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FL - Florida Receives EPA Approval to Assume Clean Water Act Section 404 Program

Florida’s 404 program aims to increase regulatory efficiency and reduce duplication between the state’s existing Environmental Resource Permitting Program (ERP) and the federal 404 program.

For the first time in over 25 years, the U.S. EPA approved the formal transfer of section 404 permitting authority to a third state, Florida.  

The only two states that have received approval to administer the Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404 program are Michigan and New Jersey, reported the National Law Review. No state has received approval since 1994.  

Florida’s 404 program aims to increase regulatory efficiency and reduce duplication between the state’s existing Environmental Resource Permitting Program (ERP) and the federal 404 program.  

Once EPA’s approval is published in the Federal Register, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) will assume 404 permitting authority from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in certain waters.

“A considerable amount of effort has gone into Florida’s assumption of the Clean Water Act 404 program,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Federal authorities don’t delegate this type of permit often, but Florida has, beyond question one of the greatest environmental records of any state, and I couldn’t be happier that Florida has shown it can meet the strict national standards EPA sets to protect human health and the environment.”

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