grant of money equal to the estimated cost of the program as approved by the secretary. In no event, however, shall the grant amount exceed the maximum amounts specified in s. 378.037(1)(b).
(d) After receiving the approval of the Governor and Cabinet, each reclamation program application for the acquisition of land shall be transferred to the Division of State Lands, which shall acquire the lands in compliance with the acquisition procedures of s. 253.025.
(12) The department shall require by rule that owners of eligible properties who intend to seek approval of a reclamation program submit, not later than December 31, 1993, a notice of intent to file an application for approval, indicating the date upon which the application will be filed.
History.s. 4, ch. 84-330; s. 5, ch. 86-294; s. 7, ch. 87-96; s. 5, ch. 91-305; s. 4, ch. 91-420; s. 317, ch. 94-356; s. 45, ch. 2005-2.
378.035 Department responsibilities and duties with respect to Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund.
(1) The department shall administer the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund.
(2)(a) The department shall verify that reclamation activities or portions thereof have been accomplished in accordance with the reclamation contract and shall certify the cost of such reclamation activities to the Chief Financial Officer for reimbursement.
(b) Beginning in 1985, the department shall determine the maximum dollar amount a landowner may be reimbursed per reclaimed acre under an approved reclamation program.
(c) Nothing in this act precludes a landowner from performing the reclamation pursuant to the approved reclamation program, provided the landowner complies with the provisions of this act.
(3) If an applicant who has signed a reclamation contract abandons the reclamation program prior to substantial completion of the program, the department may spend the remaining balance of funds not expended under the contract to complete the program.
(a) The contract amount and any amounts spent by the department in excess of the remaining balance of the funds under the contract become a lien upon the property, enforceable pursuant to chapter 85. The moneys received as a result of a lien foreclosure or as repayment shall be deposited into the trust fund.
(b) If the land acquired pursuant to the lien foreclosure has recreational or wildlife value, the department may retain ownership as with other property acquired pursuant to s. 378.036. If the department sells the property, the department shall deposit the proceeds of the sale into the trust fund.
(4) Interest on moneys deposited in the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund shall accrue to that fund.
(5) Funds within the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund are also authorized for use by the department for the following purposes:
(a) To reclaim lands disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock on or after July 1, 1975, in the event that a mining company ceases mining and the associated reclamation prior to all lands disturbed by the operation being reclaimed. Moneys expended by the department to accomplish reclamation pursuant to this subsection shall become a lien upon the property enforceable pursuant to chapter 85. The moneys received as a result of a lien foreclosure or as repayment shall be deposited into the trust fund. In the event the money received as a result of lien foreclosure or repayment is less than the amount expended for reclamation, the department shall use all means available to recover, for the use of the fund, the difference from the affected parties. Paragraph (3)(b) shall apply to lands acquired as a result of a lien foreclosure.
(b) For the abatement of an imminent hazard as provided by s. 403.4154(3) and for the purpose of closing an abandoned phosphogypsum stack system and carrying out postclosure care as provided by s. 403.4154(5).
(c) For the purpose of funding basic management or protection of reclaimed, restored, or preserved phosphate lands:
1. Which have wildlife habitat value as determined by the Bureau of Mine Reclamation;
2. Which have been transferred by the landowner to a public agency or a private, nonprofit land conservation and management entity in fee simple, or which have been made subject to a conservation easement pursuant to s. 704.06; and
3. For which other management funding options are not available.

These funds may, after the basic management or protection has been assured for all such lands, be combined with other available funds to provide a higher level of management for such lands.

(d) For the sole purpose of funding the department’s implementation of:
1. The NPDES permitting program authorized by s. 403.0885, as it applies to phosphate mining and beneficiation facilities, phosphate fertilizer production facilities, and phosphate loading and handling facilities;
2. The regulation of dams in accordance with department rule 62-672, Florida Administrative Code; and
3. The phosphogypsum management program pursuant to s. 403.4154 and department rule 62-673, Florida Administrative Code.
(6) Should the nonmandatory land reclamation program encumber all the funds in the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund except those reserved by subsection (5) prior to funding all the reclamation applications for eligible parcels, the funds reserved by subsection (5) shall be available to the program to the extent required to complete the reclamation of all eligible parcels for which the department has received applications.
(7) The department may not accept any applications for nonmandatory land reclamation programs after January 1, 2005.
(8) The Bureau of Mine Reclamation shall review the sufficiency of the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund to support the stated objectives and report to the secretary annually with recommendations as appropriate.
History.s. 5, ch. 84-330; s. 6, ch. 97-222; s. 1, ch. 2001-134; s. 401, ch. 2003-261; s. 51, ch. 2003-399; s. 4, ch. 2003-423; s. 46, ch. 2005-2; s. 27, ch. 2005-3.
378.036 Land acquisitions financed by Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund moneys.
(1) After July 1, 1986, moneys paid into the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund may be used by the department:
(a) For acquisition of those lands identified pursuant to subsection (5) for hunting, fishing, wildlife habitat restoration, or other outdoor recreational purposes, including the construction of trails, provided such land acquisition is consistent with this section; or
(b) For acquisition and reclamation of those lands which will serve the public interest because of the exceptional need to accomplish the particular reclamation and restoration if the owner is unable or unwilling to restore or reclaim the land in accordance with the master reclamation plan.
(2) The department may purchase an interest in land which is less than a fee interest, so long as the fee will vest in the state upon the occurrence of an event or date.
(3) An amount not to exceed 1 percent of the uncommitted trust fund balance, exclusive of funds available pursuant to s. 378.034(7), at the beginning of the fiscal year may be used by the designated manager of lands acquired by the state pursuant to this section for management purposes and for reclamation of such lands.
(4) Lands acquired under paragraph (1)(b) may be reclaimed by the department pursuant to this act. If the lands are not needed for a public purpose, the lands shall be sold at public sale for a price which is not less than the amounts expended for purchase and reclamation. The moneys received from the sale shall be deposited into the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund.
(5) By July 1, 1986, the department, in cooperation with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shall develop a list identifying those nonmandatory lands which have been or may be naturally reclaimed or which the state may seek to acquire through purchase or donation for hunting, fishing, wildlife habitat restoration, or other outdoor recreational purposes, including the construction of trails. The list shall separately indicate which of the nonmandatory lands are eligible lands.
