May 2018
Volume 13, Issue 3 
President's Corner
Hillary C. Repik
One program - so many disciplines! Recently I've attended meetings where stormwater management was the main topic, but each group was focused on different issues. Whether they were floodplain managers, civil and environmental engineers, emergency managers, environmental scientists, inventors, asset managers (even financial officers), climatologists, geologists, GIS experts, or other community groups, I found that everyone was working towards building a more resilient community. At each meeting the participants wanted to manage effects of stormwater runoff and were exploring options to maximize the effective impact for people, property, or natural resources - and they wanted to hear from others. I am encouraged to see knowledge being shared across disciplines and interests.

As the national and regional issues highlighted in this newsletter show, there is no down-time in our industry. SESWA works across various political, geographical, and professional lines to improve the stormwater services we need to deliver to all our communities. With the challenges we face, it is evident that sustainable stormwater management requires effort from multiple parties. Your participation in SESWA creates a place where these needs and solutions come together. While summer break is starting for many, your committees are gearing up for the July Webinar and October Conference. These events are part of SESWA's effort to build our personal resources and to create opportunities to share knowledge and experiences with others. So, what can you do? It's easy! - Engage in the SESWA Community Forum, join a Committee, recruit a new member and renew your own membership. - Can't wait to see you in Hilton Head this October!

Hillary Repik, Town of Mount Pleasant, SC
SESWA President
Association News 
FREE SESWA Webinar - Registration Open Now!
Register now for SESWA's next webinar: New Approaches to Permit Compliance and Enforcement in Region 4. The webinar will provide a comparative overview of approaches to MS4 permit compliance and enforcement in the Southeast. The 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. The webinar will be held July 19th at 10:30 a.m. It's free to SESWA members, thanks to our Communications Sponsors!
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. The agenda was developed by your peers throughout the Southeast with YOU in mind. Plus there are two tracks, Stormwater Programs and Technical, so you're sure to find topics that meet your needs. Take advantage of discounted rates and Register Now!
Trey Glenn Regional Administrator
EPA's Trey Glenn to Address Conference Delegates
Trey Glenn, the recently-confirmed Regional Administrator of EPA Region 4, will address the conference delegates during the Opening Session on October 3rd in Hilton Head Island. As Regional Administrator, he leads the Agency's environmental protection efforts in the eight southeastern states. Mr. Glenn is a professional engineer with 23 years of environmental and regulatory experience, including serving as Director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and as Division Director for the Office of Water Resources within ADEM.
In This Issue
Communications Sponsors



SESWA Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Hillary C. Repik
Town of Mt. Pleasant, SC

Vice President:
Laurie Hawks
Brown and Caldwell

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.
Membership Renewals!
Your Membership expires July 1st. If you haven't already renewed, make sure your organization's primary contact renews by June 30, 2018! Don't miss out on all of SESWA's member benefits, including this newsletter!
SESWA South Carolina Spotlight Webinar 
SESWA hosted the first state-focused SESWA Spotlight webinar on May 23rd. The webinar highlighted MS4's Responsibilities for Construction Permits in South Carolina. The webinar offered continuing education and focused on issues and practices surrounding construction permits in South Carolina.
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 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!
National and Regional News 
WOTUS Update
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA
As reported in 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 its implementation until the agencies can issue new (updated) rules defining what constitutes waters subject to federal jurisdiction. While no new WOTUS drafts have been released, EPA continues to assert that a revised Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdictional rule will be released and finalized before the end of 2018. The rule is expected to have a much more narrow application than that adopted in 2015, tracking the so-called "Scalia test" when determining what waters are or are not subject to federal jurisdiction. Among other things, the Scalia test for jurisdictional waters includes those that are "relatively permanent" waters linked by a "continuous surface connection", in contrast with waters that may have a "significant nexus" with other waters as was contained in the 2015 rule. Meanwhile, several states and some environmental organizations continue to challenge EPA's recently-finalized rule to delay the effective date of the 2015 rule.
Update on NPDES Coverage for Groundwater Discharges
Kurt Spitzer, SESWA
Since the last edition of ForeCast, another circuit court has found that pollutants discharging into groundwater that eventually make their way to surface waters are covered under the NPDES provisions of the CWA. 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. But the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Upstate Forever, et al., v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners found that an underground pipe leak traveling into groundwater and then to surface waters was subject to NPDES permit requirements. The decision is similar to a finding of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in which a county was found liable for wastewater discharges that traveled through groundwater to the Pacific Ocean.  See Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, et al., v. County of Maui. SESWA is monitoring the cases. 
Flood Management Risk Tools - Your Input Needed
Dave Canaan, Mecklenburg County, NC
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS) has acquired/demolished 450+ flood prone structures, removed 650 families from harms-way and generated over 160 acres of open space as part of their flood mitigation program. To help guide the flood mitigation program, CMSWS developed a Flood Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction (RARR) Tool to create a dynamic, continuously updated program that aids in identifying, prioritizing and planning flood mitigation efforts. The tool utilizes FEMA floodplain map data along with local datasets to assess property level flood risk, evaluate 19 risk reduction techniques, and assign community driven prioritization to mitigation actions.

