Volume 20, Issue 5                                                              May 2018
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In This Issue
Looking Back 25 Years
Tiffany Busby, Wildwood Consulting

We are expecting a huge turnout at the 2018 Annual Conference, and I am looking forward to seeing so many stormwater professionals gather at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott in Fort Myers. My thanks to the Conference Committee, Chair Danielle Honour, and our association staff as well as the exhibitors, sponsors and speakers who are expected to make our 25th Anniversary event both fun and educational. Don't forget to attend our annual Membership Meeting during the conference on Friday morning, where members can run for a board seat, select new board members, and vote for our officers for the upcoming year. This is also the time of year where you can volunteer for one of our standing committees - please consider lending your expertise to our association this year.

As these are the final weeks of my term as president, my thanks go out to the recent past presidents Brett Cunningham, Jim Hunt, Derek Owens, and Virginia Barker who had us on a great trajectory as an organization. Our current Executive Committee comprised of Judy Grim, Kelli Hammer Levy, and Virginia Barker has been superlative as a leadership team. I should also acknowledge the dedication and accomplishments of our committee chairs Liz Perez (Membership); Robert Potts (Education); Catherine Bray (Legislative); and Danielle Honour (Conference) as well as our board members.

Finally, my congratulations to Danielle Hopkins for successfully navigating this transition year as Kurt Spitzer retires in July from his duties as our association's Executive Director. It is a testament to both Kurt and Danielle that this transition time has been so seamless to our membership. I look forward to seeing Kurt continue his lobbying efforts on FSA's behalf, but wearing his coat and tie much less frequently in 2019. Kurt and our Transition Committee have ensured we are in capable and familiar hands for the upcoming years. Kurt, thank you for not only helping to start the association, but seeing us through the many tribulations over time - 25 years' worth of bureaucracy, boards, and bylaws! Saying thank you doesn't begin to express our gratitude for your dedication to our organization.

To many of you - see you soon! Our Annual Conference will be a celebration of 25 years of supporting stormwater education, training, scholarships and legislation, and I look forward to kicking off another 25 years of collaboration!

Tiffany Busby is concluding her second term as FSA President.
FDEP and EPA Region 4 to Speak at Opening Session
"New Directions in Water Quality"

Noah Valenstein
FDEP Secretary
Jeaneanne Gettle
R4, Water Protection Div
An outstanding panel will discuss future water policy in Florida during the Opening Session of the 25th Anniversary Conference.  The Keynote Address will be given by Noah Valenstein, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  Secretary Valenstein will be followed by Jeaneanne Gettle, the newly-confirmed Director of the Water Protection Division of EPA Region 4 in Atlanta.  Audience Q&A will be encouraged!   
Get Active in FSA!
Want to get more involved with your Association? Help set the direction for its training and education programs? Grow membership and improve networking opportunities? Guide legislative policy? You have two opportunities - and both are coming up next month! 

Elections - The membership will select new Officers and members of the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting set for the morning of Friday, June 15th at the Annual Conference. If you're willing to devote a little time to FSA or the FSA Educational Foundation, be sure to attend the Annual Meeting and seek election for one of the vacant seats in the FSA leadership.