History.s. 6, ch. 84-330; s. 318, ch. 94-356; s. 198, ch. 99-245; s. 3, ch. 2000-176; s. 5, ch. 2003-423; s. 13, ch. 2005-87.
378.037 Chief Financial Officer; responsibilities and duties with respect to reimbursement of reclamation costs.
(1) The Chief Financial Officer shall reimburse approved reclamation costs, less any amount reasonably retained to ensure completion of the approved reclamation program, subject to the following limitations:
(a) A landowner shall not be entitled to payments in excess of the funds available in the Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Trust Fund.
(b) Cost reimbursement shall not exceed the least of:
1. The amount actually expended and reasonably necessary to effect the reclamation consistent with the standards of the approved master reclamation plan;
2. The reclamation contract amount; or
3. The amount allowed based on prereclamation land form, to include mined-out areas at $4,000 per reclaimed acre and clay settling areas and other land forms at $2,500 per reclaimed acre adjusted annually by the appropriate inflationary index for construction.
(2) The Chief Financial Officer shall adopt rules to implement the payment provisions of the master reclamation plan and this section, including, but not limited to, periodic reimbursements and competitive procurement of services and commodities to the extent practicable, unless a landowner elects to utilize his or her own personnel and equipment. The landowner may select a method of reimbursement from the alternatives adopted by the Chief Financial Officer.
History.s. 7, ch. 84-330; s. 637, ch. 95-148; s. 402, ch. 2003-261.
378.038 Rulemaking.The department shall adopt reasonable rules which recognize the cost reimbursement limitations of s. 378.037(1)(b) to implement the provisions of this act, including, but not limited to, size requirements for areas which are the subject of a reclamation program application, an appropriate inflationary index for construction, time limits for completing the approved reclamation, minimum standards and criteria for reclamation, and procedures to ensure that the trust fund is managed in accordance with good accounting principles and the provisions of this chapter.
History.s. 8, ch. 84-330.
PART II
PHOSPHATE LAND RECLAMATION
378.201 Short title.
378.202 Legislative intent.
378.203 Definitions.
378.204 Applicability.
378.205 Administration; powers and duties of the department; agency review responsibility.
378.207 Reclamation criteria and standards.
378.208 Financial responsibility.
378.209 Timing of reclamation.
378.211 Violations; damages; penalties.
378.212 Variances.
378.201 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Phosphate Land Reclamation Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294.
378.202 Legislative intent.The Legislature finds that:
(1) Florida is endowed with varied natural resources that provide recreational, environmental, and economic benefit to the people of this state. The extraction of phosphate is important to the continued economic well-being of the state and to the needs of society. While it is not possible to extract minerals without disturbing the surface areas and producing waste materials, mining is a temporary land use. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that mined lands be reclaimed to a beneficial use in a timely manner and in a manner which recognizes the diversity among mines, mining operations, and types of lands which are mined.
(2) The rules developed by the department for the regulation of mandatory land reclamation should be consistent with the goals of the state to simplify and coordinate regulation. The department shall enter into memoranda of understanding to eliminate duplication, to simplify the processing of reclamation applications, and to maximize the effectiveness of the regulatory process.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294.
378.203 Definitions.As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Acres mined” means all acres on which mining operations have resulted in extraction of phosphate rock.
(2) “Annual report” means a detailed report, including maps and aerial photographs, submitted for each mine, which describes and delineates mining operations and reclamation or restoration activities undertaken in the previous calendar year.
(3) “Conceptual reclamation plan” means a graphic and written description of general activities to be undertaken across the whole mine to comply with the reclamation standards and criteria contained in this part.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.
(5) “Mine” means an area of land upon which mining operations have been conducted, are being conducted, or are planned to be conducted, as the term is commonly used in the trade.
(6) “Mining operations” means those physical activities, other than prospecting and site preparation, which are necessary for extraction, waste disposal, storage, or dam maintenance prior to abandonment.
(7) “New mine,” as used in s. 378.209, means a mine for which the operator first became obligated to pay a severance tax for the extraction of minerals therefrom after July 1, 1975.
(8) “Operator” means the person engaged, or seeking to be engaged, in the severance of solid minerals, or any other person who is obligated to reclaim mined lands pursuant to s. 211.32(1). For purposes of s. 378.208 relating to financial responsibility, the term “operator” includes a parent, its subsidiary, or division.
(9) “Reclamation” means the reshaping of lands in a manner that meets the reclamation criteria and standards contained in this part.
(10) “Restoration” means the recontouring and revegetation of lands in a manner, consistent with the criteria and standards established under this part, which will maintain or improve the water quality and function of the biological systems present at the site prior to mining. In requiring restoration of an area, the department must recognize technological limitations and economic considerations. For example, restoration must be considered accomplished when immature trees are used; mature trees are not required to be replanted in areas where mature trees were removed to allow mining.
(11) “Revegetation” means, in reclaimed areas, a cover of vegetation consistent with the criteria and standards established pursuant to this part and consistent with the land form created and the future land uses. In restored areas, it means a cover of vegetation that is designed to return the restored area to the condition in existence prior to mining.
(12) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Environmental Protection.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; ss. 319, 505, ch. 94-356.
378.204 Applicability.The provisions of this part apply to land subject to the mandatory reclamation obligation for the severance of solid mineral phosphate rock set forth in s. 211.32(1) and to those lands which are initially used after July 1, 1984, as a clay settling area or a dam for use with a clay settling area. Such provisions do not apply to acres disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock prior to July 1, 1975, and, therefore, do not affect the determination of whether lands disturbed by the severance of phosphate rock are subject to the mandatory reclamation obligation. This part shall not be construed as giving the department permitting authority over mining operations.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294.
378.205 Administration; powers and duties of the department; agency review responsibility.
(1) The department shall administer the provisions of this part and shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To issue conceptual reclamation plan approvals requiring an operator to take such actions as are necessary to comply with this part.
(b) After proper notice, and upon the presentation of appropriate credentials and other documents as may be required by law, to enter on and inspect at reasonable times and intervals for the purpose of assuring compliance with ss. 378.202-378.212, any lands that are subject to ss. 378.202-378.212.
(c) To prescribe the forms for conceptual reclamation plan applications and annual reports.
(d) To adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this part.
(2) The department will be the lead agency responsible for phosphate mine reclamation in accordance with the provisions of this part and with the rules adopted by the department. The department may seek comments from appropriate federal, state, regional, or local governmental agencies to assist it in establishing rules, reviewing reclamation applications, or otherwise implementing the provisions of this part. The department’s consideration of comments on proposed conceptual reclamation plans and reclamation programs shall be limited to matters within the jurisdiction of the commenting agency.
