Contact: Jenna Titcomb
Florida League of Mayors Urges EPA to Approve Florida’s Numeric Nutrient Rule
~ Sends letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson ~
Tallahassee – Today, the Florida League of Mayors sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging the EPA to approve of the Florida-proposed numeric nutrient rule in its entirety. The letter also advised the EPA to withdraw the January 2009 determination that Florida needs federal numeric nutrient criteria and allow Florida the opportunity to take charge of its own clean water program.
“We all support clean water and know the great importance it has in enhancing the quality of life in our communities. But we have been deeply concerned about the potential devastating cost increases the EPA’s litigation-driven rule would impose on Florida’s municipalities, employers and residents,” said President Gow Fields, mayor of the city of Lakeland. “This rule creates the most comprehensive water quality standard for excess nutrients in the nation and accomplishes the EPA’s ultimate objective without misallocating resources and increasing costs. The Florida-driven solution up for your approval is strong and effective.”
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have adopted rules establishing numeric nutrient criteria water quality standards for freshwaters in the State of Florida.
The state was forced to implement EPA-derived numeric nutrient criteria as a measurement of water quality due to litigation filed by Earthjustice, a non-profit environmental law firm, which alleged that the federal government, under the Clean Water Act, failed to impose necessary water quality restrictions due to the state’s inferior narrative criteria standards, which were originally adopted in 1979.
DEP submitted its numeric nutrient standards to EPA on June 12, 2012. Statutory requirements authorize EPA to review the state program for a period of 60 days; that 60 day review period ended on August 11, 2012. EPA has the authority to extend the deadline an additional 30 days and may reject the state’s rule by September 11, 2012.
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