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Environmental Resource Permits

Helpful Information

District staff works diligently to ensure that protection of our natural resources is achieved while providing the public with fair, consistent, and timely customer service.

Our Environmental Resource team does this by:

  • Providing technical support to our customers in a manner that is courteous, professional and respectful
  • Encouraging pre-application meetings
  • Assist in determining the type of permit needed and permit fees required
  • Ensuring permit quality and customer satisfaction
  • Identifying and eliminating unnecessary and/or duplicative permitting requirements

Please call us at our District Headquarters (850-539-5999) or DeFuniak Springs Field Office (850-951-4660) to set up a pre-application meeting.  You can also find a list of contacts for each office under the Permitting Process tab.

Overview

Florida law requires Environmental Resource Permits (ERPs) to prevent stormwater pollution to Florida’s rivers, lakes and streams, and to help provide flood protection.

ERPs regulate the management and storage of surface waters and provide protection for the vital functions of wetlands and other surface waters. In Northwest Florida, the ERP program is jointly implemented by the District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (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?

Florida law requires environmental resource permits for many types of work within wetlands and surface waters, such as dredging or filling; construction of dams, impoundments, docks or other structures; the construction of stormwater management systems that discharge to those waters; and other kinds of land disturbance. The ERP program regulates stormwater runoff in most new development to protect water quality, prevent flooding and to avoid adverse impacts to off-site property.

ERPs also regulate dredge and fill activities in tidal and freshwater wetlands, including contiguous and isolated wetlands.  The ERP program operates independently of the federal dredge and fill permitting program, which is regulated by the US Army Corps of Engineers, although a joint application process has been developed between the state and Corps.

The ERP program also issues what are commonly known as “ten-two” general permits.  In 2012, the Florida Legislature adopted a general permit that allows for the construction, alteration and maintenance of certain smaller projects without agency review or action.  Under this law, Section 403.814 (12), F.S projects involving less than two acres impervious surface and less than 10 acres of total project area that are located within state lands or water with no wetland impacts, may proceed subject to the conditions of the general permit.

Statewide Rulemaking

On October 1, 2013, the Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting Program became effective.  Under the new program, one rule applies to all of the water management districts and DEP that provides for consistent thresholds, types of permits and procedures governing the review of applications, modifications, and operational requirements.

Additional information about the implementation of this rule can be found in the accompanying Applicant’s Handbook Volume I.

The districts still maintain their own unique Applicant’s Handbook, Volume II, which provides water quality and quantity criteria that are specific to their region.