DEP PROPOSES CHANGES TO WETLAND PLANT LIST
On September 23, 2005, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will add slash pine (Pinus elliottii) and gallberry (Ilex glabora) to the state's list of "facultative" plants.
Neither species is currently listed in Chapter 62-340, Florida Administrative Code, which means that both species are currently considered to be upland plants. Conversely, the federal government considers both species to be "facultative wet" plants which are indicators of wetland habitat.
Wetland experts in Florida agree that the proposed change will significantly alter wetland delineation lines, especially in parts of Florida where these species are commonly found.
DEP is playing down the significance of this change, and has indicated that the change is needed to make the state's methodology more consistent with that of the federal government.
The DEP Notice of Proposed rulemaking also states that "this is a crucial step in streamlining the state and federal permit programs," and that this change "is expected to result in both economic and environmental benefits for Florida."
A hearing before the Environmental Regulation Commission is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., October 27, 2005. The hearing will be held in Conference Room A of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee, Florida.
For further information, please contact the FFVA Government Affairs Office at (850) 521-0455.
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