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Ag BMPs: Implementation Verification Rulemaking Becomes Effective Today

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Rulemaking becomes effective November 1, 2017 to require implementation verification of agricultural BMPs.

The 2016 Florida Water Bill established that agricultural best management practices (BMPs) are enforceable and that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) shall verify implementation of BMPs by enrolled producers and landowners. In short, simply being enrolled in the BMP program is no longer enough, and producers are now required to demonstrate actual implementation of BMPs. Rulemaking to establish a system for verifying BMP implementation becomes effective today, November 1, 2017.

Under the new rule, FDACS is granted authority to “record implementation status assessments of Applied Best Management Practices (BMPs) by Enrolled Producers and Landowners using data from site visits, periodic producer self-verifications, and staff-assisted verifications, supplemented by information from other sources including county property appraisers, DEP, and water management districts.”

If the actions above find that an agricultural producer or landowner is not in compliance with BMP implementation requirements, FDACS will work with them to identify corrective or remedial measures and a time period in which corrections or remediations must be made. If a producer does not comply with corrections or remediations in the appropriate time, FDACS may notify DEP, who may initiate punitive action against the producer.