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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Delay Numeric Nutrient Criteria Rulemaking Process

March 19, 2010

After a strong outcry from concerned parties in Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a letter backtracking somewhat from their original position regarding the federal numeric nutrient criteria rulemaking effort. On Wednesday, March 17th Florida’s Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Michael Sole, received a letter from the EPA communicating two very important developments:

  • The intent to delay the final promulgation of the downstream protection values (DPVs) for estuary protection and;
  • EPA’s decision to delay the final promulgation of DPV’s will ensure that protective water quality criteria are carefully considered. According to the letter, EPA has decided to address this issue in the 2011 estuary and coastal rulemaking process.  As part of this process, any DPV’s that EPA proposes in January 2011 will also be subject to review and public comment.

Despite the struggle to enact requirements that are scientifically sound, EPA has indicated they will work with DEP to enact standards that comply with the best available science.