Food Safety and Quality Program

Provides training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumers food that is prepared in a clean and safe environment.  More…

Brochure

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/04/15/food-safety-and-quality-program/

Congress Delays EPA’s sVGP Discharge Requirements for Commercial Boats

Oyster boast at dock

By: Bill Mahan, UF IFAS/FL Sea Grant Agent – Emerald Coast Boating & Waterways

It appears that small commercial boat owners and operators will be getting an early present for the holidays! On December 10, 2014, without objection, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed Senate Bill – S. 2444 – The Coast Guard

Reauthorization Act of 2014, that includes a three-year extension of the moratorium on vessel discharge permitting. This moratorium was due to expire on December 18, 2014. The bill is now on it’s way to President Obama’s desk for his approval and signature.

A key part of the Reauthorization Act, (https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2444/text) for small (less than 79-feet) commercial boat owners/operators is: Section 602. EXTENSION OF MORATORIUM.

Section 2(a) of Public Law 110-299 (33 U.S.C. 1342 note) is amended

by striking “2014” and inserting “2017”.

With that change, and the President’s approval, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) will now take effect until December 19, 2017. The following is a link to 2014 regulation: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/vessels/upload/sVGP_2014.pdf

The permit requires small commercial vessels to meet discharge requirements set under Section 301(a) of the federal Clean Water Act. http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-water-act

The discharges covered include general discharges, fuel management, engine and oil control, solid and liquid waste management, deck washdown and runoff and above water line hull cleaning. It also includes vessel hull maintenance, graywater, fish hold effluent, ballast water, and overboard cooling water discharges.

EPA estimated the industry-wide cost of compliance would be $16.9 million not taking into account costs related to enforcement.

Commercial vessels larger than 79-feet, have been required to have the Vessel General Permit (VGP) permit since 2008, however, smaller boats were exempt under a moratorium set and now renewed by Congress.

Examples of vessels that are covered under the new permitting requirement include: charter fishing vessels subject to Coast Guard inspection carrying 12 paying passengers or more; purpose built vessels manufactured for non-recreational purposes such as steel hull towboats or aluminum hull crew boats as well as small utility vessels manufactured for barge transport and commercial fishing vessels. The sVGP Fact Sheet has seven Parts and two Appendices. http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/vessels/upload/sVGP_2014.pdf.

It was estimated that 138,000 vessels around the country would have to significantly change their operations to ensure compliance with the sVGP by December 19, 2017. The following is a link to review the permit and related information on the EPA’s website: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/vessels/Small-Vessel-General-Permit.cfm

The following EPA sVGP forms are what commercial boat owners/operators would have been required to have on their vessels by December 19, 2014 – Appendix A – Permit Authorization and Record of Inspection (PARI) Form and Appendix B – Annual Noncompliance Form (sVGP Appendix A – PARI Form & Appendix B – Annual Noncompliance Form). Note: Appendix A – is available as a download from the EPA website. However, Appendix B – is not. The Annual Non-Compliance Form is located on the last page of the Final 2014 sVGP.

Additionally the standard permit condition at 40 CFR § 122.44(i)(5) requires all instances of noncompliance be reported to EPA at least once per year, no later than February 28th of the next year. A list of appropriate Region contacts can be found on the EPA webpage at http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/vessels/Vessels-Contacts.cfm. For FL boat owners, their Annual Non-Compliance report must be sent to the EPA Region 4 Office:

US EPA, Region 04 / Water Permits Division, Atlanta Federal Center 61 Forsyth St SW Atlanta, GA 30303-3104 Phone: (404) 562-9304   Fax: (404) 562-8692

For additional information contact: Bill Mahan; UF IFAS /FL Sea Grant Agent- Emerald Coast Boating & Waterways – 850-784-6105 – bmahan@ufl.edu.

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/12/12/congress-delays-epas-svgp-discharge-requirements-for-commercial-boats/

EPA’s Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) Update & History

By: Bill Mahan, UF IFAS – Emerald Coast Boating & Waterways/FL Sea Grant Agent


With little fanfare on September 10, 2014, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release titled, “Final 2014 Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP).” The press release was about a new EPA permit that owners/operators of small commercial vessels (less than 79-feet) will be required to have by December 19, 2014.

However, based on conversations I’ve had with commercial boat owners and operators during the past few months, nobody knows anything about the new permit, or its requirements.

Therefore, as part of the effort to educate commercial boat owners/operators about the new permit requirements, please read the following sections and share the information with commercial boat owners you know.

A typical Florida working waterfront with vessels that may need to comply with new discharge regulations and permitting. Image Courtesy of Florida Sea Grant.

A typical Florida working waterfront with vessels that may need to comply with new discharge regulations and permitting.           Image Courtesy of Florida Sea Grant.

Current Situation

 Unless some legislative action is approved by December 18, 2014, the sVGP requirements will take effect on December 19, 2014. At this time, two Senate Bills S.2943; Sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio – FL (11-19-2014) and  S.2963; Sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer – CA (11-20-2014) and Co-sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson – FL. As of November 26, 2014, both bill have been read twice and referred to Committee to await further action.

