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EPA Rules Explained
(CLICK for slides):
Numerical Nutrient Standards


The development and discussion of the EPA water quality criteria in the press:

» Read on the State of FL and the
   Federal EPA water quality fight
Judge GOLD

l FDEP completes statewide overhaul of surface water and wetland permit rules -10/11/2013
l FL House advances bill for DEP on water standards -03/20/2013
l EPA, state agree to Everglades pollution plan but environmental groups wary- 03/15/2013
l FL water rules tread water -09/12
l Back on path to protect a treasure -06/16
l Everglades clean-up project approved -06/15
l EPA OKs $880M Everglades clean-up -06/14
l EPA OKs $880M Everglades clean-up -06/13
l DEP Water Quality Rules Upheld -06/07
l EPA seeks more time on FL WQ standards -05/31
l Florida water rules delayed -03/06
l Agriculture in troubled waters in FL -03/05
l Court ruling - reducing FL water pollution -03/01
l Judge rejects criteria for FL stream nutrients -02/29
l State thwarts costly federal water rules -02/29
l Court invalidates EPA rules -02/28
l Court agrees EPA went too far -02/27
l Environmentalists applaud clean-water ruling against EPA, take on FL next -02/26
l Fed. Court - mixed ruling on FL NNCs -02/22
l State working to put water rules in place -02/22
l Both sides claim win from ruling -02/21
l Judge orders FL stand's effective March 6 -02/21
l Governor sign FL wat. qual. standards bill -02/20
l Fed. judge rules on FL wat.pollu. limits -2012/02/19
l Finally, EPA does the right thing for FL -2011/11/07
l Enviros cry foul on state’s WQ proposals -11/03
l Measurable limits on P and N for FL wats -11/03
l DEP to seek ERC approval of water rules -11/02)
l Enviros blast EPA (for consent) -11/02
l EPA nods to draft water qual. rules in FL -11/02
l Feds preliminarily OK FL water rules -11/02
l FL moves to replace EPA rules -11/02)
l FL issues new water pollution standards -11/02)
l New FL water rules could end feud with feds -
l Retreat on pollution rules unsurprising -11/02
l Settlement near in state-fed clean water fight ? -11/02
l EPA - restraint on water-quality issue -1108
l Federal, FL regulators side with polluters -1102
l Florida voters petition against EPA -1026
l Troubled water under DEP rule -1015
l EPA rules short of defensible science -1012
l FLDepAg rep testifies against EPA -1005
l FDEP: How Clean You Want Your Water ? -1002
l CWA is 40 - Work still to do -0929
l EPA retreats in FL clean water fight -0915
l CWN May Sue EPA for Approving FL NNCs -0914
l Bachmann’s Empty EPA Trash-Talk -0906
l EPA rules will inflict heavy toll on people -0906
l Florida agri./EPA water clash continues -0906
l Americans rely on EPA experts -0829
l GOP attacks on EPA ignore the probem -0821
l Putnam Fires Shots at Federal Water Policies -0817
l Stearns to EPA: Put it in writing -0816
l Cleaner water, air attacked in US House -0814
l Lawmakers grill EPA on Florida water rules -0809
l Victory for clean water -0806
l Don't dilute Clean Water Act -0804
l Foes of EPA water rules lose appeal -0803
l The F-DEP wants public input -0802
l F-DEP Public Hearing: Aug.3, 2011 -0801
l Prop. in US-Senate to weaken FL efforts -0801
l Day 2 of water pollution costs meeting -0726
l Gap between industry, EPA cost estimates -0725
l Conference on economy of EPA water rules -0725
l Water pollution meeting - cost, feasibility -0725
l EPA rules trigger fierce backlash -0724
l Florida Water Quality: Drowning in Pollution -0721
l Health for Sale: House EPA Bill -0720
l Ag. interests vs. EPA water rules -0718
l CWA measure endorsed by House -0718
l Young's quiet vote for clean water -0716
l Facts and Scare Tactics - EPA-NNC -0715
l Thumbs up: Rein in EPA -0715
l US-House passes water bill -0714
l House attempt to gut EPA - dangerous -0713
l EPA: Bill would 'Overturn' CWA Law -0623
l B.Bishop: EPA's Jackson is ‘killing jobs’ -0622
l Time to Stop Attacking Clean Water Act -0619
l EPA needs to guide water-quality laws -0619
l FDEP holds water meetings -0617
l New EPA water rules would hit FL hard -0617
l 'EPA welcome to FL – as Tourists' -0614
l EPAs holds on NNC if FL has own criteria -0613
l FL to block EPA rules by rewriting its own -0613
l FDEP Public Meeting on Nutrient Criteria -0606
l Putnam: FL to ‘get out of the enviro-litigations -0606
l Putnam Hopefull For Water Truce With EPA -0604
