Why is stormwater a problem? To give some perspective, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicates that over 40% of waters assessed by the states are too polluted for fishing or swimming. The top four impairments are pathogens, metals, nutrients and sediment.
Nonpoint sources associated with stormwater account for over 40% of these polluted waters. Conversely, traditional point sources (i.e., wastewater treatment plants) account for only about 10% of these polluted or “impaired” waters. Hundreds of impaired water segments in Florida have lost their “designated use” due, in part, to stormwater pollution.
Florida’s regulatory approach recognizes that stormwater is a nonpoint source and therefore many end-of-pipe technologies are not effective. Rather, a best management practice (BMP) based approach has been embraced using “presumptive criteria,” as codified in the statewide Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) rule, Chapter 62-330, F.A.C. These BMPs include a menu of site-specific practices that generally involve retention or detention of stormwater runoff. The stormwater treatment target is removal of 80% of the annual average load of post development pollutants for Class III waters and 95% removal for Outstanding Florida Waters.
These minimum targets are codified in Chapter 62-40.432(2)(a), Florida Administrative Code. Further, section 373.4131(3)(b), F.S., authorizes the presumptive BMP based approach.
Emma Rivers Baird, E.I., is a civil engineer with private sector experience in designing and drafting various water conveyance and waste water treatment projects and manual writing. As the DEP State Stormwater Engineer, Emma provides engineering support to the districts for numerous stormwater projects. She is also coordinating the activities of the Stormwater Rulemaking Technical Advisory Committee, charged with minimizing the impact of known sources of nutrient pollution and strengthening regulatory requirements, under the Clean Waterways Act, Chapter 2020-150, Laws of Florida.
Richard Musgrove, P.E., is a co-author of many of the existing stormwater rules (including 62-330, F.A.C.) and is well versed in past, present and future rules governing nonpoint sources. He is also very familiar with the BMPs utilized to address nonpoint source pollution, and the administrative and technical side of permitting. His long-term design and evaluation experience gives him perspectives that range from ERP and NPDES-stormwater regulation; the relationship of TMDLs and BMAPs to stormwater systems. As a former consultant, he is inclined toward research based common-sense solutions for nutrient and pollutant removal.
Engineering, Hydrology and Geology Program 2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 3595 Tallahassee, FL 32399 850-245-7655 or 850-245-8397
June 8, 2022 - 2:47pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.