CMSWS is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology (DHS, S&T) to investigate integration of low-cost flood sensors into CMSWS's Flood Information and Notification System (FINS), as well as, enhance the RARR Tool. CMSWS will perform national outreach to gather needs from communities engaged in flood risk management as part of enhancing the Tool. CMSWS's and DHS, S&T's goal is to leverage updating the Tool, such that, other interested communities may benefit from the methodology employed and experience gained through the endeavor.

CMSWS will conduct national outreach in June/July 2018. Please contact Dave Canaan if you would like to participate in the outreach initiative. Learn more about Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Flood Risk Assessment/Risk Reduction Program. Continue the conversation in the SESWA Community Forum.
Update on SWU Fee Credits Guidance Manual
Steve Leo, Gwinnett County, GA
Georgia local governments and consultants, several of which are SESWA members, continue to work with the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) on the development of a Georgia Stormwater Utility Fee Credits Guidance Manual. A summary of the role SESWA and its members are playing, was reported in SESWA's last newsletter. The effort to develop the guidance manual was born out of a recommendation made within the final report of the Joint Study Committee on Stormwater Management Fees which concluded its work late last year. A brief summary of the history on this issue was included in the January newsletter. Work on development of the guidance manual continued over the last several months with GAWP hosting the second planning meeting on the manual's development on April 25th. During the meeting, the results of a survey that had been conducted by GAWP were reviewed and the beginnings of a document outline were discussed. To provide context to the discussion on credits, it was agreed that a basic overview of stormwater utilities and their value should be included at the beginning of the document. Additionally, and specifically with respect to credits policies, it was discussed that it must be acknowledged that different utilities have different needs and challenges which should ultimately be reflected within adopted credits policies. It is also envisioned that the document will include highlights of effective and innovative credit approaches currently being implemented, and it was discussed that credits described within the manual would be assessed for their ability to incentivize positive stormwater management behaviors. It was also determined that the manual should include an explanation of the difference between credits and exemptions. While no publication date has been announced, the desire of the committee is to have the work completed by the end of this year.
Implementation Strategies
Monitoring Guidance and Equipment Evaluation Manual
Katherine Atteberry, Gwinnett County, GA
The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (DWR) is preparing for an update of their Watershed Protection Plan and for future water quality and stormwater management regulations. Long Term Trend Monitoring has provided watershed trend data, but additional information is required to better understand the correlation between individual water quality improvement best management practices (BMPs) and overall watershed improvements. To ensure BMPs are consistently configured to accommodate the necessary monitoring strategies and equipment, DWR prepared a Monitoring Guidance and Equipment Evaluation Manual. It provides specific recommendations to Gwinnett County staff and designers for a monitoring approach that includes necessary equipment to collect the required data; design considerations to ensure a BMP can be effectively monitored; and steps to develop a monitoring plan for applicable structural Gwinnett County Stormwater Management Manual BMPs. By conducting project specific monitoring of stormwater BMPs, DWR hopes to better understand the function and effectiveness of these systems to help guide future watershed improvement planning and implementation. For additional information, contact Katherine Atteberry
Chattanooga Plans Stormwater Fee Hike
Pete Yakimowich, Vaughn & Melton
The City of Chattanooga is moving forward with a stormwater fee rate hike of 63 percent pursuant to a study authorized in April 2017 to determine if additional revenues were needed. The proposal was rolled out for public comment in a meeting of the Chattanooga Stormwater Board on May 17, 2018 where a number of questions and issues were raised. Those attending were also given the opportunity to post written questions to be addressed at the Board's next meeting, when approval to move the proposal to City Council is expected. Notably, the proposed fee hike did not involve any change in the rate structure which will bring the annual fee to $183.54 for single family homes. More detailed information is available on the City webpage.
Emergency Action Plans for High and Significant Hazard Dams
Synithia Williams, Richland County, SC
At the most recent Dam Advisory Committee Meeting, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control updated members about the Emergency Action Plans (EAP) developed for all high and significant risk dams. SCDHEC worked with interns to draft template EAPs for all high and significant risk dams in the state. Copies of these templates were forwarded to owners of regulated dams. The EAPs outline areas at risk if a dam were to fail during a storm or significant event. Regional meetings between dam owners and emergency managers to discuss the EAPS are being scheduled. Copies of the final EAPs will be made available online on the SCDHEC Dam safety website. In preparation of the upcoming hurricane season, SCDHEC conducted a test of the CodeRed emergency notification system to owners of regulated dams.
TN MS4 General Permit Appeal Hearing Delayed
David Mason, CDM Smith
The Tennessee MS4 general permit appeal hearing regarding the post construction stormwater requirements has been delayed and rescheduled for October 30 - November 2. While implementation of all other aspects of the permit continue, all requirements related to the post construction stormwater standards remain on hold.
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 report. The Public Notice for this regulation is open for comments until June 11, 2018. The Notice references the Report on the Condition of Ambient Groundwater in Kentucky which "...discusses bacteria sources that occur in Kentucky, how bacteria enters surface water, and what stakeholders can do to improve water quality."
Authority Requested to Put SW User Fee on Tax Bill 
David Mason, CDM Smith
The City of Hendersonville worked with legislators to pass a bill granting the City explicit authority to place their proposed stormwater user fee on the County tax bill. HB2635 was ultimately passed with a provision that the City may add the fee if an ordinance establishing the fee is passed by a two-thirds majority of its legislative body. The requirements of this bill only affect the City of Hendersonville. Local governments in TN wishing to place their user fee on a county tax bill should consult their attorney to determine if this step is required as existing state law may already grant this authority.
Rulemaking to Amend Standards for Surface Waters
Matthew Anderson, City of Charlotte, NC
As part of the CWA, states are required to review water quality standards and classifications every three years through a process known as Triennial Review. As part of that process, a May 10, 2018 Public Notice was issued by the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC) noting that it intends to amend several rules related to Classification and Standards for the Protection of Surface Waters. Public Hearings are scheduled for July 2, 2018 in Kernersville and July 11, 2018 in Raleigh. Public Hearings will consist of a presentation from Division of Water Resources (DWR) staff followed by a public comment period to hear from any affected parties.

