Spring is officially here and for me it is the time of the year when high river levels meet bearable water temperatures for exciting kayaking and other water sports. Enjoying our natural resources during this special time of the year helps me remember why I believe in our industry and its future. This year’s spring also brings me more optimism for great things on the horizon. I hope you share this sentiment and the feeling that we will get to see each other in the not-too distant future.

Coming this April, SESWA will host the Innovative Alternatives for Stormwater Funding Seminar online. The Seminar will provide real-world experience and information on how to make the most of the resources you have while exploring ways to increase the bottom line. In addition to the Seminar, the SESWA Board of Directors will participate in a strategic planning session. This is the second time SESWA has held a strategic planning session since its inception. With this past year’s seismic shift in our way of doing business, this process could not have come at a better time. I am so proud to be a member of an organization that is truly dedicated to meeting the needs of the whole stormwater community. Thank you all for your continued support of SESWA.

Scott Hofer
SESWA President
SESWA Seminar - Are you Registered? 

Join us as we explore Innovative Alternatives for Stormwater FundingSESWA’s 16th Annual Regional Stormwater Seminar will be held online on April 23, 2021. The demands of today's stormwater management programs require a vast amount of resources. While these programs are typically funded by stormwater fees or other citizen funds, stormwater managers are often seeking creative approaches to meet growing demands. This Seminar will give you real-world experience and information on how to make the most of the resources you have while exploring ways to increase the bottom line. Register now for the opportunity to take part in an important forum for stormwater professionals to learn about innovative stormwater practices from experts, build partnerships and share best practices. Up to five continuing education credits will be provided for the discounted member rate of $149.
Communications Sponsors
SESWA Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Scott Hofer
Jefferson County, DOH, AL

Vice President
Cory Rayburn
City of Atlanta, GA

W. Dave Canaan
Mecklenburg County, NC

Immediate Past President
Laurie Hawks
Hawks Environmental

Board Representative
Synithia Williams
Richland County, SC

To access a full listing of the SESWA Board of Directors, please click here.
2021 Stormwater Utility Report - Arrives in April!

SESWA conducts a survey of stormwater utilities practices and trends throughout the Southeast and publishes a Final Report on the results every two years. Data collection for the 2021 survey is complete and the new report is under construction. The Report provides easy access to questions concerning rates, structure, billing methods, and many other policies and practices in stormwater utilities throughout the Southeast. Information contained in the Report is widely used by local stormwater managers and state policy makers throughout Region 4. Watch your mailboxes, the primary contact for each SESWA member organization will receive a free Report soon! Additional copies will be available on the SESWA website, Member login will be required.
SESWA Spotlight Webinar - Integrated Stormwater Planning

Register today for the May 12th SESWA State Spotlight Webinar Integrated Stormwater Planning - Stormwater as a Resource. One hour of continuing education is available for the discount member rate of $35. Traditionally, stormwater planning has been done from the perspective that stormwater should be managed as waste that must be treated before being released to the environment. This presentation will explore a shift in perspective that all water is valuable and should be managed as a resource for the benefit of our environment, society, and economy. The City of Winter Haven, like many Florida communities, faces many challenges including rapid population growth, land use change, scarcity of traditional fresh groundwater supplies, escalating water supply costs, impaired water quality and levels, and impacted watershed hydrology. This webinar will focus on how a small local government like Winter Haven, FL is using integrated planning at a watershed scale to plan beneficial use of stormwater while meeting treatment goals. Register Today!
16th Annual Regional Stormwater Conference - Save the Date!

Make plans to participate in the best-of-the-best in regional stormwater education this year! The 16th Annual Regional Stormwater Conference will be held October 6-8, 2021. The conference will feature an agenda developed by your peers, access to continuing education, networking opportunities with other stormwater professionals, great keynote and breakout speakers, and much more. We are closely monitoring COVID protocols and will make a final decision on location (Hilton Head, SC vs. Online) by May. Watch your inbox for registration details.

If you’d like to contribute to the agenda, it’s not too late – the deadline to submit a presentation is today, March 31, 2021.
SESWA Job Board - Post Jobs and Resumes!

