Volume 22, Issue 4
April 2020
NEWSLETTER SPONSORS









 

In This Issue
FSA Annual Conference Will Be Online 
On behalf of the Florida Stormwater Association, we know that COVID-19 is a profound concern for many people in our country, and we want to take a moment to let you know what we are doing to combat community spread of the virus. Everyone's safety and wellbeing remain our highest priority.

At this time, we have decided to change the platform of our Annual Conference to an online event. In addition, to allow more planning time, we will be postponing the dates to July 15th-17th.

FSA is committed to being a trusted resource and maintaining open channels of communication to support your preparation for the FSA Annual Conference. We are excited about providing the upcoming Annual Conference in an online format. We appreciate your patience as we finalize details. An email will be sent with specifics to all conference participants. You can also watch FSA's COVID-19 page and the Annual Conference page for updates as they are finalized. Stay tuned for more information.
WOTUS Litigation Update 
There have been no new developments in the litigation concerning the Waters of the US regulations. However, EPA's long-awaited rule replacing the definitions of what constitutes a water that is subject to federal jurisdiction was published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2020. FSA's challenge to the 2015 WOTUS regulations remains active in Tallahassee federal trial court, the 2019 repeal rule is being challenged by at least four different groups of plaintiffs and although the Replacement Rule will become effective 60 days after publication, a formal Notice of Intent to Sue over the Rule's alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act has already been filed by a coalition of environmental groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity.
FSA Requests Veto of SB 410
FSA has requested that Governor DeSantis veto SB 410 due to its negative impacts on the ability of cities and counties to cooperatively address water quality and other environmental issues at the local level.  SB 410 and its House counterpart were originally filed as legislation that amended Florida's growth management statutes.  With almost no discussion, amendments were adopted on the Senate floor late in the Session that impede the ability of the local electorate to avail themselves of established practices in coordinating policies on a countywide basis.  Like most legislation passed during the 2020 Session, SB 410 has not yet been received by the Governor's office.  Watch the FSA website for more information. 
404 Delegation 
FDEP recently held three online hearings as part of the process to assume authority to administer the dredge and fill permitting program under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. If adopted, the rules by themselves will not give the Department authority to administer the program but will be part of an application package submitted to EPA for approval. Generally, Section 404 and implementing rules require a dredge-and-fill permit from the Army Corps for any activity that results in the discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States. Florida Statutes contain similar policies for activities that impact wetlands or other surface waters located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the state. Currently, when a project impacts state and federal jurisdictional wetlands or other surface waters, the applicant must obtain both a state environmental resource permit (ERP) and a Corps dredge-and-fill (404). Assumption of the program by FDEP would alleviate the need to obtain both permits in some situations, although questions have been raised concerning the possible impacts of the proposed WOTUS regulations on the scope of dredge and fill permitting policies. Further hearings are planned.  For more information, visit FDEP's webpage or contact Heather.Mason@FloridaDEP.gov
EPA and FDEP COVID-19 Response
Last month EPA announced a temporary policy relaxing enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Agency will exercise discretion in enforcement for noncompliance during the time of the policy.  For noncompliance that occurs during the time that this temporary policy is in effect and is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the policy will apply to such noncompliance in lieu of an otherwise applicable EPA enforcement response policy.  Visit the EPA's webpage for more information.  Note that the EPA policy does not apply to states that are acting under their own authority and is not a blanket waiver of permit deadlines or conditions in Florida.  However, in conjunction with Governor DeSantis' Executive Orders 20-51 and 20-52, FDEP issued Emergency Rule OGC NO. 20-0239 on April 1, 2020 finding it appropriate to extend certain regulatory deadlines by 30 days to accommodate disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Biosolids Rulemaking
With the passage of SB 712 during the recent Legislative Session, FDEP withdrew its original rulemaking effort and published a new Notice of Rule Development to incorporate the legislation's provisions on biosolids.  Need more information?  Visit the Department's Biosolids webpage.
EPA Environmental Finance Report
EPA's Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) Task Force has released its Final Report evaluating stormwater infrastructure funding and financing. The EFAB Report concluded that current stormwater funding mechanisms and related initiatives are not enough to confront the significant needs across the nation, and that Federal investment is required to address the lack of state and local funding.
Blue-Green Algae Task Force 
Further meetings of FDEP's Blue-Green Algae Task Force have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Watch the Task Force's website for information on when the meetings will be rescheduled.  
Smart Resiliency Planning for Florida Stormwater Programs Webinar
Join us on May 21st for a one-hour webinar on Smart Resiliency Planning for Florida Stormwater Programs. This event is brought to FSA members free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of Applied Sciences. The Webinar will address sea level rise and climate change.  These issues are scientifically robust, extremely expensive, and legally complex - on a scale we have never seen before. As part of this Webinar, we will offer a primer on the complete picture for building resilience in Florida communities - all starting with the planning process. What are the true legal and insurance implications of the infrastructure solutions we hear so much about? How will these projects collectively impact the water quality issues we have worked on for so long and how can we build them smarter? And, how can Florida communities hardwire their planning processes for success - from Comp Plan development through CIP implementations.  Register today to save your seat! 
FSA's Fogarty Training Center - Updated Response to COVID-19
FSA is currently rescheduling in-person Stormwater Operator Certification classes through May 31st. At this time we are reviewing June classes on a case-by-case basis. The following classes are impacted:

Level 1
-March 25-26 - Pinellas County Class has been rescheduled to October 1-2, 2020.
-March 31-April 1 - Ft. Lauderdale Class has been rescheduled to August 11-12, 2020.
-April 23-24 - Spring Lake Class has been rescheduled to August 26-27, 2020.

Level 2
-April 7-8 - Ft. Lauderdale Class has been rescheduled to August 18-19, 2020.
-April 29-30 - Pinellas County Class has been rescheduled to October 14-15, 2020.

If you or your staff are currently registered for these classes, you should have received information by email. If you have questions please contact FSA.

Regarding Stormwater Operator classes beyond May 31st, we will make a determination as more information is available. Updates to this list will be posted on the Training Center's Level 1 and Level 2 webpages and those registered will be contacted via email.
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
Interested in Hosting a Class? If your organization is interested in hosting a Level 1 or Level 2 Stormwater Operator Certification class this year contact FSA today!
Career Center Has A New Feature!
FSA's Career Center has always been the perfect place to post vacancies or search for jobs. Now it is also the perfect place to post your resume! Job seekers can now post their resumes for free for 30 days and FSA members can find the right stormwater professionals to fill their vacancies. FSA members can still post jobs on the Career Center for free for 30 days. Visit the new Career Center to post a job announcement, post a resume or search for open positions.
FSAEF Scholarship Award

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 7, 2020. 

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