SESWA ForeCast

January 2017                                                                                        Volume 12, Issue 1   
Thanks to Our Communications Sponsors!
In This Issue

SESWA Board of Directors

Executive Committee
Buddy Smith, EPSC II
Hamilton County, TN

Vice President:
Hillary Repik
Town of Mount Pleasant, SC

Laurie Hawks
Brown and Caldwell

Immediate Past President:
Jeff Corley, PE, CSM
City of Concord, NC

Board Representative:
Thomas Miller
City of Birmingham, AL

Board Members

Sam Amerson, PE
City of Stuart, FL

Tracey Barrow
Sumner County, TN

Gary Bennett, PE, CPESC, CPSWQ
Columbia County, GA

Patrick Blandford, PE

Hal Clarkson, PE, CFM

Ebenezer Gujjarlapudi
Mecklenburg County, NC

Scott Hofer
Jefferson County DOH, AL

David Mason, PE, DWRE
CDM Smith

Thomas Miller
City of Birmingham, AL

Joseph Mina
Applied Technology & Management

Jennifer Norton
City of Chattanooga, TN

Kevin Osbey
Clayton County Water Authority

Chris Wannamaker, PE
Charleston County, SC

Judy Wortkoetter, PE
Greenville County, SC

Jack Wright, PE
Warren County, KY

Executive Director
Kurt Spitzer
President's Corner
Buddy Smith   
Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017! I hope that each of you had a safe and wonderful holiday season, and spent quality time with family and friends.  Here at SESWA, 2017 will bring both opportunities and challenges.  Your Association will be rolling up their sleeves and preparing for the dynamic world of stormwater, as well as the best interests of our members in the southeast.

We must all be dedicated to the effort of keeping SESWA moving forward. In this edition you will find articles from throughout Region 4 and on the National level as well. It's another great example of the professional and meritorious approach taken by our committees and staff to deliver dependable, up-to-date information.  As Ann Landers once said: "Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat!"

A few highlights of interest on the 2017 Calendar:  Be sure to register early for SESWA's Annual Spring Seminar in Atlanta on March 31st.  This single-day seminar offers an outstanding opportunity to learn from experts who will present a comprehensive overview of new and emerging trends in stormwater Best Management Practices, Low Impact Development techniques and Green Infrastructure policies. SESWA members receive a discounted registration rate! Professional Engineers will not want to miss this opportunity to earn up to six (6) continuing education credits!  Plus if you register before March 10th, you receive an additional early-bird discount.  Space is limited, so register now!

At the time of publication, our first webinar of the year - "Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination" - was held on January 19th with a record attendance of over 160 people!  SESWA members can still login to our website to download the PPTs and watch a recording of the webinar at no charge.  These opportunities (and more) will benefit our membership - making your association stronger and better in 2017 - if we all come together to support the cause.  As always, thank you for being actively involved in SESWA, and I look forward to seeing you at the Spring Seminar on March 31st in Atlanta!
Please visit our website ( for additional information as we look forward to another successful year! 
Association News
Southeast Regional Stormwater Seminar 
SESWA's 2017 Seminar offers an outstanding opportunity to learn from experts who will present a comprehensive overview of new and emerging trends in stormwater BMPs, LID and Green Infrastructure practices and policies.  The Seminar will guide stormwater managers and engineers through the criteria necessary to make the correct selection of the most efficient/effective practice for your city or county.  Presenters will cover everything from selection criteria to pollutant types and removal calculations, to aesthetic design, maintenance, and new development versus retrofits!  Register now to take advantage of early (discounted) registration rates! 
Join the Community!
The Community Discussion Board is an online tool for SESWA members throughout the southeast to easily connect with other stormwater professionals, post questions and participate in discussions on BMPs, approaches to new permit conditions, Green Infrastructure and LID, and more! 

It's a new way to network, ask questions and share answers with other stormwater professionals, without having to go outside of your inbox and without having to create yet another account.  

