Section 161.551, F.S

Section 161.551, Florida Statutes, requires state agencies, municipalities, counties, special districts, authorities, or other corporate bodies of the state, which commission or manage a construction project within the coastal building zone using funds appropriated from the state to conduct a sea-level impact projection (“SLIP”) study. The SLIP study must be conducted, submitted to the Department, and published on the Department’s website before construction can commence. The Department will maintain a copy of all SLIP studies on this website for 10 years after receipt. At a minimum, Section 161.151, requires a state-financed constructor’s SLIP study to include the following:

  • A systematic, interdisciplinary, and scientifically accepted approach in the natural sciences and construction design in conducting the study.
  • An assessment of the flooding, inundation, and wave action damage risks relating to the coastal structure over its expected life or 50 years, whichever is less. This assessment must:
    • Take into account potential sea-level rise and increased storm risk during the expected life of the coastal structure or 50 years, whichever is less, and to the extent possible, account for the contribution of sea-level rise versus land subsidence to the relative local sea-level rise;
    • Provide scientific and engineering evidence of the risk to the coastal structure and methods used to mitigate, adapt to, or reduce this risk;
    • Use and consider available scientific research and generally accepted industry practices;
    • Provide the mean average annual chance of substantial flood damage over the expected life of the coastal structure or 50 years, whichever is less; and
    • Analyze potential public safety and environmental impacts resulting from damage to the coastal structure including, but not limited to, leakage of pollutants, electrocution and explosion hazards, and hazards resulting from floating or flying structural debris.
  • Alternatives for the coastal structure’s design and siting, including discussion of how such alternatives would affect the potential public safety and environmental impacts assessed in the study, as well as the risks and costs associated with maintaining, repairing, and constructing the coastal structure.
The state-financed constructor is solely responsible for ensuring that the study submitted to the Department meets the established standards. If a state-financed constructor begins construction of a coastal structure without first submitting a SLIP study as required, then the Department is authorized to institute a civil action, for injunctive relief to cease further construction of the coastal structure and recovery of all or a portion of state funds expended on the coastal structure. The Department has adopted Chapter 62S-7, Florida Administrative Code, which implements Section 161.551, and provides for the requirements for state financed constructors, SLIP study standards, and the implementation and enforcement of SLIP study requirements.