March 2022, Volume 24, Issue 3

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 Table of Contents

2022 Legislative Session Concludes

After a three-day extension to finish work on a $112B budget, Florida’s 2022 Legislative Session ended on March 14th. Local governments and water quality interests were mostly in a defensive posture this Session. FSA members can find a final summary of the Priority Issues tracked this year on FSA’s Legislative Page, along with Bill Tracking Reports and information on individual bills. Use your username and password to login. The 2023 Session begins in early March of next year.

Did you see FSA's letter to Governor DeSantis requesting that he veto SB 620? FSA encourages all members to send their own requests for the veto of SB 620 today!

  WOTUS Revisions

The comment period on the new proposal of EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to revise the definitions closed on February 7, 2022. See FSA’s comments here. In January, the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a request (Sackett v. EPA) to clarify its 2006 decision in Rapanos v. United States regarding the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) application to wetlands. How the Court rules in the Sackett case could affect the direction EPA takes in further WOTUS rulemaking. WOTUS policy has been subject to wide fluctuations for more than 20 years, due in part to highly variable court decisions and policy changes from one administration to another. WOTUS definitions are important to local governments because they determine which waters are subject to the provisions of the CWA and therefore NPDES permitting requirements, dredge and fill regulations, and other programs. Watch the FSA Advocacy Page for further developments! 

Draft Fecal Indicator Bacteria TMDLs

Bacteria TMDLs are developed for waterbodies that do not meet bacteriological quality criteria designed to protect human health. FDEP has recently published draft updates to fecal indicator bacteria TMDLs for certain impaired surface waters in the Everglades West Coast Basin not meeting applicable criteria for Escherichia coli, enterococci, or fecal coliform bacteria. Although currently limited to waters in Southwest Florida, the proposed TMDLs will also serve as a pilot for a new, consolidated approach that FDEP will use to address fecal indicator bacteria impairments on a statewide basis. A public meeting on the proposed criteria was held on March 29th both in-person and via webinar. More information on the proposed TMDLs and draft Reports may be found on the Department’s website. Written comments should be mailed to Ansel Bubel at MS #3555, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, prior to April 15, 2022. A workshop on the proposed revisions to bacteria TMDLs will be held during FSA’s Annual Conference in June.

OSTDS TAC Releases Final Report

One of the many provisions of Senate Bill 712 (2020 Legislative Session) was the requirement that FDEP establish an OSTDS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) charged with providing recommendations to the Governor and Legislature related to requirements for the physical location of OSTDS and the marketplace availability and use of associated Enhanced Nutrient Reducing (ENR) technology. The TAC made a series of recommendations to the Governor and Legislative Leadership as contained in their Final Report but stopped short of making recommendations on new setbacks, saying that further science-based information is needed.

Statewide Stormwater Design Criteria TAC

A final Summary Report of the Statewide Stormwater Design Criteria Technical Advisory Committee’s (TAC) recommendations was released by FDEP earlier this month. The TAC was formed to assist FDEP and the Water Management Districts in updating the state’s design criteria for the construction of stormwater systems, as directed by Senate Bill 712 which passed during the 2020 Legislative Session. Recordings of all of the meetings of the TAC are available on the Clean Waterways Act TAC webpage and additional information may be found on FSA’s Advocacy page.  FDEP is expected to initiate rulemaking to update the stormwater design criteria in May, which will likely require ratification by the Legislature during the 2023 Legislative Session.

Stormwater Needs Assessments Due Soon

Chapter No. 2021-194, Laws of Florida (HB 53, 2021 Session) requires all local governments with wastewater or stormwater management systems to create a 20-year needs analysis, including a description of the system, the number of future residents served, revenues and expenditures, maintenance costs, etc. and transmit the analysis to the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) by June 2022. EDR’s survey instrument for compiling information is available online. Comments or questions should be directed to EDR. A recording of a workshop discussing implementation of HB 53 that was held during FSA’s 2021 Winter Conference is available online.

Annual Conference Registration Reaches Capacity

The FSA Annual Conference will be held at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott on June 15-17, 2022 and will focus on Vision and Action: Working Together to Create Safe and Sustainable Watersheds. Participants will hear from industry-leading experts on regulatory, technical, and management topics that matter to you. This year’s event features a comprehensive agenda with concurrent educational tracks, twenty presentations, up to 11.5 hours of continuing education, networking opportunities with your colleagues, and much more! Registration reached capacity this week, if you would like to be added to the wait list contact FSA.  Visit the FSA Conference page to view the agenda, rates, continuing education, and more. 

2022-23 Board Elections in June

FSA is looking for dynamic leaders dedicated to ensuring the continued success of the Association. There will be elections to fill vacancies on the Florida Stormwater Association and the FSA Educational Foundation Boards of Directors during the Friday Annual Membership meeting at this year’s Annual Conference. This is your chance to help lead the primary organization dedicated to furthering the stormwater management profession and water quality improvement programs in Florida. We want to hear from you! If you’re interested in serving or if you know of a member that you would like to recommend to serve, please send your recommendation to [email protected] or complete a Leadership Recommendation Form today! Recommendations must be submitted by April 29. 2022.

What’s in it for you?

  • An opportunity to enhance the value and set the direction of FSA and FSAEF
  • A significant role in advancing your profession and water quality programs
  • Access to up-to-date information about the challenges facing your profession
  • The chance to exchange ideas and perspectives with other volunteer leaders

The New Landscape of Stormwater Grants Webinar - Registration Opens

Need help finding the right funding source for your community’s resiliency efforts? Join us on May 5th for The New Landscape of Stormwater Grants - Exploring Infrastructure and Resilience Opportunities webinar. We will hear about one community’s journey to fund community-wide resiliency planning projects utilizing grant funding. The presentation will explore funding opportunities with an overview of Florida’s Resilient Grant Program and share a case study of project implementation with lessons learned along the way. This event is brought to FSA members free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of Applied SciencesRegister today to save your seat!  

Did You Know FSA's Stormwater Operator Certification Training is Recognized by FDEP?

FSA’s Fogarty Training Center conducts both Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Stormwater Operator courses that are recognized by FDEP and help meet the requirements of your MS4 permit for initial or “refresher” training of stormwater staff in:

  • Erosion and Sedimentation Control
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Spill Prevention and Remediation
  • Good Housekeeping Practices
  • High Risk Facilities

Visit the Training Center today to view the current schedule of classes.

FSAEF Scholarship Award

The FSA Educational Foundation’s Scholarship Program awards financial assistance to qualified students attending Florida colleges and universities whose educational interest is in stormwater research, management, or finance. In 2022 the FSAEF will be offering $2,000 scholarships. Applications are being accepted now from graduate students in colleges or schools of engineering, natural science, public administration (or closely related fields). Qualified applicants should Apply Online by August 12, 2022

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