March 2018
Volume 13, Issue 2 
President's Corner
Hillary C. Repik
Calling all Members! We've reached 159 member organizations thanks to your help, only eleven members away from reaching our goal of 170 members this year! Please continue to encourage your neighboring cities or counties to join SESWA. 

Growing our membership allows the Association to continually improve existing services and benefits. Unlike other organizations or forums, SESWA represents the heart of the stormwater industry. Having a range of government members from both large and small programs provides an opportunity to tackle issues from many perspectives. Coupled with our associate members from consulting firms, vendors, universities and service providers, SESWA is an epicenter of knowledge, skills and resources directly focused on our industry's needs.

Are you facing challenges to your utility fee? Going through a permit renewal? Looking for better options for Best Practices? Wrestling with your community's resiliency options? Take advantage of SESWA's Community Forum, Conferences, and other networking opportunities to find information or start a conversation!

Please reach out to a colleague and encourage them to join! Our membership has remained steady because of the personal and professional relationships fostered during SESWA events and activities. Think of how much better we can become by increasing our members and resources.

Thank you for your assistance - and see you in Atlanta at the Seminar!

Hillary Repik, Town of Mount Pleasant, SC
SESWA President
Association News 
SESWA Spotlight Webinar
Attention South Carolina Members  - SESWA will be hosting the first state-focused SESWA Spotlight webinar on May 23rd focused on your state! This webinar will offer continuing education and focus on issues and practices surrounding construction permits in South Carolina. Mark your calendars now and watch your email for details.

Join us in Hilton Head! 
The 13th Annual Regional Stormwater Conference will be held at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa 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 throughout the Southeast.  Mark your calendar - registration opens in May!

Spring Seminar - April 13th in Atlanta
We're expecting a full house in Atlanta on Friday, April 13th for the  Behind the Stormwater BMP Curtain: Cradle to Grave Management of BMPs Seminar. This single-day seminar offers an outstanding opportunity to learn from experts who will present a comprehensive overview of what both large and small MS4s should know about NPDES post-construction stormwater best management practices for new development. Presenters from the private sector, Phase 1 MS4s, and large and small Phase 2 MS4s throughout the Southeast will guide stormwater managers and engineers through the decisions necessary to progress from planning to project close-out and beyond. Up to six continuing education credits will be offered.  Online registration is closed and registration on site is based on availability.

SESWA Job Board - FREE to Members! 
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



StormwaterONE

Woolpert

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.
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 the Southeast. 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 updated Help Guide!
National and Regional News 
WOTUS Update
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA Staff
On January 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that federal district courts - not federal circuit courts of appeal - must decide challenges to the 2015 Waters of the United States or "WOTUS" Rule. SESWA had participated in the appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing that a district court was the correct and preferred location to challenge such rules. The SCOTUS decision has the effect of negating the orders of the Sixth Circuit Court in Ohio, including the nationwide stay of the 2015 WOTUS Rule.

Since the last edition of the ForeCast, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers finalized a rule delaying the effective date of the 2015 WOTUS rule by two years, thus blocking the implementation of the rule until the agencies can issue their own (updated) rules defining what constitutes waters subject to federal jurisdiction. Remember that SESWA had filed parallel WOTUS challenges - in both the circuit and district courts - and its challenge in federal district court in Tallahassee has remained active. If necessary, a motion to block implementation of the 2015 WOTUS rule in the eight southeastern states can be easily reactivated.

