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New Proposed Rules for Florida Stormwater Systems

Howard E. Nelson, Thomas F. Mullin, Alexandra K. Barshel & David Jessup, Jr.

Photo of a storm drain The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is in the process of significantly updating the state stormwater rules and Environmental Resource Permitting process for the design and operation of stormwater systems. The rulemaking effort has spanned over a year with several versions of new draft rules, the most recent of which was published on February 3, 2023. 

A proposed major change is an across-the-board nutrient load reduction requirement of 80% - 95% for stormwater systems that is not tailored to a specific watershed or basin, nor specific uses or projects. The goal of these regulations is to address nutrient impacts to surface water which lead to harmful algal blooms and other water quality issues. While this is an admirable goal and necessary action to take to protect state surface water, this regulatory change will have a significant, and detrimental, economic impact on development in Florida due to the inevitably higher costs associated with increased stormwater treatment. 

We provided a detailed comment letter to FDEP describing our analysis and suggestions for the new proposed rule; our comment letter is available for review here: Letter to FDEP

The latest draft of the proposed rules is available here: Environmental Resource Permit
Applicant's Handbook

The proposed requirement regarding nutrient load reduction is in Section 8.3. 

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