Federal Court Issues Mixed Ruling On Criteria for Florida Nutrient Standards
A federal judge has upheld a 2009 formal determination by the Environmental Protection Agency that numeric nutrient standards are necessary for Florida's waters, but invalidated certain aspects of the water quality criteria the agency developed (Florida Wildlife Federation v. Johnson, N.D. Fla., No. 4:08-cv-00324, 2/18/12).
Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in a mixed decision Feb. 18 said EPA was correct in determining that standards were needed.
Hinkle upheld the criteria for lakes and springs, but invalidated the criteria for streams, saying they were arbitrary and capricious. Moreover, he upheld the decision to adopt downstream protection criteria and upheld some, but not all, of the criteria EPA set.