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Legislative Changes Affecting Water Quality at a Local Level. Robert Kollinger , P.E. Water Resources Manager Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division. October 2011. STORMWATER MANAGEMENT REGULATORY FRAMEWORK. FEDERAL (CLEAN WATER ACT)

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Legislative Changes Affecting Water Quality at a Local Level

Robert Kollinger, P.E.

Water Resources Manager

Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division

October 2011

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  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948

  • Amended in 1977, the law became commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA)Gave EPA the authority to implement pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industryand made it unlawful for any person to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, without a NPDES permit

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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

  • Federal permitting program to reduce point source pollutant discharges to surface waters

  • Developed to address Industrial Point sources in 1970’s

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  • Reauthorized as the Water Quality Act of 1987 extended NPDES permitting to include stormwater

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NPDESProgram Changes

  • Modified in 1990 to address stormwaterrunoff from both Industrial and Municipal point sources

  • MS4 = Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (ie. City and County stormwater collection, conveyance, and outfalls)

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  • Why regulate stormwater?

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  • Sediments (construction sites)

  • Nutrients (fertilizers)

  • Bacteria (sewage overflows, animal wastes)

  • Heavy metals (lead, copper, zinc)

  • Oil & grease (roadways)

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Stormwater Regulation

  • Why is it regulated?

  • How is it regulated at the State level?

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  • 1979 Chapter 17- 4.248, F.A.C.

  • 1982 Chapter 17- 25, F.A.C.

  • 1994 Chapter 62- 25, F.A.C.

“To Prevent Pollution of State Waters by Stormwater Discharges”

Water Management District MSSW/SW rules

Environmental Resource Permits (ERP)

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NPDES Stormwater Regulation

  • 1995 EPA delegated the NPDES stormwater permitting to Florida through the Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)

  • Regulates the quality of discharges from MS4 outfalls (ie. point sources)

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Polk County’s NPDES Permit

  • Polk County is responsible for the quality of discharges from our MS4 which includes roadway drainage. Article VI of the Code of Ordinances of Polk County regulates the quality of discharges to the MS4 by stipulating:

  • “Any discharge, other than stormwater, to an MS4 or to waters of the United States which is not exempt under section 12-160 of this article is considered an illicit discharge as defined in this article and is prohibited.”

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Stormwater Regulation

  • Why is it regulated?

  • How is it regulated at the State level?

  • How is it regulated locally?

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Municipal Requirements

  • Inspection of the MS4.

  • Monitoring of the outfall discharges.

  • Provide Source Controls to reduce pollutants to the MS4.

  • Structural Controls to treat stormwater runoff before discharging to surface waters.

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Polk County’s MS4

  • MS4 Outfalls – 95 major outfalls inspected annually by Water Resources. A total of 340 minor outfalls are inspected every five years.

  • Stormwater Collection System – 9,086 inlets, 650 catch basins, 32,963 culverts and over 1,301,286 feet of pipe require inspection by Transportation Engineering every 10 years. Mowing of roadside ditches is performed quarterly by Roadway Maintenance.

  • Stormwater treatment ponds – Staff inspects 135 facilities annually. Minor maintenance performed by Water Resources during inspections with routine mowing of all grassed embankments monthly or as needed under contract.

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I.Source Controls (Hard to quantify)

  • Public Education on what is discharged to our MS4.

  • Regulated by ordinance enforcement (ie. litter controls, illicit discharges).

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II. Structural Controls (Expensive)

  • Stormwater Pond Retrofit – average cost $1,565,000 (current 5 projects)

  • Baffle Boxes - $50,000 - $150,000 each outfall

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Stormwater Structural Controls








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Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL’s)

  • Defined as the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can assimilate.

  • Adopted by EPA and FDEP for waters that are identified as being impaired for specific pollutants.

  • Requires reductions in pollutant loads from the MS4 to meet water quality goals.

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TMDL’s and Impaired Water Bodies

  • Stream nutrient impairments

  • 22 adopted TMDL’s

Lake nutrient impairments

16 adopted TMDL’s

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TMDL’s and the MS4 Permit

  • The permit requires municipalities to prioritize waters with established TMDL’s and initiate storm event monitoring.

  • The next phase is to rank MS4 outfalls for achieving pollutant load reductions.

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TMDL Implementation Cost of Structural Controls

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Numeric Nutrient Criteria

  • FDEP goals for improving water quality are based on narrative criteria of “Swimmable and Fishable Waters”.

  • November 2010 EPA adopted Numeric Standards for Florida’s lakes and streams.

  • The standards for nutrients and chlorophyll will result in further impairment of waters.

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  • Stream nutrient impairments

  • today

  • Stream nutrient impairments

  • with EPA rule

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Numeric Nutrient Structural Controls Costs for Implementation

  • Annual Cost

  • $11.5 Million

  • Timeframe

  • 20 years

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  • Stormwater regulations have been in effect in Florida since the 1970’s.

  • Federal permitting of municipal and industrial stormwater runoff began in 1990 under the NPDES program and have recently accelerated.

  • Improving water quality through conventional stormwater treatment is very expensive.