l Industry-sponsored forum on water -0526
l FL & EPA Slammed on the Everglades -0524
l FL to fight new fed. water pollution rules -0518
l Costs to lower pollutants in water systems -0514
l Pollution deniers spout nonsense -0512
l The solution or the problem ? -0511
l Thumb up: Fed. judge - FL has done too little -0507
l Free Market FL alleges EPA misled reporter -0504
l EPA Imposes Will on FL, Costs $1.5 Billion -0503
l Environmentalists win latest round -0429
l EPA to Take the Lead on FL Water Quality -0427
l US judge: EPA, not FL, must lead Glades fix -0426
l Anti-EPA bill moves in House; Senate stalled -0419
l GOP govs work to ease environment rules -0416
l Environmental rules, viewed invasive GOP -0414
l EPA Water Standards Independently Studied -0413
l EPA to review nutrient standard costs -0411
l County Commission backs FL on standards -0406
l New Florida water rule myth: Obama did it -0329
l FL water worries and cost concerns -0319
l Free market FL aims at EPA water standards -0318
l EPA’sp PlandDraws FL into Congress' Focus -0311
l Water pollution standards still contentious -0311
l Farmers fight the EPA over water rules -0308
l Sen. Rubio's budget rider cuts EPA -0303
l EPA clean up will have substantial benefits -0302
l Sen. Nelson’s vote key to EPA rules -0225
l US House budget threatens FL clean water -0219
l Congress budget: EPA cannot use money -0218
l Dirty GOP: Republicans to abolish the EPA -0217
l Opposition to FL water rules goes national -0216
l Dirty Water Actors in Congress -0215
l Water plan impact on Everglades restoration -0212
l EPA rules attacked in FL & in Congress -0211
l Cleaner water for Florida -0205
l Orange County to sue EPA -0202
l FL Anti-Regulation Wave Engulfs Debate -0127
l Pinellas questions new EPA water rule -0123
l Wastewater Rules Protect Watersheds -0117
l FL Fertilizer Agrichem. Assoc. to sue EPA -0114
l EPA standards a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ -0113
l FL Cities, Stormwater Assoc. to sue EPA -0112
l Industry-lead group opposed to EPA rules -0110
l Political hurdles for Everglades restoration -0108
l Defining clean water -2011/01/04
l New lawsuit takes aim at EPA rules -2010/12/29
l Kelter attacks EPA water quality rules -1228
l New Florida Clean Water Standards -1226
l Judge backs EPA -1217
l Fed. judge: EPA Everglades cleanup good -1217
l Regional water utilities sue EPA -1216
l Time to implement EPA water standards -1213
l Everglades Cleanup: A River of Morass -1211
l Air still isn’t clear, neither is EPA’s directive -1209
l Playing politics with Florida's dirty water -1209
l Earthjustice blasts state lawsuit against EPA -1208
l EPA at 40 -- still under siege -1208
l FL sues EPA to block new water regulations -1208
l Florida: E.P.A. Sued Over Water Rules -1207
l Florida sues EPA over new water rules -1207
l McCollumi, etc. file suit over EPA’s standards -1207
l New EPA standards - bad science -1202
l High court won't wade into FL water fight -1202
l EPA and SFWMD head-to-head -1130
l Environmental justice - EPA Region 4 -1129
l Which side is all wet in water dispute ? -1123
l EPA water rules for Florida long overdue -1121
l EPA tackles Florida water pollution, costs -1116
l Disputed costs cited as reason to delay -1115
l EPA delays Florida water rule - costs -1115
l Scott asks EPA to delay Florida rules -1112
l EPA water pollution - costs overblown -1110
l Extravagant cost estimates for clean water -1109
l Water standards pit environmentalists against the business community -1107
l FL officials slam EPA cleanup plan -1105
l Water managers blast plan -1105
l Water rates will rise if EPA rules go through-1104
l Florida braces for tougher rules -1030
l Court blocks questioning of EPA official -1029
l Look who is on the numeric nutrient criteria 1028
l EPA rules - big costs, low benefits -1027
l US judge presses feds & state on cleanup -1021
l FL businesses urge Congress to stall -1020
l Should pollution rules be imposed in FL ? -1020
l EPA plays catchup on Florida water pollution -1017
l Former FDEP Sec's: EPA delay not enough -1014
l EPA goes one for two -1011
l Where's the EPA ? -1011
l EPA's plan too expensive for FL district -1005
l EPA chief averts testifying on E-glades -1001
l Two views on E-glades cleanup: EPA over -1001
l Two Views on E-glades cleanup: EPA slow -1001
l EPA postpones decision on FL water rules -0930