Committees - Not ready to run for an office? How about serving on one of FSA's four committees? All committee members will be appointed by FSA's new President after the Annual Conference. Interested? Be sure to complete a Committee Request Form by June 22nd. Re-appointments to committees are not automatic! Be sure to complete a form even if you currently serve on a committee.
Bylaws Amendments Pending
Membership in FSA and the FSA Educational Foundation is based on organizations, and all members of FSA are also members of FSAEF.  Amendments to both the FSA and FSAEF Bylaws will be considered during the annual Membership Meeting on June 15th at the Annual Conference.  The amendments concern the Boards of Directors for both organizations.
FSA's Fall Seminar - Registration Open Now!
Make plans to attend FSA's Fall Seminar on Improving Water Quality through Stormwater LID and BMPs.  The Seminar will present a comprehensive overview of the primary methods to maintain and improve surface water quality while meeting new water quality criteria and permit conditions in your jurisdiction. Case studies will be discussed.  The Seminar will be held in Orlando on September 7, 2018.  Visit the Seminar Page for all the details including fees, registration, continuing education and hotel information.  
Ocala Reaches SWU Agreement with School Board
After years of negotiations in and out of court, the City of Ocala has reached an innovative agreement with the Marion County School Board over the payment of stormwater utility fees.    The School Board recently completed construction of a new cafeteria for one of their schools which required a new utility account.  The City has a unified utility account billing system for all utilities, including electric, water and sewer, garbage pickup, fire user, internet and stormwater.  The City agreed to forego the SWU fees that had not been paid in the past, but refused to provide additional utility service for the cafeteria until the School Board agreed to pay for all utility services provided to all facilities prospectively; the School Board agreed to the same written contract that all new account holders receive, requiring payment of all utilities, including stormwater.
SWU Fee Decision Appealed
The City of West Palm Beach is appealing a decision of a Palm Beach County Circuit Court to the Fourth District Court of Appeal.  The Court ruling found that the Palm Beach County School Board does not owe the City unpaid stormwater utility fees that the City has been billing (and the School Board not paying) for the past six years.  The School Board did not deny that it received benefit from the City's stormwater system but argued that state sovereign immunity has not been waived for the payment of SWU fees and state law thus exempts it from responsibility for payment.  FSA, the League of Cities and others will file a "Friend of the Court" brief in support of the City's appeal.
2018 SWU Survey Report
FSA has conducted a statewide Stormwater Utility Survey every two years since 1995.  The Survey examines practices and trends regarding rates, billing and collection methods, revenues collected and their use, staffing patterns, etc.  The 2018 Final Report will be distributed in early June.  Each member organization will receive a free copy of the Final Report!  See FSA's Stormwater Utility Report webpage for more information.
Delegation of Wetlands Permitting
HB 7043 passed during Florida's 2018 Legislative Session to specifically authorize FDEP to assume the federal dredge and fill permitting program.  For the past year, FDEP and EPA/ACOE have been in discussions on transferring responsibility for wetlands permitting to FDEP.  The most recent draft Memorandum of Agreement is posted to the FSA website.
WOTUS Update
As reported in the last edition of the fastTRACKS, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers finalized a rule delaying the effective date of the 2015 WOTUS rule by two years, thus blocking the implementation of the rule until the agencies can issue new (updated) rules defining what constitutes waters subject to federal jurisdiction.  While no new WOTUS drafts have yet been released, EPA states that a revised CWA jurisdictional rule will be released and finalized before the end of 2018.  The rule is expected to have a much more narrow application than that adopted in 2015, tracking the so-called Scalia test when determining what waters are or are not subject to federal jurisdiction.  Among other things, the Scalia test on jurisdictional waters includes those that are "relatively permanent" waters linked by a "continuous surface connection" - in contrast with waters that may have a "significant nexus" with other waters as was contained in the 2015 rule.  Meanwhile, several states and some environmental organizations continue to challenge EPA's recently-finalized rule to delay the effective date of the 2015 rule.
NPDES Coverage for Groundwater Discharges
Another circuit court has found that pollutants discharging into groundwater that eventually make their way to surface waters are covered under the NPDES provisions of the CWA.  NPDES permits traditionally have only addressed direct discharges to surface waters through clearly-defined conveyances, such as wastewater or stormwater outfalls.  In recent years, several courts have ruled that NPDES permits are required where a facility may discharge to groundwater, and the groundwater ultimately reaches nearby jurisdictional waters.  The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Upstate Forever, et al., v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners found that an underground pipe leak traveling into groundwater and then to surface waters was subject to NPDES permit requirements.  The decision is similar to a finding of the 9th Circuit Court that a county was liable for wastewater discharges that traveled through groundwater to the Pacific Ocean.  See Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, et al., v. County of Maui.   
CRC Releases Final Report
Florida's Constitution provides that Constitutional Revision Commissions (CRCs) are appointed every 20 years.  The 2017-18 CRC has now concluded its work and submitted its Final Report to the Secretary of State.  Eight proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution were passed for the consideration of the voters in November 2018.  Final adoption requires approval by a vote of at least 60% of the voters.  Visit FSA's Legislative (members only) Page for more information.  
FSAEF Scholarship Applications Due August 3rd 
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 and related fields that have an interest in water quality, or stormwater management or finance. Qualified applicants should submit an Application Form along with supporting materials by August 3, 2018.

FSAEF is a separate 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. Donations to the Scholarship Program can be made by local governments, corporations and individuals. Donations are tax deductible for individuals and are a business expense for corporations. Support your profession and its future leaders by contributing to the FSAEF Scholarship Program!
FSA Career Center
Did you know that FSA members can post position vacancies on the FSA Career Center at no cost (i.e. FREE!) for 30 days?  Visit the Career Center to post a job announcement or to search for open positions.  
FSA's Fogarty Training Center
FSA's Fogarty Training Center holds over 25 classes throughout Florida each year. A current list of classes may be found on the Training Center's webpage. Both 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
We'd like to hear from you!  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