Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller

While we are all feeling gratitude towards the team effort of science in helping humanity clear the way for a return to normalcy, mother nature has again brought into focus another challenge before us, our infrastructure. From the widespread flooding here in the Southeast to the visible crack in Memphis’ I-40 Bridge, we again are reminded of our aging and inadequate infrastructure that has been taken for granted. Now the state of our stormwater infrastructure has been put into a relatable term by the American Society of Civil Engineering, a grade of D. As we look towards the future, as both stormwater professionals and SESWA members, please think about that great quote from the Alabama native that deeply understood the meaning of alone and together as we all face our next challenge.

SESWA’s membership counts continue to be strong and with membership renewals underway, we foresee that trend continuing. If you haven’t yet renewed, be sure to do so before June 30th. I’m also happy to report that thanks to the support of our members, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers SESWA’s Spring Seminar was a great success! The Seminar topic of Innovative Alternatives for Stormwater Funding was developed from your feedback and over 130 participants joined us virtually from across the Southeast.

Don’t forget to take advantage of SESWA’s resources. The SESWA 2021 Stormwater Utility Report is complete and available for members to download for free. Also, if you have any burning stormwater questions, don’t forget to reach out to the incredible cumulative knowledge of our members through the Community Forum. While you’re there, take a look at the online discussions to see if there is a nugget of wisdom that you can give to help a fellow member.

Finally, SESWA’s Strategic Planning process is almost complete. I look forward to sharing the new plan that will set the course of our future.

Scott Hofer
SESWA President
Membership Renewals!

If you haven’t renewed your SESWA membership for Fiscal Year 2021-22 (July-June), your membership will expire on July 1st. Renewing has never been easier! The primary contact for your organization is receiving invoices by email. Simply click the invoice link to pay online or download a copy to pay by check. Paper invoices were also mailed in late April. If you didn’t receive a notice or aren’t sure who your organization’s primary contact is, contact SESWA, we’re happy to help. Renew today so you don’t miss out on SESWA’s member benefits, including this newsletter!
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.
SESWA Seminar – Thank you!

For many years, SESWA's Annual Regional Stormwater Seminar has served as an important forum for stormwater professionals to learn about innovative stormwater practices from experts, build partnerships and share best practices. This year’s Seminar was a great success thanks to resounding support from our sponsors, speakers, and attendees. We wanted to thank all of our participants for coming together to make this possible. A special thank you to this year’s sponsors!

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 the conference format soon. Stay tuned for complete details and registration to open in June!
2021 Survey of Stormwater Utilities – Delivered in April!

SESWA conducts a Survey of Stormwater Utility practices and trends throughout the Southeast and publishes a Final Report on the results every two years. The 2021 Southeast Stormwater Utility Report is now complete. 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. One Report has been provided to the primary contact within each SESWA member organization and to those non-members who returned a survey. Additional copies are available on the SESWA website, this resource is free to members.
Give Us Your Best Shot – SESWA Photo Contest

Spring is upon us and we’re kicking it off with the 2021 SESWA Member Photo Contest! Help us share all the great work you are doing by sharing photos of your favorite stormwater projects. Some examples of what we’d like to feature include innovative BMPs, Green Infrastructure, LID, treatment ponds, storm drain art, or stream restoration projects. Winning photos will be featured on the SESWA Homepage for one year referencing the organizations who submitted them. Submit your photos by June 11, 2021!
SESWA FREE Webinar – July 15, 2021

Save the date to attend SESWA’s webinar Flood Mitigation Project Success Stories on July 15, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Eastern. The webinar will be free to members, thanks to our 2021-2022 Communication Sponsors. Stay tuned to our website and emails for more details to be published soon.
SESWA Job Board – Post Jobs and Resumes!

The SESWA Job Board is a one-stop shop for both job seekers and employers! Let stormwater professionals across the Southeast know that you are hiring. 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 the Community – SESWA’s Online Forum 

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.
Construction General Permit Revisions
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

EPA is seeking comments on proposed revisions to the NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities, sometimes referred to as the Construction General Permit (CGP). When finalized, the permit would replace the 2017 CGP that is set to expire in February 2022. Comments on the proposed permit and its accompanying fact sheet will be received through July 12, 2021 via EPA’s Notice published on the Federal Register’s website. EPA is planning one or more webcasts during the week of June 14, 2021 to provide an overview of the proposed 2022 CGP and respond to questions. For more information, contact Michael Mitchell at EPA Region 4 or Greg Schaner at the Office of Water at EPA Headquarters.
EPA Action on PFAS
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

