April 2024, Volume 26, Issue 4

Thank you to our Newsletter Sponsors!

 Table of Contents

FSA’s Annual Conference Reaches Capacity

The FSA Annual Conference will be held June 12-14, 2024 as we explore Waves of Change: Stormwater Management Solutions. Attendees will meet in Ft. Myers, FL to hear from industry-leading experts on regulatory, technical, and management topics. This year’s event features concurrent educational tracks, more than twenty presentation topics, up to 9.25 hours of continuing education, networking opportunities, and much more! Attendee registration is closed as we have met capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please complete the waitlist form. Visit the FSA Conference page to view the agenda, registration rates, continuing education information, and more.

FSA’s Educational Foundation is Providing Scholarships!

The FSA Educational Foundation’s Scholarship Program awards financial assistance to qualified graduate students attending Florida colleges and universities. Applications are accepted annually from graduate-level students in 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 submit an Application Form along with supporting materials by August 23, 2024.

Stormwater Master Planning Webinar – Register Today to Save Your Seat!

Join us May 9th from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EDT for FSA’s Stormwater Master Planning: Embracing Technology and Resilience Webinar.  Stormwater master planning is a critical component of urban infrastructure management, addressing stormwater runoff challenges and its impacts on cities and counties and our natural resources. Join us to explore the evolution of stormwater master planning emphasizing the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other technologies, the shift towards viewing stormwater as a resource, and the increasing focus on climate resilience. This event is brought to FSA members free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of Applied Sciences. Register today to save your seat!

Brett Cunningham, PE, ENV SP
Managing Director
Jones Edmunds

Justin H. Gregory, PE
Senior Manager / Vice President
Jones Edmunds

Elizabeth Perez, PE, D.WRE, CFM
Collective Water Resources

Shane Williams, PhD, PE
Stormwater Engineer
Alachua County

Board of Directors Elections Coming 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 Boards of Directors of the Florida Stormwater Association (FSA) and the FSA Educational Foundation (FSAEF) during the Friday Annual Membership Meeting at the Annual Conference. This is your chance to help lead the primary association dedicated to furthering the stormwater management profession and water quality improvement programs in Florida.

What’s in it for you?

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

Hurry, nominations must be submitted by June 3rd! 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, please complete a Board of Directors Nomination Form today! View our 2024 Nominations here.

What’s Happening with the Statewide Stormwater Rule?

The 2024 Legislative Session ended over a month ago, and FSA along with many others wait for passed bills to get signed by the Governor. FSA’s legislative priority, the Ratification of the Statewide Stormwater Rule (SB 7040) has not yet been signed. The unanimously passed bill will be finalized (and subsequently become effective) when the Governor signs the bill and becomes law. FSA is working with FDEP staff to provide outreach and guidance on what an effective bill will mean to FSA members who are actively working on stormwater permitting applications. Content has also been added to FSA’s educational offerings including: a session at the 2024 Annual Conference by FDEP in June, a full day discussion during the Fall Seminar in September, and the Statewide Stormwater Rule will be a major focus of “DEP Day” at the 2024 Winter Conference in December. FSA will continue to track the status of SB 7040 and once signed and keep members updated.

FDEP Presents Updated Approach on Bacteria TMDLs

FDEP has initiated the process to revise current and/or develop new Fecal Indicator Bacteria (FIB) Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired waters. This effort started with the FIB impaired waters of the Everglades West Coast Basin. A draft version of the Everglades West Coast Basin TMDL has been submitted for review by stakeholders, and on April 4th a public meeting was held to present the draft TMDL and provide a forum for questions and comments from stakeholders.  FDEP noted this is a new approach to the TMDL process and have held numerous meetings with local stakeholders to address shared concerns with this approach, as it pertains to this TMDL and future efforts. Many FSA members provided feedback on the draft TMDL, and FSA also provided comments on the overall effort FDEP has proposed. FSA would recommend all members review this draft to ensure they are up to speed on this new TMDL approach, as FDEP has noted on numerous occasions efforts to move around the state will take place in the future.

Water Quality Enhancement Area (WQEA) Draft Rule Language

On March 21st, FDEP held a public meeting to discuss updated draft proposed rule language on the Water Quality Enhancement Area Rule (WQEA).  FSA along with many members attended the public meeting and have had discussions with FDEP staff to discuss comments and questions on the draft rule language. FDEP is accepting comments through May 2nd and we would recommend all members review the draft language and provide questions to clarify any item not fully addressed previously.  For updated draft rule language, workshop details, and contact info for providing comments, visit FDEP’s Water Quality Enhancement Area Rulemaking website.

Florida 404 Wetland Program Update

As reported in FSA’s March newsletter, Florida wetland regulatory procedures were essentially halted due to an appellate court decision from the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. that vacated the Florida 404 wetland permitting program. Florida assumed responsibility of the Federal portion of the wetland regulatory permitting program in 2020, and after the state was granted authority, a series of challenges were submitted by environmental groups. This recent decision was an outcome of one of these authorization challenges, with the judge siding with plaintiffs’ concerns over the endangered species review process not meeting adequate regulatory thresholds.  Florida submitted a motion for limited stay on the decision including a request to continue the issuance of permits, all of which was denied on April 12th by the judge handling the case. On April 15th, Florida submitted an appeal to these decisions and now stakeholders will wait and see how that appeal moves forward. Overall, the wetland regulatory process in Florida remains in limbo, and many permits are still facing uncertainty until final decisions can be reached.  FSA will continue to track this issue and will continue to keep members posted as new information becomes available.

National PFAS Drinking Water Regulation Established

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS compounds, including maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and MCL goals (MCLGs) for PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, GenX, PFNA, and PFBS. The specific MCLs can be found on EPA FAQ page. The new standards will initially impact stakeholders in the waste and drinking water sector, but stormwater managers should stay informed as this process moves forward, as some questions on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) designation and how that will impact hazardous waste clean-up obligations.

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