>> ALANNA CONLEY
Good morning and welcome to today's webcast Stormwater and TMDLs: Making the Connection, An
Introductory Workshop for Phase II MS4 Permittees in Florida. This webcast is sponsored by the
EPA's Office of Wastewater Management, US EPA Region 4, and the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection. I am Alanna Conley with the EPA Region 4 and I will moderate
today's session. Thank you for joining us today.
Guide to Our Webcasts
We'll start by going over a few housekeeping items. First, I would like to briefly summarize
some of today's features of this webcast. If you have any technical difficulties you can
request assistance by entering your technical issue into the box at the bottom of your screen and
clicking the Ask button to receive technical support. Responses to technical questions will
appear at the bottom of your screen. If you would like to see closed captioning, just click on
the closed captioning button on the top of your screen. We encourage you to submit questions to
your speakers during this webcast. To ask questions, simply type it in the box located at the
bottom of your screen. Then click on the Ask button. Given the large number of participants
today, I encourage you to submit your questions early. Please click on the detailed and download
buttons to access our speakers' contact information and a variety of useful resources. A
certificate will be available for audience members that have watched 90 minutes of the
Before we get started, we would like to ask you a few questions. Please select the answer that
best describes you by selecting the answer within the slide window. Do not submit your answers
in the questions field at the bottom of your screen.
The first question, how many people are participating in the webcast today from your location?
Just me, 2-5, 6-10, 10-20, more than 20.
Our next poll question is how many full time equivalent staff does your MS4 program have? Less
than two, 3-5, 6-10, more than 11, I am not a Florida MS4.
Thank you for providing your feedback. Now without further delay, we will have four excellent
speakers today. Barry Tonning is our Senior Project Manager with Tetra Tech. He specializes in
watershed assessment and planning, stormwater management and decentralized wastewater treatment.
He has worked with the US EPA, state, tribal and local programs for the past 20 years on a wide
range of water resource management projects and he conducts training nationwide for public
agencies and private sector organizations.
We also have Eric Livingston, who is a public servant and has been dedicated with his life to the
protection of management and enhancement of our planet's water resources. He began his
career at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee in 1977 as a
scientist in the Stormwater Nonpoint Source Management Program, and he currently is a program
administrator for the NPDES Stormwater Section.
Amy Tracy came to work for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in 2005 to work in
the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program, then moved into the Watershed Planning and
Coordination section in 2007. Amy was a part of the lower St. John's tributary team that
received the National Coastal America Spirit Award for their work in walking the waterbody in
Edward Smith is a former MS4 coordinator for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,
having spent three years in that post. He joined the DEP in 2006 and recently accepted a
position as the Environmental Manager of the Wastewater Compliance Evaluation section.
Those are today's speakers. Take it away, Barry.
>> BARRY TONNING
What is a TMDL?
All right, thank you Alanna and thanks everybody for joining us today. We have quite a few
attendees here, many from Florida and many from other locations, probably a little jealous that
it's 80 degrees in Orlando right now and I think maybe a little below freezing in Wyoming
where we have at least one or two attendees. We are going to move pretty fast through an
introduction to lay out some background and framework for how TMDL's interface with
Session 1: Topics
We're going to talk a little bit about stormwater pollutants and sources, water quality
standards and regulations, and impaired waters in TMDLs and then establishing TMDLs. So we are
going to move fairly quick through this.
Polluted Runoff from Urban Areas
This is an introductory webcast, so bear with me while I move through some of the introductory
material here. We do have quite a bit of polluted runoff from urban areas, lot of different
parameters we are concerned about, sediment trash, bacteria, metals, oil and grease and nutrients
which come from a variety of different types of developments on the landscape.
Where Do Pollutants Come From
Everything from construction sites, which can contribute sediment and other pollutants,
residential areas, industrial and commercial facilities and overall urban development.
Urban Development Impacts
The impacts of the runoff can be significant not only on water quality but also on water
quantity. All the pavement, roofs, sidewalks and other hard surfaces increase runoff and
decrease soil infiltration, which can cause downstream channel erosion and contribute quite a bit
of sediment through the pollutant loads in our stream channels, in our lakes and even out into
our coastal waters. The runoffs contain again oil and grease, pesticides, sediments; even heat
from paved surfaces, blacktop parking lots can be a significant source of heat to some of our
receiving waterbodies. And we can have trash as well.
Effects of Stormwater Runoff
The effects, again, the water quality impacts are related to the runoff of pollutants in the
streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters. The water quantity impacts the increase in flow, both
the volume and the speed that that flow hits the receiving waterbody can cause changes to streams
and impacts to aquatic life.
Common Stormwater Pollutants: Sediment
So let's move through a few of these common pollutant parameters and talk a little bit about
them and how they affect aquatic life and human health and how we measure those pollutant
parameters. Then we'll talk about how the regulatory structure considers those parameters in
the required programs of the Clean Water Act and TMDLs. We'll start out with sediments.
One of the most common pollutants and you can see from the slide here that there are a number of
impacts of sediment on aquatic life, suffocating organisms that dwell in some of the cobbles and
gravel and so forth on the bottom of streams. It affects fish feeding. It affects fish
movement, and so forth. So sediment is a significant impact.
How Sediment is Measured?
We have a number of different ways we measure sediment and this can be very confusing for people
who are new to the MS4 program. I know in some of the smaller MS4s we have people from public
works who are roads departments or wastewater treatment plants that are now involved in the
stormwater program. One of the most common ways to measure sediment is through total suspended
solids where we collect a sample and then we pour off or draw off part of that sample and suck it
through a filter and dry that filter and then weigh that and that gives us a weight measurement
of the suspended solids that have been collected on that filter. There is another method that is
very similar called suspended sediment concentration where the entire sample is used in
calculating the sediment volume or the solids volume of that sample. You can see in the first
method that if you pour off or draw off part of that sample there may be some larger particles at
the bottom of that container where you've selected the sample that may not make it into the
volume that's poured off or pipe headed off or drawn off for the sample, so the TSS method
can miss some sand size and similar size particles that won't show up in the analysis where
the suspended sediment concentration approach does consider that. We also have a very simple way
to measure solids through the use of an Imhoff cone where we collect the sample in a cone
that's kind of a conical shaped graduated cylinder. We allow that volume of water to settle
for an hour or more and our settleable solids will show up at the bottom of that and we can read
the demarcations on the side of the cone and see what kind of volume of sediment is collected at
the bottom. We can also look at large sediments in streams and rivers, bedload sediments. For
those approaches we'll use scour chains and develop some volume metric estimates on large
sediment loads that are moving down through a stream or river system. And then we can add the
suspended and bedload sediment together to get the total sediment load.
We Can Also Measure Water Cloudiness or Turbidity
On the next slide, you'll see some different containers with some liquids of different
clarity, and another common measure of solids in water is to measure it indirectly through
measuring the cloudiness of water, and we have a method of measuring this.
I'll move to the next slide here, and you can see some different values. Measuring the
turbidity through nephelometric turbidity units is a very common and easy way to measure the
cloudiness of water and by inference some of the solids in the water. Of course, this also picks
up a lot of organic matter and algal and other material that might be in the water. But you can
see here some of the value ranges for different samples of different types of liquid. You can
see wastewater and so forth down through there, potable water, very low, less than two NTUs.
Milk over 4,000. Orange juice has a pretty wide range. I guess that depends on whether
you've got the not from concentrate with pulp variety or some of the other orange drink
varieties and some of the other materials as well. You can see some of the NTU values.
Turbidity Meter/Secchi Disk
The next slide you see a turbidity meter. There are some new turbidity meters, very compact,
very accurate. Basically they shine a small beam of light through the sample of liquid that
you're testing, it bounces off a collector on the other side and measures the scattering of
light and you get a digital reading for the nephelometric turbidity unit values for that
particular sample. For lakes we can also use a very simple measure called a Secchi disk. This
approach was developed the Papal astronomer back in the 1800's, Pietro Angelo Secchi who also
is notable as being one of the first scientists that proposed the sun as a star. And in this
method you lower a marked disk down into the water and measure the depth at which that disk
disappears from view and that becomes the Secchi depth. And that again is an indirect measure of
suspended solids in the water which can include fine sediment particles as well as organic
Relational Trends of Fresh Water Fish Activity to Turbidity Values and time
The next slide shows you a graph where you can see some impacts on aquatic life from low to high
NTU values over time. The vertical scale is NTUs from 10 up to over 100,000 NTUs. Now the
horizontal scale you see time so fish can tolerate small NTU readings for short periods of time.
But as the NTU values increase and as the length of time the organisms are exposed to those high
NTU values increase, you do start to see some significant impacts on aquatic life, including
Common Stormwater Pollutants: Nutrients
We're going to move now to another common stormwater pollutant, nutrients. We're talking
here about parameters that increase plant growth, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus. And we'll
talk about these briefly.
Most inland fresh waters will increase algal growth when phosphorus is increased. For coastal
waters it's the opposite, there's quite a bit of phosphorus in coastal waters for the
most part and an increase in nitrogen causes an increase in algal growth. For inland fresh
waters, when you get the high bacteria levels, when that bacteria starts to die or I'm
sorry, when the algae starts to die and decompose, it's decomposed by bacteria that breathe
some of the dissolved oxygen in the water and you can have very low dissolved oxygen readings as
these aerobic bacteria decompose the algae that's come to the end of their life cycle in the
waterbody. So that's one of the concerns about algae, this cascading effect where you have
nutrient inputs, high algae growth, algae decomposed by aerobic bacteria that use up all the
oxygen in the water.
Nutrients: Phosphorus and Nitrogen
So let's talk a little bit about nitrogen and phosphorus. Laboratory analysis is generally
required for these.
We'll talk first about phosphorus. Again it is a major concern for inland fresh water for
the most part. Sources include wastewater treatment plants. We do have phosphorus runoff from
residential areas which is dependent on soil and how much fertilizer homeowners put on their
lawns. Commercial and industrial areas are also phosphorus sources. We can have phosphorus in a
dissolved form and a particulate form. When we look at agricultural areas, cultivated fields and
so forth we see that most of the phosphorus is bound to the soil.
Dissolved form of phosphorus is usually a smaller fraction of the phosphorus that we measure.
But it is a form of phosphorus that is most available to the algae. The dissolved phosphorus
fraction usually increases in pastures and reduced pillaged fields. You have less soil runoff
and more of the phosphorus that shows up is those fields. It is the dissolved form. Phosphorus
can cause problems in very low concentrations, less than three/tenths of a milligram per liter
can cause water quality impairments and even much lower even as low as 500ths of a milligram per
liter or 50 micrograms per liter for some lakes.
