St. Johns River Water Management District permit reviewers work diligently to protect water resources as they assist permit applicants. Ongoing assistance includes reducing application processing time, meeting with applicants before applications are submitted to fully understand projects, providing technical assistance and guiding applicants through the process.
Peer review meetings with consultants, permittees, the public and other stakeholders and monthly updates to this page are part of the district’s process to continually elicit feedback and provide informational updates.
Tips to avoid an Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) Request for Additional Information (RAI)
The St. Johns River Water Management District strives to issue permits in a timely manner, with the initial submittal of a complete application facilitating the review and issuance of a permit.
Early pre-application discussions with staff before application submittal is one helpful step (see September 2014 tip below). Another strategy is the use of the e-Permitting website to electronically submit all application information. Avoiding an RAI also expedites permit issuance.
District staff have reviewed RAI questions from 500 ERPs issued since 2013 to identify the most frequently asked RAI questions. The top three commonly asked questions involved: discrepancies between the calculations and plans, no fee or incorrect fee, and incomplete legal documents for conservation easements (CE) and operation/maintenance (O&M) entities. To avoid these common application deficiencies, you are encouraged to:
- Review the calculations and plans to reconcile discrepancies before application submittal.
- Verify the application fee amount with staff before application submittal and submit the application fee via e-Permitting to avoid time delays. Note: Changes to the project area or wetland/surface water acreage can affect the fee amount.
- Use the standard CE and O&M form language and discuss legal document issues with staff before application submittal.
The Permitting tab of the District website, at www.sjrwmd.com/permitting, is a source of information when preparing an application package. The e-Permitting website can be accessed at “Apply for a permit or submit compliance data” or by clicking the “Login/create an account” button. The current fee schedule and CE and O&M forms are available under “Handbooks, forms, fees, final orders.” A CE FAQ and the Pre-Application Information Exchange Tool are available under “Help and online resources.”
Improving the permitting process: Your feedback is requested
The district continually seeks to improve the regulatory process so permits are issued quickly while ensuring resource protection and maintaining excellent customer service. As our customers, the district depends on your feedback to identify improvement areas. Is there a need for training on a particular regulatory requirement? Are further refinements needed to e-Permitting to enhance the user experience? Are you at an impasse on a particular project?
There are several ways to provide feedback:
Contact staff in the Division of Regulatory Services. Key staff contacts are:
- Palatka Headquarters (Program Coordinator — Allen Baggett)
Main switchboard: 386-329-4500 Toll-free: 800-451-7106
- Jacksonville Service Center (Regulatory Coordinator — David Miracle)
Main switchboard: 904-730-6270 Toll-free: 800-852-1563
- Maitland Service Center (Regulatory Coordinator — David Dewey)
Main switchboard: 407-659-4800 Toll-free: 877-228-1658
- Palm Bay Service Center (Regulatory Coordinator — John Juilianna)
Main switchboard: 321-984-4940 Toll-free: 800-295-3264
- Palatka Headquarters (Program Coordinator — Allen Baggett)
Contact the Office of Business and Administrative Services.
- Call the Customer Service Help Line at 386-329-4570 for e-Permitting assistance.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for general assistance and to provide comments on a consumptive use permit (CUP), environmental resource permit (ERP), or water well construction permit application.
Provide feedback via the Customer Service Survey. The survey link is provided when the district emails the permit to the permittee and consultant. The link is: Customer Service Survey
Participate in an upcoming Peer Review meeting. The fall 2016 schedule is:
- Palm Bay, Sept. 6
- Palatka, Sept. 14
- Maitland, Sept. 22
- Jacksonville, Sept. 27
For more information, contact Heidi Bennett at 386-329-4513 or email@example.com.
Contact the District Ombudsman. Permit applicants who need assistance resolving issues may contact the District’s Ombudsman, James Peluso, at 904-224-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We value your input and look forward to hearing from you!
Notice of environmental resource permit issuance is in public records
For individual and some conceptual approval permit applications, the Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting (SWERP) rule requires the district, with some exceptions, to record a notice of environmental resource permit in the public records of the county where the permitted project is located, unless otherwise noted in the permit. To meet the requirements of Rule 62-330.090 (7), Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), the district completes the form titled “Recorded Notice of Environmental Resource Permit” (notice) that identifies the permit number, grantee, parcel identification number and county location. The notice also provides notification requirements related to construction completion and permit transfers. The notice form can be viewed at http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-02519.
