July 2018
Volume 13, Issue 4 
President's Corner
Hillary C. Repik
Are you looking for solutions to local problems or have a success story that you can share? Join us October 3-5th for the SESWA Annual Conference in Hilton Head, SC. Your Conference and Education Committee have put together a comprehensive agenda covering the hot topics in stormwater today. The conference also provides a great opportunity to network with your colleagues. Register now! The pre-conference tour and workshop, main conference, and the hotel are filling up fast!

Be prepared! Are you passionate about progressing stormwater programs and advocating for the resources we need? Do you have a vision for how stormwater as a profession and a service can progress? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then WE NEED YOU to help us be the best that we can! At the conference we will hold our Annual Meeting and elect new representatives for state and associate delegates to our Board of Directors. Please reach out to your state representatives and let them know you are interested in running for a board position or serving on a committee.

Finally, THANK YOU for what you do to make a difference for your community every day. To our volunteers serving on the SESWA Board and Committees - in addition to performing your regular jobs - thank you too for helping us be a resource to our members. Engaged members and your work helps keep SESWA connected! I encourage everyone to consider serving the Association this next year.
See you in October!

Hillary Repik, Town of Mount Pleasant, SC
SESWA President
Association News 
Join Us in Hilton Head! - Early Bird Rates End on August 3rd
The 13th Annual Regional Stormwater Conference will be held at the Hilton Head Marriott in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on October 3-5, 2018. SESWA offers the only Regional Conference focused solely on stormwater education and challenges in stormwater management. The agenda was developed by your peers throughout the Southeast with YOU in mind. In addition to hearing from EPA, there will be two tracks of great workshop presentations, an Exhibit Hall featuring the latest water quality and flood control technologies, and a National update from NACWA. Plus a reception, food functions and continuing education all for one low price. Register by August 3, 2018 to receive the early bird discount!
SESWA Webinar - Free to Members!
Rescheduled to August 9th! The New Approaches to Permit Compliance and Enforcement in Region 4 webinar will provide a comparative overview of approaches to MS4 permit compliance and enforcement in the Southeast. Presenters will review the required minimum measures of the MS4 permit and focus on the use of ordinances, regulations, and other tools and programs for compliance and enforcement. This webinar is free to members, thanks to our Communications Sponsors!
Membership Renewals!
Don't miss out on all of SESWA's member benefits, including this newsletter! If you haven't already renewed this is your LAST newsletter; make sure your organization's primary contact renews today!
Join the Community!
SESWA's Community Forum is an online tool that enables 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 great way to network across state lines, ask questions and share answers with other stormwater professionals. In fact, you can see that some of the articles in this edition of the ForeCast are linked to the Community Forum! Getting started is easy - check out the Help Guide!
SESWA Job Board - FREE to Members! 
Membership has its privileges! SESWA members may post position vacancy announcements reaching thousands of qualified stormwater professionals throughout the Southeast at no cost for 30 days! Your listings are accessible by job seekers anywhere. To post your vacancy, visit the Job Board on the SESWA website!
In This Issue
Communications Sponsors







SESWA Board of Directors

Executive Committee

President:
Hillary C. Repik
Town of Mt. Pleasant, SC

Vice President:
Laurie Hawks
Brown and Caldwell

Secretary-Treasurer:
Scott Hofer
Jefferson County DOH, AL

Immediate Past President:
Buddy Smith, EPSC II
Hamilton County, TN

Board Representative:
W. Dave Canaan
Mecklenburg County, NC

To access a full listing of the SESWA Board of Directors, please click here.
National and Regional News 
WOTUS Update
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA
On June 29, 2018 EPA and the Army Corps issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to the July 2017 proposed action to repeal the 2015 WOTUS regulations, clarifying that the agencies are proposing to permanently repeal the definitions in the 2015 rules in their entirety. The notice also reiterates that the agencies are proposing to recodify the pre-2015 regulations to keep them in place while they finalize new WOTUS definitions. Comments on the new rule are due by August 13, 2018.