Get started now!  It's easy - just go to the How-To Guide!
2017 Survey of Stormwater Utilities
SESWA conducts a Survey of SWU practices and trends throughout the southeast and publishes a Final Report on the results every two years.  Information contained in the Report is widely used by local stormwater managers and state policy makers throughout Region 4.  Data collection for the 2017 Survey is underway now!  If you've received the Survey, please return it to SESWA ASAP!  All participating cities and counties that return a Survey will receive a free copy of the 2017 Final Report.  QUESTIONS?  Contact Erica Laza at 866-367-7379!
Call for Presentation Proposals
SESWA Annual Conference: October - Louisville, KY 
This year's 2017 Regional Stormwater Conference will be held on October 11-13 in Louisville, Kentucky at The Galt House!  Stormwater professionals from local, state and federal government, the consulting community, product manufacturers and academia are invited to present workshop presentations on case studies, evolving policy and regulatory information, new practices or techniques and research projects.   INTERESTED?  Submit a Presentation Application Form prior to March 10, 2017!
Job Board - FREE to Members!
SESWA members may post position vacancy announcements reaching thousands of qualified stormwater professionals and search for qualified job seekers throughout the southeast at no cost!  To post your vacancy, visit the Job Board on the SESWA website!
National/Regional News
New Water Protection Division Director for R4 
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA
Mary Walker was named Director of the Water Protection Division for EPA Region 4 late last year, assuming the role held by Jim Giattina until his retirement.  Ms. Walker previously served as Assistant Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), where she oversaw policy development and rulemaking for all media, permitting and compliance programs, and general agency operations.  Walker's public service also includes work with the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. She is a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leaders and has served as a state representative on the joint EPA/State E-Enterprise for the Environment Leadership Council and a member of the Southern States Energy Board.  Walker earned an undergraduate degree from Tulane University and a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Georgia.   
Supreme Court to Hear WOTUS Appeal  
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA
The US Supreme Court has agreed to review an Appeal from the Sixth Circuit Court on a procedural matter concerning the WOTUS litigation.  The appeal concerned whether the Circuit or District court was the proper jurisdiction to review proposed regulations like WOTUS.  Several petitioners representing regulated interests (including SESWA) had filed the Appeal to Supreme Court after the Sixth Circuit ruled that they (not District Courts) had jurisdiction on such matters.  The decision by the Supreme Court set the stage for WOTUS opponents to seek delays at the Sixth Circuit until the jurisdictional question was resolved.  The Sixth Circuit recently granted such motions, thus giving the Trump Administration more time to start the process for withdrawal or repeal of the rule before an initial decision is rendered by a court.    
Introducing BMGs - Best Management Goats! 
Mike Woods, City of Grovetown, GA
Managing plant growth in a detention pond can be a major undertaking and expense! The City of Grovetown, GA may have found an answer to this problem from a recent pilot project in nearby Augusta  - Goats! Goats will eat just about anything and the right number of goats in a particular area can keep vegetation very low to the ground, which is perfect for a detention pond. But what about their "leavings"? In stormwater management, we all know that fecal coliform bacteria (FC) is the enemy, so will goats in a pond have a negative impact on FC levels? Grovetown plans to perform some sampling of pond discharge to make this determination and who knows, maybe BMGs (Best Management Goats) will be the new standard in pond management! 
Implementation Strategies
NC Implementing New Design Manual 
Patrick Blandford, HDR Engineering
With the adoption of the State's new Minimum Design Criteria comes several new program documents from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.  Parts C through F of the Stormwater Design Manual have been released with the remaining parts to be released near the end of January.  These parts mostly dictate how stormwater control measures (SCMs) formerly structural BMPs should be designed. Accompanying the Design Manual is the draft of the Stormwater Control Measures Credit Document, a document that details how SCMs will be used to adhere to stormwater management rules.   
A Win-Win Strategy with the Community Rating System
Sara Berry, Garden City, GA
How does it sound to increase flood resiliency and decrease insurance rates for homeowners in your community at the same time? That sounds like a win-win strategy. The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary part of the FEMA National Flood insurance Program and helps to accomplish just that! In Garden City, GA, community leaders implemented enhanced ditch maintenance and outreach strategies to meet the program requirements. This resulted in a new approach to MS4 inventory and inspections using advanced technology, and enhanced community engagement through existing events such as the City's annual Eggstravaganza. For Garden City, the benefits of the CRS outweigh the costs of completing the application and many communities across the country agree.
Regulatory, Policy, Permits
2017 Gearing Up for Unique and Innovative Permit Requirements
Patrick Blandford, HDR Engineering
This year is shaping up initially to introduce and follow unique and innovative requirements for a number of EPA Permits.  One such place is in Massachusetts where challengers are outlining arguments to the EPA promulgated permit in that state. Key arguments include requirements for retention standards, wet weather monitoring for illicit discharges, water quality standards, and restrictions on flow.  In the District of Columbia a proposed EPA permit just completed public review.  The proposed DC permit (also see below article) would require cost-benefit analysis of increasing on-site retention standard, green roof implementation, and evaluate options for increasing fees. These are likely not to be the last permits highlighting new approaches in stormwater management for 2017.
