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Mandatory Nonphosphate


Administers the laws and regulations related to the reclamation of mined land and the protection of water resources (water quality, water quantity and wetlands) at mines extracting heavy minerals, fuller's earth, limestone, dolomite & shell, gravel, sand, dirt, clay, peat, and other solid resources (except phosphate). The section administers two regulatory programs: Permitting and Reclamation.

Permitting Program: In the Northwest Florida Water Management District a wetland resource permit will be required for work in wetlands and surface waters that connect to waters of the state, or that are owned by more than one person. Elsewhere in the state, the activity may require an environmental resource permit (ERP). The ERR regulates activities in, on, or over, wetlands and other surface waters. It regulates the creation or alteration of water bodies, including old mine pits. It may also be required for the creation of impervious areas, and for certain projects exclusively in uplands. These permits focus on how the activity will affect wetlands, water quality, and water quantity. They also consider how changes to wetlands affect wildlife.

Reclamation Program: Reclamation means the reasonable rehabilitation of land where resource extraction has occurred. Areas disturbed by mining operations, and subject to the reclamation requirements, must be reclaimed after mining is complete. Debris, litter, junk, worn-out or unusable equipment or materials must be appropriately disposed. The land must be recontoured and stabilized to control erosion. Bare areas must be revegetated. Prior to mining, the operator must provide a conceptual mining and reclamation plan, or a reclamation notice.


  • The Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) is administered within the Suwannee River Water Management District (40B), St. Johns River Water Management District (40C), Southwest Florida Water Management District (40D), and South Florida Water Management District (40E). The new ERP combines the regulatory authority of the water management districts under the management and storage of surface waters (MSSW) program with the regulatory authority of the Department under the wetland resource permit program. The Department adopted certain water management district rules for use in this program. The water management district rules begin with 40 and the letter B, C, D, or E. When the ERP application will be reviewed by the Department, please use the Department form and the appropriate water management district rules adopted by the Department.
  • Based on interagency agreements, an ERP application for a mine will be processed either by the Department, or the water management districts. The water management district will process the ERP application if the mine is a borrow pit, and will not have on-site material grading or sorting facilities. If the water management district will review the application, it will use its own version of the permit rules and forms. These can be obtained from the water management district.
  • The wetland resource permit program is in effect only in the Florida panhandle (within the limits of the Northwest Florida Water Management District), and for certain activities that are grandfathered from the ERP. It regulates any dredging, filling, or construction in, on, or over waters and wetlands that are connected, either naturally or artificially, to "named waters." Named waters include the Gulf of Mexico, bays, bayous, sounds, estuaries, lagoons, rivers, streams, and natural lakes that are not wholly owned by one person other than the state.
  • The Miami-Dade Lake Belt Area encompasses 77.5 square miles of environmentally sensitive land at the western edge of the Miami-Dade County urban area. The wetlands and lakes of the Lake Belt offer the potential to buffer the Everglades from the potentially adverse impacts of urban development. Rock mined from the Lake Belt supplies one-half of the limestone used annually in Florida. In 1992, the Florida Legislature recognized the importance of the Lake Belt Area’s limestone resources to the state as well as the need to sensitively plan for protection of the public drinking water supply (Section 373.4149, F.S.). The Legislature created the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Plan Implementation Committee and directed it to develop a plan which: (a) enhances the water supply for Miami-Dade County and the Everglades; (b) maximizes efficient recovery of limestone while promoting the social and economic welfare of the community and protecting the environment; and (c) educates various groups and the general public of the benefits of the plan.


Mining, Mitigation and Delineation Home
Bob Martinez Center, 2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 3577, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400 Phone (850) 245-7554

Last updated: September 24, 2015

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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