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TOMORROW: EPA Press Conference Call on Final Standards to Protect Florida’s Waters

Release Date: 11/14/2010
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 387-4368, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

(TALLAHASSEE – Nov. 14, 2010) Tomorrow, Nov. 15, 2010, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming will hold a press conference call to discuss the Agency’s final standards to cut harmful nutrient pollution in Florida’s inland waters.

Nutrient pollution is made up of nitrogen and phosphorus and comes from wastewater, urban stormwater and excess fertilizer that flow off the land into our waterways. Nutrient pollution causes harmful algae blooms—the thick, green muck that fouls clear water—that produce toxins harmful to both humans and animals, deplete oxygen needed for fish and shellfish survival, smother vegetation and discolor water.

The Florida Wildlife Federation filed a 2008 lawsuit against EPA, resulting in a finding under the Clean Water Act that nutrient pollution standards are necessary for Florida. The need for these numeric standards was first determined in January 2009 during the previous Administration. The resulting settlement, reflected in a consent decree entered in August 2009, requires EPA to adopt specific or “numeric” nutrient pollution standards by November 2010. The final rule complies with this consent decree. Under the consent decree, EPA is required to issue additional standards for Florida’s coastal waters by August 2012, and will shortly be submitting the underlying science for these standards to its independent Science Advisory Board for peer review.

WHEN: Tomorrow, November 15, 2010, 9:45AM (EST)

WHO: Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming

WHAT: EPA’s Florida standards to reduce nutrient pollution

WHERE: Members of the media should RSVP to marraccini.davina@epa.gov to receive

      the call-in information.