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Environmental Health & Safety

A safe and healthy environment is one form of preventive medicine you cannot get from your doctor or drugstore. Yet, it is crucial to your family and community's well being. Environmental Health is an essential part of the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. These services listed below are aimed at preventing or reducing potential health risks in your daily surroundings.
All the document links on this page are in PDF format. If your computer cannot read PDF files, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader, at no charge, from the Adobe website at http://www.adobe.com.

Beaches Water Quality

The Beaches water Sampling and Public Notification Program monitors the quality of Duval county beaches by posting the level of bacteria found in beach water samples. Bacteria can be an indicator of pollution that may cause illness to swimmers. We collect and analyze the ocean waters along beaches to check for bacteria levels.

For information, call (904) 253 - 1280 or visit the DOH Healthy Beaches Webpage.

Click here to see sample locations and test results in Duval County

Biomedical Waste Program

The Biomedical Waste Program protects health care workers, environmental service staff, waste haulers, and the general public from risks associated with potentially infectious biomedical wastes. Biomedical Waste generators include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, laboratories, funeral homes, dentists, veterinarians, and physicians or any business that produces biomedical waste as a result of services provided. View a copy of the Biomedical Waste Rule 64E - 16 FAC (60kb PDF).

Many facilities have their Biomedical Waste removed by a commercial company. View a List of Registered Biomedical Waste Transporters.

The

Agape - Wesconnett Community Health Center

5150-9 Timuquana Road 32210
Phone: (904) 253 - 1120

To schedule an appointment please call: (904) 253 - 1130 investigates complaints concerning biomedical waste. Emergency situations are referred to the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Emergency Response, at (850) 245-2010.

Annual permits are required for facilities that generate more than 25 pounds of biomedical waste within a 30-day period. All facilities must first obtain an initial biomedical waste permit prior to commencement of operation. You can download the common application forms here:

Application for Biomedical Waste Generator Permit/Exemption DH4089 (21kb PDF)
Application for Biomedical Waste Transporter Registration DH4106 (19kb PDF)
Application for Biomedical Waste Storage Permit DH4107 (19kb PDF)
Application for Biomedical Waste Sharps Collection Program Permit DH4108 (8kb PDF)

In - Service Training to satisfy annual requirements is available for all classifications of Biomedical Waste Generators. Please contact our office at 253-1280 for instructor availability and associated fees.

For information, call (904) 253-1280. For information or on-line copies of other forms, visit the DOH website at: http://www.myfloridaeh.com/community/biomedical. (Scroll down from the top of the DOH webpage to see the Forms links)

Body Piercing

The Body Piercing Program ensures minimum sanitary and safety standards related to the design and operation of temporary and permanent body piercing salons. The Florida Department of Health in Duval County investigates complaints concerning body piercing and issues licenses to these establishments. Click here to access a copy of the body Piercing Rule: Chapter 64E - 19, F.A.C. (40kb PDF)

For annual permit renewal, you can access the Application for Body Piercing Salon License here

For information, call (904) 253 - 1280. For information or copies of other required forms, visit the DOH Body Piercing Website.

All body piercing professionals are required to attend annual training, prior to annual permit renewal. DCHD Environmental Health is an approved provider for Body Piercer annual training. Please call 253 - 1785 for more information on class availability and associated fees. Click here for a copy of the Pre - Registration Form.

Environmental Public Health Data

Information about the facilities regulated by the EH Division is located at the DOH Environmental Health Website. At this site you can find details for individual facilities, including inspection results. In addition, information is included about Septic tank Construction Permits and Contact Information for Septic Tank Contractors.

Environmental Public Health Tracking Network

This web portal is part of a National network created in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide health, exposure, environmental hazard data and information that communities can use to improve their health. Click here to access the EPHT portal.

Environmental Toxicology Program

In 1999, the Florida Department of Health in Duval County initiated an Environmental Toxicology Program that has been instrumental in identifying potential hazardous substances from waste sites and other sources of pollution present in the environment. The Environmental Toxicology Program's primary goals are to prevent or reduce exposures and adverse health effects from environmental hazards that may diminish the quality of life for citizens of Duval County and to increase residents' knowledge & understanding of the health effects that may result from exposure to hazardous substances. Some projects of this program include addressing community concerns related to exposure to the City of Jacksonville’s ash sites and other national priority waste sites such as old wood treatment facilities or industrial sites. The program also plays a vital role in evaluation of fish consumption safety and issuing health advisories for fish caught near hazardous waste sites. Other projects include asthma awareness outreach and education related to exposure to environmental contaminants.