(3) Administrative challenges to proposed state agency actions regarding phosphate mines and reclamation pursuant to this chapter or part IV of chapter 373 are subject to the summary hearing provisions of s. 120.574, except that the summary proceeding must be conducted within 90 days after a party files a motion for summary hearing, regardless of whether the parties agree to the summary proceeding and the administrative law judge’s decision is a recommended order and not a final order.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; ss. 320, 506, ch. 94-356; s. 90, ch. 98-200; s. 5, ch. 2008-150.
378.207 Reclamation criteria and standards.
(1) The department, by rule, shall adopt statewide criteria and standards for reclamation. Such rules shall recognize that surface mining takes place in diverse areas where the geologic, topographic, and edaphic conditions are different, and that reclamation operations and the specifications therefor may vary accordingly. The rules, recognizing technological limitations and economic considerations, shall require the return of the natural function of wetlands or a particular habitat or condition to that in existence prior to mining.
(2) The criteria and standards shall govern performance of reclamation and not the methodology to be used to achieve compliance with the reclamation obligation or the manner in which mining and associated activities are conducted.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294.
378.208 Financial responsibility.
(1) An operator of a mine shall provide appropriate financial assurance to the state that the reclamation of lands subject to the mandatory reclamation obligation will be completed in a timely manner. Compliance with the rate of reclamation established in s. 378.209 is deemed to be appropriate financial assurance.
(2) Operators who are not in compliance with the rate of reclamation established in s. 378.209 must post one or more of the following forms of security:
(a) A lien in favor of the state on unmined lands or on reclaimed and released real property owned in fee simple absolute by the operator. No formal appraisal of the property shall be required; however, the unencumbered value of the property shall be comparable to the cost of reclamation established pursuant to subsection (3).
(b) A surety bond in either a fixed amount, adjusted annually for inflation, or in an amount to be determined based upon projected reclamation costs at the time the security is purchased.
(c) A letter of credit in either a fixed amount, adjusted annually for inflation, or in an amount to be determined based upon projected reclamation costs at the time the security is purchased.
(d) A donation of land acceptable to the state whereby every acre donated would relieve the company of the obligation to bond or otherwise provide security for the reclamation of acres mined, based on a ratio of 1 acre donated to cover the financial responsibility for 10 or more acres of mined lands. This donation would not relieve the operator of the obligation to reclaim.
(e) A cash deposit or trust fund payable to the state in a fixed amount, adjusted annually for inflation, or in an amount to be determined based upon projected reclamation costs at the time the cash deposit or trust fund is established.
(f) Any combination of the financial assurance methods allowed in paragraphs (a)-(e).

The form of security posted shall be at the option of the operator and shall cover the number of acres for which the operator is delinquent in reclaiming in the required time period as well as the number of acres that the operator must reclaim in the current 5-year period. The security, other than the donation of land, shall be released upon completion of reclamation of delinquent acres.

(3) The amount of financial responsibility shall be established by the secretary and shall not exceed $4,000 per acre for each reclamation program, adjusted annually by the appropriate inflationary index for construction. The Office of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission shall be available to assist the secretary in making this determination. In establishing the amount of financial responsibility, the secretary shall consider:
(a) The amount and type of reclamation involved.
(b) The probable cost of proper reclamation.
(c) Inflation rates.
(d) Changes in mining operations.
(4) The department shall adopt rules which establish:
(a) Procedures to establish, modify, or release the security posted.
(b) Procedures and criteria for modifications to or exemptions from the financial responsibility requirements when such modifications will not conflict with the purposes of this part, including consideration of such factors as the size or nature of the operation, demonstrated reclamation performance, and compliance with conceptual reclamation plans or reclamation programs approved prior to October 1, 1986.
(5) The department, by rule, may require each operator to submit a copy of its most recent annual financial statements. An operator’s submittal of its annual report on Form 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, shall constitute compliance with this requirement. The financial statement submitted pursuant to rules authorized by this subsection, except for a financial statement that is a public record in the custody of another governmental agency, shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1), and the department shall ensure the confidentiality of such statements.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 13, ch. 89-117; s. 115, ch. 90-360; s. 322, ch. 94-356; s. 182, ch. 96-406; s. 54, ch. 2000-158; s. 10, ch. 2000-211; s. 403, ch. 2003-261.
378.209 Timing of reclamation.
(1) Reclamation should be completed within 2 years after the completion of mining operations, exclusive of a growing season required to ensure establishment of vegetation. For purposes of this section, completion of reclamation occurs when initial revegetation is completed and not at the time of final release of the reclamation area. For the purpose of s. 378.208, the schedule for complete reclamation is as prescribed in paragraphs (a)-(e).
(a) For the period July 1, 1975, to December 31, 1980, for existing mines or the first 5-year period of mining for new mines, reclamation may not be required, and any reclamation that is completed must be credited forward.
(b) For the period January 1, 1981, to December 31, 1985, for existing mines or the second 5-year period of mining for new mines, reclamation of acres mined must be completed at the rate of an acreage equivalent of 15 percent of the acres mined during the period July 1, 1975, to December 31, 1980, or the immediately preceding 5-year period, as appropriate. Reclamation in excess of the required percentage must be credited forward.
(c) For the period January 1, 1986, to December 31, 1990, for existing mines or the third 5-year period of mining for new mines, reclamation of acres mined must be completed at the rate of an acreage equivalent of 60 percent of the acres mined during the period January 1, 1981, to December 31, 1985, or the immediately preceding 5-year period, as appropriate. Reclamation in excess of the required percentage must be credited forward.
(d) For the period January 1, 1991, to December 31, 1995, for existing mines or the fourth 5-year period of mining for new mines, reclamation of acres mined must be completed at the rate of an acreage equivalent of 75 percent of the acres mined during the period January 1, 1986, to December 31, 1990, or the immediately preceding 5-year period, as appropriate. Reclamation in excess of the required percentage must be credited forward.
(e) For the period January 1, 1996, to December 31, 2000, for existing mines or the fifth 5-year period of mining for new mines, and each 5-year period thereafter, reclamation of acres mined must be completed at the rate of an acreage equivalent of 100 percent of acres mined during the immediately preceding 5-year period. Reclamation in excess of the required percentage must be credited forward.