Revised Benchmarks in DC MS4 Permit
David Mason, CDM Smith
EPA recently published a notice of intent to reissue the DC MS4 permit. The reissued permit proposes a number of new enforceable milestones and adaptive management benchmarks that members should be aware of in their own permit negotiations. These provisions include performing a cost-benefit analysis of increasing the on-site stormwater retention standard from 1.2 inches to 2 inches, specific numeric benchmarks for managed acres and green roof installations, requirements to reevaluate the District's Stormwater Fee, and assessment of approaches to eliminate stormwater management exemptions for small projects.
Draft Georgia Phase I Medium MS4 Permit Released for Comment
Barbara Seal, Gwinnett County, GA
Update on the Draft Georgia Phase I Medium MS4 Permit, which is applicable to 12 local governments and is expected to be issued in April of 2017. The draft permit still includes: 1) a runoff reduction requirement to hold on-site the first 1.0 inch of runoff, 2) a requirement to protect trout streams from temperature elevations, 3) an option for local DOTs to determine the feasibility of implementing the runoff reduction requirement on linear projects. The major change between the first draft permit and the final draft permit is that the runoff reduction requirement is triggered three years into the permit period. This allows the permittee to develop training programs for design engineers, plan reviewers, inspectors, etc.  SESWA members should note that this is the first MS4 Permit in GA, outside of the Coastal Area, to include the runoff reduction requirement! It is extremely important that local governments review this draft permit and provide comments. SESWA will continue to keep members updated on the progress, comment periods and other key dates through the SESWA Forecast newsletter. Please see Draft Permit Document for details.
TN MS4 Permit Stormwater Requirements Deferred
David Mason, CDM Smith
As noted in the last newsletter, the State of Tennessee issued a new NPDES MS4 General permit to 90+ permittees. Several provisions in the Permanent Stormwater requirements section were appealed by multiple parties. The appeals are expected to be heard in November 2017. In response, the State has chosen to defer implementation of the new Permanent Stormwater Management requirements until January 1, 2018 to allow for the appeals to be addressed. Additional discussion of the TN MS4 General Permit can be found on the SESWA Community Forum (be sure to login).
2017 Phase II Renewals Posted
Jeff Corley, City of Concord, NC
The North Carolina DEQ has posted 75 draft MS4 Phase II Permits. The State has been receiving comments through January 31, 2017.  Find out more about the 2017 Phase II renewals.
Stuart Hosts Lake Okeechobee Collaborative Meeting
Sam Amerson, City of Stuart, FL
This past summer the City of Stuart was at the epicenter of the 2016 algae crisis, an unprecedented algal bloom spurred by decades of manmade conditioning, and proliferated by freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River. Although Stuart is in full compliance with the TMDLs officially adopted in the St. Lucie Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), our inshore and near shore waters are significantly impacted by regional activities upstream.  On January 9, 2017 the City of Stuart approved Resolution Number 10-2017 authorizing the adoption of the Lake Okeechobee Regional Compact, the most comprehensive effort in the state by impacted local governments to address extraordinary, far-reaching water quality issues affecting a population of more than eight million people in central and south Florida.  A primary goal of the Compact is to develop a joint policy position urging Congress and the Florida Legislature to  take special actions, including passing legislation that recognizes the unique vulnerabilities of Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding Everglades and estuarine systems, and to further a joint policy position that includes specific recommendations regarding the allocation of federal and state funding.
Post Development Construction Control Ordinance Development
Thomas Miller, City of Birmingham, AL
The City of Birmingham, in conjunction with a number of adjacent communities, counties, developers, environmental interests, and engineering firms has begun development of a new post-development construction control ordinance in anticipation that requirement will be included into the City's new NPDES Phase I permit this year.  The new ordinance is being developed with consultant support and will include new related policies, processes, and procedures with integration of watershed master plans and GI/LID strategies.  This phase will require identification of LID/GI strategies first, followed by traditional development tools for all new and significant redevelopment to mimic the pre-construction hydrology.  The City anticipates using the 1.1-inch rainfall over a 24-hour period proceeded by a 72-hour antecedent dry period as the basis for design and encourage developers to incorporate the use of LID/GI.
NACWA Corner 
provided by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies 

In a unanimous decision issued January 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that narrative water quality standards incorporated by reference into a NPDES permit are substantive permit terms, and that permittees must comply with these terms to receive the benefit of the shield from litigation under the Clean Water Act.  The decision threatens to severely erode the protection afforded by the permit shield and provides a clear path for environmental groups and courts to translate narrative water quality standards into enforceable permit terms.  In the past, NPDES permittees have been able to rely on compliance with their permit as a shield against enforcement and citizen suit litigation over permitted discharges.  While not setting a precedent outside of the Fourth Circuit Court's jurisdiction, the ruling does set the stage for similar challenges in other parts of the Country.  For more information, contact Amanda Waters or Erica Spitzig at NACWA.

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