January 2024, Volume 26, Issue 1

Thank you to our Newsletter Sponsors!

 Table of Contents

FSA Education Update

Lee Mullon, PE, CFM, BC.WRE, PMP

The FSA Education Committee is ready for 2024. With major rule changes that can impact stormwater management and MS4s on the horizon (be sure to keep up with FSA’s Priority Issues during the legislative session), new NPDES permits anticipated for Phase 1 MS4s, and the ever-increasing need to train stormwater operators statewide, FSA’s timely and relevant education offerings are as important as ever.

In September 2023, we hosted a sold-out Seminar on the upcoming Statewide Stormwater Rule to educate and prepare MS4s on how these profound changes will impact their local communities. The Education Committee will continue to develop events and training opportunities that provide value to our members.

In 2023 the Fogarty Training Center provided FSA’s Level 1 and Level 2 Stormwater Operator training courses to over 730 participants across the state. FSA continues to invest in the Fogarty Training Center to make the training experience engaging and relevant. The Education Committee is proud to report that they have completed a thorough review and update of the Level 2 Operator Training Manual, which will be implemented this year. We also updated key areas of the Level 1 Operator Training Manual to comply with FDEP requirements, which will keep our training classes fully up-to-date and eligible to meet MS4 NPDES standards for training. For more information about upcoming courses in your area or online, please visit the Fogarty Training Center.

Make sure to join our upcoming webinars, which are provided free to members. On March 14, 2024, our webinar will provide a 2024 Legislative Session Overview, registration is open now. On May 9, 2024, we will hold our annual technical webinar. Watch your email for notices and updates.

Best wishes to all our FSA members.

Lee Mullon, PE, CFM, BC.WRE, PMP
Education Committee Chair
Drummond Carpenter

Stormwater Legislation - Stormwater Rule Ratification Bills Filed

Ratification of the adopted Statewide Stormwater Rule is top priority this legislative session. Identical bills SB 7040 and HB 7053, both entitled “Ratification of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Rules Relating to Stormwater,” were heard and passed unanimously in their first committee meetings. FSA was present at both committee meetings to provide comments and support ratification of the rule.

FSA is also following other bills that may be impactful to FSA membership. Proposed bills impacting wetland permitting, slide slope regulations, and numerous FDEP programs from funding to drinking water standards are in the mix this session. Be sure to visit FSA’s Legislative Page to monitor legislation via FSA’s Priority Issues list, detailed bill tracking, and current news articles. This resource is available for FSA members only, you will need your FSA username and password to login.

Florida Legislative Session Recap Webinar

Join FSA on March 14th for the only "post Session" webinar focused on Florida stormwater legislation! The webinar will examine what was introduced, what passed and failed in 2024, and what might be returning for 2025. Attendees will have a chance to review the future of state water policy, new regulations that may require more efforts and resources, and how water quality improvement programs may change in Florida. Register today to save your seat!

  Diana FergusonDiana Ferguson
Florida Stormwater Association
Kevin CoyneKevin Coyne
Director of Regulatory Affairs
Florida Stormwater Association
The webinar is brought to FSA members free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of Applied Sciences.

Fertilizer Ordinance Report Released

At the conclusion of the 2023 Legislative Session local governments were prohibited from adopting or amending urban turf fertilizer ordinances that include seasonal bans of fertilizer use while the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS) conducted a study on the effectiveness of fertilizer ordinances with seasonal bans. In December 2023, IFAS released the Urban Landscapes Fertilizer Restrictions report. The report summarizes a series of already completed studies and overall found results varied, mainly due to a lack of adequate data. The report recommends more study on the topic.  While this is an important finding, FSA believes a study is unnecessary to show that reduced fertilizer application, which can happen during a seasonal ban, reduces runoff to adjacent waters. The current ban effectively eliminates a proven cost-effective way to reduce nutrient pollution. Urban fertilizer runoff into stormwater is a major contributor of nitrogen and phosphorus into our waterways. While the prohibition on new or revised local government ordinances is set to end in July 2024, it has put Florida even further behind in improving water quality. FSA will monitor next steps and continue to communicate the importance of allowing local governments to address this issue as they see fit, and that a continued (or increased) moratorium on seasonal bans is unnecessary.

