Permitting News You Can Use

Issue 16

If you would like to subscribe, have a question, comment or suggestion for our permitting staff or about this newsletter, please click on the drop-down form above.

New mitigation bank credit transaction processing method announced, training scheduled

The St. Johns River Water Management District has approved 43 mitigation bank permits totaling approximately 100,000 acres since the adoption of the mitigation banking rule (Chapter 62-342, Florida Administrative Code [F.A.C.]). This amount constitutes 49 percent of the total acreage of permitted mitigation banks within the entire state of Florida. On average, these mitigation banks, initiate between 350–400 mitigation bank credit transactions per year.

Image of an Agency chart

Chapter 62-342.470(7), F.A.C. states that mitigation credits shall be withdrawn as a minor modification of the mitigation bank permit. To align district processes with the other water management districts, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Chapter 62-342.470(7), the district has created a new efficient business practice within its e-Permitting /mitigation banking module.

This new process is designed to improve efficiency for district staff as well as the mitigation bankers, wetland impact permittee and consultants. This district is excited to launch this new process on Oct. 1, 2019, and has scheduled two training dates for persons eligible to submit mitigation bank credit transaction requests (Mitigation Bankers, MB consultants, or MB agents):

  • Monday, Sept. 30 at 10:30 a.m. at district headquarters in Palatka; or
  • Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 10:30 a.m. in the district’s Maitland Service Center.

The new process provides a fully electronic, online form for submittal.  The Mitigation Bank Credit Transaction Portal is located in e-Permitting under the Apply/Submit tab in the Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting/Environmental Resource Permit (SWERP/ERP) Applications section.

Through this new method, mitigation bank credit transactions will be processed as minor modifications to the mitigation bank permit at no fee. This is a secure submittal process whereby only mitigation bankers or their agents can submit. The Mitigation Bank Credit Transaction Portal has smart capabilities that limit the choice options for the user based on previous answers to the form questions. It is also compatible and communicates with the district’s e-Regulatory System from which the ledger modifications are made, the technical staff report is written, and the minor modification permit is issued. The Portal handles all transaction types, including reservations, allocations, transfers and cancellations.  All submittals are organized on your E-Permitting dashboard for quick reference and status check.  This process will eliminate paper and email requests and will be a more efficient process for all involved.

Image of a transaction application dashboard

Workshop participants will have an opportunity to participate in submitting your credit transaction requests in test mode and they will be processed, in real time, during the meeting. The training sessions should last approximately two hours. The district encourages you to bring your laptop; however, computers can be provided, as necessary.

If planning to attend, please RSVP to: e-permit@sjrwmd.com, include your name, mitigation bank(s) you are representing, and the email reference of those planning to attend.  Please also reference the location, Maitland or Palatka, as well as the event title — Mitigation Bank Credit Transaction Training.

Here’s how to know if a Notice of Commencement form is needed for short-term dewatering

Short-term dewatering projects can be accomplished with a General Permit by Rule under 40C-2.042(9), Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). The Governing Board of the St. Johns River Water Management District has granted a general permit by rule to withdraw ground or surface water within the district for short-term construction activities (excluding borrow or mining operations).

To qualify, the dewatering duration must not be greater than 180 days and the following withdrawal limits must not be exceeded:

  • Maximum daily withdrawal of 4 million gallons per day (mgd) (except during first 120 hours of dewatering when daily and instantaneous pumpage rate will not exceed 6 mgd)
  • Average daily withdrawal of 2 mgd for first 60 days of activity
  • Average daily withdrawal of 1 mgd over a 180-day duration

If the dewatering activity meets the above qualifications, a Notice of Commencement form must be submitted to the district 10 days prior to the dewatering activity (excluding an emergency situation involving a threat to public safety) and expires 190 days from completion of the form. In an emergency situation, notification shall be provided to the district the next business day, following the commencement of the dewatering activity.

If the proposed duration does not exceed 30 days, the dewatering quantity is less than 300,000 gallons per day, and the dewatering activity meets all the other exemption criteria in Rule 40C-2.051(7), F.A.C., then the activity is considered exempt and a Notice of Commencement form does not need to be submitted.

Methods of dewatering and discharge location will also determine if a project qualifies for a General Permit by Rule under 40C-2.042(9), F.A.C. For more information on these criteria, please refer to the Notice of Commencement form on this website.

A Notice of Commencement can be submitted online at www.sjrwmd.com or mailed to the St. Johns River Water Management District, P.O. Box 1429, Palatka, FL 32178-1429. For assistance, please send an email to compliancesupport@sjrwmd.com or call 386-329-4570.

