Cardno ENTRIX Plays Prominent Role in Numeric Nutrient Criteria Development in Florida
In an unusual and highly-charged process, the US EPA has just promulgated numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) for the State of Florida. These criteria have the potential to dramatically affect the technology, logistics and cost of compliance and water resource management throughout the state for both public and private entities. Cardno ENTRIX has participated in nutrient criteria development efforts for nearly a decade in Florida, including the collection of more than 500,000 water quality and ecological data points in a state-funded Dissolved Oxygen-Nutrient Study, and membership on the Technical Advisory Committee to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As part of the EPA process, Cardno ENTRIX conducted extensive analyses of water quality, biological and geographic data on behalf of a number of clients, culminating in the preparation and submittal of an array of technical support documents to EPA to present issues, concerns, and potential alternative approaches to establishing numeric nutrient criteria for Florida. Those technical support documents are public information and are available here. For additional information on the technical aspects of the NNC, contact Dr. Doug Durbin at firstname.lastname@example.org (813-664-4500).
Cardno ENTRIX also recently completed an economic analysis of the compliance costs of the NNC proposed by the EPA for Florida's lakes and flowing waters. The study, carried out on behalf of the Florida Water Quality Coalition, confirmed that compliance costs for Florida residents and industry are much higher than estimated by the EPA and also highly uncertain, which will put an additional burden on business and residents. The study demonstrates that if the EPA takes the most strict implementation approach, the total annual costs could range from $3.1 to $8.4 billion, while even a less stringent implementation standard would cost between $1.0 to $3.2 billion per year. (The EPA had estimated annual costs at between $135 and $206 million.) The study also concludes that there would be an environmental justice cost associated with the NNC, since on average, counties with higher poverty levels will have a higher economic burden. The study goes on to establish that many industries that have suffered economic declines over the past five years could be hurt by the NNC and the diversion of consumer and business spending to costs of complying with the criteria. The economic study, released in early November, was presented to Congress and therefore the results are publicly available. To download an executive summary of the economic study click here for the full version click here. For details on the economic study, contact Dr. Doug MacNair at email@example.com (919-239-8900).