DEP/EPA Agreement Good for Florida’s Water

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DEP/EPA Agreement Good for Florida’s Water

Sachs Media Group over the past three years has proudly worked with a coalition of Florida agriculture, employers, local governments, utilities, unions and others who have been standing up for Florida’s right to shape its own water policy. Today, the Florida DEP and the U.S. EPA announced an agreement to continue the protection of Florida’s waterways from excess nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that cause algal blooms and water quality problems in Florida. This is a historic step step forward in protecting and restoring Florida’s water quality.

When Sachs Media Group began its work on the numerical nutrient criteria issue, the federal government was poised to unilaterally impose federal water quality rules on Florida. We are proud to have worked with the coalition to stand up for Florida and move from an era of legal confrontation to one of cooperation where Florida will be in a position to once again enforce water rules and move forward with the important job of protecting the state’s water. Now, under the agreement announced Friday, Florida will move forward with rule-making and legislation in 2013 to finish the job of setting numeric nutrient criteria for Florida’s waterways.

Here is a press release Sachs Media Group put out on behalf of the coalition on Friday applauding the DEP/EPA agreement:

Coalition: DEP/EPA Agreement Is Good for Florida’s Water

State Should Be Leader in Water Quality Rulemaking

 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – A coalition of state regulated stakeholders, including Florida agriculture, employers, local governments, utilities, unions and others, is hailing an agreement between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the state’s water quality rules as “a positive sign of progress for protecting Florida’s water.”

“The historic agreement between the DEP and EPA should usher in a new era where confrontation over water policy gives way to cooperation as we move forward to protect our state’s water,” said John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation. “The agreement recognizes Florida has established tough numeric water quality standards for rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries in the state. Now is the time to clear obstacles and move forward with the work of protecting our state’s waters.”

The agreement, announced today, establishes a framework to have EPA withdraw its necessity determination and eliminate the need for continued dual state and federal rulemaking. The agreement will require action by the Florida Legislature and the state will need to promulgate additional Florida rules. Once outstanding issues are resolved, the DEP will move forward with implementing the most comprehensive numeric nutrient standards in the United States.

“Under this agreement, Florida will take its rightful place as the national leader in water quality protection,” said Mayor Manny Maroño, president of the Florida League of Cities. “The state’s water quality program will ensure that Florida’s waters remain among the cleanest in the nation. The resolution of this issue provides certainty and significant cost savings to local governments, businesses, and residents of the State of Florida.”

 

Supplemental information:

NNC Agreement

Path Forward Document

Implementation Plan

Proposed Legislation

Florida Numeric Nutrient Criteria Coverage Map

Numeric Nutrient Criteria State-by-State

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