Permitting News You Can Use

January 2020, Issue 17

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Know the basics of the State Programmatic General Permit (SPGP V-R1)

On Dec. 19, 2018, the St. Johns River Water Management District (district) entered into a Coordination Agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) that allows the district to grant federal authorization for projects that comply with qualifying criteria. If the project does not meet these criteria, then the applicant needs to apply directly to USACE for review and authorization of such projects.

Single family dockActivities that may qualify for authorization under the SPGP V-R1 coordination agreement include:

  • Shoreline stabilization (seawalls, riprap, living shorelines with native vegetation)
  • Boat ramps
  • Docks, piers, and piling supported structures
  • Removal of derelict vessels
  • Installation, operation and maintenance of scientific sampling, measurement and monitoring devices

To qualify for SPGP V-R1 authorization through the district, the project must either:

  • Meet the criteria for exemption under Section 62-330.050, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)
  • Meet the criteria for a General Permit under Sections 62-330.402, F.A.C.

Projects that do not meet the above referenced criteria, and require an Individual Permit as described under Section 62-330.054, F.A.C., do not qualify for authorization under the SPGP V-R1 coordination agreement and must receive federal authorization directly from USACE.

To apply for authorization of activities under SPGP V-R1, an applicant should submit their application through the district’s e-Permitting portal. The application must include USACE’s “Project Design Criteria Checklist” and specific “Activity Checklist.” For the activity to qualify for consideration under SPGP V-R1, these forms must be completed by the applicant. District Regulatory staff may assist applicants with completion of the forms if needed. The checklists and other relevant SPGP V-R1 documents can be downloaded from this link; a link to the USACE SPGP can also be found on the district’s e-Permitting site.

After the applicant’s submittal, district staff will review the project based on USACE’s Project Design and Activity Checklists, the SPGP V-R1 permit instrument, and the district’s permitting criteria under 62-330, F.A.C. If the project qualifies for SPGP V-R1 under these criteria, district staff will deem the project “green” and, once the application is complete, will proceed with final review and issuance of both, the federal SPGP V-R1 authorization and the appropriate district authorization under 62-330, F.A.C. If the project does not meet the SPGP V-R1 criteria or relevant district criteria for exemption or General Permit, staff will deem the project “red,” and notify the applicant they must submit directly to USACE for federal authorization. In such a case, the district will continue to review the application for appropriate authorization under 62-330, F.A.C., without the SPGP V-R1 co-review.

ERP application submittal tips aid in speeding up the permit application review process

The St. Johns River Water Management District (district) over the last three years has issued, on average, 2,700 Environmental Resource Permits (ERPs) per year.

Within that total, the majority of applications are individual permits for new projects and major modifications (approximately 70 percent), followed by minor and letter modifications (approximately 20 percent). The remaining applications are general permit applications and petitions for formal wetland determinations. The district strives to provide the highest quality of service and issue permits as quickly as possible guided by mandated timelines, high standards and dedicated Regulatory staff.

To help applicants experience a smooth process, the district encourages pre-application meetings, as these meetings allow staff and applicants to work through issues prior to application submittal. These meetings also ensure that when the application is submitted, it is as complete as possible to minimize questions from district staff and shorten the application processing time.

Another way for applicants to ensure their permit application will have a shorter processing time is to provide all necessary documentation early in the process, preferably with the initial application submittal. Each application goes through an administrative and technical review. Having all the necessary administrative documentation submitted with the application enables the reviewers to focus on the engineering and environmental issues, allowing the review process to be more efficient and reducing processing time. The goal of the district is to work with the applicants and their consultants to complete the applications and have them approved in the shortest amount of time possible.

An application can be submitted through e-Permitting. In addition, the Florida Administrative Codes and a copy of the application can be found here.

The tables below provide a list of the documentation necessary for a complete application and is organized by the three most common ERP applications that are received by the district. This list is only applicable to permit applications that are being reviewed under the current rules.

All applications must meet and include the following:

  1. The applicant must have real property interest over the land where the project will be constructed.
  2. If the applicant is a business entity, they must be registered with the state of Florida Division of Corporations.
  3. Signature forms, letters requesting modifications, or letters of authorization must be signed by the applicant or agent (if the applicant has designated one). If the applicant is a business entity, the signatory must have legal authority to bind the corporation, verified through the state of Florida Division of Corporations or other documentation.
  4. Applicable application fee.
  5. Map of the project location.

New Projects, Major/Minor Modifications

Documents:

  • Application:
    • Complete Section A of the application, and other sections if applicable;
    • Signature form found in Part 4A of the application, signed by the applicant or agent.
    • Signature form found in Part 4B of the application, signed by the landowner, easement or lessee holder, or their legal designee.
    • Signature form found in Part 4C of the application, only if the applicant chooses to authorize an agent (optional) on his or her behalf.
    • Minor modifications: Applicant may submit a letter requesting a minor modification, signed by the applicant or agent, if the applicant has designated an agent along with a project description.
  • Signed and sealed calculations.
  • Signed and sealed plans.
  • Geotechnical report (signed and sealed if it contains calculations).
  • Environmental report (if applicable).
  • Signed and sealed Operation and Maintenance Inspection Certification, not more than two years old, for discharges to a master stormwater management system.

Letter Modification

  • Application:
    • Letter requesting a Letter Modification, signed by the applicant or agent, if the applicant has designated one.
    • Letter of authorization authorizing an agent, signed by the applicant (optional).
  • Description of the proposed project (may be included as part of the letter requesting the Letter Modification).
  • Signed and sealed plans.
  • Signed and sealed Operation and Maintenance Inspection Certification, not more than two years old.

e-Permitting updates webinar

Free webinars Oct. 26 for ERP/CUP consultants and well contractors. Find details on our meetings and announcements page.

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.