Resiliency. For me that word wasn’t really in my vernacular until I attended the 2019 SESWA Seminar. Lately though it has seemed to be used more and more in ongoing discussions about recent weather events. Conversations about how things need to change to avoid some impasse in the future. Please remember there is another side to that conversation. Resiliency means a chance to problem solve and innovate. Innovations that can permeate into other areas of our life. Resiliency is the chance to meet a problem head on and make changes for the good. It is an important perspective that is a powerful driver in bringing about solutions.

The upcoming SESWA Annual Conference will, as always, bring you valuable stormwater information and a unique community interaction. The sessions will allow time for you to ask questions and connect with the wonderful community of stormwater professionals that is SESWA.

Scott Hofer
SESWA President
16th Annual Regional Stormwater Conference 

Join us online for the 16th Annual Regional Stormwater Conference to be held on October 6-8, 2021. It’s the only regional conference focused solely on stormwater education and challenges that confront stormwater professionals in the public and private sectors. This year’s event features discounted rates with easy access to two concurrent tracks, 20 presentations, up to 10.5 hours of continuing education, information on emerging stormwater technologies, live Q&A sessions with experts, a full year of on-demand access to recorded presentations, and much more! Visit the conference webpage for complete details or to register today! Registration will close today, September 30th, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
SESWA Elections Coming Soon!

Mark your calendars for the Annual Membership Meeting this October. For the first time, the meeting and elections will be held online beginning with a Zoom Meeting on Friday, October 8, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern during the Annual Conference. The meeting will continue with electronic voting concluding one week later on October 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The online meeting will include an election of the Southeast Stormwater Association’s (SESWA) Board of Directors and Officers.

A few details you should know before you vote:
Membership in SESWA is organizational so only one vote is allowed per organization. Decide today who will be casting your organization’s vote!
Only one representative per organization can be elected to the SESWA Board of Directors.

View the current SESWA Board of Directors and all Nominees on SESWA’s website. A detailed elections memo was emailed to all primary membership contacts on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Questions? Contact SESWA today. We look forward to seeing everyone online in October!
Communications Sponsors
SESWA Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Scott Hofer
Jefferson County, DOH, AL

Vice President
Cory Rayburn

W. Dave Canaan
Mecklenburg County, NC

Board Representative
Synithia Williams
Richland County, SC

To access a full listing of the SESWA Board of Directors, please click here.
SESWA 2021-22 Committees 

All SESWA members are encouraged to serve on one of the Association's four programmatic committees including Communications, Conference & Education, Membership, or Stormwater Policy.
Volunteering to serve on a committee is a great way to become more involved in SESWA. Join today to have a say in your Association's programs and network with other stormwater professionals throughout the Southeast.

Committee re-appointments are not automatic! Whether you wish to return to a committee or be appointed for the first time, please complete a Committee Request Form. The incoming President will be making appointments by early November.
Why Should My Community Consider a Stormwater Utility? – A Stormwater Utility Factsheet

SESWA members now have access to a one-page stormwater utility factsheet. This tool is intended to be used as a resource to share with local officials to illustrate the importance and benefit of stormwater utilities. Visit the SESWA website to download your free copy today!
Now Hiring? Post Your Vacancies on the SESWA Job Board!

With the increase in job opportunities, it can be hard to spotlight your vacancies. SESWA’s Job Board is the perfect place to connect with other stormwater professionals across the Southeast and let them know you are hiring. Posting job openings is easy and FREE for SESWA members.  All postings are featured for up to 30 days. Visit the SESWA Job Board and submit your job opening form today!
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!

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WOTUS Update
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

In late August 2021 a federal court in Arizona remanded and also vacated the current WOTUS definitions as adopted in the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule. A number of courts have remanded the rule back to EPA and the Army Corps for review and possible revision. Of note, the Arizona decision is the first to vacate (invalidate) the rule. Many lawyers and the Administration are interpreting the decision as having nationwide effect, and EPA and the Corps are no longer enforcing or implementing policy based on the 2020 rule. A second question in front of the Arizona court was whether the 2019 Repeal Rule should also be invalidated. The Court asked for more information on that question and gave the parties in the litigation until mid-October to submit documentation.

Vacating the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule reverts WOTUS policy back to the pre-2015 regulations that were originally developed in the 1980s, since the 2020 rule was adopted after the 2019 rule repealing the 2015 Clean Water Rule was effective. However, if the 2019 repeal rule is also vacated/invalidated, WOTUS policy then shifts back to the 2015 rule. SESWA and other local government interests still have a lawsuit challenging the 2015 rule in Tallahassee federal court.