Criteria for stormwater wet pond slopes address different safety, treatment needs

Homes next to water

Wet detention stormwater ponds are a common landscape feature throughout Florida. They are one of the various types of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) required to serve land developments subject to Environmental Resource Permits.

The St. Johns River Water Management District’s regulatory rule, 62-330, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), and Applicant’s Handbook establishes wet detention pond side slope design criteria to address public safety and effective water quality treatment.

  • Section 2.6.1 of the district’s Applicant’s Handbook (A.H.) Volume II requires a minimum side slope for public safety, stating that permanently wet basins must contain side slopes that are no steeper than 4:1 (horizontal:vertical) out to a depth of two feet below the control elevation (Normal Water Level, NWL). As an alternative, ponds can be fenced or restricted from public access if the side slopes must be steeper than 4:1 due to limited space or other constraints.
  • Section 8.12 of the district’s Applicant’s Handbook Volume II establishes a side slope requirement that promotes effective water quality treatment processes. This section states that a wet pond must be designed so that the average pond side slope measured between the control elevation (NWL) and two feet below the control elevation is no steeper than 3:1 (horizontal:vertical).

It’s important to be aware of the correct criteria for the particular project. For example, if a wet pond was designed to have a 3:1 side slope from the control elevation to an elevation two feet below the control elevation, it would meet the water quality treatment performance criteria for side slopes in 8.12 A.H., but would not satisfy the public safety criteria of 2.6.1 A.H. Such a pond would have to be fenced or otherwise restricted from public access. Whereas, if the pond was designed with 4:1 side slopes it would satisfy both criteria.

When considering and planning a project, keep these requirements in mind early in the design process. Public safety and effective water quality treatment are both important considerations when designing wet pond systems.

Permitting peer review meetings

Meeting information is posted as meetings are scheduled. Check back here or on our meetings and announcements page for details.

Permitting tips

Expediting the permitting process for replacement wells

Wells fail, and when they do, drilling a replacement well may become an urgent situation. A pre-application discussion with district regulatory staff will help expedite the consumptive use permit (CUP) permitting process for the well replacement. A pre-application meeting provides an opportunity to let regulatory staff know that an expedited request is being submitted and to discuss the information needed to obtain the permit modification for the replacement well. The pre-application meeting and letter requesting a permit modification may be completed by the well owner or their agent (consultant, water well contractor, etc.), as long as an authorized agent letter is provided along with the letter modification request. If you need assistance, agricultural entities should contact Ag Assistance Team member David McInnes at 386-227-0126 and all other CUP well types should call your nearest service center and ask to speak with a CUP hydrologist.

What is the Mitigation Bank Search Tool?

If you’d like to learn more about mitigation banks permitted by the St. Johns River Water Management District, the district’s website contains a Mitigation Bank Search Tool that allows you to view information about mitigation banks. The webpage includes a mapping interface with various data layers, a frequently asked questions page, a link to the file which contains the permit, technical staff report, final approved plans, a detailed credit ledger, the type and availability of credit, the mitigation bank service area, the basin the mitigation bank is located in, contact information for each mitigation bank and much more.

For any questions or suggestions about the Mitigation Bank Search Tool or the Mitigation Banking Program, please contact Reid Hilliard, Technical Program Coordinator, at the district’s Maitland Service Center, 601 South Lake Destiny Road, Suite 200, Maitland, FL 32751; 407-659-4873 or jhilliard@sjrwmd.com.

What is the Annual Statement of Continuing Use Form?

Consumptive use permittees are required to maintain records of water quantity usage on a monthly basis for the life of the permit and provide those records to the district when requested. However, a consumptive use permit (CUP) holder whose total combined allocation is equal to or less than 100,000 gallons per day, on average, has a simplified way to confirm that they still use water in accordance with their permit. This is done by submitting the Annual Statement of Continuing Use form in lieu of submitting the EN-50 Water Use/Pumpage Report form.

The form includes the following questions:

  • Do you still own, lease or control the property on which the permitted withdrawal point(s) is located?
  • Did you use water for the purposes identified in the authorization statement (of the permit) during the past calendar year?

The Annual Statement of Continuing Use form is due by Jan. 31 each year and is located at the following link: www.sjrwmd.com/permitting/formsCUP/Form_40C-2-900-6.pdf

For assistance in submitting your Annual Statement of Continuing Use form via the e-Permitting portal, call 386-329-4570 or send an email to epermit@sjrwmd.com.