In April, EPA Administrator Michael Regan formed a council of senior agency staff to jumpstart strategies for tackling per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), seeking “pragmatic approaches” to protecting the public from the chemicals, such as reviewing ongoing PFAS actions and assisting states on PFAS challenges. EPA is acting to limit PFAS exposures and aims to reduce regulatory exemptions for approvals of certain PFAS. EPA had already reissued the previous Administration’s final Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory determinations for certain PFAS, triggering a 24-month timeline for EPA to propose national primary drinking water regulations with typically enforceable maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), for the chemicals. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances do not degrade in the environment, are common contaminants in water supplies and pose hazards to human health even in very small amounts.
New Alabama General Construction Permit 
Scott Hofer, Jefferson County Department of Health, AL

On April 1, 2021 the newest Alabama Construction General Permit became effective. The new permit is very similar to the 2016 permit but according to the Alabama Dept. of Environmental Management's (ADEM) summary, “the language was simplified and streamlined to present the requirements in a generally more clear and readable manner”. Other changes of note are:

  • the requirement of coordinates of the site’s outfalls instead of discharge points, 
  • the additional requirement of listing chemicals used for water treatment, 
  • the addition of factors to consider for designing construction site controls, 
  • clarification of the requirements regarding immediate soil stabilization, 
  • evaluation intervals for the CBMPP based on the site’s classification as a priority or non-priority construction site, 
  • and clarification of when precipitation measurements should be taken.

The Notice of Intent for coverage must be submitted electronically to ADEM through the new Alabama Environmental Permitting and Compliance System (AEPACS). AEPACS’s usage will expand to MS4 permitting and documentation in the future.
Florida Legislative Session Recap
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session ended April 30th. Several bills that passed affected local stormwater interests – in both positive and negative ways. Here’s a short summary:

Flooding and Resiliency - SB 1954 established the Resilient Florida Grant Program to fund costs of community resilience planning and requires the state environmental agency to submit a statewide flooding and sea level rise resiliency plan to the Legislature.

Pre-emption of Local Regulatory Authority - HB 735 prohibits the licensing of occupations by local governments unless such is specifically authorized by general law. Prohibits the ability of local governments to test competence with water quality improvement programs and best practices through the occupational license process.

Stormwater Needs Assessment - HB 53 requires local governments to prepare and transmit a 20-year needs assessment for wastewater and stormwater to the state every five years.

Reclaimed Water - SB 64 requires domestic wastewater utilities that dispose of effluent, reclaimed water, or reuse water by surface water discharge to submit a 5-year plan to eliminate the nonbeneficial surface water discharge to the state environmental agency.

Biosolids Disposal - HB 1309 ratifies revisions to rules on permitting biosolids disposal facilities that had been approved by the state environmental agency.
Re-Issuance of Tennessee Construction General Permit
David Mason, CDM Smith

On May 11, 2021, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced the notice of a proposed permit action and public hearing of its draft 2021 General NPDES Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity (Permit Number TN100000). A public hearing for the permit will be held June 29, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Central. For more information regarding the hearing and links to the revised permit visit the State's website.
NACWA Corner
Provided by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies 
Emily Remmel, Director of Regulatory Affairs

Census Bureau Proposes New Criteria for Urbanized Areas; Impact to MS4s Unclear

The U.S. Census Bureau recently proposed changing the criteria for defining urban areas – a common step after each decennial census. The proposed changes could potentially impact the Clean Water Act’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) program and how EPA determines communities that must be permitted. Currently, small MS4 Phase II communities are identified by the Census Bureau’s definition of urbanized areas.

Specifically, the Census Bureau is proposing to adopt a housing unit density threshold of 385 housing units per square mile as the primary criterion for determining whether a census block qualifies for inclusion in an urban area. This proposed change would replace the use of population density and could provide a “more direct measure” and allow for a more accurate account for urban landscape. This would also allow the Census Bureau to account for smaller than average person households or seasonal populations.

The Census Bureau is also proposing to qualify urban areas as those with at least 4,000 housing units or has a population of at least 10,000 people – a move that could expand the footprint and envelop new communities as well as enlarge the requirements of existing small MS4s. Currently, the Census Bureau defines – and EPA uses – an urbanized area of 50,000 or more people.

The Census Bureau’s goals with this proposal are likely detached from the potential impact to communities required to comply with Clean Water Act permitting schemes, and it remains unclear how EPA may respond to the proposed changes to an urban area. EPA may have to open a separate rulemaking to define communities that qualify as urban areas. NACWA has shared its concerns with EPA and will keep the stormwater community apprised as the Census Bureau reviews comments and moves towards finalizing this rule, as well as apprised on EPA’s anticipated response.

If SESWA members have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Emily Remmel NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.
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