To assist the district in meeting this SWERP requirement, applicants are requested to include in the application submittal a real-property description of the project area (the premises). This information is attached as an exhibit to the notice document. The recorded notice is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a lien, encumbrance or cloud on the title of the premises. The notice may not be released or removed from the public records without the prior written consent of the district.
If you have any questions concerning the notice requirement, please contact the Customer Service Help Desk at email@example.com or 386-329-4570.
Electronic methods for signing and sealing plans and other documents
The district accepts two electronic methods for signing and sealing plans and other documents requiring a professional certification seal. One method is to utilize third party software which allows you to submit public key infrastructure (PKI) digitally signed documents. Examples of approved third party software are:
- Inden Trust
The second method is through the receipt of signature files containing the file names and secure hash standard (SHA) numbers of the plans, calculations or other file types. Once your permit application has been submitted, you will be able to create a pen signature file for the submittals you wish to sign. The signature file should contain the files and the SHA numbers of the documents you wish to sign and seal. Print the signature file, sign and seal the printed form, scan into your computer system and attach through “Document Management” or “Additional Documents” in the e-Permitting portal.
If you have any difficulties with the above procedures, please contact the Customer Service Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 386-329-4570.
New e-Permitting enhancement: Submitting compliance documents without an item number is now available
Applicants and consultants can now submit compliance for environmental resource permits (ERP) without an item number through the district’s e-Permitting site. There is no longer a need to call the district to get an item number created, which makes submitting much quicker and efficient.
If you do not see your item in the list of items due or if you receive a message that says “No Information available,” you will now get a question that asks “Do not see your Submittal here?” and a “Create” button. Click on the Create button and this will bring you to a screen to upload six different compliance types and a place to enter a brief description. Additional options are coming in May.
This new feature is limited to ERP projects right now, but a future enhancement will broaden this feature to include consumptive use and water well construction compliance submittals. For more information, contact customer support at 386-329-4570 or email@example.com.
Tips for publishing of Notice of Agency Action by the permittee
When you receive a copy of your environmental resource permit (ERP) you will see — in addition to the date of issuance, the authorization statement and the list of conditions — noticing information that includes a Notice of Rights, Notice of Agency Action and a list of newspapers. This noticing information appears at the end of the permit document and, like the permit conditions, is very important and should be read and considered.
As stated in the noticing information, the district does not publish a notice in a newspaper advising the public that a permit has been issued. Persons who have not been provided with notice of the district’s decision to issue the permit may have the right to petition for an administrative hearing on the activity under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, until their point of entry closes. Even if not required to publish notice of the district’s decision, it may be in the permittee’s best interest to publish, at the permittee’s own expense, a one-time notice of the district’s decision (or intended decision) in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the activity is located to close the point of entry. District staff will provide applicants with additional information for publishing such a notice upon request.
If you have any questions about publishing a notice of agency action, please contact the district’s Customer Service Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-329-4570.
Take note of the expiration date of your consumptive use and/or environmental resource permit
All permits issued by the district contain permit conditions that govern the construction and operation of your surface water management system or reference the water use authorized by the permit. Some permits may also contain conditions requiring submittal of certain documents within specific time frames or at regular intervals for a particular time frame. One of the most important conditions on a permit is the duration or the expiration date of the permit. Environmental resource permits are typically issued with a duration for construction of five years and subsequently, after the completion of construction, can be rolled into an operation phase in perpetuity. Consumptive use permits are typically issued with longer durations.
Authorizations for single-family docks
The proposed construction of a single-family dock within a subdivision or development permitted by the district is subject to Chapter 62-330, F.A.C. (Environmental Resource Permit). Often these docks qualify for an exemption or a General Permit and require a separate authorization under Chapter 18-21, F.A.C. (Sovereign Submerged Lands). Although these two authorizations are not linked and may be issued separately, they must approve the same design or one form of authorization may need to be revised. To ensure all required documents are submitted and the appropriate criteria are met, the district recommends that a pre-application meeting be arranged with the district staff. Contact information can be found on the district’s website at www.sjrwmd.com/contactus/permitting.html.