You can use the following website links to follow these bills: Senate Bill S.2943 – https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2943 and Senate Bill S.2963 – https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2963

History/Background

On March 30, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (in Northwest Environmental Advocates et al. v. EPA) ruled that the EPA regulation excluding discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting exceeded the Agency’s authority under the Clean Water Act.

On September 18, 2006, the Court issued an order revoking this regulation (40 C.F.R. 122.3(a) as of September 30, 2008. EPA appealed the District Court’s decision, and on July 23, 2008, the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision, leaving the September 30, 2008 date in effect. In response to this Court order, EPA developed two proposed permits to regulate discharges from vessels. The district court later extended the beginning date to December 19, 2008.

On July 29, 2008, Senate bill S. 2766 (“the Clean Boating Act of 2008″) (PDF) (4 pp, 55K) was signed into law (P.L. No. 110-288). This law provides that recreational vessel owners/operators will not be subject to the requirement to obtain an NPDES permit. It instead directs EPA to evaluate recreational vessel discharges, develop management practices for appropriate discharges, and make known, the performance standards for those management practices.

It then directs the Coast Guard to publish regulations for the use of the management practices developed by EPA and requires recreational boater compliance with such practices. As a result of this law, EPA did not finalize the previously proposed Recreational Vessel General Permit.

On July 30, 2010, President Obama signed P.L.111-215 (Senate Bill S. 3372 (PDF) (1 pg. 152K) into law. This law amended P.L. 110-299 ( (Senate Bill S. 3298 (PDF) (3 pp, 62K), which imposed a moratorium during which time neither EPA nor states could require NPDES permits for discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial fishing vessels and other non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet. As a result of P.L. 110-299 (PDF) (3 pp, 62K), the VGP does not cover vessels less than 79 feet, or commercial fishing vessels, unless they have ballast water discharges. P.L. 111-215 extended the expiration date of the moratorium from July 31, 2010 to December 18, 2013.

On December 20, 2012, President Obama signed the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 H.R. 2838 (PDF) (48 pp, 218K) which extended the expiration date of the moratorium from December 18, 2013 to December 18, 2014.

Additional Information

For additional information on the sVGP and its requirements please see the EPA’s Small Vessel General Permit Website at: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/vessels/Small-Vessel-General-Permit.cfm, or contact: Bill Mahan; UF IFAS – Emerald Coast Boating & Waterways/FL Sea Grant Agent – 850-784-6105; bmahan@ufl.edu.

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/12/05/epas-small-vessel-general-permit-svgp-update-history/

Super Saturday Seminars

DSC_0594_jpgEach 4-H District in Northwest Florida will be hosting a Super Saturday Seminar for club, project, and afterschool volunteers.  Saturday seminars will focus on a popular or “trending” 4-H project area to help both new and experienced volunteers increase their confidence and competence in working with youth enrolled in a specific project area.  These one-day seminars will allow volunteers to network with specialists, other volunteers, and walk away with ready-to use resources and materials.  Some seminars will also offer CEUs for teachers and childcare workers who use 4-H curriculum as part of their lesson plans.  Questions?  Contact your local 4-H Extension office or Heather Kent at hckent@ufl.edu.

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/11/20/super-saturday-seminars/

Cold Protection for Landscape Plants

Temperatures are falling quickly and predicted to continue to drop over the next 48 hours.  This type of weather pattern (significant drop in temperature over a short period of time) can damage landscape plants that have not had a chance to acclimate to the approaching cold weather.

There are a few things you can do to offer protection with short notice:

    • Water plants that are dry.  Be sure to water roots, not foliage!  If a soaking rain precedes the cold front, this may not be necessary.
    • Move tender tropical plants indoors if practical
    • If container plants cannot be moved indoors, group them close together in an area protected from cold winds

For more information about freeze protection and what to do after a freeze, see Cold Protection of Landscape Plants EDIS

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/11/17/cold-protection-for-landscape-plants/

2015 Small Farm Series: Organic Vegetable Production

Interested in organic vegetable production but don’t know where to start?

Cucumbers grown in organic garden.  Photo: Thomas Wright, UF/IFAS

Cucumbers grown in organic garden. Photo: Thomas Wright, UF/IFAS

Join us for this 3 week interactive video program January 15, 22, and 29th from 6-7:30 p.m. at the UF/IFAS Extension Bay County Office in Panama City.

Specialists with UF/IFAS will teach the program which is delivered through interactive video equipment at participating local extension offices.

Students will receive educational material and questions can be submitted to speakers through your host.  Flyer with topic details and other participating locations is available here OrganicVeggieFlyerPrint with Alabama locations.

Space is limited and pre-registration and payments are required by January 7th.

Registration fee is $30/person or $45/couple.  If paying the couple fee only one set of educational materials will be provided.