SESWA and numerous other parties challenged the 2015 WOTUS rule in the federal courts. While the Association supports the repeal of the rule, SESWA's comments to EPA and the Corps have consistently urged the agencies to recognize and retain some of the provisions embedded in the rule that recognize the connectivity of certain waters when replacement rules are proposed in the future.
Storm Smart Schools
Mark Van Auken, Arcadis
The EPA Mid-Atlantic Region recently published a guide for cities and school districts interested in using Green Infrastructure on school grounds to manage stormwater and to teach valuable lessons about conservation and environmental protection. The Storm Smart Schools guide outlines the multiple benefits of school-based Green Infrastructure and the eight steps to implementation.
BMPs
Are Stormwater Ponds Polluting the Air?
Jeff Corley, City of Concord, NC
A recent study led by Duke University questioned whether or not stormwater ponds contribute to greenhouse gases. The ponds help remove excess nitrogen, but some scientists question whether there may be a trade-off to this benefit. Detailed findings can be found at the Ecological Society of America website.
Green Infrastructure/LID
Make Landscaping Simple with Plant by Numbers Initiative
Demetria Kimball Mehlhorn, Lexington, KY
Inspired by the popular children's activity paint-by-numbers, the City of Lexington's Department of Environmental Services has developed Plant by Numbers, a do-it-yourself guide for citizens who are interested in beautiful, low-maintenance, pollinator-friendly landscaping but are not sure where to start. Plant by Numbers contains grid-based templates showing what to plant and where for three types of sun exposure (full sun, partial shade and full shade). Two plant options are listed for each spot on the grid. Environmental Services has coordinated with several local nurseries to make the plants available to their customers. The layouts are available on the Plant by Numbers webpage in a variety of color schemes and in two sizes. The first sets of plans were developed for areas with wet soil such as those that collect water during periods of rainfall or greenways along a stream or pond, and there are plans to create templates for other soil type areas. Environmental Services is also creating interactive tabletop grids with three-dimensional models of the plants. These will be used at outreach events, allowing citizens to create their own unique landscape.
Regulatory/Policy/Permits
Impacts of the Phase II Remand Rule on Florida Permit Requirements
Steve Peene, Applied Technology and Management
EPA revised the regulations governing small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits in response to a remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In January of 2018 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) adopted the EPA rule by reference. Since the adoption of the rule, FDEP has utilized the language in the rule, and EPA's interpretation of that language, to try and put additional requirements onto permit holders. The additional requirements, which relate primarily to TMDL implementation, are presently not required under the adopted Statewide Florida Phase II Generic Permit. Various agencies and municipalities have pushed back on FDEP pointing out that the conditions of the adopted Statewide Generic Permit cannot be modified without going through a formal rulemaking process. Presently FDEP is working through those comments to make a final determination on its ability to enforce the additional requirements.
North Carolina Session Law Calls for Study of Delegated Programs
Matthew Anderson, City of Charlotte, NC and  Patrick Blandford, HDR
Following a veto override vote, the General Assembly of North Carolina enacted Session Law to Provide Regulatory Relief to the Citizens of North Carolina. Section 14 of that Act calls for the Environmental Management Commission to review delegated stormwater management programs implemented by local governments to determine which governments are enforcing regulations or taking enforcement actions that exceed the requirements of State Water Quality Laws. The Commission shall report its findings by January 1, 2019.
Model Ordinance for Post-Development Stormwater Management
Barbara Seal, Gwinnett County, GA
The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro District) was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 2001 to establish policy, create plans and promote intergovernmental coordination of water issues in the Atlanta Metro area. The enabling legislation required the Metro District to develop a Model Ordinance for Post-Construction Stormwater Management which was completed in 2003. Now, with the introduction of runoff-reduction into the MS4 Permits as well as the adoption of the 2016 Georgia Stormwater Management Manual (GSMM), the Metro District is re-writing the Model Ordinance to ensure congruence with these actions. Some changes currently being considered are:
  • Language that encourages redevelopment;
  • Definitions that can be linked directly to the MS4 permit and/or 2016 GSMM;
  • Adoption of performance standards detailed in 2016 GSMM;
  • Clearer requirements for maintenance agreements;
  • Optional language for jurisdictions to tailor their programs; and
  • A feasibility policy to allow all or part of the 80% TSS reduction standard in-lieu of runoff-reduction.
The new Model Ordinance is still in development and is being vetted by the Metro District's Stormwater Technical Coordinating Committee and other stakeholders. The expected completion date is early 2019. Contact Chris Faulkner for more details.
Update on SCDHEC Construction General Permit (CGP) Re-issuance
Joe Fersner, Thomas & Hutton and  Eric Larson, Beaufort County, SC
SCDHEC's Bureau of Water plans to issue a public notice for a revised Construction General Permit (CGP) by the end of August pending EPA approval. Proposed draft changes are as follows:
  • Include a late notification allowance so that construction activities may commence prior to the submission of a Notice of Intent (NOI) during a public emergency to avoid imminent endangerment to human health or safety or to reestablish essential public services.
  • Address discharges from contaminated groundwater.
  • Individual Lots in older developments - changes throughout Section 3 (SWPPP) for small projects.
  • Amendments to non-numeric standards per 2014 Final Rule.
  • Removed term "Riparian Buffer" as it was not used in the permit.
  • Linear Inspections - must inspect where construction activities cross Waters of the State or Waters of the US.
  • Permittee is to conduct monthly inspections of a stabilized site until a Notice of Termination (NOT) is submitted.
  • Rain gauges are now required at all active construction sites.
  • If off-site sedimentation occurs, it should be removed, unless access is unobtainable, or it is determined by the appropriate regulator that it would be acceptable to leave in place if the removal activity would cause more harm than allowing the sediment to remain.
Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades Connection
Milton Leggett, City of Stuart, FL
In the 1920's the federal government and the state of Florida began draining portions of the Everglades to accommodate development in the areas south of Lake Okeechobee. Two strong hurricanes hit the area during the late 1920's and many settlers lost their lives and livelihoods, mainly the farming industry. This spurred the Army Corps of Engineers to construct the Herbert Hoover dike in what became known as the Lake Okeechobee dike project. Lake Okeechobee became the depository for two-thirds of the water that previously flowed into the Everglades. A series of canals and levees were constructed to drain an additional million acres of land south of the lake which is used primarily for sugar production. Today, two main canals carry water loaded with fertilizers, industrial waste, etc. to the Chattahoochee River and St. Lucie Estuary and out to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean respectively. The excess nutrients in this runoff cause proliferation of blue-green algae blooms, decreased salinity, and fish kills. In the meantime, political finger pointing continues and solutions are unforeseen.

