November 25, 2020
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CS for HM 1589 & HM 1365

House Memorial
2A memorial to the Congress of the United States, urging
3Congress to require the United States Environmental
4Protection Agency to subject the proposed numeric nutrient
5criteria for Florida to review by the agency's Science
6Advisory Board and the Government Accountability Office or
7the Congressional Budget Office.
9     WHEREAS, nutrients are essential for the biological health
10and productivity of Florida waters, and
11     WHEREAS, a delicate relationship exists between the level
12of nutrients in a water body and its health and productivity,
14     WHEREAS, increasing the level of nutrients in combination
15with site-specific conditions can cause impairment to a water
16body, and
17     WHEREAS, the establishment of numeric nutrient criteria in
18a manner that fails to take into account site-specific factors
19may result in criteria that lack adequate scientific support and
20cause unintended environmental and economic consequences, and
21     WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency
22determined that the State of Florida's standards on acceptable
23phosphorus and nitrogen levels in its waters need federal
24intervention, even though Florida has one of the most advanced
25water quality standards programs in the nation, and
26     WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed
27numeric nutrient criteria for the state's streams, canals, and
28lakes in January 2010 and intends to propose criteria for the
29state's coastal waters and estuaries in January 2011, and
30     WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency's schedule for
31proposing and adopting statewide numeric nutrient criteria has
32forced the agency to use a methodology that fails to fully take
33into account the unique characteristics of Florida's many
34thousands of rivers, streams, canals, and lakes, and
35     WHEREAS, for nearly 10 years, the Florida Legislature has
36allocated millions of dollars to the state's Total Maximum Daily
37Loads Program to scientifically evaluate the quality of
38Florida's surface waters and promote the environmentally
39beneficial projects necessary to clean up pollution, and
40     WHEREAS, the proposed numeric nutrient criteria ignore the
41good work of, and may undermine, the state's science-based Total
42Maximum Daily Loads Program, and
43     WHEREAS, the proposed numeric nutrient criteria will cause
44severe negative repercussions with respect to alternative water
45supply programs, including the beneficial reuse of reclaimed
46water, and
47     WHEREAS, a study commissioned by the Florida Water
48Environment Association Utility Council estimates that
49wastewater utilities in the state will spend between $24 billion
50and $51 billion in capital costs for additional wastewater
51treatment facilities and incur increases in annual operating
52costs between $4 million and $1 billion to comply with the
53proposed numeric nutrient criteria, and
54     WHEREAS, such costs do not consider the economic
55implications to industrial and stormwater facilities and to
56agriculture which are likely comparable and additive, and
57     WHEREAS, the members of the Florida Legislature value the
58health of our waterways but also recognize that the proposed
59regulatory changes without adequate and flexible implementation
60mechanisms will have severe economic consequences on the state's
61agriculture, local governments, economically vital industries,
62small businesses, and residents living below the poverty level
63or on fixed incomes, and
64     WHEREAS, believing that regulatory changes should be based
65on reliable, sound scientific data and analysis, the Florida
66Legislature is concerned that the Environmental Protection
67Agency's failure to account for the full range of natural
68conditions in Florida in developing numeric nutrient criteria
69does not adequately address the unique characteristics of the
70state's many thousands of rivers, streams, canals, and lakes,
73Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
75     That the Congress of the United States is urged to:
76     (1)  Require the United States Environmental Protection
77Agency to subject the proposed numeric nutrient criteria for
78Florida to peer review by the agency's Science Advisory Board
79and receive the board's peer review report prior to finalization
80of the proposed rule to ensure that the numeric nutrient
81criteria developed for the state are necessary to protect
82applicable designated uses, based on sound scientific rationale,
83reflective of the range of natural variability associated with
84the state's waters, responsive to input from Florida's water
85quality experts, responsive to available public and stakeholder
86input, and sufficient to be integrated with the water quality
87management tools available to the state; and
88     (2)  Require the United States Environmental Protection
89Agency to subject the proposed numeric nutrient criteria for
90Florida to review by the Government Accountability Office or the
91Congressional Budget Office to assess the economic impact of the
92proposed rule on Florida and adjoining states, particularly
93including impacts to Florida's local governments, small
94businesses, and residents living below the poverty level or on
95fixed incomes, and further require that such review compare the
96proposed rule to current law in Florida and not assume that
97there will only be indirect impacts and that widespread
98variances to the rule will be granted, as the agency assumed in
99its own economic analysis.
100     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be
101dispatched to the President of the United States, to the
102President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the
103United States House of Representatives, and to each member of
104the Florida delegation to the United States Congress.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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