Permitting Process

How do you obtain a permit?

In Northwest Florida, depending on the type of activity, your ERP permit may be issued by either the District or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Generally, the District handles permitting for most residential, commercial, and industrial developments, while the DEP handles single-family projects, marinas and docks, landfills, and water treatment facilities.

The Operation Agreement can help determine which agency will issue your permit.

Types of Permits

The District issues three types of ERP permits:

  • Exemption Verification
  • General Permits
  • Individual Permits

Exemptions and General Permits

Exemptions are already authorized by rule or statute, but the District recommends that applicants double-check that they qualify for the exemption by contacting the District.

General permits are permits that are already issued by rule.  Applicants are required to submit a notice to the agency with the details of the project.

With both exemptions and general permits, the District will review the project to determine that it qualifies for the exemption or general permit.  The District has 30 days to complete this review and will provide permittees with a notice of determination if they qualify.

Individual Permits

If a project does not qualify either an exemption or a general permit, then the applicant should submit an application to the District for an Individual permit.

Once it receives an individual permit application, the District has 30 days to check for errors or omissions.  If information is missing or incorrect, the District will send a Request for Additional Information (RAI) to the applicant.

Once the District receives all the information it needs and determines that an application is complete, the agency has 60 days to review the application and approve or deny requests for permits.

What happens after a permit is issued?


After receiving an individual ERP, the permittee will typically have five years from the date of issuance to construct the permitted facility.  The permittee is required to submit a Construction Commencement Notice to the District at least 48 hours before beginning construction.

During Construction

During construction, one of the District’s inspectors will perform periodic inspections to confirm that the specific conditions set in place by the permit are being followed and that Best Management Practices are being incorporated and maintained during construction.

If an issue is observed during an inspection, the permittee will be notified and asked to cooperate with the District to bring the project back into compliance.

Post Construction

Within 30 days of the completion of the project, or any independent portions of the project, the permittee must submit an As-Built Certification and Request for Conversion to Operational Phase form to the District.

District staff will review the request within 60 days, and either  approve the request or will notify the permittee of any deficiencies that must be corrected prior to conversion to the operation and maintenance phase.  If there are deviations from the permitted plans, the permittee will need to do a permit modification to the permit.

Once a project is deemed correctly completed, it is then considered to be in the Operation and Maintenance phase. This will require that the facility be inspected and certified by a professional as described in the permit. Inspection reports typically do not need to be submitted to the agency. The District will reserve the right to inspect the facility, as well as request to review the certification documents.

Who do I contact?

For questions related to applications submitted in Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties, please contact:


Brandon Winter

Environmental Sciences

Ken Greenwood

For questions related to applications submitted in Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington counties, please contact:


Dana Palermo, P.E.

Duc Le

Environmental Sciences

Ted Reese

Aaron Waits

Administrative Assistance

Erica Bundrick

Megan Byers