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From ERP to SWERP

Welcome to the state of Florida’s latest attempt at streamlining!  Clementi Environmental Consulting is ready to assist you with analyzing how these changes impact you. ERP was “Environmental Resource Permit”. SWERP is “State Wide Environmental Resource Permit” and goes into effect on October 1, 2013. The Florida legislature charged the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop a state wide permit application, applicant handbook and fees that would be applicable at all the water management districts. Here are the grandfathering provisions.  If you have a permit application “in-house” and it is not complete then the agency will convert your application to a SWERP.  If your application is complete but you did not pay the permitting fee in full, you will be subject to the new fee schedule.  In some cases the fee might even be less.  Whatever conditions you have on your existing permits are still valid and not effected by the new SWERP.  Anyone can request their existing permit be converted to a SWERP as long as it would be equivalent to a minor modification.  A Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) permitting manager told us that there is really no substantive change in the way the permit applications will be technically reviewed.

So what is changing with SWERP? The Florida Administrative Code (40) for each water management district will not be found on these permits.  It will be 62-330 FAC.  There are two volumes of the applicant handbook.  Volume I applies to all the districts and DEP. Volume II of the applicant handbook is specific to each district and DEP to allow for the regional differences in watersheds, etc.  Permit types have been consolidated and the names have changed.  There are no more Noticed General permits, they are now General Permits.  The use of the exemptions do not need agency verification.  If you want agency verification there is a new form to request it and at least a $100.00 fee for the letter.  If your project does not qualify for an exemption then it is a General Permit, Individual Permit or Conceptual Permit. A General Permit requires there will be minimal individual and cumulative adverse impacts to water resources of the Agency.  Mitigation is neither necessary nor required to off-set those impacts except when provided in the general permit.  If your activities do not qualify for a General Permit then it will be an Individual Permit. There are some specific General Permits for certain activities e.g. for Construction, Alteration, Operation and Maintenance of Boat Ramp Facilities (62-330.417 FAC); Installation of Fences (62-330.437 FAC).  The Conceptual Permit is still available.

There are new forms for these applications and supplemental documentation.  The agencies are encouraging everyone to submit the applications on-line: ePermitting. The SWFWMD is offering a 25% discount on the permitting fees for those applications submitted on-line.  Here are some significant changes with SWERP: As-built certification  and Operation and Maintenance are separate forms.  As-built certification does not have to be submitted unless there is a significant deviation from the permit.  What is significant: if the changes would not have been a letter modification.  As-built certification for mitigation construction will probably always be required. Routine water management system inspection reports will be a general conditions of the permits but do not have to be submitted to the agency.  However, the owner/permittee must keep these records at all times.  SWERP permits now have to be recorded at the local level e.g. plat book, etc,  for the property like a conservation easement.

SWERP brings permit consistency to environmental resource permitting across Florida.  Let Clementi Environmental Consulting assist you to determine how SWERP effects your current application or permit(s).