2023 Florida Statutes

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SECTION 0673Water quality improvement grant program.

403.0673 Water quality improvement grant program.A grant program is established within the Department of Environmental Protection to address wastewater, stormwater, and agricultural sources of nutrient loading to surface water or groundwater.
(1) The purpose of the grant program is to fund projects that will improve the quality of waterbodies that:
(a) Are not attaining nutrient or nutrient-related standards;
(b) Have an established total maximum daily load; or
(c) Are located within a basin management action plan area, a reasonable assurance plan area adopted by final order, an accepted alternative restoration plan area, or a rural area of opportunity under s. 288.0656.
(2) The department may provide grants for all of the following types of projects that reduce the amount of nutrients entering those waterbodies identified in subsection (1):
(a) Connecting onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems to central sewer facilities.
(b) Upgrading domestic wastewater treatment facilities to advanced waste treatment or greater.
(c) Repairing, upgrading, expanding, or constructing stormwater treatment facilities that result in improvements to surface water or groundwater quality.
(d) Repairing, upgrading, expanding, or constructing domestic wastewater treatment facilities that result in improvements to surface water or groundwater quality, including domestic wastewater reuse and collection systems.
(e) Projects identified pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(a) or (e).
(f) Projects identified in a wastewater treatment plan or an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system remediation plan developed pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(a)9.a. and b.
(g) Projects listed in a city or county capital improvement element pursuant to s. 163.3177(3)(a)4.b.
(h) Retrofitting onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems to upgrade such systems to enhanced nutrient-reducing onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems where central sewerage is unavailable.
(3) The department shall consider and prioritize those projects that:
(a) Have the maximum estimated reduction in nutrient load per project;
(b) Demonstrate project readiness;
(c) Are cost-effective;
(d) Have a cost share identified by the applicant, except for rural areas of opportunity;
(e) Have previous state commitment and involvement in the project, considering previously funded phases, the total amount of previous state funding, and previous partial appropriations for the proposed project; or
(f) Are in a location where reductions are needed most to attain the water quality standards of a waterbody not attaining nutrient or nutrient-related standards.

Any project that does not result in reducing nutrient loading to a waterbody identified in subsection (1) is not eligible for funding under this section.

(4) The department shall coordinate annually with each water management district to identify potential projects in each district.
(5) The department shall coordinate with local governments and stakeholders to identify the most effective and beneficial water quality improvement projects.
(6) The department shall coordinate with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to prioritize the most effective and beneficial agricultural nonpoint source projects identified pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(e).
(7) Beginning January 15, 2024, and each January 15 thereafter, the department shall submit a report regarding the projects funded pursuant to this section to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report must include a list of those projects receiving funding and the following information for each project:
(a) A description of the project;
(b) The cost of the project;
(c) The estimated nutrient load reduction of the project;
(d) The location of the project;
(e) The waterbody or waterbodies where the project will reduce nutrients; and
(f) The total cost share being provided for the project.
History.s. 15, ch. 2020-150; s. 15, ch. 2023-169.

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