Coalition for Property Rights has posted on their web site important information about the proposed new rules governing nutrient limits that are being set only for the state of Florida. There are links to various associations and business groups that have formulated position statements about this issue. These rules are being developed as a result of a settlement between the EPA and Earth Justice which filed a suit against the EPA. FYI, Earth Justice represented several environmental groups (Florida Wildlife Federation, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Sierra Club, St. John’s Riverkeeper, and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida).
On the Earth Justice website it states that the research and subsequent nutrient reduction targets developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will be used to develop the new rules for businesses, municipalities, and residents. We have been telling you how important the FDEP’s Basin Management Action Plans are. This is the connection between the EPA hearings, the FL Department of Environmental Protection, and the BMAP process. If the EPA is depending on the research and numbers developed by FL DEP and the BMAP process, there is a problem. In the Wekiva Study Area, that research is very much in question, even by those who developed it. If this is typical of nutrient reduction targets being developed by BMAP groups across the state, there is a HUGE problem.
Our legislators at the state and federal level are very aware of the ramifications of this settlement between EPA and Earth Justice’s client group. Please open this link for more information on what is happening. As homeowners, business owners, employees of businesses, and residents, it is imperative that we respond to these challenges that threaten the economic well-being of our entire state. Our communities and residents have already taken active, effective and responsible steps to improve water quality in the Wekiva Study Area. The proof of that is in the steadily declining nutrient levels in the Wekiva River!
We continue to ask for sound science and common sense behind every rule so that our waterways actually benefit from any dollars spent. Setting arbitrary target numbers and impossible deadlines serves no one, not even the rivers. When billions across the state are at stake, “Ready, Shoot, Aim” is both damaging and unproductive.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has prepared a summary of their main concerns with the Federal EPA proposals for numeric nutrient criteria for Florida. Click here for the summary. Any questions regarding the summary should be directed to Eric Shaw (Eric.Shaw@dep.state.fl.us), Environmental Manager for FDEP.
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