Authors

Meredith Allen

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Abstract

In 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began development of strategy to act in partnership with states to develop numeric nutrient criteria for the nation’s waters. The plan came about following a determination that nutrients were the primary cause of water quality impairment in the United States. In 2002, Florida submitted its first draft plan to the E.P.A for the development of nutrient criteria in the state of Florida. Nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, are essential ingredients for a healthy ecosystem. However, the excess discharge of nutrients from man-made sources such as wastewater treatment facilities, agricultural, industry, golf courses and residential neighborhoods are overwhelming State waters and driving the natural environment out of balance. Nutrient driven events such as eutrophication and red tide are present in both fresh and marine waters. Until now, there were no actual numeric limits placed on nutrient sources that discharged waste into the State’s waters. However, with the adoption of actual numeric criteria, sources will soon be required to meet specific numeric limits on the quantity of Nitrogen and Phosphorous they release. Policymakers face the daunting challenge of managing such a complicated substance. The problem of calls for a cooperative partnership of stakeholders, including government, NGO’s and interest groups, sources of nutrient pollutants and those impacted by the negative consequences of excess nutrient discharge. Additionally, policymakers must implement increased efficiency standards and create new cost/benefit mechanisms by means of a precautionary driven regulatory scheme.

Comments

Department: MAF

Location: CH2M Hill Foundation

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