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Everglades Highlights

Permitting

Everglades Permitting

Alligator in Swamp by Ruben I. (Creative Commons - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)The Office of Ecosystem Projects is responsible for implementing the Department’s technical, planning, and regulatory responsibilities for restoration activities required by the Everglades Forever Act (EFA; Section 373.4592, Florida Statutes (F.S.), the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP; Section 373.1502, F.S.), and the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Plan (NEEPP; 373.4595, F.S.).  These functions involve close coordination with the lead agencies implementing restoration activities, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), as well as with staff from the Department’s South and Southeast District offices. 

Everglades Forever Act (EFA; Section 373.4592, FS)

The Everglades Forever Act (EFA), Chapter 373.4592, F.S. was issued in 1994.  The EFA recognizes that the long-term water quality objective for the Everglades is to implement the optimal combination of source controls, Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), Advanced Treatment Technologies (ATTs), and regulatory programs to ensure that all waters discharged to the Everglades Protection Area (EPA) achieve water quality standards consistent with the EFA.  The EFA regulates the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Everglades Construction Project.  The Everglades Construction project is a series of Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), which are constructed wetlands designed to remove excess nutrients and pollutants from watershed runoff.  EFA permits are in lieu of all other permits issued under Part IV of Chapters 373, F.S., with the exception of NPDES permits. 

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Regulation Act (CERPRA; Section 373.1502, F.S.)The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Regulation Act (CERPRA) regulates CERP project components unless they are otherwise subject to Section 373.4592 (EFA), Section 373.4595 (Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program), or the Department's rules on reuse of reclaimed water.  This regulatory act provides for the protection of water quality and the reduction of the loss of fresh water from the Everglades.  These features are necessary to meet the other water-related needs of the region, including flood control, the enhancement of water supplies, and other objectives served by the project.  CERPRA permits are in lieu of all other permits issued under Chapters 373 and 403, with the exception of NPDES permits. 

Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program (NEEPP; Section 373.4595, F.S.)

In 2007, the Florida Legislature passed the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program (NEEPP), Section 373.4595, F.S., which expanded the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act (LOPA) to include the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and estuaries.  NEEPP is intended to protect and to restore surface-water resources and to maintain compliance with water-quality standards in these three watersheds and downstream receiving waters.  These goals are to be achieved through a phased, comprehensive, and innovative protection program set forth in s. 373.4595, which includes long-term solutions based upon the total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) established in accordance with s. 403.067.    Currently, NEEPP regulates the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Construction Project (LOWCP) and structures discharging into or from Lake Okeechobee.  NEEPP permits are in lieu of all other permits issued under Chapters 373 and 403, with the exception of NPDES permits. 

 

 


Office of Ecosystem Projects
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 24   Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000  
850-245-3166 (phone) / 850-245-3145 (fax)

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Last updated: May 17, 2013