Volume 20, Issue 10                                                       November 2018
Newsletter Sponsors

In This Issue
From Your Legislative Committee Chair
Mark Thomasson, PE, WSource Group

Another year flew by and what an exciting election we had. Now we are looking forward to the 2019 Florida Legislative session beginning March 5th. With a new cabinet and legislative leadership, this is shaping up to be a very interesting session. Governor-elect DeSantis has pledged to improve environmental oversight. Senate President Galvano is pushing for more innovation and civility in the Senate with infrastructure investment on his priority list. Finally, House Speaker Oliva wants to promote alternatives in health care regulations and desires to improve the state's roads and other public infrastructure. Common to all is a desire to fix Florida's election process. Within the environmental spectrum, we will likely see legislation affecting our surface waters to address red tide, estuary health, and septic tank pollution. The Legislative Committee and FSA continue to monitor and engage in priority issues that affect stormwater management. You can follow our efforts on the FSA Legislative Page of FSA's website. There you'll find a list of FSA's Priority Issues and links to bills that are being tracked along with white papers that the Committee has produced over the years. When the Session begins, FSA posts updated Priority Issues summaries on a weekly basis. The FSA Advocacy Page also provides a summary of the latest developments with WOTUS and other national news, and matters in front of FDEP. If there is a water resource issue that is important to you and not being tracked, please let FSA know.
I hope to see you at the Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista next week. Happy Holidays!
Winter Conference - SOLD OUT!
FSA's 2018 Winter Conference is just around the corner! It's a great mix of technical sessions, case studies and policy updates, including the Opening Session focusing on issues to watch in 2019. This year's Pre-Conference workshops will feature the biennial "DEP Day" co-sponsored by FDEP and the required "Laws, Rules and Ethics" for Professional Engineers. Visit the Conference website for all the details. Registration has closed. Sorry! If you haven't already registered, there is no space available. 
2018 Phase 2 MS4 Renewals
FSA members are reminded that FDEP is not authorized to require Phase 2 permit holders to develop a schedule for implementing BMPs that address the pollutant of concern discharging into a TMDL waterbody UNLESS that waterbody is covered by an adopted BMAP.  Discussions between FSA and FDEP on the issue are continuing.  If your jurisdiction's Phase 2 permit is up for renewal and you have received a request from FDEP to include such language for waterbodies that are not covered by a BMAP, please contact FSA ASAP.
Biosolids Committee Meeting
FDEP's Biosolids Technical Advisory Committee held its third meeting on November 28th and 29th at the FDEP Central District Office in Orlando.  Information on the work of the Committee and future meetings can be obtained from the Biosolids TAC webpage or by contacting Stephanie Gudeman with the Division of Water Resource Management.
2019 Annual Conference - Workshop Proposals due December 14th
Next year's Annual Conference will focus on cutting-edge policy, research and case studies that take an integrated approach to helping stormwater professionals tackle complex challenges.  There will be three tracks of concurrent workshop sessions. Stormwater leaders throughout Florida are invited to submit presentation proposals online. Note that the deadline to submit proposals is December 14th!
Organizational Session
The House and Senate Organization Sessions were held November 20, 2018 after swearing in new members and adopting joint rules.  Senator Bill Galvano was elected President of the Senate and Representative Jose Oliva was elected Speaker of the House for 2019-20.  Appointment of members to Senate Committees was completed earlier this month.  The House is expected to announce its committee assignments in early December. Stay tuned!
FSA Legislative Webpage
With the Organizational Session completed and Interim Committee meetings set to begin, FSA's Legislative Page will now begin to track legislation of interest to the membership.  Members will find a list of Priority Issues, Bill Tracking Reports, current news articles and information on individual bills on the site.  The Legislative Page is a resource available for FSA members only; you will need your username and password to login.
FSA Membership Renewals - "Grace Period" ends December 1st
This could be your last newsletter!  FSA's fiscal year began November 1, 2018.  The 30-day "grace period" allowing FY 2017-18 member organizations and their staff to continue receiving member benefits ends tomorrow, December 1, 2018.  Thereafter, members can still renew for 2018-19 but you must contact FSA directly to do so.  QUESTIONS?  Call (888) 221-3124.