l Sen. Nelson: EPA to delay ... -0927
l EPA: tough medicine for FL E-glades -0920
l EPA Complies With Court Decision -0908
l EPA smacks Fla. with E-glades cleanup -0908

l Court Enforced EPA Action for Everglades -0906
l EPA gives Florid cleanup guidelines -0904
l EPA Complies with Court for Water Quality -0903
l EPA gives Florida new Everglades guidelines -0903
l EPA rules threaten Florida's economy -0830
l EPA rules threaten low-income Floridians -0827
l Edict from EPA - severe threat to Florida -0823

l EPA's Clean Water Strategy DRAFT -0820
l EPA Numeric Nutrient Update -0615
l EPA rules meet opposition -0615
l EPA rules even for canals -0613
l EPA into Coast Water Qual. -0607
l So.FL water mgrs. urge EPA -0430
l FL citrus farms reject EPA rules -0423
l Audubon: tougher cleanup rules -0415
l FL Wat. Res. Conference: EPA criteria
l Judge blames EPA, FL for delay -0414
l Big Sugar sues to stop Clean Water Act
l EPA-water: more publ. hearings -0324
l New water regulations from EPA -0324
l The Cost Of Cleanup - 0320
l EPA delaying some new rules - 0318
l FL, EPA face off over nutrients - 0314
l FL: time for EPA Standards -0309
l EPA rules hearings extended -0304
l Murzin: time out for FLvsEPA -0226
l Protecting the water resources -0221
l FL waters wouldn't meet limits -0218
l Cleaner water costly for Florida -0212
l EPA-Florida water war draws a crowd
l EPA hearings on water rules -0218
l Putnam speaks on FL-EPA issue - 0217
l Fed. water qual. standards will be costly -0212
l Canals test US-EPA rules - 0211
l Earth & the Balance of Powers -0206
l Putnam speaks on FL-EPA issue - 0217
l Putnam into water debate - 0205

l Florida's take on EPA standards -0204
l EPA rules worth every penny -2010/0120
l FL-EPA cooperation on water -2009/12/03
l EPA Water Qual. Standards for FL - Jan.2009

   Environmental Protection Agency - Clean Water Criteria Issue
video WATCH Video
(March, 2014): Administrator
McCarthy’s overview

FULL TEXT pdf EPA-FDEP Agreement, March 15, 2013 (pdf)

FULL TEXT pdf NNC-Overview 2012 (pdf)


- on the EPA-FDEP problems with Numerical Nutrient Criteria:

