EPA Moves Forward With Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Florida Waters; Plan Will Begin in 15 Months

Ben Somberg

Nov. 15, 2010

The EPA announced this morning that it has finalized numeric nutrient criteria for Florida waters -- specific limits on the amounts of nutrient pollutants allowed in the state's water bodies. These criteria will in turn limit discharges by point and non-point sources. Currently, nutrient limits are set only by "narrative" water quality standards -- which have little teeth.

The EPA agreed last year to set the limits following a consent decree reached after a coalition of environmental groups sued the agency. Yee Huang explained in this space why the plan could be a huge step toward cleaning Florida's waters, and could help set a precedent for other states.

Affected industries and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have lobbied hard against the EPA plan. The White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs hosted a meeting on the issue back in January, and another meeting in late October (Greenwire reported a second recent meeting, with environmental groups, though it is not currently listed on the OIRA website).

The EPA went ahead with announcing the plan today. It did say that the standards won't take effect for 15 months, and it will "work closely with the state to determine the next steps to achieve the objectives of the standards." The environmental groups that have worked the issue put out a joint statement today lauding the EPA's announcement.

Read More by Ben Somberg
CPR HOMEPAGE
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Jan. 21, 2022

Key Federal Agency Takes Steps to Protect Public Lands, Curb Climate Change

Jan. 13, 2022

Will the 30 x 30 Initiative Protect 30 Percent of Freshwater Resources by 2030?

Jan. 12, 2022

States Should Act to Protect People and Our Environment from Unregulated Chemical Tanks

Jan. 6, 2022

The Quagmire of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Dec. 20, 2021

Democracy, Rulemaking, and Outpourings of Comments

Dec. 9, 2021

CPR, Partners Call for Climate Justice Reforms to the Chemical Industry

Dec. 9, 2021

Memphis Commercial Appeal Op-Ed: Supreme Court Turns to Science to Resolve Groundwater Dispute Between Mississippi and Tennessee