Do NPDES Permits Cover Discharges to Groundwater?
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA Staff
NPDES permits traditionally have only addressed direct discharges to surface waters through clearly-defined conveyances, such as wastewater or stormwater outfalls. In recent years, several courts have ruled that NPDES permits are required where a facility may discharge to groundwater, and the groundwater ultimately reaches nearby jurisdictional waters. Recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a county is liable for wastewater discharges that traveled through groundwater to the Pacific Ocean. In Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, et al., v. County of Maui, the court found that the County violated the Clean Water Act when it discharged pollutants from its wells into the Pacific Ocean. The panel concluded that the County's four discrete wells were "point sources" from which the County discharged "pollutants" in the form of treated effluent into groundwater, through which the pollutants then entered a "navigable water" - the Pacific Ocean. The wells therefore were subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulation. The 9th Circuit held that the CWA does not require that the source itself convey the pollutants directly into the navigable water. A similar issue in Virginia (Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric Power Company) is being argued in front of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.
Planning
SESWA Support of SWU Credit Manual
Laurie Hawks, Brown and Caldwell
In response to the recommendations on the final report from the Georgia Joint Study Committee on Storm Water Management Fees, the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) met on February 14th to discuss the general organization of a SWU Credit Guidance Manual. SESWA members, Steve Leo, Gwinnett County and Scott McClelland, CDM Smith, participated in the Study Committee as active members and presenters. Other members of SESWA's Board of Directors including Kevin Osbey, Clayton County Water Authority and Laurie Hawks, Brown and Caldwell, are participating with GAWP to help draft a document that will serve as a Best Practices Manual. SESWA members have also volunteered to help draft the chapter on regional stormwater utility credit practices. The goal of the Manual is to encourage more consistent and equitable credit practices and when complete, it may serve as an example for other states.
Implementation Strategies
Creative Funding Strategy for Infrastructure Asset Management Implemented 
Hillary Repik, Town of Mount Pleasant, SC
Looking for alternative ways to fund work on stormwater infrastructure besides fees? A 2013 high-level asset study indicated that additional funding was necessary to address life-cycle needs of Mount Pleasant's infrastructure. Raising stormwater fees was not a viable option for the additional funding source. The Town's financial managers proposed a New Fund Balance Policy to put funding into an Infrastructure Maintenance Account. The revenue for the fund comes from unspent general funds and is re-distributed at the close of a fiscal year: The first 25% of these funds go to a disaster recovery fund and 50% of the remaining funds are split equally between Road and Stormwater Infrastructure funds. As a result, the Stormwater Fund Balance has grown over the last several years. The unencumbered stormwater reserves for FY 2016-17 was $5.5 million. Staff budgets approximately $1.3 million per year to repair or rehabilitate failing stormwater pipes and $150K for canal reconstruction. While the annual revenue to the fund varies year to year and may shrink in lean times, stormwater now has funds to work on aging infrastructure. This innovative funding is helping to move stormwater asset management from a reactive to a proactive program without raising fees.

Volunteer Programs - How to Leverage Success
Dave Canaan, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, NC
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services has several volunteer programs aimed for protecting and restoring the community's surface water resources. These programs include marking storm drains, adopting and cleaning up stream segments, restoring vegetation in stream buffers, reporting pollution problems and monitoring water quality conditions at select stream locations. Over the past five years, volunteer participation in these programs has increased by over 38% and interest in our programs continues to grow. This year we estimate the number of volunteer participants to exceed 3,700, the highest in the 25-year history of our programs! We believe that our volunteer numbers need to increase substantially to keep pace with Charlotte-Mecklenburg's rapid growth. However, as participation in our volunteer programs has increased we have observed a significant increase in the amount of staff resources necessary to support these programs. Our strategy to address this challenge is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our volunteer programs so they can be more self-sustaining, requiring less staff resources. However, we are interested in other strategies communities have employed to protect and restore their surface waters through volunteer initiatives.
Regulatory/Policy/Permits
What Didn't Pass this Session
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA Staff
Florida's 2018 Florida Legislative Session ended on March 11th. Local stormwater programs emerged relatively unscathed this year. Nonetheless, a couple of measures that failed to pass are worth mentioning in case they are introduced in your state next year!

SB 574 (HB 521) sought to pre-empt the entirety of local authority to regulate trees and other vegetation to the state. Local governments (especially stormwater programs) were concerned that such a broad pre-emption would have limited their ability to control stormwater and sediment runoff, and comply with the provisions of their MS4 permit, in addition to maintaining local community esthetic values.

HB 7087 is the omnibus tax legislation for 2018. A very broad amendment was adopted (but later removed) stating that cities and counties could not prohibit the sale (or the offering for sale) of any good or product that was subject to the state sales tax, which would have negated innumerable policies that local governments have adopted in Florida.

Public Comment for Bacteria TMDL Document
Jack Wright, Warren County, KY
Peter Goodmann, Director of the Division of Water for Kentucky, has approved the release of the report "Kentucky Statewide Total Maximum Daily Load for Bacteria Impaired Waters." Twenty Kentucky counties are included in the initial DRAFT of the Kentucky Statewide Total Maximum Daily Load for Bacteria Impaired Waters. The Public Notice for this Kentucky Division of Water regulation is open for comments until June 11, 2018. The Public Notice references the Report on the Condition of Ambient Groundwater in Kentucky which "discusses bacteria sources that occur in Kentucky, how bacteria enter surface water and what stakeholders can do to improve water quality."

