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Water-Related News

Florida DEP Moving Forward on Waterways Nutrient Limits

Florida is moving ahead with adopting its own rules to measure the health of estuaries despite its opposition to a federal proposal to do the same for lakes and rivers, Department of Environmental Protection officials said Tuesday.

Department officials on Tuesday held a hearing in Tallahassee on proposed numeric nutrient criteria, which are specific limits for nitrogen, phosphorus and chlorophyll-a, in estuaries. They replace a narrative criteria in state rules that some environmentalists said were too vague. A representative of one statewide environmental network sharply criticized DEP's proposals for estuaries along the Florida Panhandle.

DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January 2009 agreed that numeric criteria were needed and the state proposed them for lakes and streams, but then the federal agency later that year agreed with environmental groups to set its own standards....