March15, 2013: Florida's own numeric nutrient standards flow through House Committee
 Feb.19'12: Fed. judge rules on FL wat.pollu. limits
 Nov.2'11: The US-EPA indicated its tentative approval of the criteria as now suggested by the FDEP.
That raised waves of PRO-
and CON- opinions reflected
in the
<<    media    >>
(opinions and articles still appearing)
 Mar.25, 2014: EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Clarify Protection for Nation’s Streams and Wetlands:
Agriculture’s Exemptions and Exclusions from Clean Water Act Expanded by Proposal
- (EPA Release)

 Jan.8, 2014: Judge clears way for DEP to set state water standards- (
 Oct.1, 2013: Department Completes Statewide Rulemaking to Protect Surface Waters, Wetlands- (FDEP)
 March 20, 2013: Deal with feds on water quality rules - quick approval from House Cmtee- (Florida Current)
 March 15, 2013: EPA, state agree to Everglades pollution plan but environmentalists wary- (Palm Beach Post)
 Sep.12, 2012:Florida's water standard request continues to tread water at EPA- (Sunshine State News)
 Jun.21, 2012:Feds, state back in sync on Everglades water quality- (Palm Beach Post)
 Jun.15, 2012: Everglades clean-up project approved- (Ag Professional)
Jun.14 , 2012: EPA: State's Everglades Plan Meets Federal Approval- (
 Jun.7, 2012: DEP Water Quality Rules Upheld - (
 Apr.26, 2012: New court battle brews over State, federal water rules- (Sunshine State News)
 Mar.6, 2012: Florida water rules delayed - ( Florida Independent)
 Mar.1, 2012: Court ruling positive step against pollution in Florida waters - (
 Feb.21, 2012: Both sides claim win from ruling- (WINK News)
 Feb.19, 2012: Fed. judge rules on FL water pollution limits - (WEAR-ABC-3 News)
December 2011:
  Industry groups want Congress to defund EPA water rules - Florida Independent. ('11/12/21)
  Water concerns front and center at FFVA - Southeast Farm Press ('11/12/19)
  Amendment concerns raised - ('11/12/18)
 FL- DEP defends its version of water pollution rules - Florida Independent ('11/12/15)
  US Feds Change Course: Will Let Florida Set Own Water Standards - Ecosystem Marketplace ('11/12/15)
  Enviro. Reg. Commission unanimously approves state water rules - Florida Independent ('11/12/09)
  State Water Pollution Standards Closer to Approval - News Service of FL ('11/12/09)
  Florida regulators approve water pollution rule - ('11/12/18)
  Amendment concerns raised -Associated Press ('11/12/08)
  For clean water in Florida, depend on judge, not state - Palm Beach Post ('11/12/06)

  Earthjustice, Riverkeeper discuss challenge to state water pollution proposal - Florida Independent ('11/12/02)
  New Lawsuit Attacks State Failure To Curtail Pollution - Florida Sportsman ('11/12/02)
  EPA backs off tough water rules - to help Obama carry Florida in 2012 (?) - Palm Beach Post ('11/11/07)
   REVIEW of EPA's Economic Analysis - FL Numeric Nutrient Criteria Impact :      Mar.2012-READ >>   FULL Report   BRIEF
The Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate of the costs associated with implementing numeric nutrient criteria in Florida’s waterways was significantly lower than many stakeholders expected. This discrepancy was due, in part, to the fact that the EPA’s analysis considered only the incremental cost of reducing nutrients in waters it considered “newly impaired” as a result of the new criteria—not the total cost of improving water quality in Florida. The incremental approach is appropriate for this type of assessment, but the EPA’s cost analysis would have been more accurate if it better described the differences between
the new numeric criteria rule and the narrative rule it would replace, and how the differences affect the costs of implementing nutrient reductions over time, instead of at a fixed time point.
Such an analysis would have more accurately described which pollutant sources, for example municipal wastewater treatment plants or agricultural operations, would bear the costs over time under the different rules and would have better illuminated the uncertainties in making such cost estimates.                               (From the BRIEF)

Concept of the Project for the National Academy of Sciences:
"Review of EPA's Economic Analysis of Final Water Quality Standards for Nutrients for Lakes and Flowing Waters in Florida".
The project has been sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - it started ins May 11, 2011.
A report has been issued on March 6, 2012.

