FRWA eNews
April 19,  2019
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from the
Board and Staff
of  the
Florida Rural Water Association
Hurricane Michael Gets an Upgrade to a Rare Category 5 Status
Hurricane Michael, which devastated a swath of the Florida Panhandle last fall, was actually stronger than initially measured, prompting forecasters to upgrade it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 5 storm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday.

The upgraded status means Michael was the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States as a Category 5 since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and only the fourth on record.

"My thought is simply that most of us thought we were dealing with a (Category) 5 anyway," said Al Cathey, mayor of Mexico Beach, which bore the brunt of the storm when it hit.  

National Hurricane Center scientists conducted a detailed post-storm analysis for Hurricane Michael, which made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, and Tyndall Air Force Base on Oct. 10, 2018. They've determined that its estimated intensity at landfall was 160 mph (257 kph), a 5 mph (8 kph) increase over the operational estimate used last fall, NOAA said in a news release. That puts Michael just barely over the 157 mph (252 kph) threshold for a category 5 hurricane.  more
National News
Partisan bill would help local governments prepare for cyber threats A bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced this week would create a grant program in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help states develop and implement cyber resilience measures in response to the growing threat of cyber attacks. more

EPA won't regulate pollution that moves through groundwater The Clean Water Act regulates pollution to surface water and requires permits for so-called point-source discharges to them. more

Scientists develop electric discharge water purification technology The environment around us is becoming increasingly polluted. This includes one of our most precious natural resources-water.  more

Court orders EPA to re-evaluate Obama-era power plant wastewater rule A federal appeals court is sending the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to the drawing board over its wastewater regulations in a ruling that compares them to a Commodore 64 home computer. more

Amendments to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act On October 23, 2018, America's Water Infrastructure Act was signed into law, amending the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  more
State News
Hurricane Michael gets an upgrade to rare Category 5  Status Hurricane Michael, which devastated a swath of the Florida Panhandle last fall, was actually stronger than initially measured, prompting forecasters to upgrade it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 5 storm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday. more

Palm Beach Aggregates aims to build C-51 Reservoir, sell it to utilities Debate over the proposed C-51 Reservoir comes down to this question: What's more important - providing people drinking water or keeping waterways clean and healthy?  more

Ocala might stop adding fluoride to city water  City of Ocala water managers are making plans to possibly stop adding fluoride to the city's tap water. more

Lagoon sales tax spending plan revamped: More for sewers, less for muck removal  The County Commission has approved revisions in the 10-year plan for spending money generated by Brevard County's half-percent sales tax targeted for Indian River Lagoon restoration.more 

Florida disasters command huge share of state spending  Disasters which rocked Florida last year are now complicating efforts to finalize a new state spending plan, with Hurricane Michael recovery and work to ease toxic water outbreaks commanding a huge share of the $90-billion budget. more

State of innovation: USF team focuses on global drinking water NEW generator converns wastewater into nutrients, energy and clean water. more

FDEP Third Annual Business Expo This free Expo offers the opportunity to network with exciting companies that can meet your organizations's environmental challenges.  more

Bills to cut water pollution from sludge moving in Florida Legislature | Florida Times Union  Legislation to control use of partly treated sewer sludge on farmland - which has been blamed for algae problems at the start of the St. Johns River - is advancing in Florida's Legislature.   more

Lake Okeechobee conditions improving, says SFWMD scientist | Okeechobee News  Water conditions in Lake Okeechobee showed improvement in March, according to a report given by Dr. Susan Gray, chief environmental scientist, at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board meeting on April 11.  more

Opinion: Algae's link to septic tanks languishes while legislators look at election bills | TCPalm  Understanding that we're only a little past the halfway point of the session and that things can change swiftly in the waning days, we're struck by a dichotomy in the Florida Legislature.  more
This Week in Water History
April 15, 1923:  New York Times headline. Pollution of City's Harbor Growing Peril to Health. By George A. Soper. "After having been apparently forgotten for some years there are signs that the pollution of New York Harbor may again receive official attention. The Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, which took a leading part in bringing about the construction of the first rapid transit subway, the Catskill water supply and the Port Authority, has been inquiring into the state of the harbor waters with a view to the adoption of remedial measures. On Nov. 3, 1921, the Chamber passed a resolution urging municipal authorities in New York and New Jersey to take such steps as might be necessary to bring about a study of the matter, and on March 30, 1923, the Merchants' Association sent a letter to Mayor Hylan calling attention to the polluted condition of the harbor."

For more articles on what went on this week in water history, click here
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