Volume 23, Issue 10
November 2021
Newsletter
Sponsors  
A Message from Your Legislative Committee Chair  

There has been a lot of activity in the past year regarding water resources and stormwater – most of it stemming from the Clean Waterways Act of 2020 (aka SB 712). FDEP formed a Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee to provide recommendations to FDEP and the WMDs regarding revisions to the State’s stormwater rules. The TAC consists of 13 members and has met 13 times to develop recommendations for FDEP. A draft recommendations document was reviewed at the last three meetings and is anticipated to be published before the end of the year. FDEP has also formed an OSTDS TAC to provide recommendations to update the OSTDS rules and program that was transferred to FDEP on July 1st. Other rulemaking resulting from the Clean Waterways Act includes updates to water and wastewater rules to implement potable reuse, changes to fines for illicit wastewater discharges, and reporting requirements for wastewater and stormwater utilities.

Looking forward to the 2022 legislative session, it’s not anticipated that there will be any large water policy issues this session with so much water policy being at issue with the continuing activity from the Clean Waterways Act. The 2022 session will likely be dominated by redistricting, protecting Floridian’s rights, and passing a balanced budget. Because of redistricting, every senate and house seat will be up for grabs, so, unlike most years, every senator and representative (except those term limited) will be campaigning and campaign years are traditionally light on major policy issues. Regardless, the Legislative Committee and FSA continue to monitor and engage in priority issues that affect stormwater management. You can follow our efforts on the Legislative Page on FSA’s website, be sure to login to the member section for detailed information. When the Session begins, FSA posts updated Priority Issue summaries on a weekly basis. The Advocacy Page also provides a summary of current state and national issues important to our members. If there is a water resource issue that is important to you and not being tracked, please let FSA know.

Mark Thomasson, PE, National Stormwater Trust
Legislative Committee Chair
FSA Membership

Don’t lose member benefits like this newsletter! FSA’s fiscal year began November 1, 2021. The 30-day “grace period” allowing member organizations and their staff to continue receiving member benefits ends November 30, 2021. FSA is sending notice to your organization’s primary contact, contact us today if you need a copy of your invoice.
2022 Annual Conference –
Mark Your Calendars

Mark your calendars for FSA’s 2022 Annual Conference to be held June 15-17, 2022 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott. This year’s theme will be Responding to Changes: Dynamic Stormwater Management. The Call for Presentations will launch in December and stormwater leaders throughout Florida are invited to submit presentation proposals. Watch your email for more information to come soon!
SW Needs Assessment Workshop Scheduled

HB 53 (Chapter No. 2021-194, Laws of Florida) requires all local governments with wastewater or stormwater management systems to create a 20-year needs analysis, including a description of the system, the number of future residents served, revenues and expenditures, maintenance costs, etc. and transmit the analysis to the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) by June 2022. EDR’s survey instrument for compiling information is now available online. Comments or questions should be directed to EDR at EDRNaturalResources@leg.state.fl.us. A workshop on implementing HB 53 is scheduled for December 2nd as part of FSA's Winter Conference.
Statewide Stormwater Design Criteria TAC

The last meeting of the Statewide Stormwater Design Criteria Technical Advisory Committee was held on November 2, 2021. The TAC was formed to assist FDEP and the Water Management Districts in updating the state’s design criteria for the construction of stormwater systems, as directed by Senate Bill 712 which passed during the 2020 Legislative Session. FDEP expects to start public hearings on proposed rules in March 2022. More information may be found on FSA’s Advocacy page.
Infrastructure Bill Passes – Stormwater Summary

The bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill was signed into law on November 15, 2021. Covering everything from roads, to drinking water, broadband and solar power, the legislation had several important provisions on stormwater and water quality. See FSA’s summary of the water quality subsections of the legislation.
Interim Legislative Committee Meetings Conclude

The final week of Interim Legislative Committee meetings began on November 29, 2021, with the 2022 Legislative Session set to convene on January 11, 2022. Visit FSA’s member legislative webpage for up-to-date information on bills of interest to stormwater programs and staff.
Wesley Brooks appointed Chief Resilience Officer

Governor Ron DeSantis has named Dr. Wesley Brooks, PhD as the next Chief Resilience Officer, tasked with preparing Florida for the environmental, physical, and economic impacts of sea level rise and climate change. Brooks has been the Director of Federal Affairs for FDEP since January 2020. In that role, he developed and implemented strategies on items including CWA Section 404 assumption, expedited construction of the Everglades projects and reauthorization of the Coral Reef Conservation Act. As Chief Resilience Officer, Brooks will oversee the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection and will coordinate the efforts of several state agencies, including FDEP, FDOT, the Division of Emergency Management and FDACS. He received his bachelor’s degrees from Duke University and earned his doctorate in ecological science from Rutgers University.
WOTUS Litigation

There have been no new, significant developments in the WOTUS litigation since two federal courts vacated (invalidated) the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The Biden Administration is interpreting those decisions as having nationwide effect, and EPA and the Corps are no longer implementing policy based on the 2020 rule but are reverting to policy as existed in the late 1980s (see November 18, 2021 Proposed Rule) until a new set of regulations are adopted. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have held a series of initial webinar meetings to receive comments on new WOTUS policy. FSA testified during the webinars and submitted written comments on potential WOTUS rules.
OSTDS Variance Committee Meetings

The Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems Variance Committee meetings will examine applications for variance from the requirements of Chapter 62-6, Florida Administrative Code (Standards for Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems). The meetings are open to the public and are intended to fulfill the provisions of subsection 381.0065(3)(d), FS, which provides FDEP with the authority to grant variances in hardship cases that meet the criteria of rules and statues. Register here for the December 2, 2021 meeting of the Committee.
Blue Green Algae Task Force

The next Blue Green Algae Task Force meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Members of the public are invited to participate in-person or online. The Blue-Green Algae Task Force is charged with identifying solutions to reduce the adverse impacts of blue-green algae. During this meeting, the task force will discuss data collection and modeling needs to enable predictive modeling work that could identify locations of likely blue-green algal blooms. View the meeting agenda and registration.
Fogarty Training Center – New Stormwater Operator Course Dates Announced!

FSA’s Fogarty Training Center holds both Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Stormwater Operator courses that 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

FSA is continuing to host online courses while adding in-person options. Registration is now open for the following courses:

Level 1 (designed for stormwater management field personnel)
December 15-16, 2021 - In-Person - Sarasota County - Register now
January 12-13, 2022 - In-Person - City of Jacksonville - Register now
February 16-17, 2022 - Online - Register now

Level 2 (designed for stormwater management field supervisors)
January 26-27, 2022 - In-Person - City of Jacksonville - Register now
February 23-24, 2022 - Online - Register now
March 30-21, 2022 - In-Person - City of Tallahassee - Registration coming soon!

Don’t see a course when or where you want it? Contact FSA today!
Invest in the Future of Stormwater Management!
Did you know that FSA’s Educational Foundation sponsors scholarships every year? By providing these 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 – It’s tax deductible!
We appreciate your feedback! Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about FSA. 

Sincerely,

Florida Stormwater Association
Toll-Free Phone: 888-221-3124