Commissioner Putnam Applauds ERC Approval of Florida's Water Quality Standards

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Tallahassee, FL - The Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) unanimously adopted today Florida’s proposed rule for numeric nutrient surface water quality standards for Florida’s lakes, streams, springs and many estuaries.

“The unanimous action by the ERC reiterates that Florida knows best how to protect Florida’s water resources,” said Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “The ruling sends a strong message to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that, based on its strong history in protecting water resources, Florida is prepared to continue developing and implementing water resource protection programs.”

Once ratified by the Florida Legislature, the rules will be submitted to EPA for approval. These rules are intended to replace EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria promulgated in December 2010.

“I urge EPA – upon receipt of Florida’s nutrient standards – to act swiftly in approving them in their entirety, restoring Florida’s rightful place in protecting its water resources.”

EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria have been criticized for being inconsistent with its own guidance documents and the advice of its Science Advisory Board.

“The Florida standards reflect the best science of setting effective water quality standards and contain detailed expectations that will assure Florida’s valuable water resources are protected and those that are impaired are restored.”

EPA has previously acknowledged that Florida has developed and implemented some of the most progressive nutrient management strategies in the nation. Florida has placed substantial emphasis on the monitoring and assessment of its waters and, as a result of this commitment, has collected significantly more water quality data than any other state.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit or follow Commissioner Putnam on Facebook,, and Twitter, @adamputnam.

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