Click here for updates to the intended changes and complete text of the proposed rule revisions and to the May 15, 2018 proposed changes as listed in the North Carolina Register.
Kentucky MS4 Phase II General Permit 
Kristen Dunaway, AECOM
The Kentucky MS4 Phase II General Permit became effective May 1, 2018. The Permit Summary Page provides an overview of the permit as well as the definitions, the General Permit, Stormwater Quality Management Plan (SWQMP) Guidance, and the link to file the Notice of Intent (NOI). The Fact Sheet (pg. five) provides an overview of the changes from the 2010 permit to the 2018 permit.
NC Studies on Riparian Buffer Impacts Completed
Patrick Blandford, HDR and Steve Sands, Hazen and Sawyer
In the summer of 2017, legislation passed ( Senate Bill 131) which included the following language: "The Department of Environmental Quality shall study under what circumstances units of local government should be allowed to exceed riparian buffer requirements mandated by the State and the federal government." Senate Bill 131 study results could inhibit communities from implementing rules that are effective for local and specific watershed conditions. Later in the year, a complementary Session Law 2018-209 initiated a study to estimate the values of property that are subject to riparian buffer rules and estimate the associated lost revenue if riparian buffers are exempt from taxation. The Session Law study states that impacts of buffer tax exemptions could include reductions in local community's annual revenues in a range of $70 to $85 million. While both studies are complete, they have not been discussed in their respective committees. It is still unclear how the studies may affect regulatory reform on riparian buffers in North Carolina.
NACWA Corner
Provided by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies

Massachusetts and New Hampshire Phase II MS4 Permits Forge Ahead
Emily Remmel, Director of Regulatory Affairs
On July 1, 2018, both the   2016 Massachusetts and   2017 New Hampshire Small MS4 General Permits will go into effect. These two Phase II stormwater permits, issued by EPA Region 1, will replace the dated 2003 permits that have been administratively continued for 15 years. Since their issuance, these permits have been fraught with various legal challenges due to the strict compliance requirements contained in each. In separate but parallel press releases issued May 10, 2018, EPA Region 1 confirmed the   Massachusetts and   New Hampshire permits will go into effect regardless of the ongoing litigation.

A significant cause for concern for many municipalities in both states is the strict obligation that MS4 permittees "do not cause or contribute to an exceedance of water quality standards, in addition to the requirements to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable" ( Massachusetts MS4 Permit, Section 2.1) . Provisions like these, represent a significant shift from the Clean Water Act's mandate that MS4s reduce the discharge to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) standard through best management practices.

NACWA has a long history of defending the MEP standard as the appropriate standard for MS4 compliance. NACWA is paying acute attention to this matter and will keep SESWA members informed as to the status and the national implications that could be established if this permit language becomes the new norm for municipal stormwater utilities.

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

Southeast Stormwater Association
(866) FOR-SESWA (367-7379)