        
Georgia Senate Study Committee Formed to Study Local Government Fees
Steve Leo, Gwinnett County, GA
SR 1170, passed by the Georgia Senate on the final day of the session this past March, established the Senate Study Committee on Local Government Fees. The recitals to the resolution explicitly include stormwater management fees as one "notable example" of the types of fees the Study Committee should consider. Fire service, traffic violations, and other court case fees are also referenced. The stated purpose of the Committee is to study whether such fees are fair and equitable and whether they are being properly used by local governments in Georgia.

In accordance with the resolution, Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle, has appointed five senators to serve on the committee. No meetings of the committee have been scheduled and will stand abolished on December 31, 2018.

Given that stormwater utility fees are highlighted in this resolution, Georgia members are encouraged to monitor this committee for any reports that may signal future legislative action that could curb local government's ability to manage our stormwater infrastructure and programs. The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), and SESWA will continue to monitor this study committee and we will provide updates as needed if there is activity.
NACWA Corner
Provided by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies
Emily Remmel, Director of Regulatory Affairs

The 'Dog Days of Summer' are encroaching which, to me, triggers two thoughts. First, it means the time of the year when many of us across the country (perhaps not this year with the quantities of rain in the Southeast) will face nearly unbearably hot temperatures and high humidity. And, second, which is usually an outcome of my first thought, is that this is the time of year when things take a major slow down. Many of us loaf into August looking forward to our family vacation and some relaxation. For this NACWA Corner, I would like us to take a cool moment, maybe grab that refreshing iced tea or spritzer, and let's reflect on a few of the many, many stormwater issues that have happened over the last year and will continue to need our advocacy efforts into the fall months.
  • MS4 General Permit Remand Rule - A result of litigation that occurred many Dog Days ago, in 2003, this Rule promulgated by EPA aims to help small MS4 permittees promote greater public engagement and participation in the permitting process. Effective on January 9, 2017, the Remand Rule was also predicated on assisting permit writers craft permit provisions that are "clear, specific, and measurable" for MS4s permittees. A year and a half later municipalities and stormwater agencies continue to deal with the complexities and implementation side of things. Many small MS4 permits are getting unduly longer, more complicated, and include expensive compliance costs for small municipalities. Needless to say, we will be engaged in this issue for some time as delegate states roll out updated small MS4 permits. 
  • Massachusetts and New Hampshire MS4 Litigation - Even though these two small Phase II MS4 permits went into effect on July 1, 2018, there is ongoing mediation to resolve issues with the permit language, mainly the shift away from the traditional Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP) standard. As mediation continues, NACWA will keep folks updated on these permits. 
  • Long-Term Planning Guide - EPA continues to work on their draft Community Solutions for Voluntary Long-Term Stormwater Planning Guide and the five communities that were selected to develop an integrated stormwater management plan. This Guide is a practical first step, but NACWA believes that many communities are only now beginning to understand the full scope of stormwater issues and what it takes to manage wet weather issues. EPA's assistance in developing holistic tools that incorporate integrated planning and include asset management at the local level are incredibly important. 
  • National Stormwater Legislation - There are several promising stormwater bills on Capitol Hill coming down the pike. The Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act passed in the House that establishes a Stormwater Funding Task Force to study and provide recommendations on how to better address the impact of stormwater throughout the country. NACWA is also closely watching a provision of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that includes a study on the Army Corps of Engineers ability to comply with federal stormwater runoff requirements.

Cheers to all the amazing stormwater professionals that are on the front lines providing the day-to-day efforts and initiatives to protect public health, the environment, and improve our overall community wellbeing. This beat-the-heat August spritzer is for you! 


Contact Emily Remmel, NACWA's Director of Regulatory Affairs, for more information or with any questions.
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)