For nitrogen, we can measure nitrogen also in a couple different ways. Generally we'll
measure nitrate plus nitrite. We can also measure ammonia and ammonium and we can also measure
the total kjeldahl nitrogen which is the organic nitrogen plus the inorganic forms in the ammonia
and ammonium. Again, nitrogen is a concern in coastal waters because it does tend to kick off
algal blooms in coastal waters which are already high in phosphorus. Nitrogen is also a concern
in groundwater that's used as drinking water. It is a water quality standard for drinking
water of 10 milligrams per liter of nitrates. Ammonia is toxic at very low levels,
concentrations as low as .02 to .2 milligrams per liter. And generally when you find ammonia
when you have water at higher temperatures and higher pH values you'll see more of the
ammonia and less of the ammonium.
Common Stormwater Pollutants: Bacteria
We'll move now to bacteria and again there are a number of different ways to measure bacteria
in water. Of course, the bacteria we're mainly concerned about is bacteria associated with
fecal matter from mammals, especially the bacteria that can cause illnesses in humans. So
we're concerned about fecal coliforms and we can measure total coliforms, fecal coliforms, or
even smaller subset of fecal coliforms called E coli bacteria.
Bacteria is again is a human health threat. What we generally measure with bacteria is the
colony forming units per 100 milliliters of raw water. So take 100 milliliter sample of raw
water from a stream or a lake and we'll suck that raw water sample through a filter and then
we'll put that filter in a nutrient bath and grow those bacteria on that filter and then
we'll count the colony forming units that emerge. And you can see those in the series of
pictures that are on the right.
Dissolved Oxygen: A Key Water Quality Measure
Dissolved oxygen is another key parameter that we can measure very easily and we're concerned
about in water. You can see some of the dissolved oxygen values there on the left. We measure
dissolved oxygen in milligrams per liter or parts per million and you can see that if dissolved
oxygen levels go below 4, we start to lose some of our more desirable species. I think I've
got a little bit better slide on coming up next that shows you some of the impacts on some of the
aquatic life that we're concerned about. And again, dissolved oxygen is very easy to
measure. There are some digital meters now costing in the $100 range that you can insert into
the water and press a button and get a digital reading of DO. You can also use a titration kit
that takes about maybe ten minutes to check the dissolved oxygen level.
pH: An Important Parameter!
pH is also an important parameter that we can measure very easily. It measures the hydrogen ion
strength in our water sample indicates whether the water is very alkaline, very acidic, or falls
within the neutral range. pH is affected by geology. For example in Florida you have some areas
that are underlaying by limestone which can increase the pH level. pH can also be affected by
climate, acidic precipitation, where you may have fumes from cities or areas where there are
industrial facilities and the precipitation can pass through there and pick up some compounds
that increase the acidity of the precipitation. It can also be affected by polluted runoff or
discharges of acidic or alkaline materials.
On the next slide you see a scale of the pH readings and pH is measured in standard units and you
can see we can from 0-14, where 7 is neutral, the water is neither acidic nor alkaline. And you
can see some common substances there along the scale ranging from battery acid and lemon juice,
which are very acidic, pH values of one or two on through cola, vinegar, orange juice, distilled
water all the way to the other end where you have ammonia, bleach and lye measuring higher on the
pH scale. One interesting thing about the pH standard unit scale is that each increase in number
represents a tenfold increase in hydrogen ion strength. So this is a logarithmic scale. You
have a pH reading of 10. That is 10 times more alkaline than a pH reading of nine.
the Importance of Maintaining Acceptable pH Ranges
On the next slide, you'll see how pH can affect aquatic life. You see different species of
fish and amphibians and some other critters there. And across the bottom of the scale you see pH
readings from 6.5 standard units all the way down to a fairly acidic reading of 3. And you can
see as the image of the organism starts to fade and disappear, that indicates that those
organisms cannot survive at those lower pH levels.
Conductivity, another parameter we can measure easily indicates the water's ability to
conduct electricity. In this case the higher the number, the poorer the water quality in
general. And you can see at the top right of the slide there we have sea water at 50,000 plus
conductivity. It's also kind of a measure of total dissolved solids. Depending on what kind
of water you're testing, you can check for the conductivity and then do a calculation to
convert that to total dissolved solids. The TDS readings in milligrams per liter may range from
about half the conductivity reading to two thirds of the conductivity reading or more depending
on the type of dissolved solids you have in your water sample.
Next slide shows a simple digital conductivity meter, again, very easy to check for.
Temperature: Different Ranges for Different Biological Functions
Another parameter we'll talk about before we move into the regulatory side of things is
temperature. And once again, we find that different organisms tolerate different temperature
ranges. Generally, when we talk about some of the higher quality, more desirable organisms like
trout and other species of fish, salmon, for example, they cannot tolerate very low temperatures
for very long. So when we find very warm waters, we start to find impacts on the aquatic
If you're interested in some of the testing methods for the parameters that we talked about,
you can visit this website so see up there on the on the left, www.nemi.gov. This is the website
for the National Environmental Methods Index. And this is where EPA, US Fish and Wildlife
Service and the other agencies have gotten together and listed all their methods on one website.
It's really handy. You can type a parameter in there and the various methods used by the
federal agencies will come up. It's a free website maintained by the federal government. So
if you're interested in some of these methods and the specific procedures I would encourage
you to visit the NEMI website.
Clean Water Act
I'm going to talk now briefly about the Clean Water Act and then we'll get into how
Florida is implementing the TMDL Clause of the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act, passed in
1972, has a number of provisions that really provide a framework for how the states and how EPA
assess water quality and try to improve water quality where it's found to be lacking.
CWA Section 303: Water Quality Standards
One of the key sections that relates to TMDLs as you see is Section 303 which is where the Clean
Water Act describes water quality standards. And there are three elements of water quality
standards. Usually when you hear people say water quality standards, they are actually talking
about a numeric criteria for a specific parameter like mercury or copper or dissolved oxygen.
They're really the standards include three components. They include a use designation for
each surface waterbody. They also include water quality criteria that can be a numeric value or
a narrative description of desirable qualities of the water. And they also include an anti-
degradation policy and methods to implement that policy. And we'll just talk about these
Florida Use Designations
In Florida, if you visit the website at the top of your screen there, you will see the use
designations for all the various surface waterbodies in the State of Florida. And you'll see
that Florida has elected to develop a classification system, class one through five, where class
one are waters that are used for potable or drinking water supplies. Class two for shell fish
propagation or harvesting. Class three, recreation propagation and maintenance of fish and
wildlife. Class four, Ag water supplies. Class five, navigation utility and industrial uses.
Florida does not list any surface waterbodies at the present time in class five. So let's
take a little bit closer look here at the use designation.
Classes I and II
This is a page that's copied and pasted over from the Florida Administrative Code and you can
see here where in certain counties you can see where the state has identified the surface
waterbodies. They have also identified what class those waterbodies are in. So if you want to
know about certain waterbodies in your county, you can go to the Administrative Code, you can
look up the waterbody you're interested in and find out what class that waterbody falls in.
That's going to become important as you'll see in a minute because the class not only
identifies the use designation, but it also identifies the water quality criteria. Those numeric
or narrative parameters that you can measure to determine whether or not the waterbody meets the
criteria limits to protect those uses designated by the state.
Outstanding State Resource Waters (F.A.C. 62-302.700)
The Florida Administrative Code under this section at the top also identifies outstanding state
resource waters. These are waters the state has designated for special protection. So we talked
about the use designations. Now we're going to talk about the criteria.
Water Quality Criteria
The criteria are developed to support the use designations we just talked about, the five
classes. And generally there are criteria that deal with narrative or numeric values. The
criteria can apply to the water itself or it can apply to the sediment or the fish tissue, the
tissue of the fish that live in that waterbody. In general, the criteria were developed to
support aquatic life and to protect human health. You'll have physical, chemical, and
biological parameters identified as water quality criteria.
62-302.530: Florida Water Quality Criteria
In this section of the Florida Administrative Code you see on this slide, which is a table pulled
directly from the code, you can see some of the various parameters there along the column on the
left and you can see the units that we're measuring in and then across the top, across that
row there you can see class one, class two and so forth. So you can look in this table of the
Administrative Code and look at some of the different pollutant and other parameters that
we're interested in and that we just talked about and you can see what the criteria are for
the various classes of surface waters in Florida.
62-302.530: Florida Water Quality Criteria
I'm going to move to the next slide here. You can see some of that same table where we have
dissolved oxygen, nitrates, other nutrients, oil and grease and so forth, phosphorus. So for
some of the parameters that we just talked about, we talked about pollutant parameters and other
parameters like dissolved oxygen, how you measure those and now we've talked about how
surface waters are classified and how you can go into the Administrative Code and look up the
numeric narrative criteria for those different waterbodies.
62-302.500 Surface Waters: Minimum Criteria
There are also some narrative standards in Florida. Most of all the states have these. And I
refer to these as the four S's: scum, sludge, smell, and stuff that will kill you or make you
sick. These are the narrative criteria. These are parameters that you can't easily measure.
In other words, you don't want a waterbody to smell like rotten eggs, but it's very
difficult to develop a measuring apparatus where you can go and see if that waterbody smells like
rotten eggs. So you don't want that waterbody to have a layer of sludge on the bottom or a
layer of strange looking scum or the water to be an odd color. So these are the narrative
criteria in the Florida Code where the Florida Assembly has described the values of the waterbody
that can be seen or smelled or otherwise detected with the scent. So you have your numeric
criteria and you have the narrative descriptions of the desirable states in the waterbody.
WQS: Antidegradation Provisions
The third part of the water quality standards is the anti-degradation part and we are not going
to talk about this in any detail but do be aware that states are required to have a policy and
methods to implement the policy and in general there are three tiers of protection. The first
tier says that waterbodies must be protected so they support the use designations, which
generally translates into meeting the numeric and narrative criteria established for whatever
their use designation is or in Florida whatever class they are in. Second tier says that you
must prevent degradation of waterbodies that exceeds the qualities that support their use unless
you can demonstrate there is some important economic or social development associated with the
proposed activity that would degrade water quality. And in tier three, for your outstanding
national resource waters, they're not to be degraded except for maybe a very small amount for
a very short period of time. The expectation being that they'll return to that higher water
quality when the activity is completed.
