Regulatory Restructuring Increases Efficiency

Types of permitting

The District recently restructured the Regulation Division to increase the quality of service.

Resource Regulation evaluates Environmental Resource, Water Use and Well Construction permit applications and is responsible for addressing permitting compliance. Regulation Division duties include reviewing permit applications, monitoring permitted activities, enforcing District rules and permit conditions, and maintaining regulatory records for the District.

The restructuring aimed to eliminate duplication, increase efficiency, increase consistency and reduce costs. The division was able to accomplish those goals by:

  • Centralizing the permit review process to the Tampa Service Office to ensure that permit applications throughout the District are evaluated consistently.
  • Consolidating staff and programs in a central location to increase efficiencies, eliminate duplication of services and reduce costs.
  • Maintaining a local presence in service offices to ensure quality customer service to the public.
  • Enhancing and improving online permitting to make it easier and more convenient to submit a permit application and access permit data.

The changes have saved the District nearly $4 million per year and increased the quality of service. For example, by implementing a streamlined Environmental Resource Permit process using the same rigorous environmental standards, many Environmental Resource Permits are now issued within 48 hours.

The District also is working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the other four water management districts to provide statewide permitting consistency.

Brian Starford, Regulation Production assistant director, said the restructuring has brought positive results for the District.

“The real benefit from the reorganization should be to the permit applicants,” he said. “The reorganization resulted in improved consistency, reduced permit times and an enhanced effort to improve processes for continued improvement.”