Florida

1.  Consolidating Permitting. 

Joint permit application with the USACOE and the Water Management Districts (WMD). FDEP and the WMD are required to provide a final decision within 90 days of a complete application, 30 days for exemptions or Noticed General Permits. One county has been delegated permitting for the wetlands program with three other counties applying for the delegation. There is a SPGP with the USACOE in place for some permitted activities.

 A. Under this category, which activities has your state found most useful?

The SPGP is most useful.

B. Which activities, if any, have been done in the past?

C. What’s underway now, if anything?

D. What is planned, if anything?

State Programmatic General Permit

Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) Program

E. These activities improved:

Timeliness
Environmental Protection

 2. Communication before Permitting

FDEP promotes pre-application meetings especially for larger projects. FDEP participates in workshops for marine contractors and the public. FDEP instructs at the biannual environmental resource permitting school and continuing legal education courses set up for consulting firms and attorneys. FDEP through the use of an EPA Wetland Development Grant is producing on-line help web pages in an effort to educate the applicant and increase the likelihood that a complete application would be submitted.

A. Under this category, which activities has your state found most useful?

Pre-application meetings

B. Which activities, if any, have been done in the past?

C. What’s underway now, if anything?

F. These activities improved:

Timeliness
Environmental Protection
Understanding

 3. On-line applications.

FDEP has an online self-certification permitting system for single family docks and riprap placement through which the public can receive their state permit and the USACOE SPGP if their project meets the prescribed criteria. The applicant provides the location of the proposed activity and GIS layers are utilized to define the geographic areas for the different criteria. FDEP does not have an online application process. The funding is through existing program budgets.

D. What is planned, if anything?

F. These activities improved:

Timeliness
Understanding

 4. Utilizing Science and & Technology.

FDEP has divided the state into different Water Body Ids (WBIDS) based on the basin approach. The Total Maximum Daily Loads program assesses the water quality of each WBID and permitting decisions incorporate the TMDL assessments.

A. Under this category, which activities has your state found most useful?

 F. These activities improved:

 Environmental Protection

 5. Data management.

Permit Application (PA) is the database that tracks FDEP permitting process to ensure that statutory time clocks are met. Environmental Resource Permitting Compliance and Enforcement (ERPce) tracks the compliance and enforcement of permits and tracks complaints received. The FDEP databases do not coordinate with the USACOE ORM2 database.

F. These activities improved:

Timeliness

5b. Does the state have the ability to quantify/track success of improvements to its permitting program, or is it based on best professional judgment?

Using the FDEP databases we can report to the legislature the number, type of activity, and processing time for each application or enforcement action.

F. These activities improved:

Timeliness
Understanding

 6. Consistency & Program Management / Evaluating Permit Decisions.

FDEP has an online Operations and Procedures Manual that is available to staff of FDEP and the WMD. FDEP has monthly tele/video conferences with the field offices. FDEP meets with the five WMDquarterly to maintain consistency in rule interpretation and permitting standards.FDEP also provides monthly webinar training, by experts on the subjects, to FDEP and WMD staff on various permitting topics. Formal wetland delineation is done statewide by a section based in Tallahassee.

A. Under this category, which activities has your state found most useful?

The monthly and quarterly meetings bring staff together to discuss and learn.

F. These activities improved:

Timeliness
Environmental Protection
Understanding 

7.Other.

8. What are the top three things that the state did to improve permitting?

1. On-line self-certification for smaller single-family related construction 

2. Frequent video conferences and webinars with regulatory staff to improve consistent application of the rules and policies.

3. On-line help tools to inform applicants what they need to submit with their application

A. These activities improved:

Timeliness
Environmental Protection
Understanding

 Summary prepared by Timothy Rach – Timothy.Rach@dep.state.fl.us