April 2022, Volume 24, Issue 4

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Thank you to our Newsletter Sponsors!

Advanced Drainage Systems

Madrid CPWG CULTEC RH Moore & Associates Singhofen & Associates

 Table of Contents


FSA’s Annual Conference Reaches Capacity

The FSA Annual Conference will be held June 15-17, 2022 and will focus on Vision and Action: Working Together to Create Safe and Sustainable Watersheds. Attendees will meet in Ft. Myers, FL to hear from industry-leading experts on regulatory, technical, and management topics. This year’s event features a concurrent educational tracks, more than twenty presentation topics, up to 11.5 hours of continuing education, networking opportunities, and much more! We are reducing capacity this year to ensure a comfortable environment for all participants and we have reached maximum capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please contact FSA today. Visit the FSA Conference page to view the agenda, registration rates, continuing education information, and more.


Stormwater Grants Webinar – Last Chance to Register!

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 and explore funding opportunities including an overview of Florida’s Resilient Grant Program. This event is brought to FSA members free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of Applied Sciences. Be sure to register today to save your seat!


Board 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 organization dedicated to furthering the stormwater management profession and water quality improvement programs in Florida.

What’s in it for you?

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  • 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

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 Leadership Recommendation Form today! See current nominations here.


Meet the Director - Michael Lynch, Director, Division of Water Resource Management, FDEP

Michael Lynch, Director, Division of Water Resource Management, FDEPMichael Lynch was appointed Director of the Division of Water Resource Management in February 2022, to continue the mission of safeguarding Florida’s water resources through proactive partnering with local stakeholders, other regulatory agencies and communities, and providing a more consistent and effective regulatory process. The Division’s goal is to enhance both the quality and available quantity of water needed by the state’s residents, tourists and industries, while also providing protection of the state’s wetlands, managed lands and ground and surface waters today and for generations to come.

Before joining the Division, Michael served as the permitting program administrator in FDEP's Southwest District Office where he oversaw all permitting related activities and the development of district policies, strategic planning and employee growth. He holds two Bachelor of Science degrees; one in Geography from the University of South Florida and one in Geology from the University of Florida.

FSA welcomes Michael Lynch, we look forward to working with you!


WOTUS Revisions 

The comment period on EPA’s new set of definitions to be used when determining whether a waterbody is subject to federal jurisdiction closed on February 7, 2022. View FSA’s WOTUS comments. The normal time for publishing a final rule may be delayed by EPA due to the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear a request (Sackett v. EPA) that would “clarify” its 2006 ruling in Rapanos vs. United States.  The Sacketts are asking SCOTUS to revisit the conditions under which wetlands are “jurisdictional” and EPA may delay the publication of a final rule until after SCOTUS renders its opinion. WOTUS definitions are important to local governments because they determine which waters are subject to the provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and therefore NPDES permitting requirements, dredge and fill regulations, and other programs. Watch the FSA Advocacy Page for further developments! 


FSA Requests Veto of SB 620

FSA has requested that the Governor withhold approval and veto SB 620, the “Local Business Protection Act.”  The bill adds a new cause of action that businesses may bring against local governments in certain situations.  Although it provides for several exemptions, the exemptions are not clear, set a bad precedent for pollution control programs and will likely be litigated for years to come.  View FSA’s veto request. FSA members can find a final summary of the Priority Issues tracked during the 2022 Legislative Regular Session 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. 

Special Session Concludes

The April 2022 Special Session, originally called to address Congressional Redistricting but then expanded to include the powers of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District and five other smaller districts, ended earlier this month. The approach taken by the Legislature in abolishing the districts was to have the legislation apply to districts that were created before Florida’s Constitution was revised in 1968 – thus, the Bradford County Development Authority, Sunshine Water Control District in Broward County, Eastpoint Water and Sewer District in Franklin County, Hamilton County Development Authority and the Marion County Law Library, were also abolished. Debt owed by Reedy Creek as well as its responsibilities under its MS4 permit are expected to be transferred to Orange and Osceola counties. The legislation takes effect in June 2023, so it is possible that the Legislature could reverse its actions prior to that time.


 Draft Bacteria TMDLs Published

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 intent is that the proposed TMDLs serve as a pilot for a new, consolidated approach that FDEP will use to address fecal indicator bacteria impairments on a statewide basis. More information on the proposed TMDLs and draft Reports may be found on the Department’s website. The comment period on the draft TMDLs closed on April 15, 2022. View FSA’s comments here. FSA’s primary concern with the proposed rules is that it tends to place most of the burden to prove or disprove the actual source of bacterial pollution on the MS4 permit holder. A workshop on the proposed revisions to bacteria TMDLs will be held during FSA’s Annual Conference in June.


Statewide Stormwater Design Criteria Report Issued

A final Summary Report of the Statewide Stormwater Design Criteria Technical Advisory Committee’s (TAC) recommendations was released by FDEP last 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 other 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 Session.


Stormwater Needs Assessments Due Soon

SW Needs Assessment presentation by Michael BatemanChapter 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 assessment, including a description of the system, the number of future residents served, revenues and expenditures, maintenance costs, etc. and transmit the assessment to the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) by June. 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 held during FSA’s 2021 Winter Conference is available online.


FSA’s Educational Foundation is Providing Scholarships!

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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 12, 2022.


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