Thursday, January 28, 2010

Water coalition to EPA: Provide data, or extend deadline

A coalition of industry groups, utilities and other regulated interests is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide the detailed science behind its proposed phosphorus and nitrogen limits for Florida lakes, springs and rivers.

After announcing its proposal earlier this month, the EPA this week formally published the specific limits that it says are needed to protect Florida waterways.

The numeric nutrient criteria replace a state narrative standard that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection agreed was insufficient. Industry and utility groups say the proposed limits could cost billions of dollars just for sewage treatment plant improvements.

Today, the Florida Water Coalition called on the EPA to issue the data and modeling used to propose the criteria or extend the 60-day comment period, which began on Monday.

Florida residents are at a "very serious disadvantage" in commenting on the proposal without the EPA science, said Cathy Vogel, a representative of the Florida Water Coalition.

EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones said there are no plans to extend the comment period. EPA's web site links to the data and a DVD containing the data is provided to anyone who requests it, she said.

(Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You did an excellent job with this report. As someone who spent his career trying to protect Florida's environment, I applaud you for your objectivity and honesty. Florida needs more like you.

Estus Whitfield
Former Chief
Environmental Advisor to Governor Graham, Martinez and Chiles