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“Total Maximum Daily Loads for nutrients including nitrogen are not our concern” says the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. They DO Matter.

Last April, many of us attended a Wekiva BMAP meeting. It was made very clear that our attendance was not particularly welcome. Further, in an e-mail response from a FDEP spokesperson to Fred Brummer’s office, our attendance at that meeting was labeled an inappropriate use of our time and attention, and we obviously had “the mistaken impression that an issue of critical interest (to them) will be discussed.”

The following information is taken verbatim from a Dept. of Environmental Protection publication. Please note, the BMAP groups are charged with identifying the CAUSE of the impairment and establishing nutrient reduction targets to fix the problem (TMDL’s). If your septic system is identified as the cause of the problem, they set a target reduction goal, and you must meet it. They are careful not to say how the standard must be met. The natural conclusion then is that once the amount of nutrient reduction is established, the Department of Health, Bureau of On-site Sewage will have no choice but to mandate the appropriate nutrient reduction technology – PBTS.

From the web site the following question is posed and answered:

“How will “impaired waters” and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) be affected?
If the designated use of a surface water is not being met and maintained, the cause of the water quality degradation (“impairment”) must be identified and corrected. The primary programs established to identify problems and restore water quality are TMDLs and Basin Management Action Plan process. Changes to the classification system would not change the procedures of the TMDL program but will align water quality requirements with appropriate ecological goals and human uses.

A Basin Management Action Plan is a comprehensive plan of regulatory and nonregulatory actions to meet the TMDLs for a given watershed.”

FDEP and BMAP Rule development meetings are set for February (in Orlando – February 17) for more information. As is the norm, there are hundreds of pages of documentation to review and no time for adequate response by affected parties. Resolutions are also posted on that web site from counties all over the state protesting the time frame for rule promulgation, and about the lack of information about the economic impact of setting numeric nutrient reduction standards before adequate scientific evidence or the time to review such information. Sounds familiar. It’s not just septic owners any more that face economic crisis over these issues, it’s counties too. Everyone will be impacted – and everyone needs to be aware and involved.