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HB 1197/SB 1240 The "Pre-empt Everything Environmental" Bill

The one that prohibits local laws to protect springs, rivers, aquifer, and wetlands.


In a Session of bad bills for springs, it's hard to choose the worst, but this one is it.


It’s called “Land and Water Management,” but it’s really about removing hurdles for developers and polluters. It would preempt ALL local government environmental regulations, including water quality, water quantity, pollution control, and wetlands. Retroactively. Local governments would not be able to enact or enforce any regulations or ordinances to protect our springs, rivers, aquifer, and wetlands. In short, it would pre-empt all local environmental protections, future and current.


 

What it says

HB 1197: Land and Water Management

The bill states:

“(1) A county or municipality may not adopt laws, regulations, rules, or policies relating to any of the following:

(a) Water quality.

(b) Water quantity.

(c) Pollution control.

(d) Pollutant discharge prevention or removal.

(e) Wetlands, including any delineation.

(2) The regulation of water quality, water quantity, pollution control, pollutant discharge prevention and removal, and wetlands, including any delineation, is exclusively preempted to the state."


HB 1197 introduced by Representative Randy Maggard: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/1197

SB 1240 introduced by Senator Danny Burgess: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/1240

 

Our Take

This bill will lead to dirtier water. It would preempt local authority to regulate water quality, water quantity, pollution control, pollution discharge prevention or removal, and wetlands, and instead delegate that authority solely to the state. If state regulations aren't protecting a local water resource, there would be no path for local action to fill that gap and enact protections.


Our win in the BMAP case against DEP proved the State has failed to do its job. Why would we take power away from local governments and give it to a State agency proven to be ineffective in protecting Florida's waterways?


Thirty-four counties in Florida have local fertilizer ordinances tailored to local conditions to limit nutrient runoff to our waterways. Such local ordinances would be banned.


Why would such a bill even be proposed? You can read Craig Pittman's investigation into the single incident that prompted the creation of the bill at "How a destroyed eagle nest led Florida legislators to attack local pollution rules."

 

Tracking HB 1197/ SB 1240

This bill has not yet been heard in committee.



Keep an eye on action alerts for the 2023 Legislative Session


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