Feds unveil tougher Florida water standards

By the Florida Tribune
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized numeric nutrient standards for Florida on Sunday but decided to delay the implementation of the requirements for 15 months, leaving the door open for litigation.

The EPA’s numeric limits — which were sparked by a lawsuit from environmental groups — have been set for nutrients including phosphorous and nitrogen in Florida’s rivers, lakes and springs to reduce algae blooms and coastal red tide events. The standards are for Florida only and affect five different watershed regions.

EPA officials said they delayed implementation for 15 months to give state and local governments time to review the standards and draw up plans to implement them while the state recovers from the recession.

“After extensive scientific study, multiple rounds of public discussion, and collaboration between the state of Florida and EPA, we’re ready to work together to tackle a problem that for years has threatened drinking water supplies, hurt tourism revenue and lowered property values,” said Peter Silva, Assistant Administrator for the EPA Office of Water

Read more at The Florida Tribune.

Also, learn more at the EPA web site on the new Florida water standards.