Deadline looms for EPA water pollution rules proposal

May 15, 2012

The deadline for the federal Environmental Protection Agency to propose new water pollution rules for Florida rivers and streams is fast approaching. As Sascha Cordner reports, that’s after a federal judge rejected the agency’s proposal months ago and told them to come up with new water quality standards.

In February, U-S Judge Robert Hinkle ruled the water quality standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency for Florida’s lakes and springs were good. But, he said the EPA’s standards for other water bodies needed to be changed. And, Rich Budell, the director of the Office of Water Policy in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, says the deadline to make that fix is coming up.

“May 21st is the deadline for the EPA to re-propose new numeric criteria for flowing waters, streams, ditches, canals, north of Lake Okeechobee. So, that deadline is approaching next week.”

The judge’s ruling is part an ongoing legal battle between environmental groups, who like the federal water quality standards, and utility and industry groups, who say Florida knows how to best manage its own waters.

On that same May 21st deadline, under a different legal challenge, the EPA is also expected to propose new limits for South Florida streams, canals, and estuaries.