Clean Water Act Section 402
I'm going to move now to another section of the Clean Water Act, kind of zeroing in on where
the TMDL comes from. Under Section 402 is where the Clean Water Act regulates discharges of
pollutants from a manmade conveyance into a regulated waterbody or water of the U.S. Under this
section you must have permit coverage under NPDES in order to discharge.
NPDES Program: Coverage
And this covers wastewater; it covers stormwater as we will talk in just a minute. It covers
some mines and discharges from hazardous waste projects.
Effluent (discharge) Limits
So there are two types of effluent limits under the NPDES discharge section. There are
technology based standards and there are water quality based standards. Technology based
standards are where EPA issues effluent guidelines for different types of wastewater facilities
whether they are municipal treatment plants or metal processing facilities the water quality
based effluent limits are kicked in where you have a discharge and there needs to be an approach
for cranking down that pollutant source.
Types of Monitoring and Assessments
The Clean Water Act under section 303 also requires that state?s monitor and assess their
waterbodies for various parameters and these are the three general categories of parameters that
you see the most, chemical, physical and biological and states are required to make reports to
EPA every two years of the condition of their waterbodies.
So here's what we do?
So under the Clean Water Act here's what we do. We establish water quality goals that are
represented in our water quality standards whether it's to protect drinking water use or
aquatic life. We monitor and assess our surface waters to determine whether or not they meet the
narrative and numeric criteria limits. We identify any pollutants or stressors that cause the
waterbody not to meet the water quality criteria limits. And then we try to find out where that
problem parameter or problem is coming from. Try to identify the causes and sources for that
waterbody not meeting its criteria limit and then we'll try to estimate the loads and go and
try to reduce those loads.
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
And that is what a TMDL is designed to do. TMDL is designed to meet water quality criteria
limits. We try to identify the difference between the current amount of the pollutant or the
current load in the waterbody and what the load would be if the waterbody met water quality
criteria limits for whatever you use designation or class. So the TMDL is going to identify
pollutant sources and relative load contributions and allocate that load among various
They're required under Section 303d of the Clean Water Act, the short definition is the
amount of the pollutant that a waterbody can receive and assimilate and still meet the numeric or
narrative water criteria. They're required to develop TMDLs for waters that don't meet
their limits that are expected to be impaired and the process is that the states will develop
TMDLs that are reviewed by EPA. If the state does not develop the TMDLs or EPA approves in some
cases EPA will develop TMDLs. That is the procedure laid out under the Clean Water Act.
Elements of a TMDL
If the TMDL will identify an allowable pollutant load or a cap will allocate that load among
various sources include a margin of safety to make sure that we're accounting for
Total Maximum Daily Loads
You can have TMDLs developed for specific pollutants like sediment nitrogen, phosphorus and so
forth or in some cases where we may not have a specific numeric criteria we can use surrogate
measures like chlorophyll A, biochemical oxygen or chemical oxygen. The allocations made to
point sources like MS4s that have an NPDES permit or wastewater treatment plants and also to
So you'll have a wasteload allocation for your point sources and then a load allocation for
your nonpoint sources. Small construction sites, agricultural operations.
Example Pollutant Allocation Approach
Here's an example of how you might cut the pie up with specific pollutants among sub-
watersheds or among nonpoint sources and point sources. There are no hard and fast rules on how
to do this. Example Total Maximum Daily Load Allocation for Phosphorus
The next slide shows a table and this is a hypothetical example of how a phosphorus load may be
distributed for three different creeks you see down the left column there, Town Creek, County
Creek, and Suburb Creek. And you've got your two big categories, your wasteload allocations
and your load allocations and your margin of safety. So a TMDL will look at the load of the
problem parameter, identify the sources and then try to allocate that load in such a way that the
waterbody will meet its numeric or narrative water criteria limit.
So in summary, the surface waters must meet the criteria limits based on the use. Those that
don't are generally listed as impaired and TMDLs are developed for those waters based on the
problem pollutants. The pollutant reductions are implemented through NPDES permits and polluted
runoff measures not point source programs authorized under 319 of the Clean Water Act. So
I'm going to stop there and introduce Eric Livingston with the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection and he will get into how this approach is being addressed in the state
of Florida. Take it away Eric.
Stormwater and TMDLs: Making the Connection - Eric Livingston
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Thank you, Barry. Good morning, everybody. Thank you for joining us. I'm going to move
rapidly through this so we can stay on time. But one of the -- what I'm going to cover is
the Florida specific aspects of this and for those of you around the country that will be the
focus of the rest of today's webinar. Hopefully it will be beneficial to you as well.
Florida Watershed Restoration Act - Section 403.067.F.S.
We're fortunate in Florida in that we are one of the few states that has an actual TMDL law.
It's called the Florida Watershed Restoration Act that was enacted in 1999 and then amended
to really focus in on TMDL implementation in 2005. You can see three key requirements that the
legislature provided to DEP. Number one, we have to base all of our work on good science. And
so we are required to adopt a methodology that we would use to evaluate environmental data and
information to make a determination as to whether a waterbody is impaired or not. And we call
that the Impaired Waters Rule.
And then, secondly, and a key aspect of this, is that we require public participation. Our
program is heavily dependent upon watershed stakeholders and everything we do is done in the
public interest and with public participation. Everything is adopted and anything that we adopt
either by rule or by secretarial order can be challenged through the administrative processes
here in the state of Florida. And finally and I think most important to all of us out there that
are trying to implement this program, it requires equitable allocation of load reductions.
We're not just going out there and going after the people with NPDES permits -- point sources
because they've got permits, but equally we are looking implementation of nonpoint source
controls and that was the subject of our 2005 amendment.
Florida Watershed Restoration Act - 2005 Amendments - TMDL Implementation
And that was to focus on TMDL implementation using our existing control programs, which are
fairly extensive and have been developed over the past 30 years.
We also have a process that we will talk about called BMAPs, Basin Management Action Plans and
those are our TMDL implementation plans. And then two key requirements for nonpoint sources; our
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is charged with developing and adopting by rule
best management practices to control agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution. DEP is then
charged with monitoring those BMPs and assuring they are effective. And then likewise DEP is
responsible for developing and adopting urban nonpoint source BMPs. Something we've been
doing for over 25 years. And then in terms of implementation assurance of course NPDES permits
for both industrial and domestic as well as stormwater and then our enforcement program under the
BMAP because a BMAP is a legally enforceable document that we can take enforcement if the
entities do not do what they were going to do.
Florida Watershed Restoration Act - 403.067(7)(b)
Our law does call for using our existing control programs and as everyone sees we do have a
fairly extensive list of existing control programs that we can work off of.
Map of Florida - Watershed Basin Pollution Groups and Schedule
And in order to do this, we like about half the states in the country have set up a rotating
basin approach. We have taken Florida's 52 major basins, divided them into 29 groups of
basins. Essentially we have five groups of basins in each of our six DEP district offices and we
rotate around, among them.
The Watershed Approach
We have a five step process that we go through and then we cycle back through this every five
years. Basically, Phases one and two are the assessment Phase where we are gathering information
and doing our water quality assessment.
Number -- Phase three is the TMDL development stage. And then Phases four and five are the TMDL
implementation stage, especially when we're involved in the development of a basin management
action plan to lead that TMDL implementation.
Status of Rotating Basin Approach
This kind of just lays out and hopefully it is easier for you to see our groups of basins on top
and also where we're at. We're actually in the beginning of the third cycle of our
rotating basin approach, but the main thing for TMDL developments. Those of you in group four
basins, Pensacola Bay, Nassau, St. Mary's, Kissimmee, Withlacoochee, Fisheating Creek, and
the Southeast coast beware, TMDLs are being developed this year for adoption by September or by
next March depending on the case. So the cycle continues and will continue as we move through
Water Quality Assessment
Now let's start the process. We're talking about water quality assessments and we based
our assessments here in Florida on what we call WBIDs and I will talk about that in a minute.
And basically the evaluation is done in accordance with the procedures set forth in the impaired
waters rule. And out of this we come up with an assessment where we evaluate every waterbody and
put them into one of five categories. Categories one and two means that we have data showing
that either any or all of the beneficial uses are being met if we have sufficient data. Category
three, insufficient data. Category four, it's an impaired waterbody but it doesn't need
a TMDL. That's because there's already been one established or there's already
restoration work ongoing to repair that waterbody. And then category five is a verified impaired
water and it needs to have a TMDL done. And the key products of this evaluation are the verified
list of impaired waters and a delist list if we find waterbodies that were previously impaired
that are now healthy.
Water Quality Assessment Scale
As I said we do our assessment at the WBID stage. A WBID is what we call a waterbody
identification unit. About 6,300 WBIDs in the State of Florida. And we're very fortunate
because of the efforts of the MS4 community and other local governments, our water management
districts, and DEP; we have more water quality data to use in our assessments than any other
state in the country. And that's a good thing because the implications of TMDLs as most of
our attendees know are quite significant. It can be very expensive to try to implement a TMDL so
we want to make sure that we use good science in evaluating whether a waterbody is impaired or
WBIDs Watershed Waterbodies
In terms of WBIDs for lakes we have one WBID. For streams, rivers and linear kinds of waterways
we generally split WBIDs into reaches or segments generally about five miles long but it simply
depends upon where waterbody monitoring stations are as to where we might divide the line.
Florida's Impaired Water Rule - Chapter 62-303, FAC
As I alluded to we're unique in that we have adopted a rule 62 303 Florida Administrative
Code that sets forth the exact methodologies that we will use to statistically analyze all of our
information and make a determination as to whether a waterbody is impaired. We have a two step
process, a planning list, and a verified list. And as you can see as you move through this
process, the amount of data and the statistical confidence of the decision that we are making
increases, which is appropriate again given the resource requirements of a listed waterbody.
Again, this is a public process with adoption by the DEP Secretary so that anybody who feels we
did not do our job properly can challenge that decision.
Florida's Impaired Water Rule
Now, what do we evaluate? We evaluate everything you see on the slide here. The most important
thing that I think that we do not get a lot of credit for because we have a narrative nutrient
criteria is we do use this rule to evaluate nutrients. The impaired waters rule establishes
benchmarks for the interpretation of our narrative criteria, and as a result we have verified the
impairment of nutrients in many waterbodies around the state and we have already done about 150
nutrient TMDLs here in the State of Florida.