Payment of application fees electronically is fast and secure
Applicants and consultants can pay permit application fees electronically through the district’s e-Permitting site. This is much quicker and efficient than physically delivering a check to a district office. Payments may be made online using either a checking account or credit card.
Your payment is made using a secure, encrypted connection with Bank of America’s online payment site. Because these transactions are processed by Bank of America, the district and its employees do not have access to checking account or credit card information, nor is any of the information retained as part of the public record. Credit cards currently accepted are American Express, VISA, and MasterCard, and receipts for online payments are immediately acknowledged via email.
Paper checks also can be used to submit the payment electronically. For example, if a consultant is given a check from their client, the consultant can enter the routing and account information on the check and submit electronically. The transaction will appear as an ACH withdrawal on the checking account statement. Please note that consultant should request permission from the client before entering the data on the check.
For more information, contact customer support at 386-329-4570 or email@example.com.
Benefits of Stormwater Harvesting
“Stormwater harvesting” is a relatively new term for a practice that has been around for a number of years. Also known as “stormwater re-use,” stormwater harvesting is essentially the use of stormwater runoff (water that flows from developed properties stored in a treatment pond) to meet the irrigation needs of adjacent pervious areas. By utilizing the runoff stored in the pond for irrigation, stormwater harvesting helps recharge the surficial aquifer.
The concept allows a permittee to meet the consumptive use criteria of utilization of the lowest-quality water source and the environmental resource permit criteria for recovery of the treatment/harvest volume. An added benefit is limiting freshwater discharges to coastal receiving waters, which are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in salinity.
If you have a project that may be able to utilize a stormwater harvesting design for its treatment methodology, please contact the supervising hydrologist or supervising professional engineer in one of the district’s regulatory service centers and schedule a pre-application meeting.
Within 30 days of completing a permitted activity, you must complete form 62-330.310(1) “As-Built Certification and Request for Conversion to Operation Phase” and submit it to the district. In submitting this form, the licensed professional is certifying the project has been constructed in accordance with the permitted plans. When completing the form, please note any substantial changes from the plans and include as-built drawings showing substantial changes.
Please consult district staff to determine whether any deviations from the permitted plans require permit modification. Information on the As-Built Certification process can be located within Section 12.2 of the district’s Environmental Resource Permitting Applicant’s Handbook, Volume I.
Three options available for electronic submittal of information for pending applications
There are three choices for “Correspondence Type” when submitting information for a pending permit application through the district’s e-Permitting system: RAI Response, RAI Response — Partial, and Pending Application Correspondence.
Selecting the correct type of correspondence will aid the district in processing the application and disseminating the information to staff more efficiently.
- “RAI Response” should only be selected when responding to all the questions in the RAI letter. This is important because RAI Response is the only one of the three selections that automatically starts a 30-day review clock for that application.
- “RAI Response — Partial” should be utilized only when responding to some of the questions in the RAI letter.
- “Pending Application Correspondence” may be utilized for any other type of submittals.
Please contact your reviewer if you are unclear about which correspondence type to select. For more information about how to use e-Permitting, contact the district’s customer service line at 386-329-4570 or by email at ContactUsRegPermits@sjrwmd.com.
Ways to know if a project qualifies for a letter and minor modifications
Small changes to a permitted project, or an extension to the duration of the construction permit, may qualify for a letter modification or as a minor modification under the Statewide Environmental Permitting Consistency (SWERP) rules. Chapter 6.2 of the Applicant’s Handbook, Volume 1, details the circumstances under which these modifications can be issued.
If your project qualifies, there are some important items that will need to be included in your application:
- The application fee with the application materials.
- A signed letter from the applicant requesting the modification with a brief explanation that describes the nature or purpose of the modification and the permit number being modified. Typically, the applicant will be the prior permittee or the landowner. In some cases the applicant will be a prospective buyer and, in those cases, a contract for purchase should be provided.
- The above-referenced signed letter from the applicant or buyer can be uploaded in lieu of completing an application form.
Although not required, please apply online through the district’s e-Permitting website. This gets the information to the reviewer sooner and will result in a quicker turnaround. If you have any questions regarding the fees, e-Permitting, or qualifying for a letter/minor modification, please contact your local service center regulatory staff.
