EPA Agrees with Florida Chamber and Accepts Florida Water Standards

December 03, 2012 | Print Print

The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approving the state of Florida’s water protection rules.

The approval, which was handed down late Friday night, at first glance appeared to be a mixed bag for Florida’s business community. However, after a more thorough review, it’s clear that the EPA agrees that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) proposed rules do indeed meet the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements and federal regulations for water bodies.

“After careful review, EPA determined the FDEP’s rules and supporting documentation meet CWA requirements and applicable federal regulations for the water bodies they cover,” said Gwen Keyes Fleming, Southeast Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, in an editorial posted today. “EPA commends the FDEP for taking this significant step toward protecting and restoring the quality of Florida’s waters.”

The Florida Chamber, along with the FDEP, Florida’s agriculture and business community, members of the Florida Cabinet, Legislature and Governor Rick Scott, have long worked to protect Florida’s right to exercise the authority envisioned by the Clean Water Act to develop and implement its own water quality standards through an EPA-approved process governed by existing state law and accountable to taxpayers.

Florida’s just-announced, state-adopted numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) rules represent a thoughtful and responsible Florida-led approach to addressing Florida’s water quality needs. The FDEP has set tough standards that accomplish the same goal as the EPA rules, yet at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers.

“The Florida Chamber commends the federal government for acknowledging Florida’s strong capabilities to manage water resources and water protection,” said Leticia Adams, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy. “The EPA’s acceptance that Florida’s rules are accurate, scientifically sound and will continue to improve our state’s water quality, allows Florida to move forward and focus on putting the rule into action.”

To join the Florida Chamber’s effort to secure Florida’s future by protecting the state from burdensome rules and regulations from Washington, contact Leticia Adams at (850) 521-1279 or ladams@flchamber.com. For alerts and updates from the Florida Chamber on water and regulatory issues, sign-up at www.FloridaChamber.com/grassroots.

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