Current Status of Impaired Waters
This slide just kind of summarizes where we're at. See we have about 6,400 WBIDss. About
half of them have sufficient date to have been assessed under this impaired waters rule. And out
of those that have been assessed two thirds of them are impaired. The other thing here you can
see is that out of the impairments, about one third of them are nutrient impairments and the
other third are bacterial impairments. These are the areas we are really focused on in terms of
TMDL Development Goal
Now how did we set a TMDL? Well Barry alluded to it I mean we've got to do an evaluation of
the waterbody itself and what makes the waterbody healthy and to set that goal there's a lot
of ways of doing it. We can do statistical models or we can use a reference site approach or
when we really need to get down and get to the allocation stage, the best way to do this is
through a linked watershed, waterbody model. Unfortunately, this takes a good deal of time and
in many cases because Florida is operating under a consent decree, we do not have the time in
order to do this kind of detailed modeling and come up with really good estimates of the existing
loads that go on.
TMDL Allocations - Sharing the Pain
And as we've already talked to, a key part of TMDL is the actual allocation. And a TMDL is
the maximum amount of pollutant loading that can be discharged to a healthy waterbody. And
it's made up as you see from this equation of a waste load allocation, which is the allowable
loading for point sources, a load allocation which is the allowable loading for non-point sources
and a margin of safety because, again, this is not an exact science. It is a lot of art here as
well. And the key thing out of here that deals with the implementation is what is the required
percent reduction of the pollutant of concern that is needed in order to meet the required load
reduction and meet the TMDL?
Basin Management Action Plan Basics
Now, to do that you need a plan. You need a strategy. And in Florida that strategy is called a
Basin Management Action Plan or BMAP. And unfortunately we don't have the time or resources
to do BMAPs for every single TMDL but we try to do them for significant TMDLs especially where we
have MS4s. Because again, we've got to be able to do a much better, refined, source
identification and loading analysis to get a better handle on how much load is coming off today
and what are the allocations. How much is coming from urban stormwater? How much is coming from
septic tanks or other sources that are out there?
And then the BMAP puts together a list of projects that are going to be taken over the next five
years and BMAPs are basically done in five year bites of times that will lay out these strategies
that are going to be used to start reducing loads to meet the TMDL. And that table actually
includes a list of detailed projects and the estimated load reduction that will achieve and a
schedule for those projects.
Now of course a big part of this is how do you find the money to do all this because it's not
cheap and we'll talk about that a little bit later in our webinar. And of course then we
have to have a monitoring component to evaluate how well we're doing and what progress are we
making and we have to have annual reports and tracking to make sure that we're on schedule
here. The key thing, however, is adaptive management. Okay. This is a program that as you move
through, you find, okay, this worked, this didn't work. We need to fine tune this and go a
little bit different direction. And that's what's a good part of our program. It allows
us that flexibility to continue adaptive management as we move through a five, ten or 15 year
process to actually achieve a TMDL.
TMDL Implementation - BMAP Development - Florida Map
Now, in Florida we've been working on this since 2000 and we have actually been through the
BMAP process in a number of waterbodies and basins as you see here on your screen. These are the
BMAPs that have actually been adopted and actually are now being implemented and we're
getting annual reports on how well our stakeholders are doing and meeting the commitments that
they made in the Basin Management Action Plan. We also have a lot of other work going on.
We've got a lot of BMAPs that are under development. And a lot of these are for nutrients in
particular. And we have a lot of other restoration activities going on. You all around the
country may have heard of this little insignificant restoration project called the Everglades,
which continues to drive a lot of what's going on here in the State of Florida.
Focus on Reducing Nutrient Loads
And the big issue and many of you around the country have probably heard about our wonderful
continuing saga about numeric nutrient criteria. Well it is not as if Florida is not been doing
anything about nutrients again we have impaired a number of waterbodies because we have an
impaired waters rule with nutrient guidelines. And we've implemented a lot of TMDLs and
we've got a lot of work going on to achieve those TMDLs. Part of that has been a lot of
research that we have been doing here in the State of Florida on the effectiveness of low impact
design BMPs in reducing stormwater loadings. One of the things we've really been looking at
is our urban landscapes and we've had a five year research program going on on turf grasses
and how to minimize the impacts of our urban landscapes from fertilization and irrigation
activities. We have what's called a Florida Friendly Landscaping program, which is a
partnership between DEP, some of the water management districts and our University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and it's made up of several components. A
residential component, a builder development component, and the most recent one is our training
and certification program for anybody in the State of Florida who applies fertilizer. They must
go through and be certified under our green industry BMP program.
And you can see we've got a lot of other things going on. In fact we just got the final
report on a very exciting project, which is a passive nutrient reduction septic tank which
operates without a lot of the energy needs and at a much reduced cost than the performance based
systems that are currently being used here in the state of Florida. And again we continue to
work on Ag and urban nutrient management BMPs. And one of those is a unified statewide
stormwater rule which is based on a nutrient performance standard rather than our current TSS
Part Two - Florida Phase II MS4 Permit Requirements and Evolution
The second thing I want to talk about with you today is the evolution of MS4 permits. I'm
going to talk about both Phase I and Phase II permits.
Florida Phase II MS4 Legal Foundation
Of course, the legal foundation for this exists in Section 402(p)(6) of the Federal Clean Water
Act which was implemented by Congress in the amendments of 1987. And here within the State of
Florida, again we have a State law 403.0855 and our generic permit rule that establishes the
requirements for Phase two MS4s.
Florida Phase II MS4 Permit Requirements
There are six minimum control elements or measures as everybody knows. And we require that our
MS4s come up with BMPs for each of those elements as well as measurable goals.
The fun part of all this, of course, is tracking your work and doing your recordkeeping to
demonstrate that you're actually doing what you had asked to do in your permit. And then of
course we have an annual report and an annual evaluation and assessment that we go through with
each permittee over the year. One of the areas that has not been highlighted in the past for our
Phase II MS4s and is certainly be coming to the forefront now is TMDL implementation.
Florida Phase II MS4 Permit Requirements (cont'd)
Part five of the generic permit does talk about compliance with water quality standards and
reducing our loads as needed so that we can get to the maximum extent practicable, but for TMDLs
our Phase II generic permit actually talks about TMDL implementation as required by TMDL
Florida Watershed Resotration Act 403.067(7)9b), F.S.
So for those Phase II communities that happen to have an adopted basin management action plan,
you are actually supposed to be adjusting your stormwater management program to include the
requirements in that BMAP so that you will be meeting your load reductions. Now of course this
is something that we will be focusing on as you come through with your next round of permits.
This is going to be an area of focus. And as a result, again, remember this is adaptive
management, where we need to increase the effectiveness of our stormwater management program in
reducing stormwater loads. And, again, to do that we're going to use our existing tools that
we have here in the State of Florida.
So we're fortunate we do have legal and financial incentives and backstops to use here to
make sure that we can get this done. And the other thing is the large toolbox that we have
developed here in the State of Florida over the past -- since 1982 when we first began requiring
all new stormwater discharges to treat their stormwater to a specific level of load reduction.
Of course, what most everybody thinks about when they think about reducing stormwater loads is
structural best management practices. And of course the most difficult thing that any
government, but especially our MS4 communities have to do is how do you go back into the areas
that were developed before 1982, where all we did was drainage? Let's get rid of that water
just as fast as we can. How do you go back into those areas already developed urban areas and
retrofit that highly efficient urban drainage system with BMPs to provide for stormwater
treatment? Very, very difficult. Very, very expensive. And it takes a good planning effort.
We do have some recent tools that we've done some research on. Floating island wetlands and
stormwater harvesting. Both can increase the effectiveness of existing wet detention systems
without requiring more land or capital projects. But the biggest thing that you can do is to
focus on the nonstructural BMPs. What can you do within your community, within your land
development regulations to try to prevent the generation of pollutants and prevent them from
getting into the stormwater or to reduce the stormwater volume in the first place? And this is an
area that we've done a lot of research on here in the State of Florida over the past decade.
On the resource materials handout that you have are some key websites where the results of our
research are kept and all the reports are available for you to download.
Stormwater Retrofitting in Florida
I'm very proud of the State of Florida and of our partners around the state and our local
governments for the amount of stormwater retrofitting we've done in Florida. I'm
confident that we've done more urban stormwater retrofitting than any other place in the
world. We've used a wide variety of innovative tools. We now have over 50 alum injection
stormwater treatment systems. We have numerous regional stormwater retrofitting parks. And
we've developed innovative technologies such as the packed bed wetland or second generation
baffle box. But again, the real solution here is trying to make sure that future land uses and
urban redevelopment minimize the generation of pollutants and the generation of the stormwater
and one of the ways to do this is through low impact design.
LID - the solution is Going Back to the Future
This is a good example of a low impact design where we've got minimum clearing of the lot,
maintaining natural vegetation. We have these unique, innovative entrances that are called
stairs instead of doing mounding and clearing the entire site and bringing in fill. In this case
we have a cistern under the house and no directly connected impervious area so it's just a
different approach. It's cultural change. And of course as we all know, cultural change is
very difficult to achieve and, you know, it's something that we've been talking about a
Pogo Got it Right in 1971!
Pogo got it right in the first place. We have met the enemy ladies and gentlemen and that is us.
The solution is not more regulation, its more education and more motivation because the bottom
line is each and every one of us contributes to pointless personal pollution every single day and
we all have to be part of the solution.
Meeting the Cultural Challenge - Public Education
And to achieve that ultimately means cultural change. We are fortunate here in Florida. We have
a wide variety of educational materials available to our MS4 community. One of the most valuable
and I hope all of you are aware of is our stormwater education training toolbox and the
stormwater education training task force which is currently out there collecting written training
materials, SOPs and other important documents that you're going to need to continue to evolve
your stormwater management program.
NPDES Stormwater Program Has Failed
One of the biggest issues that's come along and one that you need to be aware of is that EPA
in response to the National Research Council's report from a few years ago is embarking on an
effort to improve stormwater management here around the country. And that's very badly
needed. I may not agree with the way they're going about it, but there's no doubt that
we need improved stormwater management here in the United States.
