This newsletter is available exclusively to FSA Members and is the kind of information you receive as a benefit of membership

 Volume 20, Issue 1                                                                                              January 2018 

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In This Issue
Looking Back 25 Years
Education Committee Update
25th Anniversary Conference
2018 Session
Constitutional Revision Commission
FSA Webinar
SWU Fee Litigation
WOTUS Update
Excellence Awards
FSAEF Scholarship Award
Join Our Mailing List
2018 Stormwater Utility Survey Data Collection in Progress!
Submit by February 15th for a FREE copy
FSA Fogarty
 Training Center  

Mark your Calendars!

25th Anniversary
June 13-15, 2018
FREE 30 Day Listings for FSA Members!
Looking Back 25 Years
Formation of the Association!
John Buss, City of Tallahassee

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the Florida Association of Stormwater Utilities - the predecessor of FSA. The anniversary presents a good time to reflect back on how FSA came into existence.

It is said that "good judgment comes from bad experiences." In the case of FSA, one could say that "good associations come from bad experiences," so let me recount a bad experience that ended in the formation of FSA. Prior to the availability of EPA's NPDES General Permit, there were two permitting options for local facilities in the early 1990's:  a very expensive individual permit or the "group permit" option. After Tallahassee and several other jurisdictions had devoted two years of work and collectively spent nearly $1 million preparing four Group Permits covering several hundred facilities, EPA abandoned the Group Permit option.

Once the shock over EPA's decision had subsided and good judgement returned, representatives from five cities and four counties met in Orlando on December 16, 1993 to discuss how we could work together to help enhance our collective influence in an increasingly complicated regulatory environment. The meeting was productive and it was agreed to form an association whose purpose would be member advocacy, education and research, and training and technical assistance. This marked the beginning of what has grown to be FSA.

I would also like to comment on the role Kurt Spitzer played in launching FSA. Kurt was retained to help draft bylaws and articles of incorporation. At this time the association did not have any funding nor any formal authority from our respective governments to be making commitments. Kurt accepted this effort with the understanding that he would only be paid if he was successful in raising seed money to help the association get started. Without Kurt's dedication to this cause, FSA would not have been established.

