July 2023, Volume 25, Issue 6

Thank you to our Newsletter Sponsors!

 Table of Contents

Agenda Released! Navigating the Statewide Stormwater Rule

Join us September 8, 2023 at the Embassy Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista South in Kissimmee where we will focus on Navigating the Statewide Stormwater Rule. Excess nutrients are the leading cause of impairment in our surface water bodies and are a growing concern in groundwater and springs. It is critically important that stormwater treatment standards are enhanced to meet the intent of the original and current statewide stormwater rule and provide for increased levels of nutrient removal, better protection of groundwater, incorporation of green infrastructure, and more consistent and comprehensive best management practice design criteria throughout the state.

Initiated through the 2020 Clean Waterways Act (SB 712), the revised statewide stormwater rule sets a framework for stormwater management and increased nutrient removal throughout the state of Florida. The final draft rule published in March 2023 and adopted by the Department of State, now requires ratification by the 2024 Legislature. See the article below for additional details. The Seminar will review the updated rule revisions and how they will impact MS4s from project development and effectiveness to operations and maintenance. Audience participation will be encouraged.

Visit the FSA Seminar webpage for more information including the agenda, registration fees, and online registration.

Statewide Stormwater Rule Ratification – What’s Next and How Can You Help?

The Statewide Stormwater Rule, initiated through the 2020 Clean Waterways Act, sets a framework for stormwater management and increased nutrient removal throughout the state of Florida. It applies to all public and private developments, including residential, commercial, industrial, and permitted agricultural facilities. The rule also strengthens operation and inspection requirements and outlines how to manage stormwater runoff from construction sites. The final draft rule was published with a Notice of Change on March 24, 2023, and was filed with the Department of State making the rule adopted but not effective. The next step in the process is ratification by the 2024 Legislature which has to be done before the rule will be effective given the statewide fiscal impact of the rule change. Join us for FSA’s Fall Seminar to learn more.

FSA continues to support the effort to strengthen stormwater design standards and criteria on a statewide basis. Standards that are more protective of water resources statewide will lessen the need for local governments to adopt their own (more stringent) standards and allow for regulatory consistency. With Legislative Session starting early next year (January 9, 2024) and with Interim Committee meetings starting September 18, 2023, it is not too early to reach out to members of your delegation to express your support for ratification of the rule. FSA will continue to monitor this process closely and will keep you informed.

FSA & FSAEF Welcomes New Leadership!

The FSA and FSA Educational Foundation's Annual Membership Meeting was held on June 16, 2023, at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott in Ft. Myers. The results are in….

Your New FSA Executive Committee:
Shane Williams
Alachua County
Vice President
Melissa Long
City of Jacksonville
Melanie Weed
Pinellas County
Past President
Elizabeth Perez
Collective Water Resources
President Shane Williams has appointed the following Committee Chairs for 2023-24:
Conference Chair
Mike Hardin
Geosyntec Consultants
Education Chair
Lee Mullon
Drummond Carpenter
Legislative/Agency Relations Chair
Mark Heidecker
City of Tallahassee
Membership Chair
Cassidy Reichert
City of Jacksonville


For a full list of the FSA and FSA Educational Foundation Board of Directors visit the 2023-24 FSA Board of Directors and FSAEF Board of Directors pages.

Showcase Your Work = Discounted Conference Rates!

Do you want to showcase a case study, research project or other valuable stormwater topic with your colleagues throughout the state? FSA invites you to submit a presentation for the 2023 Winter Conference. We do ask that you please limit the number of submissions to no more than three per organization. All presenters are eligible for a 10% discount off their full conference registration. The Call for Presentations deadline is July 31st. It’s not too late, submit a presentation today!

FSA's 2023 Winter Conference is set for November 29 - December 1, 2023, at Embassy Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista South in Kissimmee. Be sure to mark your calendar, registration opens in September.

WOTUS Update

Since FSA’s last newsletter, some significant news concerning Waters of the United States (WOTUS) has taken place. In May, the United States Supreme Court released an opinion on the long-standing Sackett v. EPA, ruling that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its ruling to designate wetlands on the property. While the opinion did include some contradictory individual opinions, overall, the opinion will significantly limit what is considered a WOTUS and has removed the use of the “significant nexus” test to determine jurisdictional wetlands.

EPA has set a September 1st deadline for a revised rule to be released, and in mid-July, EPA provided a package of amendments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The specifics of these changes have not been disclosed and no ability to review or comment on the draft rule has been noted. FSA will continue to track WOTUS and provide notice when the draft updated rule is posted. While this is a significant step forward, it is important to note that legal challenges will most likely take place, which would impact a final decision.