(2) The rate of mining during any 5-year period is to be determined solely by the operator and not the state.
(3) The time periods and reclamation rates specified in this section may be modified or waived for experimental reclamation programs, to take into account the effect of temporary shutdown of mining operations or other physical restraints, for unreasonable delays in the processing of reclamation applications by the department, or to relieve or prevent extreme economic hardship on the operator.
(4) When the beneficial use of a constructed clay settling area has been extended, the rate of reclamation requirements in paragraphs (1)(a)-(e) and the requirements of s. 378.208 apply to such settling area when the beneficial use of such settling area is completed.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 507, ch. 94-356; s. 3, ch. 2016-130.
378.211 Violations; damages; penalties.
(1) The department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive or other appropriate relief to enforce compliance with this part, for the assessment of damages, or for both injunctive relief and damages.
(2) The department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to impose and recover a civil penalty for violation of this part or of any rule adopted or order issued pursuant to this part. The penalty shall not exceed the following amounts, and the court shall consider evidence in mitigation:
(a) For violations of a minor or technical nature, $100 per violation.
(b) For major violations by an operator on which a penalty has not been imposed under this paragraph during the previous 5 years, $1,000 per violation.
(c) For major violations not covered by paragraph (b), $5,000 per violation.

Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), each day or any portion thereof in which the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.

(3) The remedies provided for in subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply to the failure to comply with the requirements of s. 378.209. However, if an operator has failed to comply with the requirements of s. 378.209 and the department determines that the operator is unable or unlikely to come into compliance with those requirements within a reasonable time, then the department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover against the security provided pursuant to s. 378.208.
(4) As a condition precedent to the institution of any action authorized by subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3), the department shall issue a written notice of violation to the operator setting forth in detail the alleged violation and specifying a reasonable time, not to exceed 90 days, in which to initiate corrective action. If the operator disputes the matters contained in the notice of violation, the operator may request a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. If a hearing is requested, the time for initiating corrective action shall not begin to run until a final order is entered. The civil penalties provided in subsection (2) shall not begin to accrue until the expiration of the time for initiating corrective action provided in the notice of violation issued by the department. Upon the expiration of the period provided in the notice, the department, in its discretion, may institute the action provided for under subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3), if the violation specified in the notice of violation has not been corrected.
(5) Penalties collected pursuant to subsection (2) shall be deposited to the credit of the Phosphate Research Trust Fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 110, ch. 96-410.
378.212 Variances.
(1) Upon application, the secretary may grant a variance from the provisions of this part or the rules adopted pursuant thereto. Variances and renewals thereof may be granted for any one of the following reasons:
(a) There is no practicable means known or available to comply with the provisions of this part or the rules adopted pursuant thereto.
(b) Compliance with a particular requirement or requirements from which a variance is sought will necessitate the taking of measures which must be spread over a considerable period of time. A variance granted for this reason shall prescribe a timetable for the taking of the measures required.
(c) To relieve or prevent hardship, including economic hardship, of a kind other than those provided for in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(d) To accommodate specific phosphate mining, processing or chemical plant uses that otherwise would be inconsistent with the requirements of this part.
(e) To provide for an experimental technique that would advance the knowledge of reclamation and restoration methods.
(f) To accommodate projects, including those proposing offsite mitigation, that provide a significant regional benefit for wildlife and the environment.
(g) To accommodate reclamation that provides water supply development or water resource development not inconsistent with the applicable regional water supply plan approved pursuant to s. 373.709, provided adverse impacts are not caused to the water resources in the basin. A variance may also be granted from the requirements of part IV of chapter 373, or the rules adopted thereunder, when a project provides an improvement in water availability in the basin and does not cause adverse impacts to water resources in the basin.
(2) Consideration of a variance pursuant to this section shall be based on the particular facts and circumstances surrounding each individual request.
(3) The department shall publish a notice of proposed agency action in the Florida Administrative Register and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected, and the department shall afford an opportunity for a hearing on each application for a variance, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 120. If no request for a hearing is filed with the department within 14 days of publication of the notice, the department may proceed to final agency action without a hearing.
(4) Variances issued pursuant to this section may be for the life of the facility or for such shorter period of time as may be appropriate. Variances issued for a period of 5 years or more shall be reviewed by the secretary at least every 5 years to ensure that the factors justifying the issuance of the variance have not changed so as to make the variance unnecessary.
(5) The department may prescribe appropriate conditions, including time limits, to the granting of a variance.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; ss. 323, 508, ch. 94-356; s. 6, ch. 2003-423; s. 21, ch. 2010-205; s. 37, ch. 2013-14.
PART III
RESOURCE EXTRACTION RECLAMATION
378.401 Short title.
378.402 Legislative findings and intent.
378.403 Definitions.
378.404 Department of Environmental Protection; powers and duties.
378.405 Reclamation review procedure.
378.406 Confidentiality of records; availability of information.
378.407 Inspection.
378.408 Injunctive relief.
378.409 Civil liability.
378.411 Certification to receive notices of intent to mine, to review, and to inspect for compliance.
378.4115 County certification for limerock mining in the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt.
378.412 Relationship with other laws.
378.501 Limestone; notice of intent to mine required.
378.502 Existing mines.
378.503 Limestone reclamation performance standards.
378.601 Heavy minerals.
378.701 Fuller’s earth clay; notice of intent to mine required.
378.702 Existing mines.
378.703 Fuller’s earth clay reclamation performance standards.
378.801 Other resources; notice of intent to mine required.
378.802 Existing mines.
378.803 Other resources reclamation performance standards.
378.804 Exemption.
378.901 Life-of-the-mine permit.
378.401 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Resource Extraction Reclamation Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294.
378.402 Legislative findings and intent.
(1) The Legislature finds that Florida is endowed with varied natural resources that provide great recreational, environmental, and economic benefit to the people of the state. While the extraction of resources is an activity that contributes to the economic well-being of the state, improperly reclaimed or unreclaimed land may adversely affect the environment and may cause the temporary and, in some circumstances, permanent destruction of scenic beauty and wildlife habitats. The Legislature further finds that while it is not practicable to extract resources without disturbing the surface of the earth and producing waste materials, and that the very character of certain surface extraction operations precludes complete restoration of the land to its original contour, it is essential to require reclamation to mitigate the effects of resource extraction on the environment.