A National Academy of Sciences committee reviewing the US-EPA’s economic analysis of the final water quality standards for nutrients held a series of public meetings.,

EPA has requested that the NRC/WSTB conduct a review of the Agency’s economic analysis of the costs of state implementation of final numeric nutrient criteria for lakes and flowing waters in Florida.  Because the numeric nutrient criteria rule is scheduled to take effect March 6, 2012, the EPA needs input quickly on a number of important issues.  In response to this request, the WSTB will form a special committee to evaluate the cost estimates of implementing the numeric criteria, including the relevance and validity of certain assumptions and methodologies used in the economic analysis.  
The evaluation will give special attention to those assumptions that may account for discrepancies between EPA’s analysis and those of several stakeholder groups.  Specifically, the committee will review and comment on the implications of:
  1.  EPA’s assumption that costs should only be determined for waters that will be “newly impaired” as a result of the numeric nutrient criteria.
2.  EPA’s decision to estimate the costs of only those sources of pollution that would directly affect a “newly impaired” water - in particular the number of wastewater treatment plants, the acreage of agricultural land, the acreage of urban areas, and the number of septic systems included in the EPA analysis.
3.  EPA’s assumptions about the levels of control that could be used by certain point and nonpoint sources, such as wastewater treatment plants, industrial point sources, agricultural activities, and septic systems.  Examples of these assumptions could include a decision to seek a regulatory exemption, whether to implement reverse osmosis technology, or to use conventional best management practices rather than more expensive water treatment options.
Without the EPA
fulfilling its mission, we would probably be floating in our wastes up to our ears by now - -

Congressman Dennis Ross (FL-R, Lakehead) takes on the EPA and their imagined "job killing" agenda on Fox Business Channel (Sep. 14, 2011).
While attacked here and there, the accusations of EPA 'junk science' appear to be mostly baseless.
By developing and enforcing the numerical nutrient criteria for Florida the EPA are actually doing an overdue Florida's job and complying with the court order to enforce the Clean Water Act (Judge Gold).
Congressman Ross' counter arguments seem somewhat demagogical.
See for yourselves - a fast talker, but where are the facts and arguments ?
Is the FOX News perhaps a little one-sidedly too aggressive themselves ?

State-Federal turf wars endanger our waters                    (see court battles - sidebar )
Who is in charge - EPA or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection ?

"Unfortunately, it is common knowledge in South Florida that EPA regional managers will do everything possible to accommodate the state and the only way to get them to enforce the Clean Water Act is to sue them, which is a very sad commentary," -
- said Ann Hauck of the Council of Civic Associations, based in Lee County, Florida.
There are regulations to protect our rivers, lakes and streams - the Clean Water Act. It was passed in 1972 when America's rivers were so polluted that some, like Ohio's Cuyahoga River, caught fire. Unfortunately, during the past 10 years, the protections have been weakened, allowing unlimited pollution in the streams and wetlands like the precious Everglades.

EPA News Release - announced the federal intent to introduce water quality criteria in Florida
Environmental Protection Agency - Jan.15, 2009
EPA web page
EPA Proposes Standards to Protect Florida’s Waters: Action would decrease amount of phosphorus and nitrogen pollution
Release date: 01/15/2010

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing water quality standards
to protect people’s health, aquatic life and the long term recreational uses of Florida’s waters, which are a critical part of the state’s economy. In 2009, EPA entered into a consent decree with the Florida Wildlife Federation to propose limits to this pollution. The proposed action, released for public comment and developed in collaboration with the state, would set a series of numeric limits on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen, also known as “nutrients,” that would be allowed in Florida’s lakes, rivers, streams, springs and canals.

