The Everglades Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) originated from the Settlement Agreement of July 11, 1991 as a mechanism for technical review and conflict resolution to support the Everglades Program begun by the Settlement Agreement and continued in the 1994 Everglades Forever Act (373.4592 Florida Statutes). more »
The 1991 Settlement Agreement ended the Everglades lawsuit and was entered into by the federal government, the State of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District. The subsequent Consent Decree, as modified in 1995, specified that interim and long-term phosphorus concentration levels for the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge must be met by Feb. 1, 1999, and Dec. 31, 2006, respectively. The Consent Decree also provides interim and long-term total phosphorus concentration limits for Everglades National Park effective Dec. 31, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2006, respectively. The Settlement Agreement calls for the construction of stormwater treatment areas to meet the long-term phosphorus limits and establishment of a regulatory program, with agricultural best management practices as a key component.
In accordance with the Joint Progress Report submitted to the U.S. District Court on Oct. 30, 1995, the TOC was organized for consensus building and dispute avoidance on technical issues related to Everglades monitoring, phosphorus management and applied research. The TOC meets at least quarterly to review and recommend applied research, monitoring and compliance conducted pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement and to consider technical advice and assistance from consultants and appropriate state and federal agencies regarding Everglades Program activities. Although the TOC does not bind any party or person as an independent authority, it does provide a public forum to evaluate technical information, particularly as it relates to water quality management and compliance tracking in the Everglades Protection Area. The TOC's overall charge is to serve the needs of the parties to the Settlement Agreement to deliberate and communicate on technical matters.