Legal authorizations for off-site systems
Applicants who propose to utilize off-site areas not under their control to meet the criteria outlined in Section 2.0 of the Applicant’s Handbook Volume II must obtain sufficient legal authorization prior to permit issuance. For example, an applicant who proposes to locate an outfall pipe from the stormwater basin to the receiving water on an adjacent property owner’s land must obtain a drainage easement or other appropriate legal authorization from the adjacent owner. A copy of the legal authorization must be submitted with the permit application.
Wetland monitoring reports due in August; use e-Permitting to submit
Environmental resource permit wetland monitoring reports are typically due in August and can be submitted online using e-Permitting.
Submitting reports online is easy. After logging in, select the “compliance submittal” tab and enter the permit number, the desired date range and then click “submit query” button. The wetland monitoring report due for that permit will be displayed. When uploading documents, please be aware that only certain formats are acceptable and are shown on the screen for your convenience.
For additional information or assistance, please call the district’s customer service line at 386-329-4570.
Need help with impaired water criteria?
Projects that have a direct discharge to an impaired water body, as identified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, must demonstrate that the proposed activity will not cause or contribute to the existing impaired condition. One way to demonstrate compliance with this criterion is to incorporate best management practices (BMPs) that will provide a net improvement of the discharge to the receiving waters for those parameters that do not meet water quality standards.
Because a direct discharge to an impaired water can affect the design of the project, applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans with district staff early in the design process and prior to submittal of the application. Staff can assist in determining if the project has a direct discharge to an impaired water and, if required, options for water quality BMPs.
Transfer of environmental resource permits
The transfer of an environmental resource permit (ERP) typically falls into one or both of the following categories: an ownership transfer or transfer to the operation and maintenance entity.
All ERPs contain language requiring that (1) within 30 days of a change in ownership, the St. Johns River Water Management District must be notified of the change and the permit transferred to the new owner and, (2) within 30 days of receipt of the as-built certification, the permittee must submit a “Request for Transfer of Environmental Resource Permit to the Perpetual Operation Entity.”
The district will need the following information:
- Request from current permittee/owner to transfer the permit to a new owner
- Acceptance of the transfer by the new owner
- Copy of the instrument effectuating the transfer (i.e., deed)
Transfer to perpetual operation entity:
- Form 62-330.310(2). Request for Transfer of Environmental Resource Permit to the Perpetual Operation Entity. Complete the form and submit with the required information. The form is available on this website.
Please contact your local service center with any questions.
Permitting forms available on district’s website
Legal documents are often required to meet the criteria of Environmental Resource Permits, Consumptive Use Permits, and Sovereign Submerged Lands authorizations. These may include documents for real property interest, operation and maintenance, mitigation or sufficient upland interest.
The best way to ensure that these documents will be sufficient is to let district staff review them early in the design process, prior to submitting an application. These documents will help complete the application, allowing the permit application to quickly move through the process.
Permitting form templates on the following topics are available on the district’s website:
- Mitigation (financial assurance, letters of credit, etc.)
- Conservation easements
- Declaration of restrictive covenants
- Easements for construction access
Save time and money with electronic submittals
Save time and money by submitting permit applications, responses to requests for additional information or compliance submittals electronically either through e-Permitting or by email. There is no need to follow up with a duplicate paper submittal.
In addition, pay fees and electronically sign and seal documents through the District’s e-Permitting site. For more information, contact customer support at 386-329-4570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uploading documents to e-Permitting
The most efficient way to transmit permitting documents to the St. Johns River Water Management District is through e-Permitting. Documents can be uploaded immediately to the appropriate project, which eliminates unnecessary delays that may occur when emailing or mailing documents.
Large documents, such as plans and calculations, also can be submitted through e-Permitting, avoiding issues that can arise when trying to email large files. After uploading files, you will receive a confirmation that the submittal was successful. After a submittal is received through e-Permitting, the appropriate district staff members are notified that the document has been submitted and the submittal is automatically entered into the system.
For more information about how to use e-Permitting, contact customer support at 386-329-4570 or by email at ContactUsRegPermits@sjrwmd.com.
Minor permit changes may qualify for letter modification
A consumptive use permit (CUP) may need to be modified over time. Some changes can be made through a letter modification. If a minor change qualifies for a letter modification, the permittee can send a written request for modification to the St. Johns River Water Management District by mail or email. There is no cost for a letter modification.