The SESWA Job Board is an excellent resource for job seekers and employers in the stormwater profession throughout the Southeast. SESWA members can post job openings on the Job Board for FREE for 30 days!

Job seekers can also post their resumes for FREE for 30 days. SESWA members will be able to view the resumes and find the best fit for their vacancies! To post your vacancy or resume, visit the SESWA Job Board!
Join SESWA's Community Forum 

During this time when many are working remotely, take the opportunity to visit the Community Forum and connect online with other stormwater professionals across the Southeast. The Forum can be found under the "Members Only" tab on the SESWA website. Join this virtual gathering place to ask a question or post something that is happening in your area that might be helpful to others. Don't forget to subscribe to get updates!

Quick Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Forum

  • Subscribe - Subscribe to as many topics as you like. When you subscribe to a topic you will receive email alerts for any activity on that topic.
  • Favorites - Click "Favorite" to add a topic to your "My Favorites" list.
  • Search - Search for topics of interest by entering key words in the website search box at the top of the web page. You must be logged in to use the Search feature. 
  • Post - Click on the "Discussion Threads" link. Go to the "New Topic" button. Be sure to subscribe to this topic to receive automatic updates. 
  • Reply - Click the topic link and then click "Post Reply." Remember, to receive automatic updates you must subscribe to this topic.
WOTUS Regulatory Update
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

Courts continue to wrestle with what is or is not a “Water of the United States.” In a Colorado case, attorneys in the Environmental Division of the US Department of Justice sought delays in an appeal of a lower court decision that had rejected the 2020 WOTUS Replacement Rule. However, the US Court of Appeals not only rejected that request but also overruled the lower court’s decision. Meanwhile, in a South Carolina proceeding, plaintiffs challenging the rule filed a brief citing EPA and Army Corps of Engineers data indicating that at least 70% of waters under the 2020 rule would no longer qualify for federal protection. It is generally believed that the new Administrator at EPA will seek to adopt regulations that are somewhere between the 2015 and 2020 WOTUS definitions. SESWA will keep members informed as updates occur.
Permitting for Groundwater Discharges
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

Although groundwaters are generally not covered by the provisions of the CWA, the US Supreme Court’s April 2020 ruling that pollutants discharged to groundwater that make their way to surface waters must obtain surface water permits when the discharge is the functional equivalent of a discharge into a surface water. The “functional equivalent” test as identified in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, found that the discharge of polluted water into the ground which reaches a nearby jurisdictional water still requires the discharger to comply with the CWA. But over the past year, EPA and subsequent court cases have failed to provide guidance in implementing the provisions of the Maui decision – leaving the task to the new EPA.
Updating the Statewide Stormwater Design Rules
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

Following direction given by legislation adopted in 2020, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has initiated rulemaking to update the statewide design criteria used when constructing stormwater systems. The criteria have not been updated in more than 20 years. Runoff from projects designed in a manner that is consistent with the criteria is presumed to not cause or contribute to violations of water quality criteria. FDEP has formed a Technical Advisory Committee and is keeping a robust website on the Design Rules updated.
SCDHEC Issues Revised CGP
Joe Fersner, Stormwater Professionals

The most recent version of SCDHEC's NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities (CGP) went into effect March 1, 2021. Some of the changes include:

  • The CGP automatically covers, without having to submit an NOI, individual residential lots within a larger common plan (LCP) of development provided that the LCP or subdivision was approved prior to the effective date of the SC Stormwater Management and Sediment Reduction Regulations in 1992.
  • The addition of an "at our discretion" option for SCDHEC in the Allowable Non-Stormwater Discharges section.
  • Expansion of the provisions for automatic coverage of certain small construction activities in the Coastal Zone.
  • Revisions to required inspection frequencies and inspection report requirements.
  • Required documentation for corrective actions.
  • Added references for design standards for Projects in SCDOT rights-of-way.
  • Allowances for construction activities during Public Emergencies prior to submittal of a Notice of Intent (NOI).
  • Requirements related to discharges of potentially contaminated groundwater.
  • Amendments to Construction and Development Rule Non-Numeric Effluent Limits.
  • Allowances for electronic permitting. 