For general information related to the public health assessments go to: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/SUPERFUND/index.html. For information on general asthma-related environmental issues see: http://www.myfloridaeh.com/medicine/Asthma/.

To contact the DCHD Environmental Toxicology Program call (904) 253-1280.

“Check First” Campaign – Exposure to Mercury in Fish

The Florida Department of Health in Duval County's (DOH in Duval) Division of Environmental Health and Safety is pleased to announce the launch of the Check First educational campaign on mercury exposure.

Check First is the result of a DOH in Duval study to assess mercury exposure among women living in Duval County. Phase I of the study was conducted during the summer of 2009 and consisted of gathering baseline information regarding hair mercury levels, fish consumption patterns, and mercury exposure awareness among Duval County women of child - bearing age. Phase II of the study involved a 2010 survey of women’s health providers about the availability and delivery of mercury educational materials to their clients.

The results of the study indicated that awareness about mercury exposure among women is low. Only 63% of women surveyed reported having knowledge of the association between mercury and fish consumption. Awareness was even lower among pregnant women surveyed, with only 57% reporting knowledge of this association. Furthermore, of the women’s health providers surveyed, only 61% reported providing education about mercury exposure to their patients. One of the barriers to education that was identified by providers is a lack of clear, consistent materials.

In an effort to facilitate education and increase awareness about mercury exposure, DCHD has developed Check First educational materials targeting women of childbearing age. We invite you to review these materials at the links below:

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Food Hygiene

The food hygiene program ensures food establishments operate in a safe and sanitary manner in compliance with all applicable State of Florida regulations. Food service facilities such as schools, bars, movie theaters and assisted living facilities are inspected on a regular basis to assist in the prevention of food-borne illness outbreaks in those facilities.

Click here to access a copy of Chapter 64E - 11 F.A.C., the rule governing DOH regulated food service facilities.

A Sanitation Certificate must be issued prior to any facility under DOH regulation beginning operation, and renewed annually. Each facility needs to submit both the state and county application forms, click on the name of the form for a printable pdf file.

The permitting requirements for a new food service facility are different for each type of business. Due to the wide range of possible requirements, any facility beginning the permitting process should contact our Food Hygiene Program at (904) 253-1280 for specific instructions.

In Florida, Restaurants or Grocery Stores are not regulated by the Department of Health. If you have a concern or complaint about one of these establishments, you will need to contact the agency that oversees that facility:

  • Restaurants in Florida are licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You can click here for their website or call them at (850) 487-1395.
  • Most Grocery stores and convenience stores in Florida are permitted by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You can click here for their website or call them at 1 (800) 435-7352.

For information, call (904) 253-1280 or visit the Florida Department of Health Web site at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/community/food.

DOH in Duval Environmental Health offers a Food Safety and Sanitation Class for all interested commercial food service workers or private individuals. Please call (904) 253-1280 to check course availability.

Group Care

Children, the elderly and ill persons living at group care facilities comprise a portion of the population that is more susceptible to disease. Your environmental health staff ensures high standards related to the construction, operation and maintenance of group care facilities. Facilities such as assisted living facilities, residential facilities, and foster homes are inspected regularly to reduce the risk of disease transmission to residents, workers and visitors.

Due to the variety of facilities regulated under this program, more than one rule provides the requirements, based on the type of business involved. Chapter 64E-12 F.A.C. governs residential facilities, Chapter 64E - 13 F.A.C. governs public schools, including colleges and universities and 6A-2.0040 governs private schools. If there is food service at the facility, they may also have to meet the rules provided in Chapter 64E - 11 F.A.C. (Click on the name to see a copy of that rule).

An Operating Permit must be issued prior to any facility under DOH regulation beginning operation, and renewed annually. Click here for a copy of the county application form for new or renewal permits.

The permitting requirements for a new group care facility a different for each type of business. Due to the wide range of possible requirements, any facility beginning the permitting process should contact our Group Care Program at (904) 253-1280 for specific instructions.

Child Care facilities are permitted and inspected by the Florida Department of Children and Families. For more information about the requirements for Child Care or to make a complaint, please click here to visit the DCF website, or call 850 - 488 - 4900.

For information, call (904) 253 - 1280 or visit the Florida Department of Health Web site at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/community/group/index.htm and select your facility type from the list.

Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

The Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program conducts and coordinates the assessment of private homes for housing - related health hazards focusing on low - income families with children less than 6 years old, as well as provides recommendations and referrals for correcting identified Healthy Homes hazards. In addition, the staff of this program ensures that children (<6 years old) with identified housing - related health issues receive timely medical care and management to reduce housing - related illnesses/injuries and prevent repeat exposure. The services of this program also include promoting blood lead screening for high - risk populations, and providing information to families, health care providers, and businesses on lead poisoning and its prevention.