EPA Efforts to Improve MS4 Permits - Timeline
And this has happened and one of the efforts that EPA has been stressing for the past two years
is MS4 improvements, MS4 permit improvements. And this hit us back in October of 2009 when just
after we had started our third cycle of Phase one permits, when even though we had issued five
permits, EPA said hey hold on, we got this national effort going on and your permits that
we've got here for review and they happen to be Hillsborough and Jacksonville just aren't
going to cut it. And as a result we put our permit renewal on hold. EPA sent out some letters
in late '09 and early '10 with our new expectations. They issued a Phase II and I want
to stress this was a Phase II MS4 permit improvement guide in April. All these materials are on
our website. So if you're not aware of them, please go get them. And over that year we
negotiated on our permit revisions and we are now issuing our Phase I permits. The other thing
is there's extensive rulemaking going on and this is the website. Everybody on this webinar
needs to be actively involved in this. There's rulemaking going on with respect to expanding
the MS4 program. One of the ideas on the plate for the Phase II's is to make you equivalent
to a Phase Ie. In addition, there's a national stormwater post development rule being
EPA MS4 Permit Expectations
So everybody needs to keep up with what's going on at the federal rulemaking level. And
what are these permit improvements? Well they're listed here on the screen and you can see
there were four major areas and TMDL implementation was one of them.
As a result, we have revised our Phase I permits dramatically and we've been sharing that
information with our Phase with our MS4 communities since we began this process and the Palm
Beach County permit was the first one that was issued and that was issued last month. And
hopefully everybody has a copy of that. What are we looking for?
Phase I MS4 Permit Stormwater System Inspection, Operation, Maintenance
Well, let's talk about inspection, operation, and maintenance. We've had a table in
there for many years. We've reformatted that table. We have changed the inspection
schedule so it's closer to the schedule used by the water management district, so now you can
kill two birds with one stone. You do your inspection for the water management district. It
serves to count for your MS4 permit. So one of the main things you've got to make sure of
is that your MS4 system is working effectively.
Phase I MS4 Permit Written Plans, SOPs
Secondly, we require written plans and standard operating procedures for various activities and
virtually for all the training activities and all the inspection activities and all the
educational facilities. This is an area that we will be focusing on through the stormwater
education toolbox to gather as many of these materials as we can and share them with you to make
this as easy as possible.
Phase I MS4 Permit TMDL Implementation
Thirdly, one of the things that we've been talking about all day is TMDL implementation.
Well, we have several pages in the Phase I permit that outlines how our Phase I MS4s are to meet
TMDLs. If you happen to have a basin management action plan, you're in like flint, just do
what you promised you were going to do in the schedule, we're doing it. Unfortunately, we
do not have BMAPs for all TMDLs. So for those without a BMAP, it's going to be up to the
MS4 to go through a process over the length of the permit to prioritize, monitor, evaluate and
then come up with a TMDL implementation plan. And as Amy will talk about, we have a new
coliform toolbox that you will be directed to use if you're dealing with coliform TMDLs.
Again, another key issue has been whether or not permits should have numeric effluent limits.
TMDL Implementation and MS4 Permits
EPA issued a memo back in last November that updated a previous memo and it does not I want to
repeat it does not require the use of numeric effluent limits. It suggests them where
appropriate. In the State of Florida they are not appropriate because we have not had the time
because of the consent decree to do the detailed level of analysis that would be required to go
down this road. Instead we will continue to use narrative BMP effluent limits here in the State
of Florida. Interesting even though EPA issued this memo last November I just lost they
are now taking comments on this memo and those comments are due to EPA on May the 16th.
Phase I MS4 Permit Reporting
Finally, some other aspects of the Phase Is. We are changing the reporting requirements and now
we're making you compare the loads that you've discharged over the past three cycles of
Phase I MS4 Permit Program Effectiveness Analysis
And if the loads not going down, you need to explain why and you need to revise your stormwater
management program to make that easier. And one of the other things that we've really
strengthened here, folks, is your effectiveness analysis. Since the beginning, you were
supposed to do an evaluation of how well is your stormwater management program working in
reducing stormwater pollutant loads. So now we have provided you with specific questions to
start that discussion.
Tools to Reduce Stormwater Loadings
Finally, what are some of the tools to reduce stormwater loadings? That's what we're
going to focus in on now. Florida friendly landscaping of course is a big one as are lower
impact design alternatives and education. But we're going to talk to you about a couple of
specific tools that are going to provide some good data to help our MS4s quantify the load
reductions that are achieved through the implementation of their stormwater management
Assessing Load Reduction Through MS4 Maintenance Activities: A DRAFT Summary to Date
The first I want to share with you is a recently completed project; it was a partnership between
the University of Florida, DEP and the MS4 community with the Florida Stormwater
Project Objective and Outcome
This was a project to quantify load reductions related to maintenance activities and from street
sweeping. It's a common thing that we have.
Participating Florida MS4s
And we had a lot of our MS4s participate in this process.
Project Process Flow
Basically, it involved collecting samples from a variety of land uses and BMPs. These were all
collected in a common way, they were then sent to the lab in Gainesville, where the nutrients and
phosphorus were extracted. Out of this we are creating a yardstick which will be used to create
nutrient credits from your stormwater management program activities.
Project Process Flow
Project Process Flow
This is some of the results basically looking at the phosphorus and how much phosphorus is
removed from street sweeping, from catch basins and from other BMPs.
This is the nitrogen results and one of the interesting results we found is that areas that use
reclaimed water have higher nitrogen loadings than areas that do not use reclaimed water.
Project Process Flow - Calculations
And ultimately what this will do is as articulated in this slide is say your street sweeper picks
up 600 kilograms of material.
You then use the data from this result to say well that material included this much nitrogen or
phosphorus and you will actually be able to calculate the number of pounds of nitrogen,
phosphorus removed by your street sweeping activities. And with that I'm going to turn it
over to Amy Tracy, are BMAP coordinator who's been involved in the development of several
BMAPs for fecal coliforms and out of that work has led to our new fecal coliform toolbox.
>> AMY TRACY
DEP Fecal Coliform Tool Box for Reducing Loads
Thank you very much, Eric. As a matter of fact we are very excited to roll out this particular
toolbox because we feel that this is going to offer our stakeholders a very wide variety of tools
they can use that are actually cost effective.
>> ALANNA CONLEY
Amy, before we start, we have a poll question.
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Okay. Go ahead right ahead Alanna.
>> ALANNA CONLEY
Thank you, Barry and Eric, for those great presentations. Before we move on to Amy's
presentation, I'd like to ask our audience two more questions.
The first question, does your MS4 area have any impaired waters? Yes, but I don't know which
ones. Yes, and I am unfamiliar with them. No, I don't know. I am not a Florida MS4.
Again, please select the answer that best describes you. If you have multiple people listening
in on the same room, select the answer that best describes the overall group.
The next question, does your MS4 area have any impaired waters with adopted TMDLs? The first
answer, yes and we implement additional measures to reduce pollutant loads associated with TMDLs.
B, yes, but we would like assistance identifying pollutant sources and developing additional
measures to reduce pollutant loads. No. I am not sure. I am not a Florida MS4, but have
impaired waters with TMDLs. Take it away, Amy.
>> AMY TRACY
Verified Impairments for Fecal Coliforms in Florida
Thank you very much. So as we were talking about, we are very excited to roll out this
particular toolbox because we really do feel that there's a lot of options here for different
sizes of different communities. This is a map showing the impairments that we have here in
Florida for fecal coliforms. As you can see, there's no one place in the state that has this
problem. It's definitely widespread, whether you're in the north, south, east or
Fecal Coliforms Issues
Some of the issues that we have that are associated with fecal coliform as an indicator is that
it is to be used for human pathogens; in other words, helping us to show where we might have a
public health issue. However, it is not a very good indicator of risk. New water quality
standard is being developed by EPA as we speak, but for right now fecal coliform is what we have
and we're using to implement TMDLs. Even if there are non-human sources some people in the
public may not want to recreate in waters that are high fecal coliform bacteria counts for many
different reasons. Just because it's not human doesn't mean it's not a risk.
The source identification is really the primary difficulty we have in implementing any kind of
fecal coliform impairment and that is because we generally are working on a very small amount of
data or from a very specific portion of the watershed and don't generally have a very good
understanding of an entire waterbody and where these problems might be occurring.
The other difficulties that we have in trying to identify pathogens is that salinity in tidally
influenced areas can cause actual fecal coliform die off. So you might have a lower sample
result, but you actually may have an impairment or some sort of source right in that area but
it's hard to determine. Also, you can have shallow waters that may have fecal coliform
bacteria that live in the sediment and when you've a good storm come through and you got a
flush it can cause re-suspension in the sediment. So you make not have the chronic input but you
are seeing a chronic problem due to sediment re-suspension. We have determined through many of
our different projects around the state that regrowth of bacteria is a problem. It does exist in
stormwater systems, especially when you have a closed conveyance, because you have no UV
penetration to help kill these bacteria off. So you might not have a new source coming out of
your particular outfall. It may just be a conglomerate of what has happened in the past. Also,
fecal coliform does not differentiate between human, livestock, wildlife, ducks, roosters I mean
there is a wide variety of potential sources out there. And so it really is helpful when you get
out and you have an understanding of what your watershed is.
Some of the general sources that we've identified as both public and private sanitary sewers,
lift stations, illicit discharges or potential illicit discharges because remember you don't
know what a potential illicit connection is. Septic tanks. Pet waste does continue to be a
problem because often times people like to walk their animals within the waterways and they
don't generally pick it up and be responsible. Other land sources can include agriculture
and you also have marinas. And sometimes marinas may not be the problems themselves because they
might have a pump out station, but you actually have live aboard vessels who on their way to the
marinas might be dropping off and not pumping out appropriately. There are sources that are
difficult to control. Wildlife is definitely one of those. We don't want to come in and
tell all the wildlife that they have to move out. I mean they do share this land with us. And
also, homeless populations can be very difficult because they are transient. You might have
really great NGOs that go around and try to help get these people into shelters and other types
of programs, but they're often times hard to get a hold of. So they might be there today,
but not tomorrow.
How to Best Implement the Fecal Coliform TMDL?
So how do you best implement a fecal coliform TMDL? Well there is definitely the develop a
formal BMAP but part of the problem with the BMAP process is it is a long process. We have had
the fastest BMAP ever adopted, took us a year and that was in an area where we had other players
that had already done a similar BMAP. So we're trying to through the development of this
fecal coliform tool to give local communities ways to self implement. And that's giving you
your local effort as well as fulfilling your MS4 obligation. Either way, we found that this
process primarily involved detective work. And there are a number of tools that we've
developed that can be used to help you identify what your sources may be, where they are and what
types of management actions you can do to abate those sources. The cost of source identification
will vary and that is going to be dependent on the types and tools that you actually use as well
as the number of impairments you might have in your particular watershed. It is important to
remember, though, that some sources may be associated with permit requirements and so therefore
we don't consider a cost associated with source abatement and a permit requirement to truly
be a real cost.