NC Legislature Requires Single, Unified Local Land Development Ordinance
Dave Canaan, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

Chapter 160D of the North Carolina Code requires that by July 1, 2021 cities and counties in North Carolina must consolidate all of their zoning, subdivision, and other land development related ordinances into one, unified ordinance. Chapter 160D also clarifies certain administrative functions (appeals and variances, as examples), although it does not significantly alter current policies contained within the local ordinances. By July 1, 2022 each city or county that has a zoning ordinance must also update or create a comprehensive or land use plan. Regardless of when a community modifies its ordinances to comply with Chapter 160D, the Legislative changes went into effect upon passage in July 2019.
Update on Tennessee's Bill Proposing to Eliminate Stormwater Fees on Properties with SCMs
Dave Mason, CDM Smith

As introduced, Tennessee's SB 0113 would require a municipality to abate the stormwater fees owed by a property owner until such fees equal the construction costs of any stormwater control measure constructed on the property. After some debate, the bill was narrowed to only apply to property owners that qualified as a 501(c)(3), which still threatened to undermine utilities in Tennessee. After pushback from multiple agencies in Tennessee and a letter from SESWA, the bill was withdrawn and sent to summer study.
NACWA Corner
Provided by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies 
Emily Remmel, Director of Regulatory Affairs

New EPA Administration Settling In; Key Environmental Justice, Climate, and Affordability Priorities Ahead

Hand-picked by the Biden Administration and confirmed by the US Senate in a 66-34 vote on March 10, 2021, Michael Regan is settling into the helm of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as its newest Administrator. As political and career staff develop Agency strategy for the four years of regulatory policy ahead, there are a number of issues to watch at the federal level that will have an impact on clean water utilities and stormwater utilities alike.

Addressing Environmental Justice and the Climate Change will be a top priority for this EPA as well as the White House. In an early Executive Order, the Biden Administration committed the Federal government to advancing Environmental Justice across all regulatory policies. The Executive Order tasks all executive agencies to “immediately review” Federal regulations and other actions from the prior Administration and consistent with applicable law “take action” to address those that conflict with this objective. President Biden’s “All of Government” plan includes “tackl[ing] water pollution in a science-based manner” and with a focus on low-income communities and communities of color that have disproportionately been impacted by pollution.

Updating EPA policies and guidance on affordability has never been more important. Growing income inequality, increasing regulatory compliance costs, aging infrastructure, and population shifts are collectively making affordable water services increasingly unattainable, particularly for low-income households. EPA signed the 2021 Financial Capability Assessment (FCA) for Clean Water Act Obligations on January 12, 2021, but it was pulled back before it made it into the Federal Register and is currently under review by the EPA. NACWA and key water sector partners have been working for nearly two decades to move EPA away from its outdated 1997 FCA policy that heavily relies on two percent median household income. NACWA is urging EPA to finalize the new policy with metrics that are more reflective of the impacts on low-income communities and adjust the determination of burden based on those impacts.

As a means to urge action and bring awareness on the affordability front, NACWA and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) recently launched the Affordable Water, Resilient Communities campaign seeking to propose timely, actionable, and permanent funding and financing policies—with a particular focus on boosting the federal investment in water infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in its 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, gave wastewater a D+ grade and, for the first time, scored stormwater with a D grade. At a time when the federal share of water infrastructure investment is less than five percent, it is clear that more must be done.

Additional federal funding is needed not only to address the acute challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and affordability but also to confront climate change, make our systems and communities more resilient, invest in our future capital needs, and address environmental justice inequities—all issues the Biden Administration, the 117th Congress, and the Regan EPA need to advance.

If SESWA members have questions on federal issues playing out at EPA or on Capitol Hill, please contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs at 202-833-1539 or eremmel@nacwa.org.
Don't see news from your state?
Please contact us with your news or share your comments on our newsletter by emailing us at info@seswa.org.

Southeast Stormwater Association
(866) FOR-SESWA (367-7379)