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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIX
Chapter 403
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F.S. 403.9411
403.9411 Notice; proceedings; parties and participants.
(1)(a) No later than 15 days after an application has been determined complete, the applicant shall arrange for publication of a notice of the application and of the proceedings required by ss. 403.9401-403.9425. Such notice shall give notice of the provisions of s. 403.9416(1) and (2).
(b) The applicant shall arrange for publication of a notice of the certification hearing and other public hearings provided for in this section and notice of the deadline for filing of notice of intent to be a party. Such notices shall be published at least 80 days before the date set for the hearing.
(c) The applicant shall arrange for publication of a reminder notice in the newspapers specified in paragraph (d) no more than 10 days prior to the certification hearing, reminding the public of the date and location of the hearing. This notice shall not constitute a point of entry for intervention in the proceeding.
(d) Notices to be published by the applicant shall be published in newspapers of general circulation within counties crossed by the natural gas transmission pipeline corridors proper for certification. The required newspaper notices, other than the reminder notice, shall be one-half page in size in a standard size newspaper or a full page in a tabloid size newspaper and published in a section of the newspaper other than the legal notices section. These notices shall include a map generally depicting all natural gas transmission pipeline corridors proper for certification. A newspaper of general circulation shall be the newspaper within a county crossed by a natural gas transmission pipeline corridor proper for certification, which newspaper has the largest daily circulation in that county and has its principal office in that county. If the newspaper with the largest daily circulation has its principal office outside the county, the notices shall appear in both the newspaper having the largest circulation in that county and in a newspaper authorized to publish legal notices in that county.
(e) The department shall publish in the Florida Administrative Register notices of the application; of the certification hearing; of the hearing before the board; and of stipulations, proposed agency action, or petitions for modification.
(f) The department shall adopt rules specifying the content of notices required by this section. All notices published by the applicant shall be paid for by the applicant and shall be in addition to the application fee.
(2) No later than 215 days after receipt of a complete application by the department, the administrative law judge shall conduct a certification hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57 at a central location in proximity to the proposed natural gas transmission pipeline or corridor. One public hearing where members of the public who are not parties to the certification hearing may testify shall be held within the boundaries of each county, at the option of any local government. The local government shall notify the administrative law judge and all parties not later than 50 days after the receipt of a complete application as to whether the local government wishes to have such a public hearing. The local government shall be responsible for determining the location of the public hearing. Within 5 days after such notification, the administrative law judge shall determine the date of such public hearing, which shall be held before or during the certification hearing. In the event two or more local governments within one county request such a public hearing, the hearing shall be consolidated so that only one such public hearing is held in any county. The location of a consolidated hearing shall be determined by the administrative law judge. If a local government does not request a public hearing within 50 days after the receipt of a complete application, persons residing within the jurisdiction of such local government may testify at the public hearing portion of the certification hearing.
(3)(a) At the conclusion of the certification hearing, the administrative law judge shall, after consideration of all evidence of record, issue a recommended order disposing of the application no later than 60 days after the transcript of the certification hearing and the public hearings is filed with the Division of Administrative Hearings. The recommended order shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law to enable the board to effect the balance in s. 403.9415(4).
(b) Any exceptions to a recommended order shall be filed with the clerk of the department, within 15 days after the date the order is rendered.
(4)(a) Parties to the proceeding shall be:
1. The applicant.
2. The department.
3. The commission.
4. The Department of Economic Opportunity.
5. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
6. Each water management district in the jurisdiction of which the proposed natural gas transmission pipeline or corridor is to be located.
7. The local government.
8. The Department of Transportation.
9. The Department of State, Division of Historical Resources.
(b) Any party listed in paragraph (a), other than the department or the applicant, may waive its right to participate in these proceedings. If any listed party fails to file a notice of its intent to be a party on or before the 30th day prior to the certification hearing, such party shall be deemed to have waived its right to be a party.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 120 to the contrary, upon the filing with the administrative law judge of a notice of intent to be a party by an agency, corporation, or association described in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2., or a petition for intervention by a person described in subparagraph 3., no later than 30 days prior to the date set for the certification hearing, the following shall also be parties to the proceeding:
1. Any agency not listed in paragraph (a) as to matters within its jurisdiction.
2. Any domestic nonprofit corporation or association formed, in whole or in part, to promote conservation of natural beauty; to protect the environment, personal health, or other biological values; to preserve historical sites; to promote consumer interests; to represent labor, commercial, or industrial groups; or to promote comprehensive planning or orderly development of the area in which the proposed natural gas transmission pipeline or corridor is to be located.
3. Any person whose substantial interests are affected and being determined by the proceeding.
4. Any agency whose properties or works might be affected shall be made a party upon the request of the agency or any party to this proceeding.
(5) At an appropriate time in the hearing, members of the public who are not parties shall be given an opportunity to present unsworn oral or written communications to the administrative law judge. The administrative law judge shall give parties an opportunity to challenge or rebut such communications.
(6) The order of presentation at the certification hearing, unless otherwise changed by the administrative law judge to ensure the orderly presentation of witnesses and evidence, shall be:
(a) The applicant.
(b) The department.
(c) State agencies.
(d) Regional agencies, including water management districts.
(e) Local governments.
(f) Other parties.
(7) The applicant shall pay those expenses and costs associated with the conduct of the hearings and the recording and transcription of the proceedings.
History.s. 1, ch. 92-284; s. 434, ch. 94-356; s. 57, ch. 95-144; s. 176, ch. 96-410; s. 217, ch. 99-245; s. 295, ch. 2011-142; s. 44, ch. 2013-14; s. 28, ch. 2015-30.