New environmental regulations recently went into law aimed at streamlining the state’s permitting process and giving applicants more options for authorization.
Some provisions of the new law include:
- Required action on permit applications within 60 days of receipt of last timely requested material.
- Precludes government agencies from delaying action because of pending approval from other local, state or federal agencies.
- Provides for the creation of regional action teams for expedited permitting for certain businesses.
The recently implemented law also creates the “ten-two” permit. This grants a general permit for the construction of stormwater management systems that meet specified criteria. The law is similar to an existing “no notice” general permit granted within the South Florida Water Management District.
The permit is limited to projects with a total work area of no more than 10 acres, including no more than 2 acres of impervious surfaces. This means surfaces that don’t allow or minimally allow the penetration of water such as concrete or asphalt pavements.
Under the law, when a stormwater management system is designed, operated and maintained in accordance with applicable rules, there is a presumption that the project will comply with state water quality standards. Construction of the system may proceed without further action by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or the District if, within 30 days after construction begins, an electronic self-certification is submitted to DEP or the District certifying the system was designed by a Florida registered professional engineer to meet certain requirements.
Some of those requirements include:
- No activities will impact wetlands or other surface waters.
- The project is not part of a larger common plan, development or sale.
- The project does not cause adverse water quantity or flooding to receiving water and adjacent lands.
- The project does not cause a violation of state water quality standards.
Applicants can apply for the permit through DEP’s business portal at www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/portal/. The permits are still governed by the same operating agreements in place now.