Update on Florida DEP Draft Statewide Mercury TMDL

On July 6, 2012, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) published its updated draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for mercury.  The waterbodies covered by the TMDL were verified for mercury impairment based on elevated mercury levels in fish tissue.  According to the 1999 Florida Watershed Restoration Act, once a waterbody is included on the Verified List, a TMDL must be developed.  The purpose of the statewide mercury TMDL is to establish the allowable loadings, and reductions, of mercury into Florida’s fresh and marine waters that would restore these waterbodies so that the human health concern associated with the elevated mercury in fish tissue impairment will be addressed.

A TMDL refers to any combination of regulatory, non-regulatory, or incentive based actions that attain the necessary reduction in mercury loading.  Non-regulatory or incentive-based actions include Best Management Practices (BMPs), pollution prevention activities, and habitat preservation or restoration.  Regulatory actions may include issuance or revision of wastewater, stormwater, or environmental resource permits to include permit conditions consistent with the TMDL. These permit conditions may be numeric effluent limitations or, for technology-based programs, requirements to use a combination of structural and nonstructural BMPs needed to achieve the necessary pollutant load reduction.

A copy of the draft Mercury TMDL is available here.

As a follow up to the workshops held in June, FDEP announced the next round of public workshops to discuss the statewide mercury TMDL.  These workshops provide the public with opportunities to comment on the TMDL.  Written comments will be accepted through August 27th, 2012.

Areas in Florida

Date and Time

Location

Northwest

July 23rd, 2012
1:00 pm, CDT

Camp Helen State Park, The Lodge
23937 Panama City Beach Parkway
Panama City Beach, Florida 32413

Tallahassee

July 24th, 2012
1:00 pm

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Carr Building, Room 170 (M&L) Training Room
3800 Commonwealth Boulevard,
Tallahassee, Florida, 32399

Central and Northeast

July 25th, 2012
1:30 pm

Daytona Beach Regional Library
105 E. Magnolia Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114

South and Southeast

July 26th, 2012
1:30 pm

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Garden Center
3109 E. Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304

Central and Southwest

July 27th, 2012
1:00 pm

Southwest Florida Water Management District
Sarasota Service Office, Governing Board Room
6750 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, Florida 34240

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Filed under Florida DEP, Mercury, TMDL/BMAP, Water Quality

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