"EPA Issues Nutrient Standards for Florida Waters"

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this morning issued its proposed limits for phosphorus and nitrogen in Florida lakes and rivers -- a move anticipated by industry and environmental groups alike.

Springs, lakes and rivers have become choked with algae, fed by the nutrients phosphorus and nitrogen, scientists say. Potential sources of nutrients include stormwater runoff from cities, sewage treatment plants, farms and fertilizer use.

The EPA last year said specific numeric limits are needed to replace Florida's narrative standard that prohibited discharges that created an 'imbalance' of fish and wildlife. In response to a lawsuit filed by environmental groups, the agency in August agreed to set limits for the state -- despite protests from utilities, agriculture and industry groups.

Florida is the first state to receive federal numeric limits statewide for nutrients, according to the EPA. Don't Tax Florida, an industry and utilities umbrella group, criticized the proposal today while the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice praised the agency's action."

Bruce Ritchie reports for FloridaEnvironments.com January 15, 2010.

Monday, January 18, 2010