European Union invites Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine to Water Management Summit

 The European Union (EU) has invited 12 water policy leaders from across the United States to participate in a Water Management Summit. Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine, Board Member of the East Central Florida RPC, is the only Floridian and elected official invited to the summit.

The summit will explore EU policy, EU-US technology and showcase the innovative water management technologies of Member States. The program will offer an opportunity for a mutual exchange of best practices.

“Given the recent challenges we Floridians have experienced with hurricanes, flooding, beach erosion, and water quality, this summit will give me a unique opportunity to study alternatives and possible solutions with other Americans,” said Commissioner Lee Constantine.

The summit, sponsored and funded by the EU, will begin in Brussels with an introduction to EU water policies and technical presentations by Member States. Participants will then depart for site visits in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Finland. The program includes meetings with German, French, and Hungarian delegations, as well as other Member Countries. The summit will focus on a wide range of water management activities, such as water resource management, port management, water reclamation/purification, flood control and coastline protection.

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Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition

The Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition continues to promote the advancement of alternative fuels in transportation through public-private partnerships and by leveraging resources from National Labs and the U.S. Department of Energy as well as regional resources at the South Florida Regional Planning Council. The Coalition hosts events with stakeholders that promote networking, education about new vehicle technologies, fleet recognition, and updates on local, state, and federal policies and incentives. Projects for 2017-2018 include involvement with the Volkswagen Settlement being managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The region could see project deployment as early as 2019. The Alternative Fuels Corridor nomination is part of the FAST act to promote access to alternative fuels on highways. For these designations, fuels are eligible based on station distance criteria. Finally, the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training allows trainers to implement alternative fuel safety into their training sessions for first responders. The Coalition is assisting by coordinating with fleets to use their vehicles during training.

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North Central Florida RPC Completes
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Training Project

The North Central Florida RPC, in conjunction with the North Central Florida Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team and 26 partners, completed a project  to  increase first  responder and emergency management preparedness for successfully handling a natural gas  pipeline emergency.   The Team provides hazardous materials emergency response to 11 counties and nearly one-half million persons in north central Florida.

The project had four main components all of which were conducted by the RPC which provided the Team with administrative and planning support.

Table Top Exercises:  Conducted a series of table top exercises centered on three pipeline compressors stations in the region.  Each exercise consisted of three modules where a situation was described and the participants reported what actions they would take.

Planning:  Identified out-of-date planning information contained in the National Pipeline Mapping  System and the Celeritas Identified Site Registry.  Proposed a methodology that could be used in Florida to share critical facility inventories to provide a common operating picture.

Public Education:  Conducted public outreach advising the public of steps being taken to enhance pipeline safety by emergency responders.

Enhance Existing Hazmat Training Program to include Pipeline Responses:  Addressed an identified gap in the regional hazmat training program that needed to include pipeline safety and response to both leaks and the secondary consequences associated with the direct and indirect impacts of a pipeline leak.  This activity included a natural gas leak training prop and a small trailer to transport the prop around the region.

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Tampa Bay RPC Watergoat Presentation

The Tampa Bay RPC recently hosted a quarterly stormwater management public education and training meeting, where stormwater managers and water quality professionals learned more about Watergoats. Approximately 10 years ago Watergoats were developed as a local solution to a global problem, reducing litter in our oceans and waterways.

Watergoats are comprised of buoys, nets and chains to confine litter in a small space at a stormwater outfall to make it easier to retrieve litter for proper disposal by volunteers. Watergoats are sold at cost to non-profits and government organizations who organize the volunteers to keep them clean.

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