Dam Safety Permits

Overview

Dam safety in Florida is a shared responsibility among Florida’s five water management districts, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the United States Army Corps of Engineers, local governments, and private dam owners.

In northwest Florida, permits for the construction, alteration, repairs or abandonment of most dams are issued through the Environmental Resource Permitting Program, which is administered jointly between the District and the DEP.

Overview of E-Permitting

District staff provided public training regarding utilization of the new NWFWMD E-permitting Portal. Please click on the links below to review the E-Permitting Reference Guide and PowerPoint presentation that covers the main points of e-Permitting. There is also a FAQ section at the end of the presentation. Feel free to contact the District if you have questions about E-Permitting.

E-Permitting Quick Reference Guide

PowerPoint Presentation on E-Permitting (.pdf file)

Who needs a permit?

Anyone who owns an existing dam that needs to be repaired or plans to build a new dam may need a permit to authorize the work. 

An individual Environmental Resource Permit is required for the construction, alteration, repair, or abandonment of dams. There are additional safety and design criteria when the dam exceeds a height of 10 feet or impounds more than 50 acre-feet of water.  This can apply to dams that create recreational ponds or lakes, as well as stormwater treatment facilities.

Dams used for agriculture or forestry also need a permit; however, they are covered under a different Florida law and adhere to a different permitting program. See the agriculture or forestry permitting pages for more information on obtaining permits for these types of activities.