Florida’s legislature has ruled that any new publicly funded projects built within its coastal building zone will have to carry out a "sea-level impact projection" (SLIP) study prior to construction.
However, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which initiated the new requirement, has yet to develop "establishing standards" for such studies.
The bill states that the ruling will come into place a year after the DEP’s rules regarding SLIP studies is finalised.
From then, a SLIP study must be conducted, submitted to the DEP, and published on the DEP’s website before construction can commence.
If a SLIP study is not carried out or conditions are not met, construction can be halted, or for completed projects, recuperation can be sought for public money spent.
The bill notes that despite initial spending on SLIP surveys by the government, it will "result in an indeterminate, positive impact on the government sector in the long-term" as coastal structures will remain intact for longer periods of time.
Image: Bridge construction in St. Augustine, Florida (Nataliya Hora/Dreamstime)