How Can We Help?
Well, how can we help? We do have our fecal coliform implementation guidance that is up on our
Contents of the Guidance Document
And we have here the content. Today we're primarily going to focus on chapters 2, 3 and 4,
but 1 does give you some basic overview and 5 does help you to understand how you can take your
plan and move it to the next level if you're interested in doing something more formal such
as a BMAP adoption.
Chapter 2 - Understanding the Basin
Chapter 2, which is understanding the basin, is using the TMDL report. And that TMDL report can
be very helpful because it can give local communities specific information about their hydrology,
about their land use and land cover. Compiling and evaluating data is always a challenge,
whether it is for the department or whether it is for your local communities. The types of data
you really want to get your hands on to help to make good decisions is not only water quality,
but also your spatial data. You want to understand not only what the sources are, but where they
are within your watershed.
Infrastructure is a biggie. Now we're not just talking
utility infrastructure as in we also want to do septic tanks if that's available, your
roadways as well your traditional MS4 infrastructure. Identifying the responsible stakeholders,
the MS4 permittee is not generally the only person or entity in a watershed. You really want to
get out there and you want to take a look at those folks that have jurisdictional authority for
their particular portions of sources. So that would be partnering up with your co permittees,
the health department, utilities, and even in some places DOT.
Coordinating with DEP. We can actually help you by providing additional data and information
that we might have or helping you to look at what you have and sort through what's important.
But additionally we all know that sometimes it can be really hard to get our partners to come in
and want to participate. And DEP is definitely a good tool to help your local MS4 communities
reach out to those players that really need to be involved and encourage them to participate with
you to make improvements.
The decision matrix is really a wonderful tool that can assist with those communities that have
multiple impairments for fecal coliform. It's really hard to do everything at once. So by
using this, you can determine a prioritization for attacking those fecal coliform impairments
that are the most severe. This does involve the assessing the level of fecal impairment and the
contaminant of sources and what the decision matrix does is it matches those together to help
your local community identify where do you start and where do we have the greatest risk.
Decision Matrix (cont'd)
So this is an example of the decision matrix and the left here you see go back just one. To
the left you see that you have the likelihood of the fecal contamination posing health risk.
Okay, so that varies from number one being very low to number five being very high. At the top,
you have your fecal coliform exceedance. So you have less than 10% being you're A column and
E being over 75%. Okay? In the lower bottom, the red and the purple, that actually indicates
where you're going to have the very highest risks and the very highest exceedances. Those
are the waterbodies that you're going to want to focus on first. Now, this information is
based on the World Health Organization's Annapolis protocol, so there is a lot of science
that goes behind using this decision matrix tool.
Chapter 3 - Potential Source Identification
Chapter 3 goes through the different types of source identification that we may have. In
today's webinar we are going to primarily focus on the walk the waterbody process.
Walk the Waterbody
Walk the Waterbody is a very cost effective first step in determining your focal coliform sources
and entering into an impaired waterbody so that you can take a look with your team members and
identify easy to implement management actions. It does often utilize the existing programs, both
MS4 and your local health department as well as your utilities, as well as your ongoing
activities, to remove the most obvious sources and identify uncertainties and future options for
more effective, adaptive management. So you might actually be able to better use your potential
elicit connection program, you might be able to partner up with your local utility by using your
public education in areas that you might have chronic problems in. So really it's using some
of the existing things to keep it more cost effective rather than trying to create new programs.
And walk the waterbody really what you have is your team of those people that have jurisdictional
authority; they go out into the watershed.
Walk the Waterbody (cont'd)
They're going to walk the banks of the creeks and tributaries and ditches and what basically
what they're going to be looking for are things that they are going to identify as
potentially being a source. So you might take a look at one of your outfalls and you see some
floating solids in there. That's definitely going to be a place you're going to want to
grab a sample and you are going to want to go upstream and into that closed conveyance and do a
little more research and make sure that you don't have something entering into your
stormwater system that you don't know about.
Walk the Waterbody (cont'd)
This is a field reconnaissance. I do like to joke and say chickens happen everywhere because you
would be surprised where chickens do happen. But it gives local communities a better
understanding of the conditions in the watershed, including the hydrology and its contributing
ditches and branches. Because, remember, our NHD coverage doesn't necessarily show
everything that's there, especially through your natural water courses. This is also an
opportunity for those that like to point fingers at one another to all see the same things in the
field. So it helps to build collaboration and cooperation among multiple jurisdictions, that we
do have a problem in this area, who the problem is responsible for in correcting it and also for
those that you need to come together in order to implement together as a team because it really
isn't one person or one entity's responsibility.
Chapter 4 - Management Actions
Chapter 4 is for the management actions. It goes through and gives you projects and activities.
It will give you examples of both structural and nonstructural activities that you can implement
to eliminate sources of fecal coliform. It gives you guidance on being able to select projects
that are appropriate for your community and your budget. And it gives you a summary of potential
sources of management actions as well as an evaluation tool for those management actions. So how
effective do we think that they can be for those suite of sources that you've identified.
Now, this also does come with an appendices. The appendices includes a training manual for the
walk the waterbody exercise, case studies from previous exercises around the state that have been
completed both in rural and very highly urbanized areas and it does provide other supporting
documents and case studies with more detailed information that are described in the main guidance
document. So for more information, here is our website. And I'm going to pass this over to
Ed so that he can get on with it.
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
That's all right. That's all right. We're moving on. And, by the way, this is Eric
Contact - John Abendroth
You can see your contact person is Amy's boss, John Abendroth and the reason for that is Amy
is leaving us, unfortunately. Many of you who are supervisors know that one of the most exciting
elements of being a supervisor is to see young people come in and learn and just become great at
what they do and Amy's done that over the past several years and as a result, she's got
an excellent position over in the Jacksonville area where she has been working, in the private
sector. We'll be sad to see her leave, but we are excited for her new opportunity. So
people have questions on this coliform document, please contact John Abendroth, who's the
administrator of our watershed planning and coordination section.
Stormwater/Watershed Management: Financial Challenges
And very briefly I'm going to touch on a little bit about the bottom line here, folks, and
the bottom line, it all comes down to money. And unfortunately there is no pot of gold at the
end of the rainbow. If there was, we wouldn't have a problem. But unfortunately we have a
big money problem. Because when you get into dealing with TMDLs and you get in to dealing with
urban stormwater retrofitting, it's extremely expensive. I mean we're talking tens of
thousands of dollars per acre of treatment or per pound of nutrient removed.
Florida Funding Sources
And so the only way to deal with that is through collaborative efforts and the first key to this
is dedicated funding. And I'm very proud of the fact that here in the State of Florida as a
result of a state law that we implemented back in 1986 that gave clear legal authority to our
local governments to establish a stormwater utility fee. No, this is not a tax on rainfall.
This is a fee that we all pay because the bottom line is when it's budget time at the local
government community, by the time the policemen, police chief, the fire chief, the ambulance
director and everybody else has been through the budget line, there's only about $1.95 left
for the public works director and about a dollar and 3 pennies left for the stormwater manager in
the community. So the only way to deal with this is through dedicated fees. We have
approximately 200 local governments here in the state of Florida that have now implemented
stormwater utility fees. They vary all the way from $1 a month to as much as $12 a month
depending upon where you are at. Many of our local governments also have implemented stormwater
program fees to help pay for the cost of doing plan reviews or inspections. And a couple of our
local governments have implemented operating permits so that they have a fee mechanism to pay for
inspectors who go around and make sure that all the stormwater infrastructure is continuing to
The other good aspect of this, at least here in Florida, is that we do have state and regional
funds through either DEP or through our water management districts, that we make available, but
they all need matching grants. 319 is a 60/40 grant. Our TMDL restoration grants are 50/50.
And so the stormwater utility fee provides a dedicated source of revenue to help pay for those
needs. And at this point I'm going to remember this time that I'm going to turn it back
over to Alanna for another polling question.
>> ALANNA CONLEY
Thank you, Eric and Amy, for getting us back on schedule. We have our last poll question for the
audience. The poll question is have you completed the inventory of your stormwater system and
outfalls? Yes. Yes, and have outfall locations available in GIS format. No. I am not a
Florida MS4, but have an updated inventory of stormwater systems and outfalls. Our last speaker
for today is Edward Smith. Take it away, Ed.
>> EDWARD SMITH
Revising your SWMP to Focus on TMDL Load Reduction - Edward Smith
Thank you Alanna and thank you for everyone for signing in today and taking part in this. We
appreciate it. This has been a process that's taken me quite some time to put together and I
thank Barry and Alanna and everybody for helping me get this to the State of Florida. Today
I'm going to be talking about how to revise your stormwater management program to focus on
TMDL load reduction.
It Is Your SWMP
Essentially, I'm going to talk about why you need to revise your stormwater management
program, when you need to revise the program, things to consider when you're making your
revisions and then finally we're going to talk about the process or how to make those
revisions happen. So the first thing you need to remember is that this stormwater management
program is your stormwater management program. As a MS4 operator, you submitted that stormwater
management program to DEP with all of the BMPs that you thought you could manage. We approved
those BMPs, perhaps with input from us or suggestions for improvement, but ultimately those were
your BMPs. So the first thing you need to do is make sure you take ownership of this program
because these are your communities' waters and that right there should be the number one
reason as to why it's so important that you revise your stormwater management program in
order to meet the TMDL allocations. It's our community we need to work as partners in
protecting your communities' constituents.
Duty to Comply
Second thing, if the reasoning why I gave you earlier wasn't enough, if you need more
incentive, you have a duty to comply. It is built into the generic permit. And as Eric alluded
to earlier in the program, in part five specifically in part 5A of the generic permit, there is a
requirement that the stormwater management program is continually assessed and adjusted in order
to meet the goal of reducing the discharge of pollutants to the extent necessary to protect the
designated uses of receiving waters. Also, in the generic permit part 5B, there's a
requirement to review the stormwater management program upon development of a TMDL.
Specifically, you're supposed to review it for consistency with the TMDL allocation. And if
it's not meeting that allocation then you must, key word there, must modify your stormwater
management program. That is actually in the Rule 62-621-300-7A Part 5B. So once you've done
all that, you should take this as an opportunity to improve this and make your stormwater
management program better rather than creating a new program to address a TMDL. The point of
this is being that you already have your processes in place with your MS4 program, the stormwater
management program, for tracking, for documentation, for reporting. You might as well use those
things that are in place in order to address the TMDL to save on costs and burden of people,
hiring people and staff and all those wonderful things that come along with programs.
