Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 62C-30.005 - Applications to Drill in the Big Cypress Watershed

(1) The Department shall evaluate each application to drill and visit each proposed access route and drilling site in the Big Cypress Watershed to insure that the exploration and production activities will cause no permanent adverse impact on the water resources and sheet flow of the area, or on the vegetation or the wildlife of the area, with special emphasis on rare and endangered species. In the event a proposed site is located on developed or highly impacted uplands, the Department shall review the application and staff field inspection reports and thereby determine whether to reinspect the site. If a reinspection is not necessary, the prior construction prohibition in subparagraph 62C-30.005(2)(a) 1., F.A.C., below shall not apply.
(2) In evaluating applications, the Department shall use the following criteria:
(a) Roads, including road extensions.
1. No road construction or improvement shall begin prior to obtaining a permit to drill.
2. Existing roads shall be used wherever feasible.
3. Existing roads, if improved, or new roads where constructed, shall be from trucked-in fill material or from material taken from approved borrow pits. There shall be no parallel borrow canals along roads.
4. All roads shall be culverted and maintained to prevent degradation by industry vehicles. The size and number of culverts shall be determined so that the natural flow of water is not impeded and the resource is protected.
5. All roads shall be only wide enough to accommodate one lane of traffic, but shall have at least one turn-out every mile for passing.
6. All roads shall be high enough to assure year round usage, except where otherwise expressly required to be lower.
7. All roads shall follow the best practical route suited to protect the natural environment. Where feasible, roads and road extensions should follow existing woods roads.
8. Roads shall be constructed to avoid serious damage or enduring scars to land and wildlife, and to avoid obstructing the natural movement of water and wildlife.
9. All roads shall be restored as specified in Rule 62C-29.009, F.A.C.
10. All new access roads authorized to serve the needs of the exploration activities shall be limited in use to the permitted purpose. For these limited use access roads, the applicant shall submit as a part of the permit application the means to accomplish the limited use, including the control of unauthorized vehicles, for the life of the permitted purpose of the road.
11. Access corridors and drilling pads shall not be constructed into or through sensitive resources such as cypress-mixed forest swamps, hardwood hammocks, mangrove forests, archeological sites, native ceremonial grounds and those zones which are documented and/or confirmed by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission as areas of high level Florida panther activity unless reasonable and prudent alternatives are not available. Known red-cockaded woodpecker colonies, rookeries, alligator holes, research sites, pine uplands, and threatened or endangered species habitats shall be avoided where possible.
12. Access corridors (including pipelines) shall be contiguous where possible and corridors emanating from new entry points shall be prohibited unless demonstrated to be the more prudent and reasonable alternative.
(b) Drilling sites.
1. Drilling sites shall be located to minimize negative impacts on the vegetation and wildlife, including rare and endangered species, and the surface water resources.
2. Topographical and engineering surveys of the drill site shall be prepared and together with an aerial photograph of the drill site at a large scale, which can be obtained from existing governmental photographs with the well spotted thereupon, shall be made a part of the Application to Drill (Form 3).
3. No site preparation shall begin prior to obtaining a permit to drill except as specified in subsection 62C-30.005(1), F.A.C., above.
4. Every effort shall be made to limit the impact upon the environment of the Big Cypress Watershed by using areas covered by prairies, limited forest growth, grazing, farming, or cleared lands where practical.
5. Drilling pads shall be constructed from trucked-in fill material or from material taken from approved borrow pits.
6. Drilling pads shall be constructed to a height to assure year round usage.
7. A protective levee of sufficient height and impermeability to prevent the escape of pad fluids shall be constructed around the drilling site and storage tank areas.
8. Directional (slant) drilling shall be utilized from existing drilling pads where technically feasible and when it will have a beneficial effect upon maintaining the quality of the environment.
9. All drilling sites shall be restored as specified in Rule 62C-29.009, F.A.C.
(c) Production.
1. The operating company shall submit to the Department a field development plan as soon as practical for each new field. All transportation of oil in the Big Cypress National Preserve and wetlands within the Big Cypress Watershed shall be by pipeline.
2. If the oil from a producing well is to be removed by pipeline, the pipeline shall be equipped with automatic shut-down valves. All storage and loading facilities shall be located within impervious dikes as required by subsection 62C-28.004(4), F.A.C.
3. All flowlines and utilities shall be contained within the rights- of-way secured for road construction.
4. The operating company shall develop an emergency and contingency plan and shall have standby equipment consistent to meet the requirements of the area in which the operations are being conducted.
5. The operating company shall clean the site of any oil or other contaminants spilled in conjunction with the drilling, production, and transportation activities.


Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 62C-30.005
Specific Authority 377.22 FS. Law Implemented 377.22, 377.243, 377.371 FS.
New 11-26-81, Amended 7-17-84, Formerly 16C-30.05, Amended 6-4-89, 5-12-93, Formerly 16C-30.005, Amended 3-24-96.

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