Agricultural Assistance Team
Dedicated permitting assistance
Phillip Benson, a District environmental scientist, records well meter information at a Pierson area farm where he assisted a farmer with a permit application.
Recognizing the need to more actively work with the agricultural community, the St. Johns River Water Management District in March 2011 launched an Agricultural Assistance Team that is working to streamline the permitting process and enhance assistance provided to growers.
By working more closely with growers on District permits — Consumptive Use Permits (CUPs) and Environmental Resource Permits (ERPs) — required for some operations, the Ag Team will simplify and accelerate the permitting process, reduce permitting duplication, and assist growers in obtaining and complying with permits.
The Ag Team’s work is expected to help ensure that growers are able to comply with total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
By proactively engaging the agricultural community and individual farmers and ranchers before they apply for permits, during the permit and permit modification processes, and in complying with permit requirements, the Ag Team will assist growers throughout all aspects of District permitting, including:
- Determining permittable water allocations
- Conducting groundwater drawdown analyses
- Performing modeling of potential wetland impacts
- Preparing water conservation plans
The results of increased coordination and assistance between the District and growers is expected to:
- Enhance growers’ abilities to achieve TMDL and BMAP requirements, and to meet District permit monitoring and reporting requirements
- Accelerate District decisions and reduce permit turnaround time frames
- Reduce enforcement actions and related production delays and expenses
- Reduce growers’ costs and time spent preparing permit applications and related documents
- David McInnes
Environmental Resource Coordinator
Division of Regulatory Services
Phone: (386) 329‑4823
- Suzanne Archer
Technical Program Manager
Bureau of Environmental Resource Regulation
Phone: (407) 215‑1450