Workshop to review EAA permits

WEST PALM BEACH — A public workshop will be held July 31 at 10 a.m. for the Everglades Agricultural Area Environmental Protection District Research Permit Renewal on Improving Best Management Practice Efficiency in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

This meeting will be conducted via Zoom, a media technology free for the public to use. The public and stakeholders will have an opportunity to view and comment during the workshop by utilizing the link available at sfwmd.gov/meetings.

For more information contact Carmela Bedregal by phone: 561-682-2737 or email: cbedrega@sfwmd.gov.

The 1994 Everglades Forever Act ((EFA), Section 373.4592, Florida Statutes, F.S.) required the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to amend Chapter 40E-63, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), to establish requirements of Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) landowners to sponsor, through the EAA Environmental Protection District (EAAEPD) or otherwise, and implement a comprehensive program of research, testing and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will assist in addressing water quality standards within the EAA and the Everglades Protection Area.

Accordingly, this program was adopted as Part III of Chapter 40E-63, F.A.C., to establish a schedule of BMP research, testing and implementation to address water quality parameters that are not being significantly improved by Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) and the current level of BMPs being implemented throughout the EAA, and to identify strategies needed to address such parameters.

This research program shall be approved via a Master Permit and include field testing of BMPs in a sufficient number of representative sites in the EAA to reflect soil and crop types, as well as factors that affect BMP effectiveness and design. Originally issued in 1997, the Master Permit must be renewed every five-years.

The SFWMD has reviewed the EAAEPD Master Permit renewal application including the Scope of Work (scope) for BMP research, testing and implementation to address water quality standards in accordance with the requirements of the EFA. Pursuant to Rule 40E-63.310, F.A.C., a public workshop for presentation and discussion of the scope and specific conditions is required prior to making a written final determination on the scope and Master Permit renewal application.

The workshop agenda includes an introduction describing the regulatory requirements followed by a technical presentation and discussion of the proposed scope. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments at the public workshop or via email until August 31, 2020. The District will provide a written determination on the scope within 60 days following the workshop, but no later than Sept. 15.

Members of the public and stakeholders are invited to participate and provide public comment. The public is advised that it is possible that one or more members of the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District may attend these meetings. No Governing Board action will be taken.

A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Carmela Bedregal, 561-682-2737, cbedrega@sfwmd.gov, or by visiting the district’s website, SFWMD.gov/meetings, 7 days prior to the meeting. A copy of the proposed scope is also available on the district’s website or may be requested.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the agency at least seven days before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Rosie Byrd at rbyrd@sfwmd.gov. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800-955-8770 (Voice).

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment