On June 13, 2012, the Florida DEP submitted the changes to Florida’s water quality standards concerning the Numeric Nutrient Criteria (NNC) for lakes, spring vents, streams, and certain estuaries in Florida to the US EPA for review and approval in accordance with Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act. In the letter, the DEP cites to the Environmental Regulation Commission approval of the rule changes, the Legislative approval and waiver of ratification requirements, and the successful defense of the NNC rules in the administrative challenge filed by the environmental groups. The DEP requests that the EPA swiftly approve the NNC rule changes, and assist in implementation of “the most comprehensive numeric nutrient limits in the nation.”
The letter states that the DEP is continuing its effort to adopt numeric nutrient criteria for all coastal and estuarine waters in accordance with the schedule set forth in DEP rules. Finally, the letter urges the EPA to favorably consider the DEP’s petition on April 22, 2011, requesting that EPA withdraw its January 2009 determination that numeric nutrient criteria are necessary in Florida and repeal its federally promulgated NNC rule.
I will keep you updated on any response by the EPA. If you are interested in reading the full letter, a copy is attached.