On January 30, 2013, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) held a workshop regarding the Statewide Environmental Resource Permit Rulemaking (SWERP). The workshop focused on the fee structure for permits and the NWFWMD Applicant’s Handbook Volume II.
Regarding fees, DEP has attempted to avoid changes while reconciling fee categories to be more similar among the water management districts. Fees in a number of DEP categories are not changing: verification of exemptions, verification of general permits, mitigation bank permits, and many permit modifications. DEP’s fees will change for individual and conceptual approval permits (except mitigation banks), jurisdictional determinations, and variances and waivers. The agency estimates of average annual fees collected for DEP is very similar to current collections, with less than a 1% increase anticipated. However, NWFWMD collected fees are estimated to increase by approximately 75%.
The NWFWMD Applicant’s Handbook Volume II is designed to preserve the existing design and performance standards specific to the geographical region. NWFWMD is preserving existing basin-specific criteria while allowing the streamlining objectives of SWERP rulemaking. The handbook has been reorganized to have a more consistent organization when compared to handbooks for other water management districts.
DEP also presented an updated implementation schedule for SWERP rulemaking:
• February 27, 2013 – final SWERP workshop
• February or March 2013 – each water management district adopts Applicant’s Handbook Vol. II, specific to each district
• Spring 2013 – Publish Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for SWERP
• Spring 2013 – Hearing on SWERP held in Tallahassee
• Comments due 14 days after hearing
• Summer 2013 – Effective date of SWERP
For additional information contact Amelia Savage.