(2) The Legislature recognizes that there are wide variations in the circumstances and conditions surrounding and arising out of the extraction process and that the rehabilitation and conservation of resources will be assured only through proper planning and through consideration of the impact of resource extraction upon the environment as well as upon the land use of the surrounding areas. Reclamation actions are an integral part of the extraction process. The Legislature further recognizes that it is in the best interest of the state that the reclamation process be accomplished in a timely manner and that persons engaged in resource extraction shall be responsible for attaining required reclamation standards. Reclamation as provided in this part will allow the extraction of valuable resources while still providing for the protection of the public’s health, safety, and welfare, the protection of the state’s environment, and the subsequent beneficial use of the disturbed and reclaimed land.
(3) The Legislature recognizes that where possible and feasible the department should enter into memoranda of understanding to eliminate duplication and maximize the effectiveness of the regulatory process in the management and protection of our natural resources.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 53, ch. 91-221.
378.403 Definitions.As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Agency” means an official, committee, department, commission, officer, division, authority, bureau, council, board, section, or unit of government within the state, including a county, municipal, or other local or regional entity or special district.
(2) “Annual report” means a detailed report, including maps and aerial photographs, submitted for each mine, which describes and delineates mining operations and reclamation or restoration activities undertaken in the previous calendar year.
(3) “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.
(4) “Existing mine” means any area upon which an operation is being conducted, or has been conducted, on October 1, 1986.
(5) “Extraction” or “resource extraction” means the removal of resources from their location so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction use; but does not include excavation solely in aid of onsite farming or onsite construction, nor the process of searching, prospecting, exploring, or investigating for resources by drilling.
(6) “Fuller’s earth clay” means clay possessing a high absorptive capacity consisting largely of montmorillonite or palygorskite. Fuller’s earth clay includes attapulgite.
(7) “Heavy minerals” means those resources found in conjunction with sand deposits which have a specific gravity of not less than 2.8, and includes an admixture of such resources as zircon, staurolite, and titanium minerals as generally mined in this state.
(8) “Limestone” means any extracted material composed principally of calcium or magnesium carbonate.
(9) “Local government” means any county or municipality.
(10) “Mine” means an area of land upon which mining operations have been conducted, are being conducted, or are planned to be conducted, as the term is commonly used in the trade.
(11) “New mine” means any mine that is not an existing mine.
(12) “Operation” means any activity, other than prospecting, necessary for site preparation, extraction, waste disposal, storage, or reclamation.
(13) “Operator” means any person engaged in an operation.
(14) “Overburden” means soil and rock removed to gain access to the resource in the process of extraction and means such soil or rock before or after its removal.
(15) “Peat” means a naturally occurring substance derived primarily from plant materials in a range of decomposing conditions and formed in a water-saturated environment.
(16) “Reclamation” means the reasonable rehabilitation of land where resource extraction has occurred.
(17) “Resource” means soil, clay, peat, stone, gravel, sand, limerock, metallic ore, or any other solid substance of commercial value found in natural deposits on or in the earth, except phosphate, which is regulated by part III.
(18) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Environmental Protection.
(19) “Wetlands” means any area as defined in s. 373.019, as delineated using the methodology adopted by rule and ratified pursuant to s. 373.421(1). For areas included in an approved conceptual reclamation plan or modification application submitted prior to July 1, 1994, wetlands means any area having dominant vegetation as defined and listed in rule 62-301.200, Florida Administrative Code, regardless of whether the area is within the department’s jurisdiction or whether the water bodies are connected.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 324, ch. 94-356; s. 4, ch. 95-215; s. 5, ch. 2007-191; s. 39, ch. 2009-21.
378.404 Department of Environmental Protection; powers and duties.The department shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this part.
(2) To prescribe the form, content, and necessary supporting documentation for notices of intent to mine.
(3) To receive notices of intent to mine and operators’ conceptual reclamation plans in order to determine the completeness and sufficiency thereof.
(4) To prescribe rules to receive and approve annual reports, when specifically authorized, for the detailed evaluation of reclamation units within conceptual mine plans.
(5) To prescribe the means for inspecting reclamation operations.
(6) To issue orders requiring an operator to take such actions as are necessary to comply with this part and rules adopted hereunder, and to issue orders modifying prior orders.
(7) To enter on and inspect the mine site at reasonable times and intervals pursuant to s. 378.407.
(8) To ensure that reclamation will be consistent with the provisions of this part and the performance standards and criteria provided by this part, and will be consistent with other statutes and local ordinances pertaining to reclamation.
(9) To grant variances from the provisions of this part to accommodate reclamation that provides for water supply development or water resource development not inconsistent with the applicable regional water supply plan approved pursuant to s. 373.709, appropriate stormwater management, improved wildlife habitat, recreation, or a mixture thereof, provided adverse impacts are not caused to the water resources in the basin and public health and safety are not adversely affected.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; ss. 325, 509, ch. 94-356; s. 91, ch. 98-200; s. 7, ch. 2003-423; s. 22, ch. 2010-205.
378.405 Reclamation review procedure.
(1) All agency reviews conducted under this part are subject to this section. Within 30 days after receipt of an operator’s conceptual reclamation plan, the department, the secretary, or the affected agency shall review the plan and shall request submittal of all additional information the agency is permitted by law to require. If the applicant believes any agency request for additional information is not authorized by law or agency rule, the applicant may request a hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. Within 30 days after receipt of such additional information, the agency must review it and may request only such further information as is needed to clarify the additional information.
(2) If the applicant believes the request of the agency for such additional information is not authorized by law or agency rule, the agency, at the applicant’s request, shall proceed to process the plan. A plan must be approved or denied within 90 days after receipt of the original plan, the last item of timely requested additional information, or the applicant’s written request to begin processing the plan.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; ss. 326, 510, ch. 94-356; s. 111, ch. 96-410.
378.406 Confidentiality of records; availability of information.
(1)(a) Any information relating to prospecting, rock grades, or secret processes or methods of operation which may be required, ascertained, or discovered by inspection or investigation shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1), shall not be disclosed in public hearings, and shall be kept confidential by any member, officer, or employee of the department, if the applicant requests the department to keep such information confidential and informs the department of the basis for such confidentiality. Should the secretary determine that such information requested to be kept confidential shall not be kept confidential, the secretary shall provide the operator with not less than 30 days’ notice of his or her intent to release the information. When making his or her determination, the secretary shall consider the public purposes specified in 1s. 119.14(4)(b).