Update on WOTUS Challenge
There have been no new developments in the Association's challenge to the 2015 WOTUS rules.  In addition to the challenge brought by FSA in Circuit Court in Ohio, the Association's Board of Directors voted in September to reactivate its challenge to the regulations that was originally filed in November 2015 in US District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee.  FSA's action to reactivate the case is a precautionary measure in the event that the 2015 WOTUS rule is eventually upheld by another court or the Trump Administration's efforts to repeal the rule are unsuccessful.
WOTUS Update 2.0
A petition filed earlier this month with the US Supreme Court may provide the means to circumvent the plethora of cases challenging the 2015 WOTUS rules in various courts and/or negate the need by the Trump Administration to repeal and replace the Obama-era rule.  The petition United States v. Joseph Robertson asks the court to overturn the Montana defendant's conviction for filling waters deemed jurisdictional without a CWA permit on the grounds that the foot-wide waterway in question should not qualify as a "navigable water" or "water of the United States" that the law says is subject to federal jurisdiction.  What is novel about the recent petition's request is that it asks the court to invalidate the CWA's jurisdictional language because it is so vague that it is unconstitutional.  The petition argues that the confusing precedent set by prior cases is untenable and must be clarified as opposed to waiting for EPA and the Corps to finish work on their joint rules to repeal and replace the Obama administration's standard.
Update on SWU Fee Litigation
Oral arguments have been set for January 22nd in the appeal by the City of West Palm Beach to Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal over payment of stormwater utility fees by the Palm Beach County School Board.  A decision by the DCA is expected in early 2019.  FSA, the Florida League of Cities, and the Cities of Tampa and Gainesville filed an amicus curiae brief supporting West Palm Beach.  No matter what that DCA's decision is, the losing party will likely seek an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.  Since the City of Ocala has settled their dispute with the Marion County School Board, the West Palm Beach case is the last remaining matter where there is a possibility of overturning an adverse decision of a trial court and generating an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Excellence Awards Nominations Opening Soon
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 those public-sector members of FSA who have demonstrated a high level of distinction in a project or program.  Start thinking about who you might like to nominate, as nominations for the 2019 Excellence Awards will open in January.
Fogarty Training Center
FSA's Fogarty Training Center holds 25 classes throughout Florida each year, making attendance as convenient as possible. One way to make that even more convenient is to host a class at your city or county offices! In addition to convenience for your staff, host jurisdictions receive one complimentary registration for every 11 staff that attend. Both the Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Stormwater Operator classes meet the requirements of your MS4 permit for initial or "refresher" training of stormwater staff in: 
  • Erosion and Sedimentation Control
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Spill Prevention and Remediation
  • Good Housekeeping Practices 
  • High Risk Facilities

Jurisdictions that host Training Center Classes receive discounts on registration fees! Interested in hosting a class or being placed on a list to receive notices when a class is scheduled in your area? Contact FSA's Fogarty Training Center or call 888-221-3124.

Invest in the Future of Stormwater Management
Did you know that FSA's Educational Foundation sponsors scholarships every year? By providing scholarships, students are encouraged and inspired to pursue careers in stormwater management.

The Foundation needs your help. These scholarships are only made possible by you, with your generous contributions. The best part is, your contribution is a WIN! WIN! By donating, you not only help to further the stormwater management profession, your donation is also tax-deductible. It's getting close to the end of the year so this contribution can be used as a deduction on this year's tax return.  Individuals can give, organizations can give and it's tax deductible! Donate today!

We appreciate your feedback!  Please don't hesitate to contact us if have any questions about FSA. 
Florida Stormwater Associati on
Website: www.florida-stormwater.org
Toll-Free Phone: 888-221-3124