(1) General.

Terms Used In Florida Regulations 62-503.751

  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
    (a) The Department shall perform an environmental review for each project to be funded. The environmental review shall evaluate the environmental significance of a proposed project and whether the planning of the project meets the requirements of this chapter. The results of the Department’s environmental review for each project shall be issued as an environmental information document which shall be valid for five (5) years from the date of issue, after such time, the document is no longer valid unless a Florida Reaffirmation Notice, pursuant to subsection Fla. Admin. Code R. 62-503.751(5) is written by the Department. The different environmental information documents are described in subsections (2) through (5), below. A notice of availability of an environmental information document shall be published in the Florida Administrative Register to announce the results of the Department’s environmental review. The notice of availability shall include instructions about the procedures for accessing the project information and the Department’s findings. The Department shall provide a thirty (30) day period, commencing as of the date of the notice of availability, for public comment about the environmental impacts of proposed projects. Written comments from the public shall be considered by the Department before approving a project for funding if postmarked or delivered within the thirty (30) day comment period to the Department.
    (b) Review procedures, identical to those described in this subsection, shall be used when the Department amends an environmental information document to announce project changes that have potentially significant environmental impacts.
    (2) Florida Categorical Exclusion Notice (FCEN). A FCEN shall be used for certain projects that are not expected to generate controversy over potential environmental effects. A FCEN shall not be used when there are documented environmental objections to a project before the local governmental agency adopted the planning recommendations provided that such objections have a basis in statute, regulation, or ordinance.
    (a) In issuing a FCEN, the Department shall:
    1. Briefly describe the project, the justification for the categorical exclusion, and the proposed loan funding.
    2. Conclude the environmental review only after the 30-day public comment period, under subsection (1), above, has expired and:
    a. No information is received about adverse environmental impacts,
    b. Information is received about adverse environmental impacts and the objections either are without a basis in statute, regulation, or ordinance or the objections are resolved, or
    c. Information is received about adverse environmental impacts, the FCEN is rescinded, and an environmental review is undertaken according to subsection (3) or (4), below.
    (b) Projects for which a categorical exclusion will be used are:
    1. Rehabilitation of existing water pollution control system components or replacement of structures, materials or equipment,
    2. Water pollution control systems that do not change the existing discharge point or permitted pollutant concentration limits and that do not involve acquisition of undisturbed land,
    3. Water pollution control systems that serve less than 10,000 people in unsewered communities that involve self-contained individual or cluster systems providing both treatment and disposal of wastewater that will take place near the buildings from which the wastewater is to be discharged,
    4. Water pollution control systems in areas where streets have been established, underground utilities installed, or building sites excavated; and,
    5. Treatment plant upgrades that are solely to enable public access reuse.
    (3) Florida Finding of No Significant Impact (FFONSI). The Department shall issue a FFONSI when a project sponsor proposes a project not categorically excluded from a detailed environmental review and not requiring a Florida Environmental Impact Statement. In issuing a FFONSI, the Department shall:
    (a) Record the basis for the decision to provide financial assistance for the project, addressing:
    1. The environmental consequences of the project,
    2. The purpose and the need for the project,
    3. The alternatives, including no action, and the cost considerations for the project,
    4. Any environmental enhancement measures to be implemented,
    5. The public participation process,
    6. The results, if available, of the State Clearinghouse Review; and,
    7. Compliance with relevant rules of the Department.
    (b) Consider public comments about environmental impacts of a project if the comments are received within 30 days after the date of posting of the notice of availability.
    (c) Conclude the environmental review for the project only after the 30-day comment period has expired; and,
    1. No information is received about previously unconsidered adverse environmental impacts,
    2. Information is received about previously unconsidered adverse environmental impacts and one of the following occurs:
    a. The objections are either without a basis in statute, regulation, or ordinance or the objections are resolved,
    b. A re-evaluation of the project is made as a result of the comments and the Department confirms the original decision or requires environmental enhancement measures before implementing the project, or
    c. The FFONSI is rescinded.
    (4) Florida Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). A FEIS and a Florida Record of Decision (FROD), as required in 40 CFR Part 35 Subparts K & L, shall be used for a project for which there is an adverse direct or indirect impact on land use and population patterns, the quality of the environment, cultural or environmental resource areas, or the habitats of endangered or threatened species. A FEIS and FROD also shall be used when there is public objection over the environmental impacts of a project provided that the objections to the project have a basis in statute, regulation, or ordinance. A FEIS shall be prepared by the Department or, at the direction of the Department and in accordance with the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act, Florida Statutes § 287.055, by others with no conflicting interest in the outcome. In completing the environmental review, the Department shall:
    (a) Issue a notice of intent to prepare a FEIS for the project;
    (b) Develop a plan of study and convene a meeting of government, including EPA, and other interested parties to determine the scope of the FEIS;
    (c) Identify and evaluate project alternatives;
    (d) Provide for public participation and review by federal and state environmental regulatory agencies;
    (e) Ensure that adverse impacts of the project are minimized or eliminated;
    (f) Document the findings of the environmental review using both the FROD and FEIS;
    (g) Announce the funding eligibilities using a FROD and consider public comments about environmental impacts if received during the thirty (30) day period beginning on the date of posting of the notice of availability in the Florida Administrative Register; and,
    (h) Conclude the environmental review only after a 30-day public comment period has expired without receipt of comments about adverse environmental impacts or if, after receipt of such comments, the Department takes action to:
    1. Confirm the original decision,
    2. Require additional analysis and environmental enhancement as a condition of confirmation of the original decision, or
    3. Rescind the original decision.
    (5) Florida Reaffirmation Notice (FRAN). A FRAN shall be used to establish the Department’s continuing intention to make funds available for unimplemented projects, the planning for which was previously documented as accepted by the Department in a FCEN, FFONSI, FROD, or analogous documents issued by EPA, or amendments to any of the foregoing that are no longer valid after five (5) years have elapsed since issuance. In issuing a FRAN, the Department shall:
    (a) State the findings being reaffirmed.
    (b) Consider public comments about changed conditions altering the environmental impacts since the previous FCEN, FFONSI, FROD, or analogous documents issued by EPA, or amendments to any of the foregoing. Comments shall be considered if received during the thirty (30) day period beginning on the date of posting of the notice of availability of the FRAN in the Florida Administrative Register.
    (c) Conclude the environmental review only after the public comment period has expired; and,
    1. No information is received about changed conditions resulting in adverse environmental impacts,
    2. Information is received about changed conditions resulting in adverse environmental impacts and one of the following occurs:
    a. The objections are resolved,
    b. A re-evaluation of the project is made as a result of the comments and the Department confirms the original decision or requires environmental enhancement measures before implementing the project, or
    c. The FRAN is rescinded.
    (6) State Clearinghouse. Project planning documentation shall be submitted to the State Clearinghouse for a multi-disciplined intergovernmental review. All comments resulting from this review shall be addressed by the Department prior to its approval of the planning documentation.
    (7) Project Revision Memoranda (PRM). For a project that requires modifications to the selected alternative that do not alter its environmental effects, a PRM shall be written by the Department to document the changes.
Rulemaking Authority Florida Statutes § 403.1835(10). Law Implemented Florida Statutes § 403.1835. History—New 7-29-04, Amended 4-22-14.