On October 1, 2013, the statewide environmental resource permit (SWERP) rules became effective in Florida. Chapter 62-330, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). The Florida Legislature passed a law in 2012 that required the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop the statewide rules in coordination with Florida’s five water management districts. The SWERP rules were developed and will be implemented by DEP, but apply statewide to all five water management districts and also to local governments with delegated authority. These rules replace the previous environmental permitting rules promulgated by each water management district for projects under its jurisdiction. The purpose of the rule is to streamline environmental resource permitting in Florida while providing statewide consistency and reducing regulatory costs and burdens for the public while preserving environmental standards.
In addition to Chapter 62-330, F.A.C., Applicant’s Handbooks have been incorporated into the rule. Applicant’s Handbook, Volume 1, applies statewide to all agencies implementing the environmental resource permitting program. It includes general processing and evaluation procedures, procedures for formal determinations of jurisdictional areas, operation and maintenance requirements, and mitigation standards. Applicant’s Handbook, Volume 2, will be five separate documents—one for each water management district. Each Volume 2 will have applicable stormwater quality and quantity design and performance standards that are applicable to the relevant district and which account for the regional differences.
With the new rule, the processing procedures, rule language, definitions, forms, and permit fee categories have all been standardized statewide. All these documents can be found at the following website: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/swerp/index.htm . Also, DEP and most of the water management districts have created e-permitting portals on their websites so that applications for environmental resource permits can be created and submitted electronically.
For additional information contact Amelia Savage.