Seeking Comments - Construction General Permit and MS4 Permit
Eric Larson, Beaufort County, SC
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is seeking comments from stormwater managers to aid them in focusing on changes needed for the next general permit for Construction and MS4. According to Shawn Clarke, Manager of Stormwater Permitting with DHEC, "it is easier to get comments on the front end rather than waiting until after the Public Notice." This proactive approach allows permittees to be involved in addressing hot button issues that might exist so that the permit helps the local program rather than limiting them to meet permit requirements.

NPDES MS4 Post Construction Stormwater Update
David Mason, CDM Smith
In the last newsletter, we noted that the appeal of Tennessee's NPDES MS4 General Permit language for post-construction stormwater requirements was postponed. This appeal still has not been heard. However, at the legislative level, a bill was proposed, passed and signed by the Governor requiring that any numeric or narrative effluent limitations to manage post-construction stormwater shall be adopted via statewide rule making procedures and that no NPDES permit may be issued until such rule making is completed. It is currently unclear how this new law will impact the current NPDES general permit that has already been issued since only the post-construction language is under appeal. However, it appears to prevent any new permit renewals for Phase 1 cities until a formal rule making process takes place.

Draft 2018 Section 303(d) List
Scott Hofer, Jefferson County, AL
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has published the Draft 2018 Section 303(d) List for the state water bodies. The public review and comment period ended on March 13, 2018. Electronic copies of the draft list and fact sheet are available on the ADEM website.
US EPA - More Collaborative Partnership with States
Mark Wyzalek, Macon Water Authority, GA
A January 22, 2018 memo from Susan Parker Bodine, Assistant Administrator of EPA, directs the EPA Regions to immediately begin more collaborative partnerships with States that are authorized to implement Clean Water Act and other programs. The memo addresses that each Region is to confer with the State's senior leadership on a regular basis to review environmental compliance problems and needs in the State. This is "for maintaining a collaborative relationship with "no surprises..." to the individual States.

What is important for SESWA members is that this means EPA Region 4 is to defer, for the most part, to each State's agency on MS4 and related CWA stormwater programs. Exceptions would be made, only after consulting with the State first, for instances such as, when the State program is deficient, Federal criminal investigation is warranted, or when Federal expertise would be of benefit to the State program.

The memo furthers cooperative federalism and compliance with the law as fundamental EPA priorities as outlined in EPA's Strategic Plan so as to restore power to the States that the Trump administration believes has been eroded in past administrations.

Delegation of 404 Program to Florida
Sam Amerson, City of Stuart, FL
Florida HB 7043 PASSED the Florida legislature and is now law, authorizing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to assume responsibility for dredge and fill (wetlands) permitting programs from the federal government. This was a primary environmental priority for the Governor and industry, and supported by EPA. Specific details remain to be determined via Memoranda of Agreement between FDEP and EPA/ACOE.

This is an important issue to stakeholders in other states because EPA is actively seeking to reduce its staff size by 50% and transfer responsibility of many programs to state governments. Although "streamlining permitting" has always been a desirable goal for the regulated community, absorbing additional permitting responsibilities without additional resources may prove to be challenging.
NACWA Corner
Provided by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies

NACWA Launches New MS4 Stormwater Permitting Guide
Emily Remmel, Director of Regulatory Affairs

Earlier this month, NACWA released a valuable new resource to help your clean water utility succeed: The MS4 Stormwater Permitting Guide. As municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits become more complex with each iteration, the Guide serves as an excellent tool for utility professionals, whether you are a new stormwater manager looking to navigate the stormwater permitting process for the first time or the expert seeking to answer more advanced MS4-related questions.

The Guide's 90 pages of practical information and helpful advice is intended for both small Phase II MS4s and medium and large Phase I MS4s. The Guide is an easy-to-use digital document that can be referred to on an "as-needed basis" with quick-reference "call-out" boxes, as well as citations and resources to key regulatory and legal sources. Download the Guide today!

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)