John Buss served as the Charter President of the Association in 1993-95.
FSA Education Committee Update
Robert Potts, E Sciences
Education Committee Chair
The Fogarty Training Center ended 2017 with over 650 attendees receiving Level 1 and/or Level 2 Stormwater Operator Certifications. That accomplishment would not have been possible without the help and dedication of FSA staff, the qualified trainers, and the members that volunteered to host training events. Thank you for your support! We have an active year planned for 2018! Twenty classes have already been scheduled or completed for FY 2017-18. Please be sure to visit the FSA Fogarty Training Center for a current calendar of Certified Stormwater Operator classes in your area. FDEP recognizes FSA's Stormwater Operator Certification for meeting NPDES MS4 training requirements. The classes fulfill training requirements for stormwater staff in:
  • Erosion and Sedimentation Control
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Spill Prevention and Remediation
  • Good Housekeeping Practices
  • High Risk Facilities
A reminder: Level 1 and Level 2 Stormwater Operator certifications must be renewed every five years. To determine if you or your staff should renew a certification this year, please review the FSA Operator Certification Renewal Date List. FSA offers a two-hour online class that you can attend from your office to save time and money. Visit the Re-Certification webpage to find dates and times. Lastly, below is a summary of the 2018 FSA-hosted Webinars and Fall Seminar.
  • March 15th (Webinar) - Overview of the 2018 Legislative Session
  • May 17th (Webinar) - Stormwater Utilities
  • September 7th (Fall Seminar) - Stormwater BMPs
2018 Annual Conference - 25th Anniversary
2018 marks the 25th year since a small group of stormwater managers met in Orlando and formed the Florida Association of Stormwater Utilities, now known as the Florida Stormwater Association (FSA).  Much has happened since 1993 in Florida's stormwater programs - and also in the Association!  The original nine charter members have grown to over 300 organizational members representing more than 3,600 individuals.  FSA has numerous training events and educational programs each year; a robust website; outstanding communications, research and technical assistance services; is actively involved in litigation in state and federal courts; and, is well-respected in the legislative process.  The 25th Anniversary will be celebrated during the 2018 Annual Conference at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott on June 13-15, 2018.  Registration will open in March, so mark your calendar now and be sure to join your colleagues at the Conference!
2018 Session
The 2018 Florida Legislative Session began on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.  As bills are filed for the Session, information on legislation of interest to FSA's membership will be posted to the Legislative (members only) Page of the FSA website.  The page includes information on the impacts of a bill, its location in the legislative process, contact information on the bill's sponsor and the membership of its next committee of reference, etc.  It's a great way for FSA members to track where key stormwater legislation "is" in "the process!"
Constitutional Revision Commission 
The Florida Constitution provides that Constitutional Revision Commissions (CRCs) are appointed every 20 years. Florida's 2017-18 Constitutional Revision Commission is entering the final stages of its work.  The CRC must submit its final report to the Florida Secretary of State by May 10, 2018.  Amendments proposed by the CRC to the Florida Constitution will appear on the November 2018 general election ballot and must be approved by 60% of the State's voters to become effective. Two (very different) measures under consideration by the CRC are of interest to local stormwater programs and are being tracked on the Legislative (members only) Page of FSA's website:  Proposal 61, intended to limit the Legislature's ability to pass laws pre-empting the regulatory powers of local government; and Proposal 95, designed to limit local regulatory powers.  Visit the FSA webpage for more information.    
Overview of the 2018 Legislative Session
The March 15th webinar is brought to FSA members free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of Applied Sciences.  Register today to save your seat as we anticipate that this webinar will fill up quickly! The webinar will examine what was introduced, what passed and failed in 2018, and what might be returning for 2019. FSA's Legislative Committee Chair and Executive Director will review legislative actions on septic tanks, permitting requirements, reclaimed water, and measures to pre-empt the authority of local governments to enact regulatory measures on stormwater and other programs. Proposals of concern emerging from the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission will also be discussed.
SWU Fee Litigation
A circuit court has ruled that the Palm Beach County School District does not owe the City of West Palm Beach the stormwater utility fees that the City has been billing (and the School District not paying) for the past six years.  The School District did not deny that it received benefit from the City's stormwater system but that state law exempts it from responsibility for payment.  The City is considering appealing the decision to the Fourth District Court of Appeal.  Stay tuned for more information from FSA.
WOTUS Update
On January 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that federal district courts - not federal circuit courts of appeal - must decide challenges to the 2015 Waters of the United States or "WOTUS" rule.  FSA participated in the appeal to the Supreme Court and argued that a district court was the correct and preferred location to challenge such rules.  But the SCOTUS decision is not without complications:  It was the Sixth Circuit Court (not a district court) that had issued the nationwide stay of the 2015 WOTUS rule and that action will now be negated by the SCOTUS decision.  EPA has not yet finalized its proposal to repeal the 2015 WOTUS rule and have only recently sent their final rule seeking to delay enforcement of the 2015 rule by two years to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  Final adoption of either initiative would block enforcement of the 2015 rule, if adopted quickly.  Thankfully, FSA had filed parallel WOTUS challenges - in both the circuit and district courts - and its challenge in federal district court in Tallahassee has remained active.  A motion to block implementation of the 2015 WOTUS rule will be reactivated if necessary.  Stay tuned for more information!
Excellence Awards - Nominations Due
FSA's Awards Program recognizes outstanding stormwater Programs or Projects and the benefit that they provide to the environment and local citizenry.  Awards are presented annually to public sector members who have demonstrated high quality distinctions in stormwater programs or projects.  Interested?  Submit a Nomination Form and backup materials prior to February 23rd!
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.  Applications are accepted annually from graduate 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 3, 2018. 

We appreciate your feedback!  Please don't hesitate to contact us if have any questions about FSA. 


Florida Stormwater Association
Website: www.florida-stormwater.org

Toll-Free Phone: 888-221-3124