Florida Environmental Sustainability & Agriculture Council

The impact of proposed federal water quality standards known as Numeric Nutrient Criteria will affect every major industry and the public.

Issues the ESAC focuses on range from a wide variety of water quantity and quality issues, such as Numeric Nutrient Criteria, Alternative Water Supply Funding, Springs and Everglades Restoration.  The agricultural policy issues addressed by the Council include: sales tax exemptions, defending Greenbelt assessments, fertilizer requirements at state and local levels, agriculture water supply planning and supporting agricultural research funding through IFAS.  The Council and its members have repeatedly proven successful in legislative efforts over a number of years.


Council Priorities

Water Quality

  • Encourage Florida’s elected officials to address water issues in our state using sound science and policies that do not put undue regulatory burdens on Florida’s job creators.

Water Supply

  • Support the extension of consumptive use permits for alternative water supply from 20 to 30 years for Florida’s water utilities.
  • Encourage the Legislature to appropriate state funds for alternative water supply programs. These funds are matched by water management districts and local utilities.
  • Support FDEP’s effort to develop a statewide, goal-based water conservation program.

Regulatory Reform

  • Streamline permits to give businesses much needed regulatory relief and reform the regulatory permitting processes within local government, water management districts, and the DEP.
  • Support proposal to have a statewide Environmental Resource Permit (ERP)


  • AIF supports recycling efforts by expanding existing recycling businesses in Florida, as well as recruiting new businesses to our state.
  • Oppose efforts to enact a tax on plastic bags.
  • Oppose “bottle bill” legislation or any solid waste disposal tax. .


  • Support exemptions for residential users/applicators and commercial fertilizer applicators from local government ordinances.

Contamination Notification

  • Oppose the expansion of the current contamination notification law.

Environmental issues such as recycling, water quality, water supply, and product stewardship are of immense importance to the business community. These issues impact businesses every day and nearly every industry is affected. Despite these implications, proposed efforts seek to tighten water quality criteria, tax retail plastic bags, and implement beverage container deposit laws that may hurt current recycling efforts. Clearly, such a regulatory climate will put Florida in a severely disadvantaged position, compared to other states, when it comes to retaining or attracting businesses.