Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Preliminary Review Of Florida Nutrient Criteria For Inland and Estuarine Waters

In a letter to Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) US EPA has provided a preliminary review of the FDEP draft rule on numeric nutrient criteria for inland and estuarine waters. Although EPA's final decision to approve or disapprove the nutrient criteria rule submitted by FDEP will follow the formal review of the rule and record under section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the early review led EPA to the preliminary conclusion that the agency would be able to approve the draft rule under the CWA.

The rulemaking package must undergo review and potential modification by the State's Environmental Review Commission (ERC) and Legislature. The preliminary conclusions from the review could change if modifications are made before and/or during the State ERC or legislative process, or if final review of the technical information and public comments identifies reasons why the final rule does not meet the requirements of the CWA.

If EPA formally approves FDEP's final nutrient criteria, EPA would initiate rulemaking to withdraw federal numeric nutrient criteria for any waters covered by the new and approved state water quality standards.

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