To schedule a home assessment for Lead and/or housing related health issues, please contact our program office at (904) 253-1285 for more information and related fees.

For more information related to Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention go to: http://www.myfloridaeh.com/medicine/lead/index.html

The program’s highly trained and certified staff members are also EPA–accredited instructors offering the following EPA Lead-Based Paint Training classes: Abatement Worker – Initial (English) and Supervisor – Initial as well as the Renovator Initial and Refresher Courses in English that meet requirements of the EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program.

For more information about the RRP rule that went into effect in April 2010 please go to: http://www.myfloridaeh.com/medicine/lead/rrp.html

Mobile Homes and Recreational Vehicle Parks

The Mobile Home and Recreational Vehicle Parks Program ensures mobile home parks and recreational vehicle parks operate in a safe and sanitary manner so the risk of illness and injury in this residential environment is minimized. A primary focus is ensuring the sources of drinking water are safe, proper sewage disposal, and that any swimming pool in a park is clean and safe. We also make sure that the property of the park is free from improperly stored garbage and harmful insects and rodents.

The requirements for operating a Mobile Home (MH) or Recreational Vehicle (RV) Park are provided in Chapter 64E - 15 F.A.C.

These facilities are permitted annually and inspected on a regular basis. A copy of the application form for New or Renewal Permits is available here.

This program includes temporary RV Parks such as Tailgating for Football games or events around the Fairgrounds. The Rule, which sets the guidelines for the temporary RV parks is from the City of Jacksonville Ordinances, can be found here: Chapter 460, Part 3. Click here for a summary explaining what you need to do to obtain a permit. A copy of the application for a Temporary RV Park can be accessed here. Please note that Written Approval from the City of Jacksonville Zoning Department must be obtained prior to this permit being granted. Permit application and site plans must be submitted no less than 14 days prior to operation.

For information, call (904) 253 - 1280 or visit http://www.myfloridaeh.com/community/mobile.

Onsite Sewage Program (aka Septic Tank Program)

Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (OSTDS) are permitted and inspected by Environmental Health Staff. To ensure systems are installed and repaired in a manner that reduces the chances of pollution of ground and surface water supplies, all persons who want to perform an installation or repair must first get approval and specifications from the health department. Proper installation and repairs protect ground and surface waters, thereby reducing the potential for spread of infectious diseases.

The requirements for construction and operation of an OSTDS or Septic System are provided in Chapter 64E - 6 F.A.C.

All OSTDS construction, modification or repair must be permitted by the Department before any construction or changes begin. To assist you in finding the correct forms and documentation to use, we have designed the following information sheets for you:

OSTDS NEW CONSTRUCTION
OSTDS MODIFICATION
OSTDS REPAIR PERMITS

Annual Operating Permits

Certain Commercial and all Performance Based Treatment Systems require special annual operating permits. Click here for a copy of the Annual Operating Permit application form.

  • Any business associated with septic tank pumping/hauling, temporary toilets service, septage treatment or septic tank manufacturing, located in Duval County, must be permitted annually by DCHD Environmental Health. Click here for a copy of the Annual Operating Permit Application for Service Companies.

For more information about Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems, call (904) 253 - 1284 or visit the DOH website at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/ostds

Septic Tank Contractors

A person that contracts or advertises to provide OSTDS services to the public must be Registered with the Department of Health in Tallahassee prior to doing business in the State of Florida. For more information regarding Registration or Renewal, please visit the FDOH website at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/ostds/Regist/mainreg.htm

Rabies Prevention Program

All animal bites within Duval County should be reported to the rabies control program for investigation and follow - up. By investigating all animal bites the fatal disease of rabies is not transmitted to humans.

To report animal bites call (904) 253-1280.

Raccoons and other wild animals often wander into residential areas looking for food and shelter. In some cases, they are considered nuisances because of the damage they can cause and the health risks to people and pets. Most negative encounters with wildlife can be prevented by removing whatever is attracting the animals. Click here for more information.

Florida has no nuisance wildlife removal program. If you want to have an animal removed from your property you must do so at your own expense. State rules regarding relocating animals and a list of registered wildlife trappers are available at myfwc.com. If you have questions about an animal’s behavior, you can contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1 (386) 758-0525 to speak to a wildlife biologist.

For more information about Rabies, visit the Department of Health website at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/medicine/rabies/rabies

Sanitary Nuisance/Premises Complaints Program

The sanitary nuisance/premises complaint program ensures the investigation and abatement of various types of sanitary nuisances reported to the Department of Health in Duval County by citizens and other government agencies. This section investigates sanitary nuisances specifically related to improperly stored and collected garbage, mosquito breeding, as well as faulty plumbing resulting in sewage being improperly collected and disposed.

