EPA Responds to Numeric Nutrient Petition by FDEP
On June 13, 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent an initial response to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (FDEP's) petition requesting EPA to withdraw its finding that numeric nutrient criteria are necessary in Florida in order for the state to comply with the Clean Water Act.
In its response, EPA stated that it "supports FDEP's commitment to recommence its rulemaking efforts for both inland and estuarine waters. EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards. In addition, EPA is prepared to adjust the timetables for implementing the inland rule and proposing our estuarine and coastal waters rule if FDEP's rulemaking efforts progress in accordance with FDEP's proposed schedule to avoid overlap with the final stages of the state rulemaking process."