Nutrient pollution can damage drinking water sources; increase exposure to harmful algal blooms, which are made of toxic microbes that can cause damage to the nervous system or even death; and form byproducts in drinking water from disinfection chemicals, some of which have been linked with serious human illnesses like bladder cancer. Phosphorus and nitrogen pollution come from stormwater runoff, municipal wastewater treatment, fertilization of crops and livestock manure. Nitrogen also forms from the burning of fossil fuels, like gasoline.

“Florida has led the way with rigorous scientific analysis and data collection needed to address nutrient pollution. By relying on the best science, we can set standards that protect people’s health and preserve waterbodies used for drinking, swimming, fishing and tourism,” said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “New water quality standards, developed in collaboration with the state, will help protect and restore inland waters that are a critical part of Florida's history, culture and economic prosperity.”

Nutrient problems can happen locally or much further downstream, leading to degraded lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries, and to hypoxic “dead” zones where aquatic life can no longer survive. High amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in surface water result in harmful algal blooms, dead fish, reduced mating grounds and nursery habitats for fish.

A 2008 Florida Department of Environmental Protection report assessing water quality for Florida revealed that approximately 1,000 miles of rivers and streams, 350,000 acres of lakes and 900 square miles of estuaries are not meeting the state's water quality standards because of excess nutrients. These represent approximately 16 percent of Florida’s assessed river and stream miles, 36 percent of assessed lake acres and 25 percent of assessed estuary square miles. The actual number of miles and acres of waters impaired for nutrients is likely higher, as there are waters that have not yet been assessed.

The proposed action announced today also introduces and seeks comment on a new regulatory process for setting standards in a manner that drives water quality improvements in already impaired waters. The proposed new regulatory provision, called restoration standards, would be specific to nutrients in the state of Florida.

In August 2009, EPA entered into a consent decree with Florida Wildlife Federation, committing to propose numeric nutrient standards for lakes and flowing waters in Florida by January 2010, and for Florida's estuarine and coastal waters by January 2011. These dates are consistent with those outlined in EPA’s January 14, 2009 determination under the Clean Water Act that numeric nutrient standards are needed in Florida. EPA also agreed to establish final standards by October 2010 for lakes and flowing waters and by October 2011 for estuarine and coastal waters.

EPA will accept public comments on the proposed standards for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA will also hold three public hearings on the proposed rule in Florida to obtain input and comments on the direction of EPA’s rulemaking. These hearings are scheduled for February 16, 17 and 18, 2010 in Tallahassee, Orlando, and West Palm Beach, respectively.

More on the proposed rule and public hearings:

U.S. judge says EPA fails to protect Everglades from pollution
Palm Beach Post - Apr.14, 2010
Palm Beach News web page
A frustrated federal judge ordered the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to appear in a Miami courtroom in October to explain how the agency will enforce the Clean Water Act in the Everglades after "failure to comply with the law for more than two decades."
In a scathing 48-page ruling released on Wednesday, Federal District Judge Alan S. Gold accused the EPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District of deliberately ignoring and refusing to enforce the laws limiting the amount of phosphorus discharged into the Everglades. The judge stopped short of finding the EPA and Florida's environmental agency in contempt. But he found that the agencies were not in compliance with an order he issued in July 2008. The judge also criticized the water District, though it's not a defendant in the suit, for "not taking any action to meet Clean Water Act requirement." The DEP issues the permits that the district needs to discharge water from its stormwater treatment areas into the Everglades. For the district, the ruling means those permits must be amended with lower phosphorus limits. To comply, the district will have to reduce phosphorus levels -- some of them currently nine times higher than allowed under the Clean Water Act. Gold also ordered Florida DEP chief Mike Sole to appear in court in October.
The DEP, speaking for itself and the District in a press release, defended its permitting process, saying it is in compliance with the Clean Water Act and "also protective of the Everglades." An appeal "will be necessary." The EPA said it would release a response today . The ruling was the latest action in a 2004 lawsuit filed by the Miccosukee Indians, who live in the Everglades, and the non-profit Friends of the Everglades. The ruling was especially good news for the Miccosukees, who have "felt for years the government is in conspiracy to ignore the laws," said Dexter Lehtinen, the former tribe's attorney. The ruling shows "that our government feels no compulsion to follow the law and needs a federal judge to hit them over the head to get them to comply," he said. Most phosphorous pollution comes from fertilizer runoff from farms and from development. In 1994 lawmakers set a deadline of 2006 to reduce phosphorus levels to 10 parts per billion. The deadline was extended to 2016 by "legislation and rule-making that was so complex as to be incomprehensible to lay persons," Gold wrote. In July 2008 Gold ruled that the EPA should have stopped Florida from extending the deadline. He ordered the agency to the enforce lower phosphorus limits. But phosphorus levels in the district's six stormwater treatment areas remained above the limit, ranging from 13 ppb to 93 ppb, according to a district report. The tribe and Friends of the Everglades went back to court and asked the judge to hold the agencies in contempt. "None of the governmental agencies involved directly told the public the hard truth: we have not solved the problem, we do not know for sure when the problem will be solved, and we do not know if the Everglades will survive by the time we can meet the 10 ppb standard," Gold wrote in his ruling. The ruling gives the EPA until Sept.3 to devise a plan to force DEP to enforce lower phosphorus limits. The order also strips the DEP of its power to issue new or amend permits to discharge water into the Everglades.
"I can't imagine why the state wouldn't use this opportunity to say let's get on with it and just do it" said John Childe, attorney for Friends of the Everglades.