Payments should be made to “UF/IFAS Bay County”  memo “Organic Production” and delivered to:

UF/IFAS Extension Bay County
2728 E. 14th Street
Panama City, FL 32401
850-784-6105

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/10/27/2015-small-farm-series-organic-vegetable-production/

Become a VITA Volunteer

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is looking for volunteers to help prepare tax returns for those with low-to-moderate income who cannot prepare their own tax returns.  If you are interested in becoming a VITA Volunteer, please send an email to: development@unitedwaynwfl.org or wi.spec.bhampartners@irs.gov with your name and contact information. Tax Preparer Recruitment Flyer

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/09/18/become-a-vita-volunteer/

New Reefs for Bay County – Pre-Deployment Coordinates

This is one of two F101s deployed June 27 2014 3nm South of the MB Miller fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico.

This is one of two F101s deployed June 27 2014 3nm South of the MB Miller fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Valerie Sale
Public Information Officer
Phone: (850) 248-8170
Cell: (850) 814-6122
vsale@baycountyfl.gov

UPDATE:
Bay County deployment of jets rescheduled for Friday

F101 Voodoos, prefabricated modules to be placed along PCB
JUNE 26, 2014
PANAMA CITY -

Due to time constraints Thursday in the deployment of a series of artificial reef material along the coast of Panama City Beach, the two retired F101 Voodoo Air Force fighter jets will be delivered to their respective reef sites on Friday, June 26.

The Bay County Board of County Commissioners’ Planning and Zoning Department is overseeing the effort to create the new reefs, along with assistance from several area government and private organizations.

“It’s very exciting to have a piece of Bay County history available to the public in perpetuity,” Bay County Commissioner Bill Dozier said. “Residents and tourists from all over the world will be able to come to Bay County to enjoy fishing and diving on the reef created by the aircraft.”

The Voodoos were piloted by former Bay County Commissioner Rick Seltzer and Carleton “Sonny” Vail and will be located three nautical miles south of the M.B. Miller County Pier.

Past deployment of ex-fighter jets have made excellent reefs. Prized reef fish, including red snapper, were observed in a recent monitoring trip to survey F106 aircraft deployed off the shore of Bay County in the 1990s. It is anticipated that the F101s will provide similar quality fishing and diving opportunities.

The Bay County Tourist Development Council provided $30,000 toward the deployment cost.

In addition to the two aircraft, a series of artificial reefs consisting of 34 pre-fabricated concrete reef modules will be placed over two permit locations on Thursday at a cost of $60,000 funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Program (FWC). The grant funds will deploy a total of 18 modules to complete the reef where the jets are located. An additional 16 artificial reef modules will be deployed three nautical miles south of the city pier at Pier Park. This permitted area will receive additional reef material in the future.

Bay County also received a $12,000 grant from FWC to locate and monitor 35 reefs previously deployed under the LORAN coordinate system. Completion of this project helps residents and visitors easily locate existing reefs using GPS technology. Florida State University – Panama City (FSU-PC) provided technical expertise and equipment to complete this project.

The FSU-PC Sea Nole provided support for essential pre-deployment activities for Thursday. University of Florida/IFAS Extension Bay County Florida Sea Grant Program, Tyndall Dive Club, City of Panama City, Bay County Artificial Reef Association, and local Fishing/Diving Community have also provided volunteer hours, expertise, resources, and support to complete the reef projects

New Reefs for Bay County    Pre-deployment coordinates for June 26 – 27 Artificial Reef Deployments


View Larger Map

 

DEPLOYDATE REEFNAME MATERIAL TONS LON DDMM.MM LAT DDMM.MM
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 1 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.725 3008.675
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 2 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.725 3008.590
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 3 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.725 3008.508
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 4 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.825 3008.675
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 5 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.825 3008.508
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 6 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.925 3008.675
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 7 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.925 3008.590
6/26/2014 Seltzer Reef Module 8 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8551.925 3008.508
6/27/2014  Seltzer Reef F101 Jet 1 F101 Fighter Jet 12 -8551.825 3008.591
6/28/2014 Seltzer Reef F101 Jet 2 F101 Fighter Jet 12 -8551.825 3008.591
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 1 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.525 3010.275
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 2 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.525 3010.191
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 3 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.525 3010.108
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 4 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.625 3010.275
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 5 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.625 3010.108
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 6 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.725 3010.275
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 7 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.725 3010.191
6/26/2014 City Pier Reef Module 8 1 Pyramid and 1 Grouper / Ecosystem Combo 12 -8554.725 3010.108

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/06/27/newreefs/

Hurricane Preparedness for Families

Hurricane season is here! Don’t wait for the first storm; plan ahead to protect yourself and your loved ones. More…

UF IFAS Hurricane Prep Poster

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/06/11/hurricane-preparation-for-families/

100th Anniversary/Open House Photos

100 year The 100th Anniversary of Florida Extension Celebration/ Extension Bay County Open House ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, May 9th.  View various photos from the event.  photo gallery

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/05/20/open-house-photos/

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