Examples of minor changes include:
- Adding a pump to a man-made surface water management system (system)
- Increasing the surface water allocation from a man-made system up to 100,000 gallons per day
- Minor revisions or updates to CUP conditions
- Changing station names
- Adding a backup well to meet peak demands
- Minor relocations of existing wells
For information about changes that would qualify for a letter modification, see Chapter 40C-2.331 Modification of Permits (page 15). Assistance is also available by contacting the district at 386-329-4570.
New options for withdrawing a permit application
When an application is significantly incomplete or will require extensive design changes, withdrawing it allows applicants and St. Johns River Water Management District staff to work together to refine the application. This helps avoid Request for Additional Information letters.
Applicants also have a new option under the Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting (SWERP) program to withdraw an Individual or Conceptual environmental resource permit application prior to agency action. The application fee can be applied to a new application or notice as long as it is the same applicant, located within all or part of the same project area and received within one year from when the previous application was withdrawn. Relevant documents from the previous application can be used for the new application, such as calculations and construction plans.
The district’s e-Permitting portal provides a simple form for an applicant or agent to request withdrawal of an application. The request also can be emailed to the district at ApplicationSupport@sjrwmd.com.
The best way to ensure an application will be complete and meet district criteria is through detailed pre-application coordination with district staff.
Water use information due in January
Most consumptive use permit (CUP) holders are required to report water use withdrawals (for the prior six-month time period) twice a year: in January and July. Water use withdrawals for the July through December 2014 reporting period must be submitted via an EN-50 form by Jan. 31, 2015.
There are two primary ways to submit an EN-50 form — both through e-Permitting.
- From the menu on the right-hand side of the main permitting web page, see the listing for “Apply for a permit or submit compliance data.”
- New users should select “Create an account.” Existing users can login with their username and password.
- Within e-Permitting, select “Compliance Submittal.” Enter the permit number, select “Submit Query” and then select the “Water Use Pumpage Report (EN-50)/2015-01-31 Submittal Due Date” submittal type.
- Two submittal methods are provided:
- “Hand-enter values” allows users to enter the values directly into the online form.
- “Use district spreadsheet” allows users to download the district-formatted Excel spreadsheet in which data can be entered for all stations and then uploaded to the district’s website.
Note: Earlier versions of the reporting period EN-50 Excel files should not be used to report water use for the current reporting period, as modifications may have been made to the file.
For assistance with completing and submitting the EN-50 Form, contact:
- Nancy Davis at 407-659-4862
- Regulatory Support Help Line at 386-329-4570
If the property has been sold or, if the well(s) and/or pump(s) are no longer in service, please notify the district by email at email@example.com or by mail at:
Division of Regulatory Support
4049 Reid Street
P.O. Box 1429
Palatka, FL 32178-1429
Online consumptive use permitting portal redesigned
The St. Johns River Water Management District recently launched enhancements to its e-Permitting portal for consumptive use permitting (CUP). The changes compliment the CUP consistency rule that went into effect on Aug. 14, 2014. Along with information about the new CUP rule and new application forms, the revised and user-friendly e-Permitting portal allows users to:
- Apply for a new CUP
- Renew or modify an existing CUP
- Request a letter modification or permit transfer
- Withdraw a pending application
- Submit a Request for Information (RAI) extension or Chapter 120 time frame waiver
- Apply for a CUP for one additional day of landscape irrigation
For more information regarding how to use e-Permitting, call 386-329-4570 or send an email to e‑firstname.lastname@example.org.
Importance of pre-application coordination
District staff are available to review the details of proposed projects prior to submittal of a permit application. Pre-application coordination can include review of legal documents and detailed plans and designs, site visits, wetland impacts, mitigation plans and permitting criteria. Potential issues also can be discussed in a pre-application meeting, such as sovereign submerged lands approval, conservation and drainage easements, regional and local drainage issues, potential drawdown, and concerns of adjacent property owners. Early coordination with district staff promotes a team approach and reduces the time that an application is under review. In addition, by using the district’s e-permitting tool, relevant documents to these discussions can be shared electronically.
Documentation of “sufficient real property interest”
The Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting (SWERP) program requires permit applicants to submit documentation of “sufficient real property interest” over the land upon which the proposed activities will be conducted. Please see Section 4.2.3(d) Applicant’s Handbook, Volume I for appropriate documentation. Providing this documentation along with the application will help avoid delays in the permit review process.