Regional Offsite Mitigation Areas (ROMAs) are environmental enhancement projects conducted by the department, a water management district, or a local government that serve as mitigation for multiple impact projects. Impact permit applicants pay money to the ROMA sponsor, and the collected funds are used toward the implementation of the larger mitigation project. ROMAs that serve as mitigation for more than 5 permits or 35 acres of impact are operated under a memorandum of agreement (MOA), similar to a mitigation bank permit (Sample ROMA Memorandum of Agreement and Plan).
Chapter 373.4135, F.S. (amended in 2012, and is currently under review) establishes the criteria for ROMAs. ROMA MOAs must identify the mitigation site(s); describe the work that will be conducted on the site(s); including a timeline for completing the work; define a geographic service area; provide environmental success criteria, monitoring and long-term management plans; and assess credit potential. In addition, ROMA instruments must ensure that mitigation costs provide for the full cost accounting of the project, including the project activities, land costs, and administration. However, ROMAs designated for mitigation use by private, single-family residential construction (not incorporated residential development) only, the full cost accounting provision is not required. In either case, moneys received for a ROMA project may only be used for that project, and no other purpose.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.