Meanwhile, EPA and the Army Corps held a series of webinar meetings in August and September to receive initial comments on WOTUS policy as the agencies begin yet another rule-making effort to define what is or is not a “Water of the United States.” Visit SESWA’s Advocacy page for a chronology of all WOTUS actions including a summary of impacts on local governments.
NPDES Permits for Groundwater Discharges 
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

The April 2020 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund required (for the first time) that pollutants discharged into groundwater may be required to obtain a Clean Water Act permit if the pollutant eventually finds its way to a jurisdictional surface water. Maui had discharged treated wastewater into injection wells that eventually traveled to the Pacific Ocean. The decision has implications for other wastewater treatment and similar discharges, such as those from animal feeding operations or coal ash disposal sites. SCOTUS identified seven criteria in its Maui decision governing when groundwater discharges were the “functional equivalent” of a surface water discharge and thus required to obtain an NPDES permit. The previous EPA administration had adopted an eighth criteria – the design and performance of the facility from which the pollutants were released – which had been challenged by several groups. However, in September 2021 the current EPA administration rescinded that criterion as being unnecessary, going beyond the criteria established by the Court and having been adopted without proper deliberation within EPA and its federal partners.
American Rescue Plan Act Funding
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. It guaranteed direct relief to local governments by creating the new Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for matters related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. States are allocated $195 billion, and cities and counties are allocated $130 billion. Funds are available until December 31, 2024. The law also creates an additional $2 billion Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund, which will be distributed based on economic conditions of the recipient entities in fiscal years 2022 and 2023. The National League of Cities has prepared a comprehensive and informative series of webpages on the Act.
BMPs Are Changing - Is Your Education Program Keeping Up?
John Butler, Gwinnett County, GA

With Green Infrastructure (GI) becoming standardized in local regulations and development, what we are familiar with as a Best Management Practice (BMP) is changing. To address this new knowledge gap, Gwinnett County, GA worked with a consulting firm to develop training specific to GI for their development inspectors. The training included site preparation for GI and the differences from previous BMP site preparation. The class then focused on bioslopes, grass channels, infiltration practices, and proprietary devices. This gave the County development inspectors valuable insight into what to look for and how to find potential trouble spots in the installation of GI. In addition to training the staff, Gwinnett County has begun revamping their online public education to provide new fact sheets on GI and even animations to illustrate how these BMPs work.
Florida Governor Signs Bill Requiring 20-Year Stormwater Needs Projection
Steve Peene, ATM - A Geosyntec Company

On June 29, 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 53 which was passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2021 regular session. Among other things, the new law requires the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) to provide an analysis of the expenditures necessary to repair, replace, and expand water-related infrastructure including stormwater. By the end of June 2022, and then every five years after that, each county, municipality, or special district providing stormwater services is to complete a needs analysis that projects 20 years into the future. The approach is for cities to complete and submit their analyses to the applicable county who then compiles the various reports for submittal to EDR. EDR then, within one year following the submittals, will complete a statewide analysis for inclusion in the annual assessment. At present, while required, there are no penalties for not submitting the analyses and some local governments have indicated that they may not comply with the request.
NACWA Corner
Provided by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies 
Emily Remmel, Director of Regulatory Affairs

EPA’s WOTUS Pre-Proposal Stage Winds Down – NACWA Continues to Urge Exclusions

Over the summer, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notified stakeholders that, yet again, the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) is headed for a regulatory (and likely litigious) showdown. On June 9, the agencies made the announcement that they intend to establish a “durable” definition that is based on U.S. Supreme Court precedent and reflects “lived experience[s]” of communities. Another Administration, another pendulum swing of WOTUS. 

In the time since EPA and the Army Corps made this announcement, the agencies held several stakeholder meetings and accepted public comments – both efforts to gather intel on what a revised definition may look like and reactions to WOTUS definitions-past. During the pre-proposed rulemaking stage, NACWA submitted comments as part of EPA and the Corps’ federalism consultation – a key step when the federal government proposes (or in this case pre-proposes) a rulemaking that could have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. 

NACWA continues to urge the agencies to preserve the long-standing critical exclusion for waste treatment systems, as well as the exclusions for stormwater control features, wastewater recycling structures, and groundwater adopted in both the 2015 and 2019 definitions. While those exclusions have been agency policy for decades, they were codified in the 2015 Clean Water Rule and the 2019 Navigable Waters Protection Rule. It is imperative that this Administration maintain the clarity provided by their codification so that wastewater and stormwater agencies can continue to properly operate and function without entanglement in nuanced jurisdictional WOTUS disputes.

The public comment period for the latest pre-proposal ended on September 3 and the intergovernmental review ends October 4, after which put the ball in EPA and the Army Corps’ court. SESWA members may have also seen the recent federal district court ruling out of Arizona (see SESWA's WOTUS Update above) that may influence how the agencies may move forward with a WOTUS rewrite. NACWA believes that it is not yet clear if the current Administration will ultimately apply the ruling overturning the rule nationally, or instead will, as past Administrations have done, limit application of the ruling to the geographical jurisdiction of the Arizona district court. 

What we do know now is that EPA and the Army Corps have halted all implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and are applying the pre-2015 WOTUS regulations (e.g., the regulations that had been in place since the 1980s prior to the 2015 and 2019 rewrites) and are considering next steps. This could mean administratively repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, or it could also mean that the agencies will move directly to issuing a new WOTUS definition. 

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