According to a recently released study by the Everglades Foundation, the agriculture industry is responsible for 76 percent of the phosphorus pollution entering the Everglades. But despite passage of a “Polluter Pays” amendment to the state Constitution in 1996, the ag industry isn’t paying for even half of the cost of phosphorus removal, leaving the balance of the burden on the shoulders of taxpayers.
Posts Tagged numeric nutrient criteria
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before the U.S. Senate, Committee on Environment and Public Works this morning, highlighting the need for environmental funding in the President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
A slew of national organizations and businesses are continuing to join together in urging EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to approve a set of Florida-specific water pollution standards drafted by the state, rather than set of rules promulgated by the federal government. In a letter sent to Jackson earlier this month, groups including The Fertilizer Institute argue that the state Department of Environmental Protection has “worked tirelessly” to develop its own water quality standards.
Environmental groups in states along the Gulf coast say the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Water Act by refusing to set state pollution standards to tackle the “dead zone” in the Gulf, a Massachusetts-sized area of incredibly low oxygen concentrations that can’t support aquatic life.
The costs for Florida to switch to a more stringent set of water pollution standards are expected to exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, according to a National Research Council report released yesterday.
On Monday, only hours before they were slated to go into effect, a federal judge postponed the implementation of a portion of a set of federally-mandated water rules. Those rules, which should have gone into effect today, have been delayed until July.
A report set to be released on Tuesday, March 6, will examine the cost estimates of a set of pollution standards to govern Florida’s waterways. The so-called “numeric nutrient criteria” have been hotly-contested and estimates regarding the costs to implement them have varied widely.
In a letter sent to EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, the head of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requests that the agency “return to Floridians the responsibility for protecting Florida’s waters.”
A U.S. District judge on Saturday ruled that limits on sewage, manure and fertilizer contamination in state waters must take effect by March 6. Judge Robert Hinkle supported a set of federally mandated criteria for Florida waterways in his ruling, but argued that two portions of the EPA-drafted rules are “arbitrary and capricious.”
Gov. Rick Scott yesterday signed legislation supporting Florida’s effort to create its own set of water pollution rules, also known as “numeric nutrient criteria.” The move is likely to add fuel to the fire of environmentalists, who argue that the state-drafted rules are not stringent enough to combat Florida’s nutrient pollution problem.