(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the use of such records in judicial proceedings when ordered to be produced by appropriate subpoena or by order of the court. No such subpoena or order of the court shall abridge or alter the rights or remedies of persons affected in the protection of trade secrets or secret processes in the manner provided by law, and such person affected may take any and all steps available by law to protect such trade secrets or processes. This section shall not prevent the department from providing such information to other agencies if the information is necessary to prepare the reports and studies required by this part. Agencies receiving such information shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
(2)(a) Except as provided in subsection (1), the department shall make available for public inspection and copying, during regular office hours, any information filed or submitted pursuant to this part.
(b) The secretary may charge a fee to cover the actual cost of duplicating the information filed or submitted pursuant to this part. “Actual cost of duplicating” means the cost of material and supplies used to duplicate the record, but it does not include the labor cost or overhead cost associated with such duplication.
(c) The fees charged for duplication of public records shall be deposited and accounted for in the manner prescribed for other operating funds of the agency.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 14, ch. 89-117; s. 3, ch. 91-114; s. 327, ch. 94-356; s. 1024, ch. 95-148; s. 183, ch. 96-406.
1Note.Repealed by s. 1, ch. 95-217.
378.407 Inspection.
(1)(a) Any duly authorized representative of the department may at any reasonable time enter and inspect, for the purpose of ascertaining the state of compliance with the law or rules of the department, any property, premises, or place, except a building which is used exclusively for a private residence, on which a reclamation operation is or will be conducted or where records required by this part or rule are kept.
(b) Any duly authorized representative of the department may, during normal business hours, have access to and copy any records required under this part and may obtain any other information and samples necessary to determine compliance with the requirements of this part or rules.
(c) The duly authorized representative of the department shall comply with all federal, state, and local safety standards.
(2) The owner or operator of the premises shall receive a report setting forth all facts found which relate to compliance status.
(3)(a) Upon completion of reclamation of an area, the operator shall notify the secretary. The secretary may make an inspection of the area, and if he or she finds that reclamation has been properly completed, the secretary shall notify the operator in writing and release him or her from further obligations regarding that land.
(b) If upon the receipt of the notification the secretary determines that an inspection will not be conducted within an operating year, the operator shall be released from the reclamation requirements upon the completion of the second operating year.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 328, ch. 94-356; s. 1025, ch. 95-148.
378.408 Injunctive relief.The secretary may institute civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to seek injunctive relief to enforce compliance with the requirements of this part.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 329, ch. 94-356.
378.409 Civil liability.
(1) Any operator who begins resource extraction without meeting the requirements of this part is liable to the state for any damages caused to the water or property, including animal, plant, or aquatic life, of the state, and is liable for reasonable costs and expenses of the state in restoring the waters and property, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, of the state to their former condition.
(2) In assessing damages for animal, plant, or aquatic life, the value shall be determined in accordance with the tables of values established by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the department.
(3) Nothing in this section gives the department the right to bring an action on behalf of any private person.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 330, ch. 94-356; s. 199, ch. 99-245.
378.411 Certification to receive notices of intent to mine, to review, and to inspect for compliance.
(1) By petition to the secretary, a local government may request certification to receive notices of intent to mine, to review, and to conduct compliance inspections.
(2) In deciding whether to grant certification to a local government, the secretary shall determine whether the following criteria are being met:
(a) The petitioning local government has adopted and effectively implemented a local government comprehensive plan.
(b) The local government has adequate review procedures and the financial and staffing resources necessary to assume responsibility for adequate review and inspection.
(c) The local government has a record of effectively reviewing, inspecting, and enforcing compliance with local ordinances and state laws.
(3) In making his or her determination, the secretary shall consult with the Department of Economic Opportunity, the appropriate regional planning council, and the appropriate water management district.
(4) The secretary shall evaluate the performance of a local government on a regular basis to ensure compliance with this section. All or part of the certification may be rescinded if the secretary determines that the certification is not being carried out pursuant to the requirements of this part.
(5) The department shall establish the certification procedure by rule.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 331, ch. 94-356; s. 1026, ch. 95-148; s. 117, ch. 99-385; s. 255, ch. 2011-142.
378.4115 County certification for limerock mining in the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt.The department and Miami-Dade County shall cooperate to establish and fulfill reasonable requirements for the departmental certification of the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resource Management to implement the reclamation program under ss. 378.401-378.503 for limerock mining activities within the geographic area of the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt which was recommended for mining in the report submitted to the Legislature in February 1997 under s. 373.4149. The delegation of implementing authority must be consistent with s. 378.411 and chapter 62C-36, Florida Administrative Code. Further, the reclamation program shall maximize the efficient mining of limestone, and the littoral area surrounding the lake excavations shall not be required to be greater than 100 feet average in width.
History.s. 4, ch. 97-222; s. 4, ch. 99-298; s. 5, ch. 2001-172.
378.412 Relationship with other laws.It is the intent of the Legislature that ss. 378.202-378.804 supplement other laws regarding resource extraction. Nothing contained in such sections shall be construed to limit, abridge, or alter any agency’s duties, authority, and responsibilities granted pursuant to another statute. Nothing in ss. 378.202-378.804 shall be deemed to preempt local ordinances that impose stricter reclamation standards.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294.
378.501 Limestone; notice of intent to mine required.
(1) No operator may begin the process of limestone resource extraction at a new mine without notifying the secretary of the intention to mine.
(2) The operator’s notice of intent to mine shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) The operator’s conceptual mining plan which is comprised of such maps and other supporting documents as may be reasonably required by the department, the operator’s time schedule that assures that the reclamation process is achieved in a timely manner, and the operator’s estimated life of the mine.
(b) The operator’s signed acknowledgment of the limestone reclamation performance standards provided by s. 378.503.
(3) The department shall develop by rule the required data, forms, and other information for the notice of intent to mine. The rule shall clearly state what data, forms, and other information are required and the reasons why such data, forms, and other information are required.
(4) The secretary shall notify the operator as to the sufficiency of the notice of intent to mine. The review of such notice shall be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of s. 378.405.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 332, ch. 94-356.
378.502 Existing mines.After January 1, 1989, all operators of existing mines for limestone resource extraction shall meet the reclamation performance standards provided by s. 378.503 for any new surface area disturbed at such mines. The operator shall provide the department with a documented list of all existing mines subject to the provisions of this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 333, ch. 94-356.
