Regulatory newsletter
July 2017, Issue 10
Boat dock at sunset
District staff can assist in determining the type of permit needed to build a dock.

Now that we are in the summer months, homeowners have begun to inquire about the permitting requirements to build a dock.

If the property is located within a district permitted subdivision, the St. Johns River Water Management District will handle the permitting of the dock. However, a review needs to be completed to determine if the dock is proposed on Sovereignty Submerged Lands (SSL). These are state-owned lands which include, but are not limited to, tidal lands, islands, sandbars, shallow banks and lands waterward of the ordinary or mean high water Line. To determine if the area is an SSL, a copy of the application and a location map is submitted to Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands Title and Land Records Section. A routine title check generally takes between five and 10 business days. If it is determined that the project would be located on state lands, then the district will process the regulatory permitting as well as the proprietary SSL authorization. These reviews can be accomplished concurrently.

Rule 18-21. 005, Florida Administrative Code (F. A. C.), details the different types of SSL authorizations that a project may qualify for. The three most common SSL authorizations are Consent by Rule, Letter of Consent and a Lease.

Both pubic and private recreational docks may qualify under a Consent by Rule, Letter of Consent or Lease authorization. For a dock to qualify for a Letter of Consent, the dock must meet the criteria in rule 18-21. 005(1)(c), F. A. C. Among other things, the project must consist of one minimum-size private residential single-family dock or pier per parcel, or private residential single-family or multi-family docks, that preempt no more than 10 square feet of SSL per each linear foot of the applicant’s SSL riparian shoreline within a single plan of development. Bulkheads or shoreline stabilization cannot extend more than 3 feet waterward of the ordinary or mean high water line. Chapter 18-21, F. A. C. contains additional criteria, but these are the most common forms of SSL authorizations for a single-family dock.

Docks that do not qualify for Consent by Rule or Letter of Consent, any private residential multi-family dock used to moor three or more vessels within aquatic preserves, and all revenue generating activities except for those allowable under Chapter 18-21, F. A. C. require a lease. Chapter 18-21, F. A. C., contains additional criteria for projects requiring a lease.

Prior to submittal of an application for construction of a dock, consultants and applicants are encouraged to contact district staff to arrange a pre-application meeting or phone call.

Emergency authorizations allow temporary relief for projects

Road next to the ocean that is partially washed away
Portions of Highway A1A in Flagler County washed away during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

Flooding after a large rainfall event or a stormwater pond bank failing without warning are examples of emergencies that can occur without warning. Provisions are in place to allow work to be conducted to resolve a situation, such as in the case where an emergency occurs that poses a threat to health, safety and/or a danger to the environment.

An Emergency Authorization allows immediate authorization to conduct an activity that would otherwise require a permit from the district. This includes environmental resource permit (ERP) and consumptive use permit (CUP) activities. A person seeking emergency authorization should contact the district. A district compliance coordinator will process the request, which may include a field authorization or allowing early construction when a permit is under review.

Depending on the emergency, the compliance coordinator may ask for information such as the precise location, nature of the emergency, land ownership and a drawing or sketch of the proposed emergency activities. It is important to note that an emergency authorization is not intended to be used as an alternative to obtaining a permit. The Emergency Authorization is temporary and has a defined expiration date and criteria (such as a maximum water level or pumping rate). Also, carelessness or lack of planning are not sufficient grounds for granting of an emergency authorization.

A clean pond provides maximum flood protection

Florida developments derive many rewards from functional stormwater systems, especially well maintained wet detention ponds. Some of the many benefits include enhanced property aesthetics, the creation of urban and suburban aquatic ecosystems and the removal of stormwater runoff-borne pollutants.

One important aspect of a wet detention pond is the flood protection benefit it provides to developed property. Wet detention ponds serve as storage reservoirs for the large volumes of runoff generated during storms. This is precisely why it’s vital to always keep wet ponds free of vegetative overgrowth, sediment build-up, trash accumulation and clogged overflow structures. Any one, or combination of these factors, can reduce the available pond storage volume and lead to higher water levels during a storm.

To prevent such mishaps, implement a pond maintenance plan involving routine bank mowing, sediment dredging, monitoring of eroded areas and keeping outfall structures free of debris.

Property owners can contact their homeowners associations to reach out to the district for assistance. Upon request, the district can aid associations in fully understanding the flood protection function of their ponds and help craft an effective pond maintenance program to ensure maximum drainage performance and property protection during storms.

Need help in e-Permitting?

The most efficient and effective way to apply for a permit or submit compliance data and correspondence documents to the St. Johns River Water Management District is through e-Permitting. Documents can be uploaded immediately to the appropriate project, eliminating unnecessary delays and errors that may occur when emailing or mailing documents.

Do you need assistance with e-Permitting? If so, you can call our customer support line at 386-329-4570. Our experienced customer support team members are skilled in using e-Permitting and they are excellent problem solvers. They can also help you with questions regarding how to submit your permitting documents, how to sign and seal documents, as well as assisting you with any problems you may be having. You can also request training support online at and reach our e-Permitting customer support team by email at

July 2017

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers supplemental information for federal permitting

When an application is submitted to the district, the information is also made available to the
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), thereby jump-starting the federal application review. To further improve the inter-agency coordination and help you receive your federal authorization faster, the district has made access to the “Supplemental Information for Federal Permitting” form more prominent in e-Permitting.

When completing the district application online, if you indicate that a federal dredge and fill permit is required for planned activities in, on or over wetlands or other surface waters, e-Permitting will prompt you on the “Important Attachments” page to complete and attach the PDF fillable Supplemental Form. A second prompt and document link are provided in the email confirmation you receive from the district when an application is submitted via e-Permitting.

Applicants requiring USACE authorization are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the convenient links in e-Permitting to streamline the federal permitting process.

June 2017

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.

May 2017

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

April 2017

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:

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

March 2017

Upcoming 2017 Spring Schedule of Peer Review Meetings

Maintaining a strong connection with our customers allows Division of Regulatory Services staff to continually improve the regulatory process and ensure resource protection. One of the ways we stay in touch is through Peer Review meetings. These meetings are held in Jacksonville, Palatka, Maitland and Palm Bay to maximize our outreach across the district. This forum allows staff to share information on current events in the regulatory arena, permit process improvements and performance metrics associated with our ongoing efforts to streamline the permitting process. Most important, time is reserved to receive feedback from attendees on what is going well and where improvement is needed in the permitting services our staff provides.

  • Palm Bay, March 29, 1:30 p.m.
    Palm Bay Service Center, 525 Community College Parkway, S.E., Palm Bay
  • Maitland, April 6, 10:30 a.m.
    Maitland Service Center, 601 South Lake Destiny Road, Wekiva Conference Room, Maitland
  • Jacksonville, April 13, 1:30 p.m.
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection Northeast District Office, 8800 Baymeadows Way West, Suite 100, Jacksonville
  • Palatka, April 19, 10:30 a.m.
    District Headquarters, 4049 Reid St., Resource Management building, room 136a, Palatka

You are strongly encouraged to attend a Peer Review meeting at a location near you. For more information, contact Heidi Bennett at 386-329-4513 or