For information or to report unsanitary conditions, call (904) 253-1280 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The City of Jacksonville Environmental and Compliance Department also addresses certain sanitary and safety issues.

The Environmental Quality Division investigates complaints related to air, odors, noise, surface water, groundwater, underground storage tanks, hazardous wastes, wetlands and wildlife.

The Municipal Code Compliance Division enforces property maintenance, safety, and zoning codes, which address property nuisance, unsafe structure, minimum building standards, zoning, and (private property) junk vehicle violations.

You may request a service, or notify the City of a problem (such as incidents of pollution) online or report your issue by calling (904) 630-CITY (2489).

In Florida, Restaurants or Grocery Stores are not regulated by the Department of Health. If you have a concern or complaint about one of these establishments, you will need to contact the agency that oversees that facility:

  • Restaurants in Florida are licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You can click here for their website or call them at (850) 487-1395.
  • Grocery stores and convenience stores in Florida are permitted by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You can click here for their website or call them at 850 - 245 - 5520.

Swimming Pools, Spas and Bathing Places

Our Swimming Pools and Bathing Places program ensures swimming pools and bathing places, regulated by the Florida Department of Health are operated in a safe and sanitary manner so the risk of disease and injury is minimized. Swimming pools, water parks, and bathing places, which are open to the public are permitted and inspected.

Chapter 64E - 9 F.A.C. is the rule which contains the requirements for the permitting and operation of Public Swimming Pools, Spas and Bathing Places.

Virginia Graeme Baker Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act

A law to prevent entrapment drowning and injury at all public pools that took effect on December 19, 2008 and requires retrofit actions. Click here for a Fact sheet about this national mandate, or visit the Florida Department of Health Web Site http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/water/swim

Public Swimming Pool Construction

All Public Swimming Pool, Spa and Bathing Place construction or modification plans must be approved before construction or changes begin. The staff of this office works directly with the Tallahassee Engineers to approve and inspect the construction and modification of public swimming pools here in Duval County. Click here for the Pool Plans Application form. Once construction is complete, you will be required to submit either the Pool Authorization or Bathing Place Authorization (whichever applies) to receive approval prior to opening to the public.

After initial approval, permits are renewed annually. Click here for a copy of the Annual Operating Permit Renewal form.

In certain circumstances, condominium pools may be exempt from some of the public pool rules. If your condominium complex has 32 or fewer units, click for more information and the exemption application. If the complex has more than 32 units, you will need to use this form. Exemption is not automatic; you must submit the application form along with supporting documentation as noted on the application form.

For information, call (904) 253-1280 or visit the DOH website at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/water/swim

Tanning Facilities

The tanning facilities program ensures that the risk of overexposure due to ultraviolet light from tanning devices is reduced. Salons are inspected twice a year for sanitation and safety practices. The Duval County Health Department must permit all tanning facilities open to the public.

Chapter 64E - 17 F.A.C. is the rule which contains the requirements for Tanning Facility Operation. One particular aspect of operation is that Tanning facilities must allow customers to tan only once within a 24 hour period. See 64E - 17.002(2)(m) F.A.C.

Just as too much outdoor sun can be dangerous, Indoor tanning can be risky if you are not careful. For more information on tanning safely, click here for a brochure on Tanning Safety Facts. Certain foods or medications can increase your risk, so check with your medical provider before using indoor tanning facilities.

All tanning facilities open to the public must be permitted prior to opening, and operating permits are renewed annually. For a copy of the application form for new or renewal permits, click here.

For information, call (904) 253 – 1280 or visit the DOH website at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/community/tanning

Tattoos

The Tattooing Program ensures minimum sanitary and safety standards related to the design and operation of temporary and permanent tattoo establishments by conducting routine inspections. The Duval County Health Department investigates complaints concerning tattoo establishments and issues licenses to individual artists and establishments. All tattoo artists are required to attend and pass an initial three hour, Florida Department of Health approved Blood borne Pathogen/Communicable Disease Course.

The Rule that provides the regulations for Tattoo establishments and artists is Chapter 64E - 28 F.A.C., click here for a copy.

All Tattoo Establishments must be approved and permitted prior to October 1, 2012. For a copy of the Tattoo Establishment Application form, click here. In addition, each Tattoo Artist must be permitted as well, click here for a copy for the Tattoo Artist Application Form. An artist who has an active license, registration, or certification from a jurisdiction outside of Florida may apply as a Guest Tattoo Artist to be approved to work in the state of Florida. Click here for a copy of the Application form for a Guest Tattoo Artist.