2023 State Budget Signed with Fertilizer Ordinance Study

On June 15, 2023 Governor DeSantis signed the state budget, which totaled $116.5 billion (a record amount for a state budget total). While the budget included significant dollars for Everglades projects, water and wastewater infrastructure projects, resiliency, and conservation lands for the Florida Wildlife Corridor, one key provision was added concerning local government fertilizer ordinances. In an 11th hour move, legislators added an additional budget item that provided $250,000 to the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) to conduct a 6-month study on the efficacy of seasonal fertilizer bans toward meeting water quality goals. The budget line item also included a one-year ban on revisions to existing fertilizer ordinances and the development of a new ordinance, effective July 1, 2023. FSA, along with many others, requested a veto of this item but that request was not accepted. Many FSA members have invested significant time and effort to develop and implement local fertilizer ordinances, and almost all water quality restoration plans have fertilizer ordinances as local government projects.  Stay tuned for details on the study and how this will affect future ordinances.  

State of Florida Funding (Visit the FDEP “Funding Portal”) 

On July 5, 2023 FDEP opened numerous grant program opportunities, for various programs including Water Quality Improvement Grants, Resilient Florida Grants, Indian River Lagoon Water Quality Improvement Grants, Biscayne Bay Water Quality Improvement Grants, and Nonpoint Source Management Grants to name a few. All grant program information can be found on the Protecting Florida Together website and a link to the Funding Portal can be found via each program’s information page. The funding portal is the main mechanism to submit applications for almost all grant programs. Submit your projects today, the deadlines are approaching quickly. Questions? Attend FDEP’s upcoming informational webinar on August 8, 2023 by sending a request for the webinar meeting to [email protected] or visit FDEP’s Division of Water Restoration Assistance website.   

What You Need to Know about the “FDEP Bill” (HB 1379)

FSA members located in water quality restoration plans should be aware of the provisions outlined in HB 1379. Commonly referred as the “FDEP Bill” during the 2023 Legislative session, the bill was passed and signed by Governor DeSantis and significant regulatory actions were included in this bill, focusing on wastewater provisions and limitations over the next decade (or less for some in the Indian River Lagoon region). FDEP has provided a guidance document that outlines all the provisions of the bill, and we would recommend all members in adopted and approved water quality restoration plans review the document and stay engaged.

Statewide Results from Stormwater Needs Assessment Report Released 

The results are in! HB 53 passed during the 2021 Session and required local governments operating stormwater management systems to complete a 20-year needs analysis for those systems and submit the data to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR). The intent of the measure is to have a better understanding of Florida’s financial needs for water quality improvement and flood protection programs. EDR has compiled the results of the study and the 2023 Edition of the Annual Assessment of Florida’s Water Resources was released online earlier this month. View Chapter 5 for the Infrastructure Investments for Stormwater and Wastewater. Questions should be directed to EDR at [email protected]. A workshop on implementing HB 53 was held as part of FSA’s Annual Conference.

FDEP Accepting Comments on Landscape Irrigation and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™️ Design Standards

FDEP is accepting public comments on the draft Landscape Irrigation and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Design Standards until August 1, 2023. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) Program was designed to help residents and business owners create and maintain beautiful yards using research-based, environmentally-sustainable landscaping practices. This document is intended to be utilized by landscape designers, irrigation designers and irrigation system installers as a best management practice guide. Comments can be submitted to [email protected].

Revised Seagrass Restoration General Permit

A revised draft of the Seagrass Restoration General Permit, Chapter 62-330.637, F.A.C., is now available online. For more information on this rulemaking effort, visit the Division of Water Resource Management's Rules in Development webpage or email Zachary Eckstein or Timothy Rach.

Early Membership Renewal Begins Soon!

FSA’s fiscal year begins November 1, 2023. First renewal notices for Fiscal Year 2023-24 will be sent in August to the primary FSA contact for your organization, allowing local government members to pay next year’s dues with remaining funds from the current fiscal year. Questions? Call (888) 221-3124.

FSAEF Scholarship Award – Application Deadline Approaching 

Applications for the FSA Educational Foundation’s 2023 Scholarship Award are due Friday, August 11, 2023.  The FSAEF will be awarding $2,000 scholarships to be presented at the 2023 Winter Conference in Kissimmee. The scholarship is available to graduate students attending a Florida college or university whose areas of study include stormwater science, engineering, management, or finance.  Please help us spread the word!

Fogarty Training Center – Last Chance to Renew Stormwater Operator Certification for 2023

Level 1 Manual

Level 2 Manual

Don’t let your FSA Stormwater Operator certification expire! The last opportunity to renew in 2023 will be through online webinars held on November 7, 2023. FSA Certifications must be renewed every five years. The Fogarty Training Center offers Online Recertification Webinars that provide a convenient, cost-effective way to renew your certification. Register for Level 1 and/or Level 2 today!

Not sure when your certification expires? Log in to your personal FSA profile, scroll down to find your Level 1 and/or Level 2 expiration year or you can view the Stormwater Operator Certification Renewal Date List

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