• EPA Publishes Final Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Florida’s Flowing Waters
  • December 13, 2010 | Authors: Jeremy Karpatkin; Lester Sotsky
  • Law Firm: Arnold & Porter LLP - Washington Office
  • On December 6, 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) published its final rule, setting numeric nutrient criteria for Florida’s lakes and flowing waters. The final rule sets numeric limits for nitrogen and phosphorous in lakes and streams and for nitrate plus nitrite in springs. EPA promulgated the rule pursuant to the terms of a consent decree approved by the court in Florida Wildlife Federation v. Jackson, 08-0324 (N.D. Fla.), in which environmentalists sued the Agency for allegedly violating a duty under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act or Act) to set the numeric criteria. The rule has generated intense interest, in part because of the effect that the limits could have throughout Florida on agriculture, industry, municipalities, and many land uses or restoration projects. The rule has also generated significant attention because (i) EPA’s analytical approach to the criteria has been controversial, (ii) the relationship between nutrients and potential adverse impacts on waterbodies remains a subject of considerable scientific debate, and (iii) the rule is perceived as a harbinger of what EPA and others may seek to impose throughout the US. www.arnoldporter.com