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Water-Related News

EPA Delays Florida Coastal Water Protection, Proceeds on Inland Water Rule

Federal standards to keep excess nutrients from tainting Florida's coastal waters will not be ready this year, according to a letter released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, PEER.

Instead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will proceed with standards for springs, lakes and streams this year but standards for estuaries and coastal waters will undergo a new "third party review of the scientific basis," a process that will last until 2011.

Nutrients are phosphorus and nitrogen that enter waterways from stormwater runoff, municipal wastewater treatment, fertilization of crops and livestock manure.

The March 17 letter from Peter Silva, EPA assistant administrator for water programs, to Michael Sole, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection indicates that the federal agency has split off rulemaking on standards for coastal waters from the standards for inland waters.