Proposed Water Quality Standards to Protect Human Health in Florida

On November 30, 2023, the USEPA proposed a rule to establish new and revised human health water quality criteria (HHC) for certain pollutants in Florida. In December 2022, EPA stated that Florida needed to update the state’s HHC, some of which was outdated or nonexistent. FDEP, the state agency with oversight for water quality standards, acknowledged the need to update and revise HHC, and on multiple occasions started the process to update but ultimately failed to finalize. Overall, EPA has proposed 37 new criteria and 36 revised existing criteria for adoption to state water quality standards. EPA will be holding two virtual public hearings (January 23rd and 24th) and is accepting comments until February 6th. More information can be found on the EPA water quality standards website.

FDEP Outstanding Florida Springs Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) Webinar

On January 23, 2024, FDEP held a public webinar to provide an overview and presentation on Nitrogen Source Inventory Loading Tool (NSILT) updates, which are a component of the Florida Springs BMAPs. The webinar also provided information on BMAP updates scheduled to be completed by 2025. A link to the webinar will be posted on the FDEP meetings webpage.

Blue Green Algae Task Force Meeting

On January 24, 2024, the Florida Blue Green Algae Task Force (BGATF) held a virtual meeting open to the public. The meeting covered multiple topics, from an overview of the Statewide Stormwater Rule, updates on Innovative Technology, and the development of research groups to address technical topics discussed in previous BGATF meetings. A recording of the meeting and copies of the presentations will be available via the Protecting Florida Together website.

FSA 2024 Stormwater Utility Survey - We Want to Hear From You!

FSA is in the process of updating its biennial survey of stormwater utilities. If your jurisdiction has a stormwater utility, you should have received an email with a link to the survey to update your jurisdiction’s stormwater utility information. The deadline to submit the survey has been extended to February 9, 2024. The Stormwater Utility Report presents the results of a biennial survey of stormwater utilities in Florida. Its purpose is to provide information to both managers and policymakers in state and local government. Trends in the characteristics of the stormwater programs, utility rates and other practices within local government can be observed by comparing FSA's survey results. If you did not receive the survey or have any questions, please contact FSA. Thank you to all that have participated in the survey – we greatly appreciate your time and participation.

FSA Winter Conference - Gift Card Winners!

FSA would like to thank all that attended FSA’s Winter Conference. We hope that you found it to be a good use of your time and resources.  We rely on attendee feedback to help us continue to improve our events.  As a special thank you, all that submitted an Evaluation Form were eligible to receive an electronic gift card.  We drew four winners and would like to thank and congratulate our winners – William Beasley (Polk County), Jodie Cahoon (City of Tallahassee), Arvind Chandrasain (City of Apopka), and Maxine Moore (Pinellas County).  Thank you and we hope you will join us for future FSA events!

Nominations Due for 2024 Stormwater Excellence Awards

FSA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding stormwater Programs, Projects, or Public Education Efforts and the benefits they provide to the environment and local community. Awards are presented annually to public sector and academic members who have demonstrated high quality distinctions in these areas.  Interested in having your program acknowledged for all your hard work? Submit a Nomination Form by February 16, 2024!

FSA 2024 Annual Conference - Save the Date

Save the date for FSA’s 2024 Annual Conference!  The conference will be held June 12-14, 2024 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott in Ft. Myers. The Conference will focus on “Waves of Change – Stormwater Management Solutions” and presents a great opportunity for stormwater professionals to come together to network and learn about issues facing Florida’s stormwater community. There will also be a number of exhibitor and sponsor opportunities allowing companies the opportunity to showcase innovative stormwater solutions.  Mark your calendars now – registration will open in March. We hope you will join us!

FSAEF Offering Scholarship Awards

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. Applications are accepted annually from graduate students in Florida colleges or schools of engineering, natural science, public administration (or closely related fields) that have an interest in stormwater quality, management or finance. Qualified applicants should apply by August 23, 2024.  Please help us spread the word!  To view the 2023 Scholarship winners including videos of their work, visit our Scholarship page.

2023 Scholarship Winners with Tiffany Busby and Danielle Hopkins
2023 Scholarship Winners with
FSAEF Chair Tiffany Busby and FSA Executive Director Danielle Hopkins

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