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In 1998, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), with assistance from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and three Water Management Districts, outlined a program to evaluate airport runway, taxiway and apron water quality. The project was jointly funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and FDOT, and it quantified the chemical concentration and loading characteristics of airside runoff. It also quantified some Best Management Practices (BMPs) available to airports, with a concentration on simple overland flow to meet federal and state water management requirements without ponds or other controls.

A steering committee representing FDEP, St. John's River Water Management District (SJRWMD), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), FDOT and FAA refined the study, reviewed data, and commented on interim project findings. The purpose, in concert with the quality assurance program followed by the consultant team, was to identify unusual or controversial items during the conduct of the work. In this way, the findings were reviewed as they accumulated.

Following the initial work, an Application Assessment was completed to determine the impact of applying the results to airport water management. The consulting team added the University of Florida to assist with specific modeling efforts. Essentially, the Application Assessment defined the limits of overland flow as the primary stormwater management technology for airport airside pavement as a regulatory tool.

The study results were used to develop a General Permit for Construction, Operation, Maintenance, Alteration, Abandonment or Removal of Airport Airside Surface Water Management Systems to include in the new Statewide Stormwater Rule Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 62-347, adopted in 2012. The rule is applicable to sites with Hydrologic Soil Groups A, B, B/D, and C using National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) identifiers. It includes a reservation section for Hydrologic Group D sites, which is awaiting further study.


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