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New Wekiva Basin plan going into effect in July

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An Update on the Wekiva Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) from Orange County Commissioner Rod Love:

This week at the meeting of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, Orange County’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) provided an update on the progress of the Wekiva Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) during a work session. This work session provided an update on activities that have occurred since the first work session that took place at the March 6th, 2018 Board meeting.

During the Board meeting on January 9th, 2018, City of Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson (then Commissioner Nelson) had brought up the topic of the Wekiva BMAP as an open discussion item, where he expressed concerns posed by residents about the required nitrogen reduction plan and how various stakeholders would cover those associated costs. In response to these concerns, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs asked staff to schedule a series of work sessions for the Board to hold a discussion on the issue.

The first work session provided an overview of the Wekiva BMAP, which included its history and the requirement to update the BMAP by July 1st, 2018, with a 20 year project plan for the stakeholders to collectively meet the Total Maximum Daily Load by reducing the total nitrogen loading to the basin, impairing Wekiwa Spring and Rock Springs. Additionally, a representative from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) also discussed the details of BMAP revisions required by recent statute changes that include the 2016 Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act (Florida Statutes sections 373.801-373.813). The 2016 Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act requires a BMAP for Wekiwa and Rock Springs. According to FDEP, the Act requires that there be a Priority Focus Area (PFA) boundary; a nitrogen reduction goal (of ~209,000 Ibs TN/yr for the Wekiva Basin); within a 20 year timeframe with 5, 10, and 15 year milestones; a septic remediation plan in the PFA (required if ≥ 20% nitrogen load from septic); and an education plan.. To date, Orange County has submitted 86 projects in the following categories and amounts: Wastewater (39); stormwater/MS4 (38); land conservation (4); education (1); and septic (4). Out of all the areas included in the BMAP, Orange County is considered the largest stakeholder.