Action alert: respond now to regulatory change that will damage Florida’s waters

All comments should be submitted by October 18.

Nutrient pollution is one of the most widespread causes of Florida’s declining water quality, leading to harmful algae outbreaks and fish kills that foul our bays and beaches, lower real estate values and impact our tourism-based economy. The toxins produced by nutrient-fueled harmful algal blooms can also make our waterways unsafe for livestock and pets, and cause various human health problems.

To more effectively control nutrient pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked FDEP over a decade ago to develop numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) — proactive pollution limits that require pollutant reductions before water quality becomes seriously degraded. After 11 years of the FDEP not doing so, the EPA proposed effective nutrient criteria for Florida.

Now, FDEP is proposing its own rule that weakens Florida’s already ineffective nutrient pollution standards. The FDEP draft rule lacks true numeric nutrient criteria for all fresh and marine waters, does not protect downstream water bodies, and does not require nutrient pollution reductions in waters that exceed nutrient pollution thresholds.

If the FDEP draft rule is allowed to displace the EPA rule, the result will be higher nutrient pollution levels, which are unsafe for human and environmental health. To add your comments:

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