The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued proposed rules to establish numeric nutrient standards in the state’s inland and estuarine waters and to identify impaired surface waters. If approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the new rules would replace a final EPA rule first proposed in November 2010 designed to meet the terms of a November 2009 consent decree requiring the agency to develop numeric standards for Florida waters over the next two years. Florida Wildlife Fed’n v. Johnson, No. 08-324 (N.D. Fla. 11/16/09).
According to a DEP spokesperson, the state standards would set the nation’s most comprehensive limits on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen in surface waters and would incorporate more than a decade of data collection and analysis. According to press reports, EPA is likely to approve the DEP standards. See BNA Daily Environment Report, November 3, 2011.