The Environmental Division reviews public and private construction plans as part of the Building permit process to ensure these projects obtain the proper permits prior to construction. The division works with other agencies such as the Miami Dade Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to ensure that projects in the City are in compliance with regulatory agencies.
The Environmental Division also ensures that the City’s Stormwater Management System is in compliance with the requirements set forth by the Clean Water Act of 1972 and regulated through the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. The NPDES permit allows for municipal stormwater discharges as long as they meet water quality standards and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce pollutants to the “Maximum Extent Practicable”. We are one of 30+ co-permittees under Miami-Dade County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) NPDES permit.
While we share one NPDES permit with other communities within Biscayne Bay watershed, each co-permittee is required to develop and employ their own tailored stormwater management program to ensure their respective compliance with the provisions of our NPDES permit. The BMPs we implement in Miami Beach include education and outreach, good housekeeping, water quality monitoring, as well as the use of cutting edge equipment and industry-vetted operational practices. Together these elements reduce the pollutants that can be picked up by stormwater throughout our city and trap and remove a large percentage of those pollutants within our stormwater system. Also, each co-permittee is required to submit an NPDES Annual Report detailing the activities conducted under their stormwater management program, their anticipated success at preventing stormwater pollution, and justifying any decreases in stormwater pollution prevention efforts. In the State of Florida, this report is submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as this agency has delegated authority from the EPA to implement the program on their behalf.