Likely TMDL Requirements
So this is what you should consider as far as part of your TMDL improvements or requirements when
you're making revisions to your program. Right now the current requirements for the MS4
programs, your inventory requirements, are that you have a map showing all your outfalls and
names of the waters in which they discharge. That's it. Well, with your TMDL improvements
or revisions, you should look into things like MS4 inventory, outfalls, basins. You've got
to know your system because if you don't know all the inputs and outputs in your system, you
can't make a good assessment. You need to know the sources of pollutants of concerns,
specifically those pollutants directed towards the TMDL and then that is where the walking the
WBID comes in. And that's another place you can see those with the walking the WBID
You also are going to have to have source controls or start considering source controls. As Eric
alluded to earlier, source controls typically are your least expensive or most cost effective
methods for controlling pollutants. One thing that Eric mentioned was our Florida friendly
landscaping. We have at DEP worked with many organizations in the State of Florida to come up
with a model ordinance that is available to anybody, not just people in Florida, but to anybody
in the country. It's on our DEP website. It's a fantastic document that gives you all
of the ins and outs on how to create this ordinance, what the restrictions and covenants that are
associated with it. I highly recommend it to everybody.
Another thing in source control is low impact design. You always want to look at ways to reduce
the amount of runoff and low impact design is a great way to make those things happen. Street
sweeping. Eric alluded to our street sweeping study. This is one that we have put a lot of
effort and time into. Many of the municipalities in the state of Florida have found that street
sweeping can be costly, and so they've worked in partnerships and this is another thing
we're highly recommending is resource sharing. Look to work with other municipalities in
coming up with ways to cut those costs down. So if you don't have a street sweeping program,
see if there's anyone around you that does and see if you can piggyback on that for little or
no cost in some cases.
And then of course there's always structural controls, but as Eric alluded to earlier these
are typically your most expensive methods, but in some cases they may be your only way to achieve
that final load reduction needed to meet your TMDL allocations.
So the process for revising your stormwater management programs is actually a relatively simple
process, but it is again, it's required by rule. The first part of this is you're
going to have to determine if your BMPs are appropriate for the TMDL. So you need to know what
is the pollutant of concern. That's where you're going to have to actually be involved
in the TMDL process as much as possible so you can get an understanding of where you are and what
your goal is. This is a good time for you to work with DEP staff. We're here to help you,
not just regulate you as a lot of people like to think. Once you've determined what your
appropriate BMPs are or if your BMPs are not appropriate, that's where you get to the next
step and That's is where you revise your BMPs and submit an application to the department.
But before you do this, I highly recommend that you coordinate with other MS4s in your area.
Likely, they are seeing the same problems or issues and you can cooperate, you can do resource
sharing, you can come into inter-local agreements in order to address these things because a next
door neighbor may already be addressing it to a level that you can tag on and you can then supply
something else in a sharing. That way you can reduce the overall cost burden for these
Once you've got all these things in place and you've decided we're ready to go,
it's actually quite a simple process. You submit either an entire notice of intent package
to the department or an annual report form in which there's an appendix where you put in all
of your changes. The reason we ask for the entire notice of intent or the annual report form
with all of your BMPs is it makes it easier for us to evaluate your entire program to make sure
that you are meeting the requirements of the BMAP or TMDL allocation program. Once you submit
that, the DEP will review that and we will either supply comments that say this is fine but we
need to make these improvements or we'll approve these changes. Once we approve the changes,
they come into effect immediately. The nice thing about going this route, adding these BMPs,
these additional BMPs, replacing non-effective BMPs in your MS4 program is again going back to
the you already have the tracking and documentation program set in your MS4 program. You can use
these programs to then meet your TMDL or BMAP goals or allocations. So that's pretty much
it. And remember the department is here to help you at any moment. So we have great staff here
that work very hard at what they do and love to do what they do. So please use them as a
resource. And with that, I'll turn it over to questions, I guess. Barry?
>> BARRY TONNING
All right. Thank you very much, Edward. Looks like we have a few minutes to take some questions
here from the audience, but before we do that, we want to ask the audience to complete the survey
that will be appearing on the screen. We do have a few questions here that we'll go through.
We have plenty of time. I would like to join with Alanna in thanking Eric and Amy and now
Edward for getting us back on time. And then I would like to thank Alanna for not mentioning who
it was that got us off our schedule so I appreciate that. Our first question deals with a TMDL
that may apply to an area where you have regulated MS4. And the question goes like this if you
have a TMDL that issued and part of the area is outside the MS4 area but that area is managed by
the local government, do the generic permit rules apply? I think what the questioner might be
getting at here is does a regulated MS4 have a responsibility to implement the TMDL on areas that
aren't necessarily within the MS4, but on those areas that may be outside the MS4, but are
identified as a pollutant source in the TMDL. And I don't know if Alanna or Eric or Edward
might want to take the first crack at that question. If you have a TMDL and part of the TMDL
addresses the legally identified MS4 permitted area, part of the TMDL deals with an area outside
the MS4, but that area is controlled by that municipality or that county. Is there still a
responsibility, does that still come under the waste load allocation? How would that be dealt
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Barry, this is Eric. I'll take a shot at that. It's a very common occurrence as we go
through our BMAP process since as most people know the Phase II MS4 area is only the urbanized
area and in many cases, especially with counties, we have areas that are outside of that area
that still contribute. And the key thing here in Florida is remember under Florida law we must
equitably allocate to both point and nonpoint sources of pollution. And when we do the TMDL, the
wasted allocation is that percentage that is given to the point sources including our MS4s. The
load allocation is the load reduction given to the nonpoint sources which may still be owned and
operated by the MS4. They're just not part of that MS4 permit. And the thing to remember is
in almost every single TMDL, the percent load reduction is the same because of our equitable
allocation. So the bottom line is the MS4 the entity may be responsible for both reductions
under their MS4 permit for those areas within the urbanized area, but they're also
responsible for the nonpoint source load allocation outside of it under Florida law.
>> BARRY TONNING
All right. Thanks for that. There's a couple questions here that I think I can respond to
very quickly. There's one about the comment period for the numeric effluent limit. I think
Eric mentioned that. And if you go to the EPA website www.epa.gov/npdes for National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System, you go to that website you will see a link at the top for the
proposed effluent limit and there's instructions for commenting at that link. There's
another question here too that I think I can probably address in part and Eric or Alanna you may
want to join in. The question is has EPA ever made or would EPA ever consider making a webcast
on stormwater inspection procedures and protocols? And I do know that on the EPA's
stormwater website, again, www.epa.gov/npdes and then click the stormwater link, there are a
number of guides there that deal with some different stormwater sources. There's a very good
manual on inspections for detecting elicit discharges. I think a lot of people are familiar with
that. There's also some manuals and other guides on construction sites. There's a guide
that came out a couple years ago that provides a good basis for inspections. I believe
there's some sample inspection forms in there. There's a manual on pollution prevention
and good housekeeping for municipal authorization. Has a lot of information in there on what to
look for in terms of possible stormwater pollutant sources and conveyances on municipal
properties. There's also a fairly new MS4 program evaluation guide, which is a really
comprehensive treatment of an MS4 stormwater program and the various aspects and there are some
things that could I guess be identified as inspection procedures, but moreover there are some
good directions and information on looking at your stormwater program and your municipality to
determine the kind of issues that you might need to address. There's also an industrial
stormwater permit guide that has some information on looking at industrial properties that may
fall under stormwater permits and what to look for there. There are also some archived webcasts
that deal with stormwater issues for construction sites, MS4s and industrial facilities, the
three big categories. You can find those if you click on stormwater on the NPDES website and
click on the right, there's a box there and a link called training and meetings. If you
click on that, those archived websites are listed down below. It's probably the website many
of you used to register for this webcast. So take a look at that. Let's see we've got a
few other questions here now. Where is the definition this is probably a question for Eric.
Where is Florida's definition for waters of the state? We talked about the use
classifications and the administrative regulations. There would be a formal definition of waters
of the state and statues, Eric where would a person find that?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
That is in chapter 403 of Florida statutes and its several pages long.
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay now Eric, I know that some states have elected to include groundwater in their definition of
waters of the state. So in some states you have the surface waters identified only as waters of
the state for the purpose of Clean Water Act implementation. Some also include groundwater. How
does Florida do it?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
We define surface waters as a state.
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay. All right. Let's see. We've got a couple more here. Who or which groups
actually do the monitoring and testing? And I'm assuming we're talking here about
monitoring and testing surface water quality within the boundaries of the MS4. Is there a formal
program or do the MS4s sort of adapt the water monitoring program to their own needs? How is
that handled in Florida?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Well as I alluded to earlier we're very proud of the fact that we have more water quality
data in STORET than any other state and that's because of the efforts of DEP, water
management districts and many of our local governments. We have very extensive ambient
monitoring programs. So that's the initial effort. And then of course as part of MS4
permits, especially on the Phase I, hasn't hit Phase II yet, but, folks, it's coming,
there's also monitoring being done by our Phase I MS4s and even some of the Phase IIs are
doing it as well. So we feel very good about the assessment information that we have here in
Florida, although if you recall that one slide I had, we still only had enough data to assess
half of all the waterbodies in Florida. But there's a large part of Florida that's still
fairly rural believe it or not and hard to access or monitor those areas.
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay. And some kind of follow up question on the monitoring side. Are any municipalities
testing for these emerging pollutants of concern? We've seen quite a bit of that in the
news. I know most of the wastewater treatment plants aren't even testing for some of these
compounds. Are any of the MS4 tests that that you know of, Eric?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Not that I'm aware of, but that's an area that DEP is taking a look at. I'm sure
there's some out there, it's just that we may not be aware of it Barry.
>> BARRY TONNING
All right. Our next question here regarding the effluent limit. The NTU limit. I don't know
if anyone actually knows this but I'll ask it anyway because it's on the list here. Do
any of you know what the final NTU limit will be that EPA is recalculating? So I'm probably
going to hear a lot of silence here. I don't think anybody knows yet what that final
proposed effluent limit will be.
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
No. In fact Barry, EPA published yesterday potential changes to the construction generic permit
that EPA uses so and there is discussion within there about when the time frame will be for
finalizing those numbers and they are looking at extending the current construction GP until 2012
to allow this new rulemaking to take effect.