Will Florida (please) clean up ?
Whoever be in charge - just do it !
l Florida's 2008 Integrated Water Quality Assessment shows that 1,000 miles of rivers and streams, 350,000 acres of lakes, and 900 square miles of estuaries are impaired by nutrients. The actual numbers are likely higher, as many waters that have yet to be assessed may also be impaired.
l While recognizing that local governments in Florida have improved wastewater treatment and stormwater management and some growers have implemented best management practices for nutrient control, the EPA's January 14, 2009 determination letter states that poor water quality in Florida is "likely to worsen" without federal action.
l In the determination letter, the EPA notes that the Florida Department of Environment Protection has spent "over $20 million in collecting and analyzing data" but has yet to develop numeric standards.
l The EPA letter states (in 2009) that it "expects to propose numeric nutrient criteria for lakes and flowing waters within 12 months and for estuaries and coastal waters, within 24 months." This timeline puts all these tasks on to the Obama administration.

The most recent court decision takes EPA to task for violating the same Clean Water Act that it is supposed to administer
Here is how the court cases involving EPA have recently been developing:

Judge Alan S. GOLD
In charge of the EPA enforcement
of the US Clean Water Act in Florida

Judge Alan GOLD


April 26, 2011:
US District Judge Alan Gold's latest decision expressed urgency for the conservation of the Everglades, and attempts to end 23 years of litigation over water quality in Florida. July 1, 2011 deadline is set for the parties to submit a description of progress made.

Interesting Commentary/Analysis :
Setting a national precedence ?
"Nutrient standads under the Clean Water Act"

Blog by Alex Basilevski - attorney with the Environmental Department of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel in Philadelphia, PA.
As EPA stepped in and published water quality criteria for FL waters, a period of discussions and litigations issued. The last pronouncement of Judge Gold (Apr.2011) makes an attempt to end 23 years of litigation and orders EPA to take charge.
In 1998, only 13 states had any numeric standards at all, either for selected, high priority waterbodies or for entire waterbody types.

As of December 2008, 25 states have developed some numeric standards, but the other 25 states still have no numeric standards at all for nutrient pollution.
EPA published recommended nutrient criteria for most streams and lakes across the country in 2001. A combined strategy of EPA, state, territorial, and tribal partnership supported by technical assistance was intended to jumpstart progress on what the EPA calls "a difficult and challenging problem."
The EPA itself is under court order to improve the state nutrient pollution program.

Courts found EPA derelict in protecting Florida's water quality, particularly as it affects the Everglades.
Some states and territories have established numeric standards for priority waterbodies. Others are in the process of collecting data and preparing to develop them. Still others are in the earlier stages of planning and deciding which standards development approach will work best for them.

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