January 18, 2021
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SM 2474
       
       
       
       By Senator Baker
       
       
       
       
       20-01579A-10                                          20102474__
    1                           Senate Memorial                         
    2         A memorial to the Congress of the United States,
    3         urging Congress to encourage the United States
    4         Environmental Protection Agency to work closely and
    5         collaboratively with the State of Florida to establish
    6         numeric nutrient criteria for the state’s waters.
    7  
    8         WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency
    9  determined that the State of Florida’s caps on acceptable
   10  phosphorus and nitrogen levels in its waters need federal
   11  intervention and more stringent standards, even though Florida
   12  has one of the most sophisticated water quality standards
   13  programs in the nation, and
   14         WHEREAS, the agency plans to propose increased numeric
   15  nutrient water quality standards for the state’s streams,
   16  canals, and lakes by January 2010 and the state’s coastal waters
   17  by January 2011, and
   18         WHEREAS, a study commissioned by the Florida Water
   19  Environment Association Utility Council estimates that
   20  wastewater utilities in the state will spend between $24 billion
   21  and $51 billion in capital costs for additional wastewater
   22  treatment facilities and incur increases in annual operating
   23  costs between $4 million and $1 billion to comply with the
   24  proposed federal numeric nutrient criteria, and
   25         WHEREAS, the study reports that such increases will cause
   26  wastewater utility rates to double on average across the state,
   27  placing an undue burden on the state and local governments, and
   28  may have crippling effects on business development and job
   29  creation, and
   30         WHEREAS, the members of the Florida Legislature value the
   31  health of our waterways but also recognize that the proposed
   32  regulatory changes will have severe economic consequences on
   33  small businesses, which are the backbone of the state’s economy
   34  and struggling under the economic recession, and
   35         WHEREAS, believing that regulatory changes should be based
   36  on reliable, sound scientific data and analysis, the Legislature
   37  is concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s approach
   38  in developing numeric nutrient criteria may lead to arbitrary
   39  standards that do not consider the data collected and analyses
   40  conducted by the state over several years to develop numeric
   41  criteria under the Clean Water Act that are based on the best
   42  available science and community input, and
   43         WHEREAS, utilities in the state have made and are making
   44  significant investments in reclaimed water infrastructure based
   45  upon existing treatment standards that recognize the beneficial
   46  nutrient uptake of plants that are irrigated with reclaimed
   47  water and any new numerical standards should include these
   48  environmental initiatives, NOW, THEREFORE,
   49  
   50  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   51  
   52         That the Congress of the United States is urged to
   53  encourage the United States Environmental Protection Agency to
   54  work closely and collaboratively with the State of Florida to
   55  ensure that the numeric nutrient criteria developed for the
   56  state are necessary to protect applicable designated uses, based
   57  on sound scientific rationale, responsive to the specific needs
   58  of the state’s waters, responsive to available public and
   59  stakeholder input, and sufficient to meet the needs of the water
   60  quality management tools available to the state.
   61         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be
   62  dispatched to the President of the United States, to the
   63  President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the
   64  United States House of Representatives, and to each member of
   65  the Florida delegation to the United States Congress.

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