378.503 Limestone reclamation performance standards.
(1) All reclamation activities shall be initiated at the earliest practicable time.
(2) Reclamation activities shall be consistent with all applicable local government ordinances at least as stringent as the criteria and standards contained in this section.
(3) Reclamation shall achieve the stormwater, drainage, wetlands, and other surface and ground water management requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection and the appropriate water management district.
(4) Provisions for safety to persons, wildlife, and adjoining property must be provided.
(5) The operator shall use best management practices to minimize erosion.
(6) Reclamation shall include revegetation, with species native to the area, of littoral zones and upland areas, except that revegetation shall not be required in those areas where revegetation is impractical or not in accordance with good land management practices.
(7) Resource extraction which results in a water body shall provide one of the following shoreline treatments:
(a) A littoral shelf not less than 18 feet in width with a berm on the waterward side.
(b) A straight slope not steeper than 1 vertical to 3 horizontal, and extending downward from average water level to 6 feet below the average water level.
(c) Where a sheer wall results, then in lieu of a shoreline treatment, access shall be controlled by the use of berms, fences, or other restrictive methods, all of which shall be used in conjunction with a transition shelf of at least 10 feet in width.
(d) Slope requirements of the United States Army Corps of Engineers or the department under part IV of chapter 373.
(e) The secretary may allow other shoreline treatments to achieve appropriate safety and environmental considerations.
(8) Where a dry sheer wall results, access shall be controlled by the use of berms, fences, or other restrictive methods, all of which shall be used in conjunction with a transition shelf of at least 10 feet in width.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 334, ch. 94-356; s. 6, ch. 2007-191.
378.601 Heavy minerals.
(1)(a) Each operator who intends to mine or extract heavy minerals at a new mine shall receive approval of the department of a conceptual reclamation plan prior to undertaking mining or extraction.
(b) New mine, for the purposes of this section, shall mean a mine where the operator begins the clearing of land for mining after July 1, 1987.
(c) The term “conceptual reclamation,” for the purposes of this section, means a graphic and written description of general activities to be undertaken across the whole mine to comply with the reclamation standards applicable to this part.
(2) Each operator of an existing mine, which has not submitted a conceptual reclamation plan pursuant to the requirements of s. 211.32, shall submit to the department for approval a conceptual reclamation plan no later than July 1, 1987.
(3) The department may also require that each operator submit an annual report.
(4) Reclamation standards applicable to this section shall be adopted by rule by the department. The intent shall be that these regulations shall be no more stringent than those standards currently in place for the heavy mineral mining. The department shall consider the following criteria in its regulations:
(a) The reclamation standards shall reflect the circumstances unique to each mineral commodity and must reasonably address the practicality for reclamation for each commodity and the future use of the land. All reclamation activities shall, to the extent feasible, be coordinated with resource extraction and shall be initiated at the earliest practicable time.
(b) Reclamation activities shall be conducted in a manner which has minimal long-term adverse impacts on surface and groundwater resources, wildlife, and adjacent lands.
(c) The department shall by rule adopt adequate reclamation sloping requirements.
(d) The operator shall use best management practices to minimize erosion.
(e) Drainage systems, wetlands, and other surface waters shall function in manners which are not significantly different from those which existed prior to resource extraction.
(f) Reclamation shall provide for revegetation. Plans for revegetation shall incorporate measures to minimize wildlife habitat lost as a result of resource extraction.
(g) Reclamation shall result in landforms which are capable of supporting diverse and beneficial land uses.
(h) Exceptions to the criteria contained in this section may be granted by the secretary for experimental or innovative techniques.
(i) Reclamation of the land, including a complete growing season for revegetation, shall be completed within 3 years of the completion of the mining operation associated with the resource extraction.
(5) Any heavy mineral mining operation which annually mines less than 500 acres and whose proposed consumption of water is 3 million gallons per day or less shall not be required to undergo development of regional impact review pursuant to s. 380.06, provided permits and plan approvals pursuant to either this section and part IV of chapter 373, or s. 378.901, are issued.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 335, ch. 94-356; s. 5, ch. 95-215; s. 1, ch. 97-222; s. 99, ch. 99-251; s. 2, ch. 2001-134.
378.701 Fuller’s earth clay; notice of intent to mine required.
(1) No fuller’s earth clay operator may begin the process of resource extraction at a new mine without notifying the secretary of the intention to mine.
(2) The operator’s notice of intent to mine shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) Such maps and other supporting documents as may be reasonably required by the department.
(b) The operator’s time schedule that assures that the reclamation process is achieved in a timely manner.
(c) The operator’s estimated life of the mine.
(d) The operator’s conceptual reclamation plan.
(3) The department shall develop by rule the required data, forms, and other information for the notice of intent to mine. The rule shall clearly state what data, forms, and other information are required and the reasons why such data, forms, and other information are required.
(4) The secretary shall notify the operator as to the sufficiency of the notice of intent to mine. The review of such notice shall be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of s. 378.405.
(5) The secretary shall approve, modify, or reject the operator’s conceptual reclamation plan.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 336, ch. 94-356.
378.702 Existing mines.On October 1, 1986, all operators of existing mines for fuller’s earth clay resource extraction shall meet the performance standards provided by s. 378.703 on all mines that increase the diameter of an existing mine.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294.
378.703 Fuller’s earth clay reclamation performance standards.
(1) All reclamation activities shall, to the extent feasible, be coordinated with resource extraction and in any event shall be initiated at the earliest practicable time.
(2) Reclamation activities shall be consistent with all applicable local government ordinances at least as stringent as the criteria and standards contained in this section.
(3) Reclamation activities shall be conducted in a manner which has no long-term adverse impact on surface and groundwater resources, wildlife, and adjacent lands.
(4) Drainage systems, wetlands, and other surface waters shall function in manners which are not significantly different from those which existed prior to resource extraction.
(5) Reclamation shall achieve the stormwater requirements of the appropriate water management district.
(6) The department shall establish by rule the reclamation sloping requirements.
(7) The operator shall use best management practices to minimize erosion, including revegetation.
(8) The plans for revegetation shall incorporate measures to offset wildlife habitat lost as a result of resource extraction.
(9) Reclamation shall provide for the establishment of flora and fauna which are consistent with intended land use.
(10) Reclamation and restoration shall result in landforms which are capable of supporting diverse and beneficial land uses.
(11) Exceptions to the criteria and standards contained in this section may be granted by the secretary for experimental or innovative techniques.