Each artist must attend and pass an approved Bloodborne Pathogens And Communicable Disease class. DOH in Duval Environmental Health is an approved provider for Tattoo Artist initial training. Please call (904) 253-1785 for more information on class availability.

In order to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 (minor), the artist must be provided a Notarized Minor Consent Form before beginning any procedure. Under no circumstances should an Artist Tattoo anyone under the age of 16.

For information, call (904) 253-1280 or visit the DOH website at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/community/Tattoo

Training Opportunities in Environmental Health

Biomedical Waste

In-Service Training to satisfy annual requirements is available for all classifications of Biomedical Waste Generators. Please contact our office at 253 - 1280 for instructor availability and associated fees

Body Piercing

DCHD Environmental Health is an approved provider for Body Piercer annual training. Please call (904) 253-1785 for more information on class availability. Click here for a copy of the Pre-Registration Form

Food Hygiene

DCHD Environmental Health offers a Food Safety and Sanitation Class for all interested commercial food service workers or private individuals. Please call (904) 253-1280 to check course availability.

LEAD

EPA – accredited instructors offer the following EPA Lead-Based Paint Training classes:

Abatement Worker – Initial (English) and Supervisor Initial

Renovator Initial and Refresher Courses (English) that meet requirements of the EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program.

For more information, course availability and associated fees, please call (904) 253-1285.

Tattoo

DOH in Duval Environmental Health is an approved provider for Tattoo Artist Initial training. Please call 253 - 1785 for more information on class availability.

Wells and Water Programs

Florida's groundwater supply and surface waters are vulnerable to a wide array of contaminants, both natural and man-made. The Environmental Health & Safety Division is committed to safeguarding Duval County's water supply. Through routine inspections, the environmental health staff ensures that drinking water supplies, both public and private, are bacteriologically, and chemically safe, as well as physically acceptable for human use and consumption. They also ensure that water quality monitoring is conducted.

Limited Use Public Water Systems

The Environmental Health section has the responsibility for the supervision of all private, Multifamily, and Limited Use Public Water Systems (LUPWSs) from which water is available to the public. Environmental Health inspectors conduct sanitary surveys, perform plan reviews, evaluate water treatment and distribution systems, collect water samples, and investigate waterborne disease outbreaks, including conditions associated with bacterial/viral and chemical contaminants.

The requirements for the Limited Use Water Systems are written in Chapter 64E - 8 F.A.C.

All Limited Use Water Systems (LUPWS) are required to apply for a Construction approval to ensure that all safeguards set forth in the rule are provided and the water quality is satisfactory. Click here for the construction application.

Once construction is completed, the operating permits are renewed annually. Click here for a copy of the Operating Permit Annual Renewal Form.

Limited Use Water Systems are required to have samples analyzed for bacteria quarter. In addition, periodic sampling is required to be tested for Lead and Nitrate in the water. All water testing must be completed by a state certified laboratory.

DOH in Duval Environmental Health can offer the service of collecting these samples for you.

  • Samples are collected by trained EH field staff, guaranteed to be on time
  • Water testing is available for Lead, Nitrate and coliform bacteria (all the tests required for LUPWS)
  • Prices start as low as $100. For more information, please contact us at 253 - 1282

Some Limited Use Water Systems may be eligible to request classification as a Registered Water System, which results in less monitoring. This request is made in addition to the Construction or Annual Operating Permit. Click here for a copy of the Application for Registration.

For information, call (904) 253 - 1280 or visit the DOH website at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/water/limitedusewater.

 

Well Surveillance Program

 

We conduct potable well water quality investigations and sampling near known and potential ground water contamination sources such as, but not limited to: gasoline stations, dry-cleaning facilities, landfills and industrial sites. We also monitor the quality of potable well water in areas affected by the ground water contamination and respond to residents' concerns about safety of their potable well water by providing site investigations and well water sampling. When the well water is determined to be unsafe for human consumption we initiate a provision of an alternative safe drinking water. For more information related to private potable well water issues go to: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/water/privatewells.html


Please note: application forms cannot be accepted on-line at this time. Please print the application, complete the required information and either bring or mail the form to our office with applicable fee and documentation.

Checks and money orders should be made out to Duval CHD Environmental Health

Florida Department of Health in Duval County
Environmental Health and Safety
900 University Blvd., North Suite 300 MC - 45
Jacksonville, Florida 32211

The application form may also be faxed to (904) 253-2390; then use a credit card to pay by phone at (904) 253-2578. Please have your permit number for the cashier to ensure proper credit for your payment.