Sunday, March 1, 2009

Florida Nutrient Criteria - Requirement for Numeric Standards

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently announced that the agency is taking actions to develop Nutrient Water Quality Criteria within the State of Florida. This includes EPA issuing a formal determination under the Clean Water Act that “numeric” nutrient water quality criteria are necessary in Florida, and concluding the State needs to accelerate its efforts to adopt numeric nutrient criteria.

Florida’s most recent Water Quality Assessment estimated that more than 1,000 miles of rivers and streams, 350,000 acres of lakes, and 900 square miles of estuaries are impaired by nutrients. The new numeric nutrient water quality standards will help the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its water quality management tools, identify waters impaired because of nutrient pollution, establish total maximum daily loads and Basin Management Action Plans, and derive National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits.

EPA expects to propose numeric nutrient standards for lakes and flowing waters within 12 months, and for estuaries and coastal waters within 24 months.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website