On November 30, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a mix of federal and state numeric nutrient criteria rules intended to limit pollution from nitrogen and phosphorous in Florida waterways. EPA’s decision has significant and long-term implications for all industries whose operations lead to nutrient discharges, including fertilizer manufacturers and consumers.
This decision comes after a lengthy rulemaking and legal challenge involving the EPA’s authority to regulate numeric nutrient criteria in a state under the Clean Water Act (CWA). ARA along with a broad agricultural industry coalition has been challenging the EPA’s proposed regulations in federal court.
With this decision, the EPA has now set numeric nutrient limits for 85 percent of Florida’s rivers, streams, canals, estuaries, and marine and coastal waters. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) proposed numeric nutrient criteria rules submitted to the EPA on June 13, 2012 will only apply to about 15 percent of Florida’s rivers, streams, canals, estuaries, and marine and coastal waters. For lakes and streams, the state agency adopted EPA’s numeric standards.
Click here to view the EPA’s Fact Sheet on Approval of Florida’s Numeric Nutrient Criteria.
Click here for an Executive Summary on the EPA’s decision.
Click here for additional background information.