During the July 14 Biscayne Bay Watershed Management Advisory Board meeting, Miami-Dade County’s Department of Environmental Resource Management introduced a draft impervious surface ordinance. This is a big deal; after delving into it, we appreciate that the County has created a robust, 60-page, document that we are very hopeful will improve water quality and flooding in our communities.
Miami Waterkeeper and our partners at Everglades Law Center welcome this important ordinance after we spent months crafting our Stormwater Audit & Report Card, We see that some of our recommendations happen to be adopted in this ordinance, and we are thrilled! Proper stormwater management is tantamount to reducing the greatest source of pollution in Biscayne Bay.
Here are some key highlights of the ordinance:
- Mapping and recordkeeping: In our audit, we found that 43% of cities don’t have complete stormwater maps, as a result, we strongly suggested in our report card that municipalities take action to complete these maps. This ordinance would require cities to submit asset inventory and maintenance reports of their stormwater infrastructure– important to verify a system is not causing flooding or water quality hazards
- Improved Retention and Permeability Standards: The code aims to increase retention requirements on individual properties to address water quality and flood control effectively. It also clarifies permeability requirements, ensuring alterations to properties do not adversely impact neighbors.
- Direct Discharge and Water Quality: Stormwater systems discharging directly into water bodies must have no debris or sediment discharging into our waterways.
- Stormwater System Performance The County will require existing stormwater systems to undergo recertification within the first three years of the adoption of the ordinance, and then recertification on a 10-year cycle. On a system-by-system basis, the County may require shorter recertification cycles. This process will identify any failing systems, allowing timely upgrades or replacements.
By prioritizing responsible management and maintenance, we can protect our environment and ensure a sustainable future for Miami-Dade County. Together, let's safeguard our beautiful water resources for generations to come.