Resource Regulations

WaterNational Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

The current Palm Beach County Municipal NPDES Permit was issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) on September 8, 2016. SIRWCD is a co-permittee along with 34
municipalities, the Department of Transportation, Palm Beach County, and four special districts. In order to complete the permit-related activities that are performed collectively by the co-permittees, an NPDES Steering Committee was formed. The Steering Committee meets on a regular basis to evaluate the program, to provide training and resources to the co-permittees, and to assist with the preparation of the annual reports. Staff continues to attend the Committee Meetings as a Steering Committee Board member. After the Cycle 4 Permit was issued last September, a new Interlocal Agreement, which reflects the current permit conditions, was executed with Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District, the lead co- permittee.

 

This past year the meetings included discussions on Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), public education, the Annual Reports and Joint Report, and required refresher training videos on spill prevention, illicit discharges and sediment and erosion control. The sixth year Annual Reports were submitted to FDEP in Jan-uary. In addition, FDEP presented their comments on the previous year’s Annual Report and presented a slightly revised Annual Report Form in June. Lastly, a Water Quality Assessment Program, as required in the Cycle 4 Permit, was submitted on September 7, 2017, for FDEP review. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Steering Committee met on June 6, 2018. At this meeting, the committee discussed pollutant load estimating required coverages and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) audit. FDEP also gave a presentation on compliance and enforcement actions, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) in the area, status of assessment plans, the Year 2 reporting requirements, and the common annual report deficiencies. Their next meeting is scheduled for September 19, 2018.

 

Click here for links to more NPDES information.

Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Proposed Rule

On April 21, 2014, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed draft rules revising the definitions of Water of the United States or “WOTUS”. The stated intent of the changes is to clarify what is and what is not a WOTUS. After many agency comments on the proposed rule,
the rule was revised and the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers published final rules revising the definitions of WOTUS that became effective on August 28, 2015. However if implemented as adopted, the new regulations will result in significant impacts on the NPDES program and muni-cipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit holders because most ditches, stormwater conveyances, and certain flood control devices will be considered to be “WOTUS” and subject to permit conditions and numeric nutrient criteria.

 

On August 27, 2015, a federal judge in North Dakota granted a petition filed by 13 western states to enjoin implementation of the rules – making implementation and application of the rules throughout the rest of the country even less certain. In addition, other states including Florida filed lawsuits challenging the rule. On October 9, 2015, the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals issued a nationwide injunction stopping the WOTUS rule from being implemented. On February 28, 2017, the President of the United States issued as Executive Order directing EPA and Department of the Army to review and rescind or revise the proposed rule. EPA, Department of Army, and the Army Corps of Engineers are in the process of reviewing the proposed rule and considering a revised definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with the Executive Order. To meet the objectives of the Executive Order, federal agencies are following a two-step process that will provide as much certainty as possible, as quickly as possible, to the regulated community and the public during the development of the replacement rule.

 

The first step is to revise the Code of Federal Regulations to recodify the definition of “Waters of the United States,” which currently governs administration of the Clean Water Act, in light of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit staying a definition of “Waters of the United States” promulgated by the agencies in 2015. This action will simply make the text of the Code of Federal Regulations reflect the definition currently in effect under the Sixth Circuit stay. This action, when final, will not change current practice with respect to the how the defini-tion applies, which is consistent with Supreme Court decisions, agency guidance documents, and longstanding practice. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2017, and will be open for public comment until September 27, 2017.

 

The second step is a public notice-and-comment rulemaking involving a substantive reevaluation and revision of the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” in accordance with the executive order. On April 19, 2017, EPA initiated a formal process known as Federalism consultation, which requires agencies to conduct pre-proposal discussions with elected state and local officials and their associations where a rule may have implications for the distribution of power and responsibilities among federal, state, and local governments. On April 20, 2017, EPA, with the participation of Department of Army and the Army Corps of Engineers, initiated the consultation process with tribal leaders. Like the Federalism consultation, this process assures that the agencies consider tribal concerns and interests whenever EPA’s actions and/or decisions may affect tribes, and it enables the agencies to coordinate with tribes and get their input before proposing a rule. The written comment periods for these consultation periods have now closed. The agencies will consider all comments received under these formal processes before submitting a proposed step two rule to the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. The public will have an opportunity to provide comments once the step two proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. Staff will continue to monitor the proposed rule and provide updates.

Public Facilities Report - Water Control Plan

Chapter 189 of the Florida Statutes, the Uniform Special District Accountability Act, requires the preparation and submission of a Public Facilities Report to governmental jurisdictions in which the District resides such as Palm Beach County, the Town of Jupiter, and South Florida Water Management District. Special Districts are required to submit an update to this report every five years and, at a minimum, the report must contain information as to the status of the District’s public facilities and changes or revisions to those facilities that have occurred in the past year.

 

Since 1991, when the District filed its first Public Facilities Report, data collection has been an on-going process to provide for better and more accurate mapping of the works of the District. The Public Facilities Report is continually modified as each Plan of Improvement is added to the District’s facilities. In accordance with Chapter 298.225 Florida Statutes, the Water Control Plan is amended consistent with the preparation of any proposed Plan of Improvements during the last year.