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EPA Proposes New Water Quality Criteria for Florida

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Florida Water QualityThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that a new nutrient standard is necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in Florida. In January 2010, the EPA proposed to adopt water quality criteria for total nitrogen and total phosphorus (nutrient pollution) in Florida lakes and streams.

Similar to the human body, bodies of water require nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, to be healthy, but too much can be harmful. According to the EPA, nutrient pollution is one of the top three causes of impairment of the nation’s waters.

Although the EPA has recognized Florida as a national leader in its efforts to manage nutrient-related pollution, substantial water quality degradation from nutrient over-enrichment remains a significant challenge in the state. The EPA plans to promulgate the new standards in October 2010, meaning that lakes and flowing waters will have to meet those new criteria within twelve months and estuaries and coastal waters must comply within twenty-four months.

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