Monday, February 16, 2009

Numeric Nutrient Water Quality Criteria Requirement for FL

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

EPA believes that water quality degradation from nutrient pollution is a significant issue in Florida. Florida’s 2008 Integrated Water Quality Assessment estimated that at least 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 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 technical support to clients nationwide to address State water quality standards. Caltha provides specialized expertise in biomonitoring, aquatic toxicology and impacts to aquatic communities.

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