(12) Reclamation of the land, including a complete growing season for revegetation, shall be completed within 3 years of the completion of the mining operations associated with the resource extraction.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 337, ch. 94-356.
378.801 Other resources; notice of intent to mine required.
(1) No operator may begin the process of extracting clay, peat, gravel, sand, or any other solid substance of commercial value found in natural deposits or in the earth, except fuller’s earth clay, heavy minerals, limestone, or phosphate, which are regulated elsewhere in this chapter, at a new mine without notifying the secretary of the intention to mine.
(2) The operator’s notice of intent to mine shall consist of the operator’s estimated life of the mine and the operator’s signed acknowledgment of the performance standards provided by s. 378.803.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 338, ch. 94-356.
378.802 Existing mines.After January 1, 1989, all operators of existing mines for the extraction of resources as described in s. 378.801 shall meet the performance standards provided by s. 378.803 for any new surface area disturbed at such mines.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 1, ch. 89-88.
378.803 Other resources reclamation performance standards.
(1) Reclamation shall achieve the stormwater, drainage, wetlands, and other surface and groundwater requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection and the appropriate water management district.
(2) The final slopes shall be at such an angle as to minimize the possibility of slides and shall not exceed the natural angle of repose of the material being mined.
(3) Provisions for safety to persons, wildlife, and adjoining property must be provided.
(4) Any overburden and spoil shall be left in a configuration which is in accordance with accepted soil conservation practices and which is suitable for the proposed future use of the land.
(5) Reclamation shall be designed to avoid the collection of water in pools which are, or are likely to become, noxious, odious, or foul.
(6) All reclamation activities shall, to the extent possible, be coordinated with resource extraction and in any event shall be initiated at the earliest practicable time.
(7) Reclamation activities shall be consistent with all applicable local government ordinances at least as stringent as the criteria and standards contained in this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 339, ch. 94-356.
378.804 Exemption.Any operator who extracts resources from any one site, not to exceed 20 acres over the life of the mine, or who extracts peat for agricultural purposes is exempt from the provisions of s. 378.801.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 7, ch. 2007-191.
378.901 Life-of-the-mine permit.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Bureau” means the Bureau of Mine Reclamation of the Division of Water Resource Management of the Department of Environmental Protection.
(b) “Life-of-the-mine permit” means a permit authorizing activities regulated under part IV of chapter 373 and part IV of this chapter.
(2) As an alternative to, and in lieu of, separate applications for permits required under part IV of chapter 373 and part IV of this chapter, any operator who mines or extracts or proposes to mine or extract heavy minerals, limestone, or fuller’s earth clay may apply to the bureau for a life-of-the-mine permit. This subsection does not limit the authority of a local government to approve, approve with conditions, deny, or impose a permit duration that is different from the duration issued pursuant to this section.
(3) The bureau may also issue life-of-the-mine permits to operators of sand mines as part of the consideration for conveyance to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of environmentally sensitive lands in an amount equal to or greater than the acreage included in the life-of-the-mine permit and provided such environmentally sensitive lands are contiguous to or within reasonable proximity to the lands included in the life-of-the-mine permit.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 378.405, an application for a life-of-the-mine permit must be reviewed as follows:
(a) Within 30 days after receipt of an application for a permit under this section, the bureau shall review the application and shall request submittal of any additional information that the bureau requires. If the operator believes that the bureau is not authorized by law or rule to require any of the requested additional information, the operator may request a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. Within 30 days after receipt of the additional information, the bureau shall review it and may further request only that information needed to clarify the additional information or to answer new questions raised by or directly related to the additional information.
(b) If the operator believes that any further request of the bureau for information is not authorized by law or agency rule, the bureau, at the operator’s request, shall proceed to process the permit application.
(c) A life-of-the-mine permit must be approved or denied by the bureau within 135 days after receipt of the original completed application, receipt of the timely requested additional information, or correction of errors or omissions. The 135-day period must be tolled in accordance with s. 120.60.
(5)(a) In determining whether to issue a life-of-the-mine permit or to approve an application for a modification to an existing life-of-the-mine permit, the bureau shall apply, and its authority shall be limited by, the relevant criteria in, and rules adopted under, part IV of chapter 373 and part IV of this chapter. The issuance of a life-of-the-mine permit relieves the operator from the requirement to obtain separate construction and operation permits. To the extent that a life-of-the-mine permit authorizes discharges regulated pursuant to s. 1 of Pub. L. No. 92-500, the permit may constitute State of Florida certification thereunder.
(b) Wetlands reclamation activities under this part shall mitigate impacts to wetlands so long as the activities comply with s. 373.414(6).
(6) The department may adopt only those rules that are necessary to describe the procedural requirements for the submittal and review of an application for a life-of-the-mine permit. The department may not adopt rules that separately set forth new substantive criteria for a life-of-the-mine permit except rules necessary to eliminate conflicting or duplicative provisions.
(7) A life-of-the-mine permit is valid for the period designated in the application as the estimated life-of-the-mine. Notwithstanding the issuance of a life-of-the-mine permit, the department may release lands pursuant to s. 378.407 prior to the expiration of the life-of-the-mine permit.
(8) The fee for a life-of-the-mine permit application shall equal the aggregate of the application fees for separate permits that authorize the activities covered by the life-of-the-mine permit, except that the application fee for a life-of-the-mine permit which exceeds 25 years shall be the fee for a permit which equals 25 years plus an additional amount for each year over 25 years equal to the pro rata share of a 25-year permit fee.
(9) Each operator of a mine that has received construction approval in accordance with s. 403.087, s. 403.088, former part VIII of chapter 403, or part IV of chapter 373 in response to an application which was submitted prior to July 1, 1995, may elect either to seek renewal of that permit or to seek a life-of-the-mine permit for all new or existing activities that require a permit. Life-of-the-mine permit applications for existing fuller’s earth mining activities must be reviewed as set forth in s. 373.414(15).
(10) At the election and request of the applicant, the department shall coordinate and integrate the processing of industrial wastewater discharge permit applications and federally delegated National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System permit applications with the life-of-the-mine permit application. The bureau shall initiate and oversee coordination of such applications with the goal of conducting a comprehensive and concurrent evaluation of the mine.
History.s. 1, ch. 95-215; s. 112, ch. 96-410; s. 7, ch. 97-222; s. 184, ch. 99-13; s. 3, ch. 99-353; s. 31, ch. 2010-205.