>> BARRY TONNING
All right thanks, Eric. Here's a question here that has come up in a number of states. It
deals with Phase II MS4s that have road right of ways within their jurisdictional area that they
don't necessarily own or control. And this comes up when you may have state highways that
pass through a municipality. In most cases, the state highway department will have their own MS4
permit that deals with their road right of ways and then you've got the MS4s dealing with
their discharges from their regulated area. In a lot of cases the conveyances and the discharge
is mingled. Can you provide any insights from Florida on that Eric or Amy? Is there anything
unique that Florida has done? Or is this something again that is being handled at the local
>> AMY TRACY
In the BMAP program, one of the things that we try to do, as Eric mentioned, is fair and
equitable allocations. So most of the time we're focused is not necessarily what the
concentration is coming out of your particular discharge or of course as everyone says, several
people are discharging into this particular canal. Rather, what we try to focus on is - what is
your jurisdictional boundary? What are the acres of the land that you are responsible for
controlling? So in this case we will try to go ahead and pull out the state roadways for the
local city MS4s. We do try to whenever the information is available tease out those county
roadways and the right of ways so that the local MS4 is not held for any sort of roadway or
conveyance that is not necessarily within their purviews.
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay. Thanks. And this is somewhat a related question. I'll respond a little bit and then
the Florida folks may want to comment too. The question is are ditches waters of the state? And
I know in the Corps. of Engineer guidance, if you have a water of the US maybe a small
intermittent stream that was converted into a drainage ditch when a subdivision was developed or
road, even though that small stream may have been converted to a drainage ditch, the Corps. in
most cases will still consider that a regulated waterbody, a water of the U.S. Is there anything
different in Florida regarding ditches versus waters of the state?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
No. Although it is a kind of a site specific determination because it depends between how the
ditch is built and what kind of connection that ditch may have to other waters. But in general
if it's a wet ditch, it's a canal, it's a class three waterbody.
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay. Another question here. At what point can an MS4 advise Florida DEP that meeting the
maximum practicable standard is unattainable based on truly realistic and available funding?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
I guess we'd have to see what that meant.
>> BARRY TONNING
Yeah that sounds like a little bit of desperation there. So expect to hear more about that topic.
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
And especially to see whether or not they have a stormwater utility in place.
>> BARRY TONNING
Right. Another question is Florida DEP developing a sample NPDES Phase II stormwater management
program that incorporates the new EPA guidelines for MS4 permits?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Not at this time. We are focused on cranking out all of our Phase I permits that have been
backlogged because of the changes in EPA's approach on this. So our focus on this year is on
the Phase I program. Katie Downing, who is on your contact list, and is our new Phase II staff
member, and I have started having discussions about the fact that we are going to need to revise
our MSGP prior to issuing the new cycle of permits because of the new requirements that are
coming down. And my personal approach to this, as most of our MS4s know, is that we would then
come up with some guidance and something to assist them, just as we're coming up with a
guidance document for our Phase I communities. But that's probably not going to happen until
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay thanks, Eric. Another question about the new permit. I'm assuming this relates to the
NOI for the new MS4 permit. And I will just read the question. Is there a time frame that the
new NOI will be required by? Will it be during implementation of TMDL? This seems like it might
be very site specific depending on which TMDL you are talking about and which municipality and
what the implementation schedule is for that TMDL.
>> EDWARD SMITH
Barry that's correct. The rule, part five of the generic permit basically tells the
municipality that once the TMDL is adopted, they have to begin to review their stormwater
management program for deficiencies. Then once the TMDL implementation plan is in place, the
stormwater management program must meet that. So it's kind of dependent on when that TMDL
implementation plan comes along. It may be that their part of the implementation plan may be
Phased in. So it is site specific. But ultimately they have to start reviewing their stormwater
management program at the moment of adoption of a TMDL.
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
This is just part of the annual assessment and evolution of your stormwater management program.
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay. Thanks Eric. Here's a question here. See if I can scroll back to it here. A
question about this is for nutrient reductions. And this probably relates to TMDL
implementation in verifying that some of the reductions have taken place. The question is what
methodology is supposed to be used to develop I'm sorry. What methodology is supposed to
be used to determine nutrient reduction? And I'm assuming it would be something like
measuring total phosphorus or TKN, the granular measurements we talked about earlier. Is there
anything to add to that?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Well, what we require in our basin management action plans as well as in our MS4 annual reports
is that you need to quantify the load reduction associated with certain BMP implementation.
That's the whole reason we did our street sweeper study, was to give our MS4's data so
they could quantify the benefits of what they're doing. And so basically within annual
reports for BMAPs or annual reports for MS4s, there is a loading analysis and a reduction. Of
course the ultimate proof is in the ambient monitoring that goes on and the re-evaluation that
occurs as part of our rotating basin cycle when we come back into that area, do the water quality
assessment and find out is the waterbody still impaired or has it improved enough so we can
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay. Another question related to monitoring and assessment and I think this question is asking
about which internal DEP group is involved. The question is who or which group or groups
actually do the monitoring and testing?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Well, we have a section called the watershed monitoring section and they are the people that
coordinate with our district offices and our monitoring staff around the state and they also
coordinate with these other entities that I've alluded to, local governments and water
management districts that are so important to us in getting the ambient monitoring program
>> BARRY TONNING
Another question here and this is I guess kind of a general question. Has the State of Florida
defined stormwater control as a utility function in any kind of formal or legal way?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Well again I alluded to in 1986, Chapter 403 was amended to give local governments the authority
to implement a stormwater utility fee or other dedicated funding source to fund their stormwater
program and infrastructure. That is in law. It has been upheld in numerous court cases over the
years. So there's a long there's a good track record here in the State of Florida on
the legality of stormwater utilities and their fees that they charge.
>> BARRY TONNING
Okay. Thanks. And here's kind of a question I had. There's been a lot of interest in
an approach that is sort of based on going around the watershed and trying to do everything you
can to address all the identifiable pollutant sources that you can, even in advance of a finding
that a waterbody is impaired or that a TMDL needs to be developed. I was really interested in
Amy's presentation on the walk the waterbody protocol that's included in the
implementation guide for fecal coliform TMDLs. This really seems to be kind of a common sense way
to go out there and look for problems that may be out there even before you're required to go
look and to try to deal with those upfront before there's any kind of a regulatory mandate
where you're required to spend a lot of money on monitoring and assessment. I just wondered
if Florida had looked at doing a protocol or an approach like this for other parameters beyond
>> AMY TRACY
We have talked about that. We do feel that the basic guidance that we have for the walk the
watershed as a whole is certainly a good starting place for that. Most folks are pretty well
aware of what nutrient sources are. You can pretty much drive through any large neighborhood and
you can tell with all the beautiful emerald green lawns whether or not you might have a
fertilizer source going into those particular stormwater systems and that might be an ideal place
to up your public education campaign to your homeowners about it's only water that's
supposed to go down the storm drain and what is an appropriate amount of fertilizer use. I will
say that one of the things that we're finding is a lot of folks are doing a lot of great
things. And the problem is they don't have any record of it. It's not all cohesively
put together in one place. So this document guidance does provide a report template to start
putting that kind of information together. Not only that, through working in the BMAP process
with utilities and in a variety of different stakeholders, their data management processes is not
well suited to be able to report the activities, the very good activities that they've been
doing on the watershed scales, which is how our TMDLs are written. So I would say that in
preparation for upcoming TMDLs or understanding that you have an impairment, if you can go back
into your systems and try to have a better understanding of the scale of which you're going
to be assessed and if you can actually report on that scale, that's going to definitely help
get you ahead of the curve.
>> BARRY TONNING
Related to that very issue, Amy, a question just came in, and here he goes. An aggressive
fertilizer use control ordinance on the local level seems to be a great public education and
involvement and ultimately a nutrient reduction tool. This would help the MS4 achieve their
TMDLs. Is Florida DEP supportive of those and are there very many in the state?
>> AMY TRACY
We do have a couple that are adopted across the state already. Some of our larger MS4 permittees
have already had these model ordinances adopted. If you do reside within an impaired water, you
must adopt the model fertilizer ordinance.
And we do believe that that is certainly going to help communities make their nutrient
reductions. As a matter of fact, we do have a pilot project going right now. We're trying
to do some fertilizer surveys throughout different portions of the state to try to get an
understanding of what is really the fertilizer used in particular areas, what kind of fertilizer
are they going to be using, how do they manage fill. We're working on putting something
together that will help us TO compare especially in areas that have fertilizer ordinances whether
or not we're really going to see good, true reductions.
>> BARRY TONNING
I know in Florida some of those big houses; the homeowners probably apply that fertilizer
themselves in most cases, but in other places where you do have a lot of these lawn care
companies. Has Florida DEP has been working with those folks?
>> AMY TRACY
Absolutely. We have a very good green industry BMP training course that most of our companies
are required to start taking part in and having people trained. I believe that you're going
to see more stringent requirements in how many people need to have attended this course and
passed it. It is not an easy kind of thing. It is very industry dependent. It does talk very
specifically about fertilizer application because we all know that it's really the guys in
the field that are actually putting it on. It helps them to manage the understanding that
you're going to have your homeowners who if you don't go right down to that water's
edge and fertilize their grass, that you're cheating them out of fertilizer and it does help
these actual applicators to have some sort of information to give back to the homeowner on why
they don't particularly do that. Also, we have a golf course manual that is actually being
used, it is widely supported by the golf course industry here in the State of Florida and
that's also an extremely technical guidance to fertilizer management, application, and
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
One final point under State law. Anybody that applies fertilizer in the State of Florida
commercially must be licensed and certified through the green industry BMP program by 2014. This
is something we have embraced very rigorously here in Florida and now implementing.
>> BARRY TONNING
Alright. And the last question deals with verifying pollutant reductions. And the question is
what equations or calculation methods are to be used to determine the amount of nutrient
reduction and proposed BMAP or TMDL related projects? I know there's a lot of information on
BMP effectiveness in the stormwater BMP database. Does Florida have a similar database or can
you provide any recommendations or references for folks along these lines?
>> ERIC LIVINGSTON
Well actually, Barry, Florida has more data on stormwater BMP effectiveness than anybody in the
country because we've been doing it longer than anybody in the country. And we actually use
that information when for example, when we begin a BMAP, we have a sheet that we put together
to provide guidance to our MS4s and other people. And it includes a list of BMPs and a load
reduction estimate based upon Florida data, and we use that as a starting point. And then later
on as part of the BMAP process we come back and confirm whether our estimates were accurate or
>> BARRY TONNING
All right. Thanks, Eric, Amy, Edward, Alanna and everyone for joining today's webcast.
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