The Sarasota Stormwater Environmental Utility (SEU) is responsible for administering Sarasota County's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. In 1998, an interlocal agreement between Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota created the Sarasota SEU and transferred all responsibility for stormwater management services within the City and unincorporated areas to Sarasota County.
Sarasota County's MS4 permit is regulated by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) a federal program required by the Clean Water Act. Each regulated MS4 is required to develop and implement a stormwater management program (SWMP) to reduce the contamination of stormwater runoff and prohibit illicit discharges.
Florida Administrative Code Chapter 62-624 (FAC 62-624) contains the State of Florida's regulations regarding MS4s. Detailed information from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which is authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to administer the MS4 permitting program, may be found here. Sarasota County operates a "Phase I" MS4; i.e., it serves a population of greater than 100,000 and includes industrial runoff and runoff from construction sites of five acres or more. The County may also allow smaller MS4 operators (Phase II MS4s) to become co-permittees.
Sarasota County has five co-permittees: the City of Sarasota, as well as North Port, Venice, Longboat Key, and the Florida Department of Transportation. Annual MS4 reports for Sarasota County and each of these co-permittees may be found here. These annual reports provide information about activities undertaken during the prior calendar year to comply with federal and state stormwater rules, and identify the department and/or person responsible for performing each activity.
As required by its MS4 permit, Sarasota County has developed a set of written plans, or "Standard Operating Procedures", to ensure that it and its co-permittees adhere to NPDES rules in their day-to-day operations. These cover activities such as land-use permitting, construction site and industrial facility inspections, street sweeping, stormwater infrastructure maintenance, pesticide and herbicide application, municipal waste handling, spill prevention, litter control, and public education. Each of the documents below provides guidance for conducting a separate activity or related group of activities in accordance with NPDES regulations.